Decoding the Reyna v Berhalter feud that has rocked USMNT

2023 could not have started in a worse fashion for the US Men’s National Team. Following the highs of the 2022 World Cup, come the lows of the controversy and allegations that have come forward regarding two influential footballing families in the US.

By now, we know that Giovanni Reyna was subject to a vote to be sent home at some point during or before the tournament in Qatar, thanks to manager Gregg Berhalter and the comments he made when speaking at the HOW Institute for Society’s Summit on Moral Leadership.

As per the manager, the issue had been dealt with and over. However, as it turns out, it was just the start of a fiasco that the USSF or the US Soccer Federation find themselves in.

The story actually begins not at the 2022 World Cup, but actually much earlier, around the 1980s, and back in the United States itself.

Gregg Berhalter and Claudio Reyna, father of Gio Reyna, played together in high school at St. Benedict’s Prep and also represented the country in the 90s.

The two families are further linked through the women in the houses. Gregg’s wife, Rosalind, and Claudio’s wife, Danielle, played the sport together at UNC Chapel Hill and were also roommates and good friends.

Two families, are intertwined, and also influential as far as football goes in the United States.

As is expected, Gregg, now the coach of USMNT, knew Gio Geyna since he was a young child.

So obviously, Gregg’s treatment of Gio must have come as a shock to the Reyna parents, who up until then must have considered the Berhalters close to their family.

But given the lack of playing time in Qatar, the Reynas took it upon themselves to force Gregg’s hand and give son Gio more playing time.

How?

By getting in touch with who’s-who in USSF, prime among who was Earnie Stewart, sporting director of US Soccer. Claudio complained about the unfair treatment of Gio and how he felt betrayed by someone like Gregg, who he had considered a friend for decades.

The statements made at the HOW Institute were also brought up, with the Reynas taking offence at how, even after Gio’s apology, his name was being “dragged through the mud”.

And it was not just the father. Danielle, who herself has 9 caps for her country, reached out to set the record straight against Gregg.

Danielle and Claudio Reyna

Among the conversations and the complaints, one specific thing was brought up by Danielle that has escalated the issue to the point where Gregg’s reappointment as the coach of the team is now questionable and a formal investigation against the coach is now underway.

What did Danielle say that was so damning and incriminating that such measures had to be taken? Let us tell you.

As mentioned earlier, Rosalind and Danielle were friends at college, even before Rosalind and Gregg got into a relationship.

The now-Berhalters met in college and started dating, a few months after which, the pair got into a heated argument at a bar and Gregg became physical, even kicking Rosalind in the legs. The authorities were never involved, but Danielle, Rosalind’s roomie, was aware of this incident.

The pair got together seven months later.

Back to the current time, Danielle used this information in a bid to perhaps threaten and force Gregg’s hand. When that did not happen, Danielle released this info to the USSF, who has since hired an external agency to look into the matter.

Had this not happened, Gregg, whose contract expired in December, would have most likely been renewed. But it has been kept on hold and a statement has been released as to why that has been done.

On his part, Gregg has accepted that the 30-year-old incident is indeed true in his Twitter-released statement.

While reports of possible blackmail have been vehemently denied by the Reynas, we don’t see any other reason why a piece of news as old as this should be coming to light now. The timing of it all is especially iffy.

In the midst of it all, Anthony Hudson, an assistant coach in Qatar, has been placed on interim duties for upcoming games.

With so much drama and so many moving parts in this story, it is anyone’s guess where the chips will fall.

But it is quite sad to see that two sets of friends, who have played alongside and known each other for decades on, have feuded so publicly and in such an ugly manner.