Former USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter accused of past domestic violence incident by Gio Reyna's mother
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The United States national team have been rocked by domestic violence allegations involving former head coach Gregg Berhalter.
Current national team star Giovanni Reyna is the centre of a controversy that has seen the young player’s parents become involved in an incredibly public accusation.
Reyna’s parents, mother Danielle and father Claudio became unhappy over Berhalter’s public comments detailing how an unidentified player was nearly sent home from Qatar.
While Gio was not directly named, it soon became clear he was the subject when the Borussia Dortmund player confirmed it in an Instagram post the next day.
Incensed by the comments, Danielle called US Soccer executives including sporting director Earnie Stewart, revealing they were outraged over the treatment of the son.
Within the call, they noted that they found it unfair that Gio had been put in such a position when the coach himself had done ‘something so much worse at the same age’.
The incident involved Berhalter and his now wife Rosalind when they were freshmen at the University of North Carolina.
Danielle and Claudio were good friends with the couple throughout college, with Claudio acting as Berhalter’s best man at their wedding.
However, an alleged altercation at a local bar between Berhalter and Rosalind outside a local bar left a rift in their relationship.
Danielle released a statement, claiming they had not threatened the coach, however, were setting the record straight on the phone call she had with Earnie Stewart on December 11.
She said: “As part of that conversation, I told Earnie that I thought it was especially unfair that Gio, who had apologised for acting immaturely about his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg had asked for and received forgiveness for doing something so much worse at the same age.
"Without going into detail, the statements from yesterday significantly minimise the abuse on the night in question.
"Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate and best friend, and I supported her through the trauma that followed.
"It took a long time for me to forgive and accept Gregg afterward, but I worked hard to give him grace, and ultimately made both of them and their kids a huge part of my family’s life.
"I would have wanted and expected him to give the same grace to Gio. This is why the current situation is so very hurtful and hard.”
The statement continued: "I just wanted Earnie to help make sure that there would be no further unwarranted attacks on my son.
"I thought our conversation would remain in confidence, and it didn’t occur to me at the time that anything I said could lead to an investigation. I’m not criticising Earnie here.
“I very much commend the recent efforts by U.S. Soccer to address abuse of women players, and I understand now he had an obligation to investigate what I shared.
"But I want to be very clear that I did not ask for Gregg to be fired, I did not make any threats, and I don’t know anything about any blackmail attempts, nor have I ever had any discussions about anyone else on Gregg’s staff—I don’t know any of the other coaches. I did not communicate with anyone in U.S. Soccer about this matter before December 11, and no one else in my family has made any statements to U.S. Soccer regarding Gregg’s past at all.
“I’m sorry that this information became public, and I regret that I played a role in something that could reopen wounds from the past.”
Claudio Reyna released a statement to The Atheltic in which he supported his wife’s comments.
Berhalter confirmed the incident in a lengthy Twitter post.
The comments read: “During the World Cup an individual contacted U.S. Soccer, saying that they had information about me that would 'take me down' - an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer.
"In the fall of 1991, I met my soulmate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind.
"One night, while out drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside. It became physical and I kicked her in the legs."
Berhalter added: "The lessons learned from that night over three decades ago became the foundation for a loving, devoted, and supportive relationship, which we honoured and celebrated with our 25th wedding anniversary this past weekend"
The 49-year-old’s contract with the USMNT expired at the turn of the year.
SPORTbible reached out to US Soccer for comment.