United States men’s national team star Giovanni Reyna has claimed that US Soccer approached him after rehiring Gregg Berhalter as head coach of the team. Berhalter has a bit of a contentious recent history with both Gio Reyna and his father, Claudio. However, after bringing Berhalter back as head coach of the USMNT, U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker gave Gio assurances about his role with the team.
“I spoke with Matt Crocker in Las Vegas after the Mexico game,” Reyna recently told ESPN commentator Derek Rae. “He said I will have an important role in the program for many years going forward. My job is to keep improving on the field and to help the team win.”
Midfielder barely played during recent World Cup
Reyna played very limited minutes during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar under Berhalter. In fact, despite being a key player, the youngster managed just 52 total minutes in four matches in the Middle East. The coach even seemingly singled the player out during an interview at the tournament. However, Reyna featured in four matches for the team since March and helped the Yanks win the CONCACAF Nations League. The playmaker had two assists in the title match against Canada.
Nevertheless, these recent matches were without Berhalter at the helm. The recently reinstated coach admitted that the relationship between the two needed to be repaired. “I’d certainly acknowledge that there’s work to do, and Gio is an important player to this team,” stated Berhalter during a press conference in June.
“He’s an extremely talented individual and I have the obligation and the commitment to coach him like I coach every other player and I want to get the best out of him.”
Reyna looking forward to US Soccer tournaments under Berhalter
The near future is set to be exciting times for the USMNT. After all, the United States will be hosting the 2024 Copa America and the 2026 World Cup. While Reyna and Berhalter may need to mend their relationship, the player is looking forward to these major tournaments.
“The Copa America in the U.S. will be a great experience for our team as we continue to progress,” proclaimed Reyna. “We need to raise our expectations. There’s no reason we shouldn’t compete for the trophy in front of our fans in our country. That’s the mentality.”
Reyna’s first chance to play for Berhalter once again will come against Uzbekistan in September. The Yanks are set to face Oman in the same month as well.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ANP
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