Stejskal: In the USMNT’s Berhalter/Reyna saga, everyone involved faces an uncertain future

This must be a preemptive and thrilling second for the USA males’s nationwide crew. A gaggle of younger gamers carried out admirably on the World Cup in Qatar and will take a step ahead by 2026, when the USA will co-host the event with Canada and Mexico.

However as a substitute of wanting forward with anticipation, we’re caught up in a Shakespearean drama, the longer term unsure.

For many who want a fast recap: on the World Cup in Qatar, the gifted striker Gio Reina He confirmed an alarming lack of effort in coaching, which pissed off his teammates and coaches and contributed to lower than anticipated enjoying time within the event. Rayna ultimately apologized to the group and by all accounts, the crew moved on.

A number of days after the US was eradicated, coach Greg Berhalter detailed the story at a management convention in New York Metropolis. Berhalter’s feedback have been alleged to be off the file and Reina’s identify was by no means talked about, however they have been nonetheless printed in a e-newsletter after the occasion. And to anybody paying consideration, it was clear to whom he was referring.

Gio’s dad and mom, Claudio and Daniel Reyna, have been upset that their son’s unprofessional conduct was being broadcast publicly, and known as on NFL supervisor Ernie Stewart to vent their anger. Danielle tells him a few 1991 home violence incident by which Greg Berhalter kicked his present spouse, Rosalind, once they have been relationship whereas on the College of North Carolina.

“I advised Ernie I assumed it was significantly unfair that Gio … was nonetheless being dragged via the mud when Greg sought and acquired forgiveness for doing one thing a lot worse on the similar age,” she mentioned in a press release.

Stewart then took these allegations to his NFL bosses, who employed an out of doors legislation agency to research additional. Quickly the entire matter turned public data.

The peak of all of it was how intertwined all these limbs have been. Greg Berhalter and Claudio Reyna turned pals enjoying below Claudio’s father on the youth crew in Northern New Jersey. They went to highschool collectively and have been teammates for the USA on the World Cup twice. Rosalind Berhalter and Danielle Reyna have been good pals, roommates, and teammates on the UNC soccer crew. They stored their households shut for the following 30 years. Stewart additionally has an extended historical past with each households, having performed with Claudio Reina in three World Cups and with Greg Berhalter in a single.

Other than Rosalind Berhalter and Stewart, all contributors behaved disgracefully.

The dearth of effort was fully inappropriate from 20-year-old Gio Reina, whose potential to begin the opener in opposition to Wales didn’t respect his team-mates, coaches and gamers who narrowly missed out on the ultimate listing.

Speaking In regards to the Scenario in a Room Filled with Strangers was Foolishness by Greg Berhalter. Whatever the occasion’s floor guidelines, the USA’s head coach must know that revealing particulars contained in the locker room in any unfamiliar location may trigger a leak.

It ought to go with out saying that Greg Berhalter’s abuse of Rosalind was reprehensible. She is going to all the time should take the shock of the second; He should stay with this disgrace for the remainder of his life. Information of him ought to play a job in whether or not American soccer will maintain Berhalter, who was 18 when he offended Rosalind, as head coach. The continuing investigation should additionally look into what the union knew in regards to the incident when Berhalter was first employed in December 2018. On the time, Berhalter’s brother Jay was a high-ranking USSF govt, although Stewart was most immediately chargeable for the hiring.

Elder Renas also needs to be ashamed. Claudio Reyna admitted in a press release earlier this month that he had been texting Stewart and GM Brian McBride, his former USA teammate, about his frustration at not having enjoying time in Qatar. This is able to be inappropriate conduct for a mum or dad of an under-12 participant. For a former USMNT captain and present MLS athletic director whose son was then in a World Cup, it was extremely inappropriate.

These kinds of actions look like a part of a sample in line with Reyna, who was first reported From Fox Sports activities Final Thursday and later confirmed by sources the athletebeforehand tried to affect United States U-17 nationwide crew coach Rafael Weki concerning his remedy of Gio on the 2019 U-17 World Cup.

In fact, none of that is as unhealthy as Daniel Rina detailing the incident by which Berhalter kicked Rosalind to Stewart. The problem will not be with revelations of abuse, however how Danielle Reyna revealed it: with out Rosalind’s consent.

In her assertion, Danielle didn’t say she reported the abuse to Stewart out of concern for Rosalind, her pal of greater than 30 years. She did not say she advised Stewart as a result of she felt Greg was morally incapable of teaching the USMNT. By her personal admission, she naively didn’t notice that what she mentioned may immediate an investigation.

It did not appear to matter to her that it wasn’t her story she wished to share. By no means thoughts that she was as soon as a detailed pal of Rosalind’s. It did not even matter that the Burhalters had come to phrases with the incident, they reconciled and appeared to have had an extended, glad and fruitful marriage. The one factor that appeared to matter to Danielle was that Greg made some feedback about her son’s unhealthy conduct on the World Cup. That was sufficient for her to tug one other household via the mud. What I did was spiteful, vindictive, and fully disproportionate.

