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Danielle Reyna, Gio’s mother, told US Soccer about Gregg Berhalter’s past domestic violence incident

Danielle Reyna, wife of former US men’s national team captain Claudio Reyna and mother of current international Gio Reyna, says she told US Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s past domestic violence incident because she was frustrated by comments that were made about her son after the team’s elimination from the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The information was shared following comments Berhalter made at the HOW Institute for Society Summit on Moral Leadership in New York, detailing how “a player” was nearly sent home from the World Cup for failing to meet expectations within and off the field.

Berhalter did not identify anyone by name, however it was a clear reference to Gio Reyna and was confirmed by the player in an Instagram post the next day.

Danielle Reyna said in a statement Wednesday: “I thought it was especially unfair that Gio, who had apologized for acting immaturely about his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg asked for and received forgiveness for doing something too much. worse at the same age.

Claudio Reyna also sent multiple messages to USMNT General Manager Brian McBride and Stewart during the World Cup, in which he said he shared his frustration over Gio’s World Cup experience.

Multiple sources told ESPN that he threatened to share the allegations about Berhalter’s past, but Reyna has denied those allegations.

“While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends including Earnie and Brian McBride. However, at no time did I, nor would I, threaten anyone,” he said in the statement on Wednesday.

Claudio’s messages began after his son, Gio Reyna, was informed that he would have a limited role in the tournament.

US Soccer did not receive any details about the claims against Berhalter until December 11, when an executive was told on a call with Claudio and Danielle Reyna that Berhalter, 49, had had a domestic violence incident in the past, sources told ESPN.

On Tuesday, Berhalter, whose contract as head coach of the US men’s soccer team (USMNT) expired on December 31, revealed details of the incident with his wife in a extensive statement posted on Twitter.

“During the World Cup, a person contacted US Soccer and said they had information about me that would ‘bring me down’ — an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from a long time ago to bring about the end of my relationship with US Soccer. Soccer”. Berhalter said.

“In the fall of 1991, I met my soul mate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind,” Berhalter said. “One night while drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I got into a heated argument that continued outside. She got physical and I kicked her in the legs.”

Berhalter said authorities were never involved and that he sought advice after the incident. The couple reconciled seven months later, subsequently married, and have four children.

“The lessons learned from that night more than three decades ago became the foundation of a loving, devoted and supportive relationship, which we honored and celebrated with our 25th wedding anniversary this past weekend,” Berhalter added.

In response to Berhalter’s characterization of events, Danielle Reyna said: “Without going into detail, yesterday’s statements significantly downplay the abuse on the night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate and best friend, and supported her through all the trauma that followed.

“It took me a long time to forgive and accept Gregg afterwards, but I worked hard to give him grace and ultimately made them and their children a big part of my family’s life. I would have wanted and hoped he would have given me the same grace to Gio. That’s why the current situation is so painful and harsh.”

After Stewart was made aware of Berhalter’s past domestic violence incident, the federation immediately retained a law firm, Alston & Bird LLP, to conduct an independent investigation, announced the federation on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, US Soccer announced that current USMNT assistant coach Anthony Hudson would lead the team during a January camp in California, “With investigation underway and US Soccer’s full review of the USMNT program following the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup still in progress”.

Claudio Reyna, current sports director of Austin FC, and Berhalter have a relationship of decades. They played high school and youth soccer together, their respective US national team careers spanned from 1994 to 2006, and their wives — Danielle Reyna (née, ​​Egan) and Rosalind Berhalter (née, ​​Santana) — were teammates. team for four years at the University of North Carolina.

When Berhalter was hired as the USA’s coach, Reyna praised the move, calling Berhalter “an exciting choice for the national team job.”

In an interview with the late Grant Wahl in February, Reyna said, “From the experiences [de Berhalter] as a player, you want to make sure they also understand the collective nature of playing for the team, which is so important. He is so excited and proud to see the growth of this game and how these players are playing at such high levels, both domestically and internationally, which makes his decisions to pick a team, let alone a starting 11, are really difficult.”

In June, Berhalter told the Gab & Juls Show that when Gio was just 12 or 13 years old, he had a feeling watching him would have a future in sports, noting that he was an exceptional soccer and basketball player.

“Now, as the coach of the national team, it becomes a different relationship, but the connection is always there. The link is always there,” Berhalter said. “Our families are very close. Very good friends and in Gio there are moments when I look at him and put him in the field or something. He is so familiar. You are looking at something that is so familiar to you and that is a great feeling. It is almost like you’re putting a family member in the game. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Despite dealing with injury problems over the past year, the 20-year-old Reyna came into the World Cup having played regularly for Borussia Dortmund in the previous weeks and was widely expected to play a significant role.

It was not so. In four World Cup matches, Reyna made two appearances, coming off the bench to play seven minutes against England in the group stage and 45 minutes against the Netherlands in the round of 16.

Upon learning of her role, Reyna admitted that she did not respond well. In the December 12 Instagram post, he said: “I let my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior for a few days… I apologized to my teammates and the coach for this, and they told me that he was forgiven.”

Claudio Reyna has been Austin FC’s sporting director since November 2019, when he was hired after serving in the same role for New York City FC since 2013. Austin coach Josh Wolff was Berhalter’s assistant for five years with Columbus. Crew and one more year with the national team, prior to his appointment in Austin, which preceded Reyna’s arrival by four months.

Reyna was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012, four years after retiring as one of the greatest American soccer players in history. After winning three national titles in college playing for Bruce Arena in Virginia, Reyna’s professional career spanned from 1994 to 2008, with stops in Germany, Scotland, England and MLS.

At the closing ceremonies of the World Cup, Reyna was the only former player to serve on the United States Presidential Delegation, which was headed by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

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