Gregg Berhalter was left devastated for his wife after Giovanni Reyna’s mother revealed herself to be the one who reported the United States coach to U.S. Soccer over a domestic altercation in 1991 following perceived mistreatment of her son at Qatar 2022.
Berhalter revealed on Tuesday he was the subject of an investigation after he admitted to kicking his then-girlfriend Rosalind, who is now his wife.
He said U.S. Soccer was made aware of the incident by “an individual” who planned to “take me down” during the World Cup.
Danielle Reyna subsequently released a statement on Wednesday confirming she was the individual involved, explaining her actions stemmed from Berhalter seemingly referencing Giovanni when revealing a USA player was nearly sent home from Qatar for poor behaviour.
Giovanni’s father, Claudio, a former USA team-mate of Berhalter, also confirmed he “shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends, [U.S. Soccer sporting director] Earnie [Stewart] and [general manager] Brian McBride among them”, but he insisted he never made any threats.
The saga has left a stain on American soccer, and Berhalter is particularly disappointed for his wife.
Speaking of the controversy for the first time publicly, Berhalter told the Harvard Business Review: “Our entire family is sad about these events, and it’s something we want to move forward from.
“As we said in the statement, it was something we didn’t hide from back then and isn’t something we are prepared to hide from now, that’s why we issued the statement.
“The events of that night 31 years ago and the lessons learned from that basically set the foundation for our relationship moving forward.
“It’s a loving relationship, a devoted relationship, and we have four amazing kids to show for it. The worst part of it for me is my heart aches for my wife, because it was her story to tell if she chose to or not, and that’s what just really saddens me.”
Berhalter’s original comments about Giovanni were erroneously published by the Charter newsletter after he spoke at the “HOW Institute for Society’s summit on Moral Leadership”.
He now regrets ever saying anything, despite believing he was not talking on the record.
“If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t have told that story,” he added. “It brought too much attention to an overall shining example of team culture and teamwork. That would be something I’d go back and change, for sure.”
Berhalter’s contract with the USA ended last week and U.S. Soccer’s probe into the 1991 incident is unlikely to have helped his chances of getting a renewal.
U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday that Anthony Hudson will take charge of the team’s upcoming January training camp, though Berhalter is hopeful of returning to the post.
“It’s a fantastic group of players, a super high-potential group and we are competing in the World Cup in North America in 2026, so it would be amazing challenge for this team,” Berhalter said.
“When we started in 2018, we wanted to change the way the world views American soccer and I think when you ask around the world now about our team, everyone sees us in a different light.
“But now it’s about taking that next step, and that next step is doing something no US team has ever done, and that’s get to the semi-finals [of a men’s World Cup] and see what happens from there.
“There’s a lot of great challenges involved, and of course I’d like to continue in my role.”