She reads elements of Danielle’s assertion as if she feels her members of the family are the victims. That is humorous. The one victims listed below are Rosalind Berhalter and her kids, who needed to stay this uncomfortable expertise below some extremely vibrant lights.

For others, the interval forward could possibly be decisive, as US Soccer’s unbiased investigation stays open.

Berhalter needs to remain on as U.S. head coach, and Stewart advised reporters he was nonetheless being thought of, however there have been official questions even earlier than this drama turned public about whether or not he must be retained. The 2022 World Cup was a strong success however not a smashing success on the sphere with a number of missteps alongside the way in which.

Gamers who’ve been requested in regards to the scandal over the previous two weeks have typically been supportive of Berhalter, however it’s potential, similar to American legend Darcus Beasley. Featured on HBO Max’s Aftergame After the USA beat New Zealand 4-0 on Tuesday, his feedback within the management seminar damage his standing within the locker room. NFL could determine bringing Berhalter again shall be too problematic, particularly if the affiliation goals to focus fully on constructing optimistic momentum forward of 2026.

Nonetheless, real looking options to taking up Berhalter’s job could also be scarce. For instance, coaching for the USMNT could possibly be very boring till 2026. As one of many host nations, there isn’t any qualification for the USA and there’s no assure that People will get into the 2024 Copa América. The one significant matches for the American males could possibly be between now and Subsequent World Cup begin in opposition to regional rivals in CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup. For giant-name, world-class managers, these tournaments in all probability will not be all that enticing. And for all we all know, US Soccer, which has paid and continues to pay an unlimited quantity of authorized charges thanks to numerous lawsuits and investigations, could not even be capable of afford the sorts of salaries commanded by the highest managers out there.

Claudio Reina’s future may be affected. In keeping with a press release from the union on January 3, through the course of the investigation, the USSF “discovered of potential inappropriate conduct towards a number of members of our employees by people exterior our group. We take such conduct severely and have expanded our investigation to incorporate these allegations.” Given his assertion about texting Stewart and McBride and the report on his texting about Wicky on the U-17 World Cup, this prolonged scope may implicate Reyna, and will result in repercussions by Austin FC, her employer.

“At no time have I threatened anybody, nor will I ever,” Reyna mentioned in his assertion. But when the investigation confirms cases of inappropriate conduct by Renna, Austin ought to severely think about whether or not they wish to proceed using him as athletic director.

Becoming with the remainder of this story, there’s additionally some private awkwardness at play in Austin, which is coached by former US worldwide Josh Wolf. The 2-time World Cup veteran got here to the membership after spending six years as Berhalter’s senior lieutenant, first with Columbus, then with the USMNT. As well as, Austin is owned by Anthony Precourt, who employed Berhalter in Columbus in November 2013. This can be a pair of people with deep connections to Berhalter on either side of the rayon on the Austin organizational chart.

Austin has already put far between himself and Reyna — a minimum of briefly. Since 5 January, the day after it was reported that Renas’ crew had been concerned within the scandal, the membership haven’t cited Claudio in any of their first-team list-related press releases, as a substitute together with a coloration from Wolfe or their director of participant personnel Sean. Rubio. Beneath regular circumstances, Rina is quoted in commercials associated to the listing. A membership spokesperson declined to touch upon the rationale for the change when it was reached on Tuesday.

There are inquiries to be answered for Gio Reyna, too. He is nonetheless younger and might definitely develop from his unhealthy conduct in Qatar, however not placing within the correct effort at a World Cup is a vital purple flag it doesn’t matter what age. Reyna is gifted, however the feeling that he deserved to begin for a US crew the place he did not play a big position through the playoffs on account of accidents signifies a level of entitlement out of proportion to what he is already carried out on the sphere. He additionally ignores the power of fellow wingers Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah, who each began and carried out properly in opposition to Reina in Qatar.

The primary time he returns to the locker room in the USA can also be a bit of uncomfortable. It might not find yourself being a problem, nevertheless it’s not exhausting to think about a few of his teammates wanting sideways at him after his mother and pa escalated this drama.

If Reyna responds to this example with humility, by placing his head up and utilizing his appreciable abilities to earn his place within the crew, then he shall be superb for membership and nation. If he would not, it may negatively have an effect on his profession.

Greater than something, this can be a ridiculous and unhappy approach for the American guys to finish a comparatively profitable World Cup run and usher in what must be an thrilling second for the complete American soccer group. We do not know what’s going to come of this insanity, however we do know that what ought to have been a optimistic second has already been indelibly tainted.


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Rena’s mom reported an incident involving Berhalter and his spouse to US Soccer

(Photograph: Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Company through Getty Photographs)

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