USMNT star Christian Pulisic spoke on the US Soccer drama involving the Reynas and Berhalter in an exclusive interview with ESPN. While the Chelsea forward is not part of the dilemma, he did have rousing opinions on the debacle.
In fact, he called the infighting between Claudio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter ‘childish.’ Claudio Reyna and his wife, Danielle, are the two that threatened Berhalter with information from his past. That information was when Berhalter kicked his now-wife, Rosalind, when the two were 18 years old. The Reynas were frustrated with Berhalter after he left their son, Gio, on the bench at the 2022 World Cup.
On Monday, an independent investigation found this did not constitute blackmail. Yet, Gregg Berhalter remains in contention to be the head coach of the USMNT in the near future.
“Everything that happened with Gregg was handled in an extremely childish manner,” Pulisic told Graham Hunter. “I think we all have seen what’s been going on. It’s childish, it’s youth soccer. People complaining about playing time.”
Pulisic is referring to part of the investigation that demonstrated Claudio Reyna had, on several occasions, complained about coaches not giving Gio much playing time. One of those was during the U-17 World Cup in 2019. The other was, of course, just a handful of months ago in Qatar.
Pulisic says Berhalter is biggest victim of US Soccer drama
“I think Gregg has been extremely unfortunate to get into the position he is in now,” Pulisic said.
The delay on Berhalter is just part of the reason the USMNT is still without a head coach. In addition to Earnie Stewart and Brian McBride vacating their roles, the wait for the USMNT head coach could extend into the fall. US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said the priority for the Federation is to hire a sporting director to replace Stewart. That way, the person stepping in can contribute to the search.
However, this leaves the side without a head coach for potentially half a year, or more. With pivotal games in the CONCACAF Nations League coming up in late March and other games down the road, there is not much organization.
Pulisic says this lack of direction can take away from the progress the side made in Qatar.
“Do I feel like we should just wait and wait? I don’t feel it is necessary, because I don’t feel like we are in a phase like we were after not qualifying for the last World Cup where we need a complete rebuild.”
Gregg Berhalter arrived not long after the 2018 World Cup.
“We have a strong core, in my opinion, and I think a lot of people have seen that, and we need to carry on with that. That’s why it is a tough one for me. We want to continue that as soon as we can and build off this World Cup that had a lot of positives in it.”
Pulisic and the USMNT looks to put the Berhalter-Reyna feud in the past with CONCACAF Nations League games this month.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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