Amid a spat between his son, his wife and U.S. World Cup coach Gregg Berhalter, former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna resigned as athletic director of Austin FC on Thursday, the MLS club announced.
Reyna and his wife, Danielle, made headlines earlier this month after Danielle Reyna admitted to telling US Soccer about a 31-year-old domestic altercation involving Berhalter and his now-wife, Rosalind. In a statement sent to FOX Sports on Jan. 4, Danielle Reyna said she reported the incident after Berhalter was quoted as saying he almost sent a player, later identified as 20-year-old midfielder Gio Reyna, home of Qatar for young Reyna. refusal to accept a role off the bench.
“I support my wife, Danielle,” Claudio Reyna said in his own statement at the time. “I, too, was upset by Gregg’s comments about Gio after the U.S. was out of the World Cup.” FOX Sports later reported that Claudio Reyna had also inappropriately contacted then-U.S. U17 coach Raphaël Wicky about Gio’s role when the younger Reyna was a member of the Wicky at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The behavior of the Reynas has been heavily criticized since the saga became public. Now, just over three weeks later, Claudio Reyna has left the position he had held at Verde since leaving a similar role with New York City FC in 2019.
“We are grateful for Claudio’s contributions,” Austin FC owner Anthony Precourt said in a press release announcing the news. He added that Reyna will serve as the club’s technical advisor in the future. “I am grateful that Anthony and the organization have given me the opportunity to reduce my role and responsibilities,” said Reyna.
What happened between Berhalter and the Reynas?
Alexi Lalas and David Mosse react to the latest news about Gregg Berhalter, Claudio Reyna and Gio Reyna.
After debuting as an expansion team in 2021, Austin took a big step forward on the field last season, finishing second in the Western Conference behind eventual MLS Cup champions LAFC. But Reyna staying with the club in a prominent, front-line role was probably unsustainable after his role in the saga with the Berhalters came to light.
Both Precourt and Austin head coach Josh Wolff have deep and longstanding relationships with Gregg Berhalter. As then-owner of the Columbus Crew, Precourt hired Berhalter as head coach, while Wolff was Berhalter’s top assistant with both the Crew and the national team before taking over in Austin before the inaugural season of the club The independent investigation into the Berhalter incident and Claudio and Danielle Reyna’s communications with team personnel during the 2022 World Cup is ongoing.
Austin promoted Sean Rubio, who had served as the club’s director of player personnel since 2020, to interim athletic director.
Doug McIntyre is a football writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a writer for ESPN and Yahoo Sports and has covered the US men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @By Doug McIntyre.
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