In response to demotion: Reyna’s parents betrayed US coach to the association

In response to demotion
Reyna’s parents betrayed US coach to the association

By Till Erdenberger

The US national coach demoted BVB professional Giovanni Reyna to a supplementary player before the World Cup, after the tournament he made Reyna’s misstep public. The player’s parents respond with what can be interpreted as an attempt at blackmail.

Gregg Berhalter, who coached the national soccer team to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar in December, made a public confession earlier this week: when he was 18, he kicked his wife Rosalind in the legs during an argument. That was 31 years ago, the Berhalters have been married for over 25 years.

The 49-year-old Berhalter then went public with his wife: “In the fall of 1991 I met my soul mate. We had been together for four months when an incident happened that was to shape the future of our relationship,” Berhalter wrote: “One night while we were having drinks in a bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument which continued outside. It got violent and I kicked her in the legs. There is no excuse for my actions that night. It was a shameful moment that I still regret to this day.”

The late revelation of the former Bundesliga professional (Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich) raises questions that Berhalter himself answers in a long statement: “During the World Cup, a person contacted the US FA and said that he/she had information that I ‘would bring down’.”

“…that’s how bad it was”

It is now clear that the “person” is Danielle Reyna. Reyna is the mother of US national player Giovanni Reyna, who was about to be suspended during the World Cup – and after Berhalter’s departure had been publicly criticized – albeit without naming his name. As Berhalter reported in a speech to a society for the promotion of executives, there was “one player” in the US team at the World Cup “who clearly did not live up to our expectations on and off the field”. He and his staff “sat together for hours and discussed what to do with this player. We were ready to book him a plane ticket home, it was that bad,” he said.

Giovanni Reyna only played a total of 52 minutes in two games at the World Cup. The Borussia Dortmund pro admitted he had let his emotions guide him for a few days after Berhalter offered him limited playing time ahead of the World Cup. This also influenced his training performance and behavior. “I apologized to my team-mates and my coach and I was forgiven.” He said he was “disappointed that this matter continues to be reported and I am extremely surprised that anyone on the US men’s team staff is contributing.”

Giovanni Reyna’s father Claudio, a former Bundesliga professional and himself captain of the US team, had previously revealed that he was extremely disappointed with Berhalter’s demotion of his son. “While in Qatar, I have shared my frustration with my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends including Earnie and Brian McBride (US FA chief executive – ed.) However, I don’t have any to say threatened anyone and never would,” he said in his statement on Wednesday.

“Done So Much Worse”

Danielle Reyna made it clear to the association that the revelations about Berhalter’s outbreak of violence have to do with the situation surrounding her son: “I found it particularly unfair that Gio, who had apologized for his immature behavior in relation to his playing time, always dragged through the mud while Gregg had asked and received forgiveness for something so much worse at the same age.”

Danielle Reyna was Berhalter’s now-wife’s roommate at the time of the incident at the University of North Carolina. “Without going into detail, yesterday’s statements greatly downplay the abuse that took place on the night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate and best friend and I supported her through the trauma.”

“It took her a long time to forgive Gregg and accept him, but I worked hard to grant him clemency and eventually made both of them and their children an important part of my family life. I would have wished and expected that he would.” Gio shows the same mercy. That’s why the current situation is so hurtful and hard.” However, Reyna told Fox Sports reporter Doug McIntyre that it was never the couple’s intention “for Gregg to be fired (…) We have never made any threats, nor do I know of any other type of blackmail attempt.” .

Decades of friendship

Last June, Berhalter reported on the relationship between the Berhalter and Reyna families on the “Gab & Juls Show”: “Our families are very close. We are very good friends, and with Gio there are moments when I look at him and imagining putting him on the field or something. It’s so familiar. You’re looking at something that’s so familiar to you and it’s a great feeling. It’s almost like bringing a family member into the game. It was great fun.” Reyna Sr. and Berhalter have known each other for decades, they played together through youth and high school, and their respective US national team careers overlapped from 1994 to 2006.

The former professional from Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich asserted that he had already taken full responsibility and made no secret of his misconduct: “Although the authorities were never involved in this matter, I voluntarily sought advice to learn how to grow and improve – one of the most valuable decisions I have ever made. To date, such behavior has not been repeated.”

The US association had launched an independent investigation. We condemn “any kind of violence and take such allegations very seriously”. Berhalter’s future is unclear after his contract expired. Sports director Earnie Stewart said on Wednesday that a new engagement as national coach after the investigation was completed could not be ruled out.

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