Gregg Berhalter’s decision to restrict Gio Reyna’s playing time during the FIFA World Cup prompted Reyna’s parents to threaten to expose an incident of possible domestic violence from over 30 years ago. The incident involves Berhalter kicking his girlfriend (and now wife) Rosalind in the legs during an argument. Berhalter and his wife issued a statement in which he expressed his regret for his action at the time and his cooperation with a US Soccer investigation into the matter.
The worst part of it for me is, you know, my heart aches for my wife. You know, because it was her story to tell, whether she chose to or not, and that’s what really, really saddens me.
Claudio Reyna, a former US captain and current sporting director at MLS’ Austin FC, and his wife Danielle admitted in statements to The Athletic and Espn that they pressed US Soccer Federation executives with details about Berhalter’s past.
The moves came after Berhalter told Gio Reyna, his 20-year-old son who plays for Borussia Dortmund, that he would have only a limited role at the Qatar World Cup.
Berhalter and Claudio Reyna played together on youth and high school teams as well as the US national squad and their wives were college teammates at the University of North Carolina.
US Soccer is investigating Berhalter and the incident as well as conducting a World Cup review while considering who will manage the Americans in the upcoming home-field World Cup cycle.
Berhalter said he underwent counseling after the kicking and he has not repeated any physical incidents.
“It was a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day,” Berhalter said. “There are zero excuses for my actions that night.”
Danielle Reyna challenged Berhalter’s characterization of the incident.
“Without going into detail, the statements from yesterday significantly minimize the abuse on the night in question,” she said in a statement.
“Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate and best friend, and I supported her through the trauma that followed. It took a long time for me to forgive and accept Gregg afterward.”
Reyna said she was upset when he refused her son the consideration she had given him over the incident three decades earlier.
“I worked hard to give him grace,” she said. “I would have wanted and expected him to give the same grace to Gio. This is why the present situation is so very hurtful and difficult.”
Claudio Reyna said there were no threats attached to his comments to US Soccer officials regarding Berhalter.
“While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends, Earnie and Brian McBride among them,” Claudio Reyna said. “However, at no time did I ever threaten anyone, nor would I ever do so.”