US Soccer Probe breaks the story of Reyna’s involvement


AAny casual follower of the United States men’s national soccer team might have assumed that the investigation into the horrific altercation between World Cup coach Gregg Berhalter and the parents of player Joe Reyna would uncover inappropriate behavior. Part of the fishing and backstabbing of former All-American star Claudio Reyna, one of Berhalter’s former teammates and close friends since high school, and Daniel Reyna went viral in early January.

At that time Berhalter and his wife Rosalind made a public statement in which Gregg admitted to kicking his then-girlfriend Rosalind during an altercation outside a North Carolina bar in 1992 when they were both freshmen at university. Berhalter grew up and said he went through an “embarrassing moment” more than 30 years ago, but a “private person” used information about the incident to contact U.S. Soccer during the World Cup to push him as head coach. of the national team.

The next day, Daniel Reyna admitted that he had contacted retired US Soccer athletic director Ernie Stewart about Berhalter because he was upset that Berhalter had discussed how he nearly sent Joe Reyna home during a leadership conference in early December. The world championship of low effort.

“I thought it was unfair that Joe, who apologized for his immaturity during his playing days, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg apologized and apologized for doing something even worse at that age,” Daniel Reyna said in a Jan. 4 statement.

Claudio Reina also admitted his disappointment about his son’s World Cup experience – 20-year-old Joe played just two of the team’s four games – with Stewart and former manager general Brian McBride. (McBride, Stewart, Berhalter and Claudio Reyna were teammates on the 2002 World Cup USA team that reached the quarterfinals, the best finish by an American male in the modern era).

So when U.S. Soccer announced it had hired the law firm Alston & Bird to investigate the Berhalter incident, as well as “potentially inappropriate behavior by individuals outside our organization toward several of its employees,” it was right. investigators would identify parental involvement.

What they found, however, was worse than just messing around. The findings, published on Monday, show how some parents shamelessly use their own friendships and relationships to promote their children at the expense of others; how the intersection of family, friendship and sport can destroy long-term relationships; and reading the inside story of a helicopter parent at the top of the sports world is sometimes very uncomfortable.

Complaints Department

The most damning material begins on page 25 of a 36-page document produced by lawyers at Alston & Bird. Claudio Reyna has been involved in the American football business for several years. (Reinha served as the technical director of youth soccer at USA Soccer from 2010 to 2013 and was the athletic director of Major League Soccer’s New York City FC and then Austin FC before resigning from Austin on Jan. 26).

In 2016, according to the document, Reyna urged a soccer official to overturn the red card to allow Joe to play instead of sitting out the next game, as if the usual rules didn’t apply to him. his son.

In July 2018, Reyna emailed an official complaining about the performance of a female referee in the 2018 game, which Jio once again featured. “Honestly, we can be real and have male referees for a game like this,” Reyna wrote. “These guys are a shame. What are we trying to prove?

At the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Stewart told investigators that Reina Gio complained about a lack of playing time and that he was arranging substandard trips. of the team. “In particular,” the investigators wrote, “does not fly business class.” According to the report, “M. Stewart said in more than 20 years “in this business” he’s never had such discussions with other players’ parents.

According to Berhalter, during that World Cup, Reina called him the “worst coach” for an under-17 coach. The report alleges that Berhalter filed statements in 2019 and 2020 that Reyna filed to corroborate “complaining about Joe Reyna’s treatment, travel arrangements and coaching.”

When things weren’t going well for Gio, Reynas would “turn around and go into attack mode,” Berhalter told investigators.


The Reynas have made it clear that they will not support American soccer during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. According to the report, Daniel Reina refused to get on the same bus as the Berhalters’ friends and family after Gio’s 1-1 draw in Team USA’s World Cup opener against Wales.

United States head coach Gregg Berhalter pats Giovanni Reina on the back during the game against the Netherlands at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Dec. 3, 2022.

Patrick Smith – FIFA/Getty Images

After that first match, Reyna started telling Berhalter that she had information that could hurt her. Gregg Berhalter said the relationship between his wife Rosalind and Daniel Reyna, who was on the team and roomed at university, changed immediately after the game against Wales. “They talked every day for decades,” he said. “And it was over immediately.”

According to the report, Claudio Reina sent McBride the following text after the game against Wales: “Our whole family is disgusted, angry and worked with you. Don’t expect anyone in our family to have good opinions about American football. I’m transparent to you, not like a fed-up political clown show.

McBride and Stewart met Reina on Nov. 24, the day before the USA vs. England game. “Mr. McBride said that such a meeting would not normally happen with the players’ parents, but they agreed, out of courtesy to Mr. Reyna, given their long-standing friendship and history as alumni. teammates,” the lawyers wrote. “Mr. McBride told us that Mr. Reyna told us during the meeting, “You don’t even know what we know about Gregg,” but gave no further details.

Lessons learned

Investigators interviewed both Berhalters. “We were impressed with Mr. Berhalter’s openness and demeanor,” the investigators wrote, noting that Rosalind Berhalter also had a full-time job. The report says the Berhalters provided consistent accounts of the 1992 incident and that investigators found no evidence that Gregg Berhalter had repeated his violent outbursts. He sought counseling, told his family and coaches about what happened, and he and Rosalind began dating again at the beginning of their sophomore year.

“There is no reason to conclude that Mr. Berhalter’s work poses legal risks to any organization,” the investigators concluded, which is the main issue: Berhalter is being considered to coach the United States men’s team at the 2026 World Cup. North america.

“We are less than impressed with Reyna’s cooperation,” the investigators wrote. Daniel Reyna reportedly denied having a phone conversation with Stewart on Dec. 11. He then called the attorneys again to admit that he had spoken with Stewart about the North Carolina case involving the Berhalters. Claudio Reina was not interviewed by the investigators. While the documents make it clear that Claudio Reyna did not violate American soccer law or policy, the report suggests that he may have violated FIFA’s code of ethics while protecting his son. as club manager.

“Claudio and Danielle acknowledge what they said and did in a moment of remorse,” Reynas’ agent, Dan Segal, said in a statement. Stephen Goff tweeted of The Washington Post. “Gio, like countless players before him, admits he was extremely disappointed when he was not selected to play in the World Cup. That’s only part of the story, but the only side of the story that investigators choose to tell. It’s upsetting and grossly unfair to see a family reduced to a one-dimensional caricature in order to promote a narrative that benefits others.

Although the investigation is over, US Soccer is still in dire straits. Joe Reyna, who plays for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga, remains an important part of the future of American soccer. If Berhalter is rehired, will the couple be able to live together? Or if US Soccer looks elsewhere for a coach, will the perception persist that the Reynalas have won this battle? All this should be regulated by the federation. In the meantime, sports parents around the world can learn an immediate lesson from this tragedy.

In the heat of the moment, never text.

Other must-read books from TIME

write to Sean Gregory at

All news on the site does not represent the views of the site, but we automatically submit this news and translate it using software technology on the site, rather than a human editor.

Leave A Reply