An independent investigation into Gregg Berhalter’s domestic violence incident revealed that Claudio Reyna repeatedly bothered US Soccer to get more for his son, Borussia Dortmund talent Gio Reyna. The back-and-forth reached a head following the 2022 World Cup, when the Reyna family threatened Gregg Berhalter with sensitive information. That was in response to Berhalter airing dirty laundry on why Reyna did not play significant minutes at the 2022 World Cup.

This all culminated in a report released by Alston and Bird that covers different aspects of the whole ordeal. On one hand, the revelations from the report on Berhalter’s end fall in line with previous information. The domestic violence incident was true. Both Gregg Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind, confirmed the story.

However, the major news coming out of the report is in regards to the Reyna family. Claudio Reyna is a former captain of the United States Men’s National Team. He repeatedly made comments to US Soccer before the 2022 World Cup regarding his son. One person interviewed in the report said Reyna’s outreach was “inappropriate,” “bullying” and “mean-spirited,” on several occassions. One example of Claudio Reyna reaching out was to a US Soccer official to overturn a red card Gio received. He attempted to persuade the official of lifting the one-game ban associated with the red card.

Another instance surrounded the U-17 World Cup. Claudio Reyna complained to former US Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about his son’s travel arrangements. Gio Reyna did not fly in business class. At the same tournament, Claudio Reyna said the U-17 head coach was “the worst coach.” That US team left the tournament after the group stage with two losses and a draw.

Claudio Reyna tarnishes relationship with US Soccer

The report lists that Reyna also complained about female referees. Claudio Reyna sent an email in or around July 2018 that read “And in all honest [sic] can we get real and have male refs for a game like this. Its embarrassing guys. What are we trying to prove? A game like this deserves bett[e]r attention.”

The recipient of that email later called Reyna’s comments sad and unacceptable.

Danielle Reyna also played a key role in the report on the investigation. Danielle is Claudio’s wife and the former roommate of Rosalind Berhalter. She is the one who eventually spread the information on Berhalter’s domestic violence incident.

A situation at the 2022 World Cup regarding her comments stood out in the report. After Gio Reyna did not play in the draw against Wales, she vented her frustrations to someone else in the friends and family section. Her words in the report are as follows, according to an unnamed interviewee.

“You’re talking about 40 years of history between us, for something like this to happen”; and then said something along the lines of, “Once this tournament is over, I can make one phone call and give one interview, and his cool sneakers and bounce passes will be gone.”

US Soccer stated in its press release with the investigation findings that it is going to revisit its policies concerning appropriate parental conduct and communications with staff at the National Team level. 

For Gregg Berhalter, US Soccer stated the findings from Alston and Bird show no legal impediment to hiring Berhalter to the role of head coach. Therefore, he remains a candidate for the position he vacated.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Zuma Wire