What a disaster.
Okay, so let me set it up for you: United States Men’s Soccer manager Gregg Berhalter spoke Dec. 6 at the HOW Institute for Society’s Summit on Moral Leadership in New York City. During the speech, he made comments about “a player” that was nearly sent home from the 2022 FIFA World Cup for not living up to expectations both on the pitch and off.
Berhalter didn’t clarify exactly who he was talking about, but the player ended up being confirmed the next day on Dec. 7 by the man himself, Giovanni Reyna, after he took to Instagram to release a statement on the matter.
View this post on Instagram
Fast forward to now, and we have information coming out about both parents of Gio Reyna, Claudio and Danielle, allegedly threatening Berhalter with revealing a past domestic violence incident, according to a report from ESPN.
Danielle Reyna straight up admitted herself that she told U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about Berhalter’s past out of frustration over the comments that were made about her son, ESPN reported. Claudio Reyna reportedly sent several messages to Stewart, as well as Brian McBride — the USMNT general manager — about his frustrations with Berhalter. ESPN also reported multiple sources told them that Claudio threatened Berhalter with his past, however, he has denied those claims.
Just an absolutely insane story.
Former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna, father of Gio Reyna, sent multiple messages to U.S. Soccer executives during the World Cup threatening to reveal sensitive details about USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s past, multiple sources told ESPN. https://t.co/Hp1fDz0mJ0
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 4, 2023
Both Berhalter and U.S. Soccer have released statements on the matter:
— Gregg Berhalter (@GreggBerhalter_) January 3, 2023
Statement from U.S. Soccer: pic.twitter.com/h2x5rgZvWA
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) January 3, 2023
Here are the statements from Gio Reyna’s parents, Danielle and Claudio:
Danielle Reyna’s statement on the Gregg Berhalter situation via @TheAthletic‘s @PaulTenorio.
“The statements from yesterday significantly minimize the abuse on the night in question. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/r4x4yNghA6
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) January 4, 2023
Claudio Reyna’s statement: pic.twitter.com/HYu2S9XNlE
— Doug McIntyre (@ByDougMcIntyre) January 4, 2023
To make this situation even more bizarre, you also have the fact that U.S. Men’s National Team manager Gregg Berhalter has been replaced for the month of January by Anthony Hudson:
Anthony Hudson will serve as head coach of the #USMNT for the upcoming January camp » https://t.co/tUN0sRQhgJ pic.twitter.com/bpc4LoIHVM
— U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) January 4, 2023
Just utter chaos, just absolute utter chaos.
And honestly, it’s a bit irritating as a fan of U.S. Soccer. In the World Cup, we did solid, getting all the way to the Round of 16 before ultimately losing to the Netherlands. So it has me thinking: if Gio Reyna was out there ballin’ and we didn’t have any of this scandalous bullshit, how much better would we have been? (RELATED: ESPN Is Bringing Back Their ‘This Is SportsCenter’ Campaign In Absolutely Fantastic News)
It’s frustrating as hell thinking about that aspect of everything (especially with the World Cup only being every four years), and quite frankly, embarrassing as an American. I still want Reyna’s talent on the pitch, but I’m thinking we have to get rid of Berhalter — not because of the domestic violence, but because of the extraordinary toxicity within our national men’s soccer program. That needs to go, and quickly.
What a disgrace for everybody involved though, everybody should be ashamed of themselves. Americans already don’t like soccer as it is, and here we are having to deal with this horseshit. It’s just embarrassing, man.
United States Soccer deserves so much better than this.