US Soccer releases investigation into Gregg Berhalter amid Reyna family turmoil


Details of a sordid rift between two prominent US soccer families — one that included domestic violence allegations against men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter and parental complaints about Gio Reyna’s playing time at the 2022 World Cup — were leaked more widely on Monday, when the Results of an independent investigation have been released.

The three-month investigation, conducted by the law firm Alston & Bird, concluded that Berhalter had not committed any other acts of violence against his now-wife since 1992 and had not violated any disclosure rules during his hiring process. He previously admitted to kicking her while they were together as students at the University of North Carolina.

With that result, the US Football Association said Berhalter remains a candidate to return as coach. His contract expired on December 31.

“Given investigators’ conclusion that there is no legal bar to his appointment, Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate for the post of head coach,” the USSF said in a statement.

The governing body said it would not hire a coach until it appoints a new sporting director, a position that oversees all national teams. Earnie Stewart left the job last month. Anthony Hudson, a World Cup assistant, is interim coach.

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The next coach will begin preparing the US team for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Berhalter led the United States for four years, guiding a young team to two regional championships and a place at the World Cup, where they finished second in group play and lost to the Netherlands in the round of 16.

Investigators said in the report that they “have uncovered no facts showing that US Soccer was aware of the 1992 incident when it hired Mr. Berhalter; no facts to show that similar incidents have occurred at any time in the last 31 years; no facts to show the 1992 incident has any connection to the present or the workplace; and no facts supporting the allegation that Mr. Berhalter poses a risk of harm to others.”

Berhalter’s wife, Rosalind, told investigators she was unharmed and had not complained to the university. No complaint was made to the police, so Gregg Berhalter was not required to disclose the incident during his job interview, the report said. “There is no basis for concluding that Mr. Berhalter at any point misled US football about the 1992 incident,” investigators noted.

However, they said the incident was “unlawful and inappropriate” and, had it occurred during Berhalter’s tenure as US coach, “would have created significant legal problems for the organization.”

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Berhalter could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday. The couple have been married for 25 years and have four children.

Details of the altercation were brought to the USSF in December by Danielle Reyna, the mother of rising star Gio Reyna and Rosalind Berhalter’s college roommate.

Danielle Reyna and her husband, former US star Claudio Reyna, a close friend of Gregg Berhalter for decades, were angry with Berhalter during and after the World Cup. Gio Reyna, one of the team’s best young players, played sparingly in the tournament.

During a speech in New York three days after the United States’ exit, Berhalter, without naming him, hinted that Gio Reyna had caused problems behind the scenes in the days leading up to the tournament and was almost sent home.

Berhalter was told the speech was not recorded, but a transcript was released.

Danielle Reyna then reported the 1992 incident to the USSF, prompting the investigation and putting the federation’s decision to offer Berhalter a new contract on hold.

Precautionary Berhalter went public with details about the incident and proposed it was used against him.

A USSF official – whose name has been blacked out from the report to protect privacy, the association said – told investigators that after Gio Reyna failed to play against Wales in the World Cup opener, Danielle Reyna said “something along the lines of that tournament.” is over, I can make a call and do an interview, and his cool sneakers and bounce passes are gone. …I can finish him off.”

At games, Berhalter wore high-end sneakers, and when the ball got to him, he would often return it to a player with a basketball-esque bounce pass.

Brian McBride, the team’s general manager at the time and former team-mate of Claudio Reyna, received an email from Claudio Reyna after the draw against Wales, the report said. “Our entire family is disgusted, angry and done with you guys,” it said. “Don’t expect nice comments about US soccer from anyone in our family. I am transparent to you, not like the federal political clown show.”

It wasn’t the first time Claudio Reyna, a Hall of Famer and four-time World Cup player who attended the University of Virginia, had complained about his son’s treatment. According to the report, “Witnesses described a pattern of regular contacts by Mr. Reyna with U.S. football officials and staff from about 2016 through late 2022, the purpose of which was to convey specific grievances and comments.”

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Witnesses, the report said, claimed Reyna attempted to influence decisions by US officials and staff regarding his children on “issues ranging from travel arrangements to the impact of refereeing decisions on the field.”

Gio Reyna was a member of youth national teams between 2016 and 2019.

Gregg Berhalter told investigators: “When things don’t go so well for Gio, [the Reynas] turn and go into attack mode.” He said what happened at the 2022 World Cup is similar to what happened at the 2019 U17 World Cup.

In 2018, according to the report, Claudio Reyna complained to the USSF about a referee working on an academy game with Gio Reyna. The email read: “Can we get real and have male referees for a game like this?”

Claudio Reyna declined to be questioned by investigators, the report said. Danielle Reyna, the report said, initially declined to share information about the Berhalters’ altercation with Stewart, then called investigators back and confirmed that she had spoken to him.

“We were impressed by Mr. Berhalter’s frankness and demeanor during the investigation,” the report said. It later said, “We were less than impressed with the Reynas’ cooperation during the investigation.”

The Reynas were not immediately available for comment on Monday.

According to the report, Berhalter told investigators during the World Cup, “There were 150 people in the Friends and Family program [in Qatar]. Everyone had a great time except for five people who were absolutely unhappy. These five cursed and behaved horribly. It was the Reynas.”

The report said Claudio Reyna’s actions “raise a legitimate question as to whether he breached FIFA rules and regulations” because he was the sporting director of MLS’s Austin FC. (He resigned in January.) However, the Reynas did not violate any laws, sources said.

The USSF said Claudio Reyna’s alleged actions did not violate any of the organization’s policies as there is no communications policy that includes players’ parents.

It’s unclear if Gio Reyna’s national team status will be affected by the report. His next potential appearances are for the Concacaf Nations League games in Grenada on March 24 and against El Salvador on March 27 in Orlando. That list will be announced this week. Hudson, the interim manager, met up with Reyna a few weeks ago in Germany, where he plays for Borussia Dortmund. US Soccer releases investigation into Gregg Berhalter amid Reyna family turmoil

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