Gregg Berhalter incident was reported by Gio Reyna’s mother

The mother of U.S. forward Gio Reyna reported to U.S. Soccer the 1991 domestic violence incident involving U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter and his now-wife, Rosalind, Danielle Reyna said in a statement Wednesday emailed to FOX Sports.

Danielle Reyna (nee Egan), former US Women’s National Team player and wife of two-time USA World Cup captain Claudio Reyna, was roommates with Rosalind Berhalter (nee Santana) at the University of Carolina del Norte, where the two won four national championships. as teammates on the school’s girls’ soccer team at the time the altercation occurred.

The Berhalters released details of the incident on Tuesday.

A day later, the Reynas gave their side of the story, with Danielle revealing that she shared the incident with U.S. Soccer athletic director Earnie Stewart during a conversation following comments Gregg Berhalter made about Gio Reyna during a leadership conference in New York three days after the Americans. were eliminated from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Berhalter, without naming the player, later identified as Reyna, said he considered sending the 20-year-old home rather than accept a role as a substitute.

The relationship between Berhalter, Stewart and Claudio Reyna also goes back decades. The three were All-American teammates in the 1990s and 2000s, while Berhalter and the elder Reyna played high school soccer together at St. Benedict’s Prep, in his native New Jersey.

“To set the record straight, I called Earnie Stewart on December 11th, right after the news broke that Gregg had made negative statements about my son Gio,” Danielle Reyna wrote Wednesday. “I have known Earnie for years and consider him a close friend. I wanted to let him know that I was absolutely outraged and devastated that Gio had been put in such a terrible position, and that I felt very personally betrayed by the actions. someone my family had considered a friend for decades.

“As part of that conversation, I told Earnie that I thought it was particularly unfair that Gio, who had apologized for acting immaturely for his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg had asked for and received sorry for doing something like that. much worse at the same age,” his statement continued.

“Without going into detail, (Tuesday’s) statements significantly downplay the abuse during the night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate and best friend, and I supported her through the trauma that followed . It took me a long time. to forgive and accept Gregg afterwards, but I worked hard to grace him and eventually made both them and their children an important part of my family’s life. I should have wanted and expected to give the same grace to Gio. That is why the current situation is so painful and hard.”

Danielle Reyna went on to say that she did not intend for US Soccer to open an investigation into the incident between the Berhalters as a result of her disclosure. He also denied that he had threatened to report before doing so, or that he wanted to “bring an end” to the “coach’s relationship with US Soccer,” as Berhalter had alleged.

“I want to be very clear that I did not ask for Gregg to be fired. I made no threats and I know nothing of any blackmail attempts,” said Danielle Reyna. “I regret that this information has become public, and I regret that I played a role in something that could reopen past wounds.”

During a Zoom conference call with more than 200 media later Wednesday, Stewart, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone and USSF CEO JT Batson provided some additional details , citing the ongoing independent investigation into the matter being conducted by the law firm Alston and Bird. . That investigation includes the incident between Berhalter and what US Soccer called “potential inappropriate behavior toward various members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization,” Batson confirmed. It did not reveal the identity of those employees or individuals.

Stewart said he was “pleased” with the Americans’ participation in the round of 16 in Qatar and that Berhalter, whose contract expired on December 31, remains a candidate to continue as coach of the men’s national team, in waiting for the result of Alston and Consultation of the bird. Hours earlier, US Soccer announced that Anthony Hudson, one of Berhalter’s World Cup assistants, would lead the USMNT in friendlies against Serbia and Colombia later this month while the investigation continues. Hudson previously served as head coach of the New Zealand national team, the U.S. Under-20 team and the MLS Colorado Rapids.

“I support my wife, Danielle, and her statement,” Claudio Reyna wrote in a statement of his own. “I, too, was upset by Gregg’s comments about Gio after the U.S. was out of the World Cup, and I also appealed to Earnie Stewart on Dec. 11 to ask him not to make any further comments.” .

According to an ESPN report Wednesday, Claudio Reyna threatened to reveal “sensitive details” about Berhalter’s past to U.S. soccer executives during the World Cup; those messages began after Berhalter informed Gio Reyna that he would have a limited role in Qatar, according to the report. . Reyna, a U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer who serves as sporting director of MLS club Austin FC, denied that.

“While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with several close friends, Earnie and [USMNT general manager] Brian McBride among them,” Claudio Reyna said. “However, at no time did I threaten anyone, and I never would.”

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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