US Soccer says Gregg Berhalter is eligible to coach the men’s team following investigation

Contractless US men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter can run for the open USMNT’s coaching job, US Soccer said Monday following an investigation into allegations of domestic violence against him.

After an independent investigation, the US Football Association determined that both Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind, accurately portrayed the nature of a 1992 domestic incident and its aftermath, and therefore Berhalter was free to be hired for a future coaching role. Berhalter’s contract expired on December 31, 2022.

The investigation also found that US Soccer “needs to reconsider US Soccer’s policies regarding appropriate parental behavior and communication.”

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The report details how Danielle and Claudio Reyna attempted to influence US football officials’ decisions regarding their son, US international Giovanni Reyna, and their veiled threats, the domestic violence incident involving Berhalter when To publicize retaliation for Berhalter’s treatment of Gio. In an interview, Claudio Reyna’s handling of Gio Reyna’s treatment was described as “inappropriate”, “bullying” and “stingy”.

While the conclusion was that the Reynas’ behavior did not reach the level of blackmail or extortion, nor did it violate US Soccer’s policies, US Soccer said a new policy is being drafted to allow for such communication between parents and coaches in the future impede.

Investigators questioned both Gregg and Rosalind Berhalter about the January 1992 domestic violence incident that occurred outside of a bar called Players while the two were attending the University of North Carolina. Both Berhalter recounted how an argument between the two took place outside the bar, after which Rosalind Berhalter slapped Gregg Berhalter in the face. Gregg Berhalter responded by pinning Rosalind to the ground and kicking her twice before a bystander stepped in and attacked Gregg Berhalter.

No police report was filed into the incident, leading investigators in part to conclude that Gregg Berhalter “never unlawfully withheld from US Soccer the fact of the 1992 incident or any other information.”

In an interview with investigators, Danielle Reyna said Gregg Berhalter “slapped Rosalind around the head,” although she admitted she did not witness the incident.

Investigators determined that Gregg Berhalter accepted responsibility for his actions by reporting the incident to his trainer and participating in counseling. He and Rosalind Berhalter eventually reconciled, married, and now have four children.

The report read: “Our interview and interactions with Mr. Berhalter during this investigation … show that he acknowledges his guilt and his need to be held accountable for his actions in January 1992. Berhalter realized the day after the 1992 incident.” his guilt and his need to be held accountable.

“Witnesses further confirmed that Mr. Berhalter himself immediately reported the attack to his head coach at UNC the day after the 1992 incident and took action of his own volition to prevent a recurrence. As previously mentioned, we have found no evidence that Mr. Berhalter acted in a similar manner again.”

The investigation also found that the 1992 incident “does not prevent an employer from hiring Mr. Berhalter. Given that the 1992 incident took place approximately 31 years ago, and given the lack of information or evidence to contradict witness testimony or to suggest similar conduct after the 1992 incident, there is no basis for concluding that Mr. Berhalter’s employment would entail legal risks for an organization.”

Danielle Reyna revealed the domestic violence incident during a phone call with USSF athletic director Earnie Stewart on December 11, 2022. Stewart was then compelled by USSF policy to report the incident to federation lawyers.

Danielle Reyna revealed the incident after Gio Reyna was given little playing time at the World Cup and after Berhalter made a speech alluding to a player he almost sent home for disciplinary reasons. This player was later identified as Gio Reyna.

Throughout the World Cup, both Claudio and Danielle Reyna told USSF officials that they had information on Berhalter that would prevent him from being reinstated.

According to the report, the day after the World Cup game against Wales, Danielle Reyna told a US soccer staffer, “When this tournament is over I can make a call and do an interview and his cool sneakers and bounce passes will be gone.”

Claudio Reyna told then-USSF GM Brian McBride, “You don’t even know what we know about Gregg.”

The report said: “The information was disclosed at a time when it was expected that it would deter the organization from offering Mr. Berhalter a contract extension. Mr Stewart stated during the investigation that he believed the Reynas made this disclosure to prevent US Soccer from hiring Mr Berhalter for another term.”

The Reynas and the Berhalters were longtime friends, but issues with Gio Reyna’s playing time also caused the relationship to fray.

This included the Reynas asking to return to their hotel with the rest of the players’ friends and family on a bus that didn’t include the Berhalters.

Gregg Berhalter told investigators: “At this year’s World Cup, 150 people were in the Friends and Family program. Everyone had a great time except for five people who were absolutely unhappy. Those five were swearing and acting horribly Reyna.”

The report included details that this wasn’t the first time the Reynas had complained about Gio’s treatment, including during his time representing the USA at the 2019 U-17 World Cup.

According to the report, one interviewee described several incidents in which Mr. Reyna contacted US football officials to raise grievances about his sons.

The person called Mr Reyna’s historic engagement “inappropriate”, “bullying” and “stingy”.

The interviewee stated that whenever they received text messages from Mr. Reyna, they forwarded them to US soccer leadership.

The interviewee added that Mr. Reyna’s text messages were sometimes copied from other US football officials, and said it was typical of Mr. Reyna to send a text or email “in the heat of the moment” and then make a phone call to follow up on his complaint. US Soccer says Gregg Berhalter is eligible to coach the men’s team following investigation

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