The U.S. Soccer Federation is currently conducting an investigation into a domestic violence incident involving Gregg Berhalter, the head coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team. The incident in question occurred decades ago, but was brought to the attention of the federation on December 11, when they received a tip about the episode.
On Wednesday, it was reported by ESPN that the source of the tip was Danielle Reyna, the mother of U.S. player Gio Reyna, and her husband Claudio Reyna, a former captain of the U.S. men’s national soccer team and current sporting director of MLS club Austin F.C. Danielle Reyna later confirmed that she had shared the information with the federation, stating that she was “absolutely outraged and devastated” over comments made by Berhalter about her son Gio’s playing time during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
In addition to Danielle Reyna’s confirmation, ESPN also cited multiple sources who claimed that Claudio Reyna had threatened to “share allegations about Berhalter’s past” in messages to U.S. Soccer officials. Claudio Reyna later released a statement acknowledging that he had sent messages to U.S. soccer officials regarding his son’s playing time during the World Cup, but denied making any threats.
The U.S. Soccer Federation hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the Berhalter incident when it received the tip in December. As the investigation has progressed, federation officials have also learned of “potentially inappropriate communication and behavior from third parties towards U.S. staff,” which is now also being examined as part of the investigation.
The developments have caused turmoil in the world of U.S. soccer, partly due to the personal histories of those involved. Cindy Parlow Cone, the federation’s president, commented on the situation, stating, “Obviously, this is not a positive time for soccer in this country and for our men’s national team. And it’s a tough time for the families involved. I’m just hopeful that we can find resolution to this quickly and move forward with our men’s team.”
Gregg Berhalter, the head coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, has admitted to kicking his wife, Rosalind, during a drunken argument in 1991 in a statement released on Tuesday. Berhalter and his wife met while they were both students and soccer players at the University of North Carolina, where Danielle Reyna, the mother of U.S. player Gio Reyna, was also a soccer player and roommates with Rosalind.
The incident was brought to the attention of the U.S. Soccer Federation by Danielle Reyna, who was upset over comments made by Berhalter about her son’s playing time during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In the statement, Berhalter described the incident as a “heated argument” that turned physical when he kicked Rosalind in the legs. He stated that the authorities were not involved in the matter, but that he voluntarily sought out counseling to help him learn, grow, and improve.
Berhalter emphasized that he has not repeated this type of behavior since the incident. Despite the altercation, Berhalter and his wife temporarily parted ways but ultimately reconciled and have been married for 25 years. Berhalter expressed regret for his actions and stated that there are “zero excuses” for what he did.
In response to the allegations, the U.S. Soccer Federation released a statement condemning violence of any kind and stating that it takes such allegations very seriously. The federation has hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the matter.
The Berhalters and Reynas have a long history together, with Berhalter and Reyna having played together on the U.S. men’s national team and Reyna serving as best man at the Berhalters’ wedding, according to a biography on the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association website. The recent developments have caused upheaval in the world of U.S. soccer.
Controversy Comes Just Weeks After World Cup Ends
The controversy surrounding Gregg Berhalter, the head coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, appears to be related to the couple’s 20-year-old son Gio Reyna, a member of the U.S. men’s national team and a professional soccer player. Expectations were high for Reyna leading up to the World Cup, but he only played 52 minutes as a substitute and was left out of two games entirely, causing some controversy over his lack of playing time.
On December 11, The Athletic published a report suggesting that Reyna had struggled with a “lack of effort” during the World Cup and had almost been sent home. However, after apologizing to his teammates, the issues with Reyna were reportedly resolved.
On the same day, Berhalter made comments at a leadership conference about a player who “was clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field,” which were widely interpreted as being about Reyna. Berhalter later stated that he had believed these comments would be off the record, but they were published on a leadership website and fueled the drama.
Reyna publicly apologized on December 12, acknowledging that his emotions had gotten the best of him and that he had apologized to his teammates and coach for his behavior.