The parents of United States Men’s National Team midfielder Giovanni Reyna recently admitted to reporting coach Gregg Berhalter for a domestic incident that happened with his now-wife Rosalind when they were teenagers.
Giovanni Reyna's mother reported head coach Gregg Berhalter for kicking his wife when they were teenagers.
Berhalter is under investigation by US Soccer.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 5, 2023
Danielle Reyna, the wife of former U.S. Captain Claudio Reyna, told some news outlets that she and her husband reported the 1991 incident to U.S. Soccer’s sporting director Earnie Stewart on Dec. 11. Berhalter is now under investigation after he sent out a statement Tuesday, admitting to kicking his wife during an argument that year.
As revealed in the lengthy statement, Berhalter kicked Rosalind in her legs while they were having a heated argument after they had been out drinking at a local bar. According to him, he and Rosalind reconciled seven months after the incident and have been together since then.
Danielle Reyna’s reveal is in response to allegations of attempting to blackmail Berhalter into playing son Giovanni Reyna in the World Cup in Qatar.
According to her, she and Claudio Reyna had no hand in any blackmail attempts but were prompted to report Berhalter’s past misdeed to U.S. Soccer due to their dissatisfaction with their son’s playing time at the World Cup in Qatar.
Aside from having her son play a limited role in Qatar, Danielle Reyna was also miffed about Berhalter’s public reference to “internal issues” when speaking of an unnamed player at a leadership event in Qatar. Berhalter had revealed he almost sent a player home from the World Cup due to poor performance.
While Berhalter did not mention the player by name, fans were quick to guess it was Giovanni Reyna, having considered his lack of action during the USMNT’s route to the round of 16. The younger Reyna himself confirmed the speculations the next day on his Instagram as he revealed that the coach told him his role at the tournament would be limited.
According to Giovanni Reyna, who said he apologized to his teammates and coach, he let the news of his lessened playing time affect his “training and behavior.”
Giovanni Reyna had been subjected to heavy criticisms from soccer fans, a treatment Danielle Reyna said she found “unfair” considering his coach had done something “much worse” when he was about his age.
For the mother, who felt “personally betrayed” by someone who had been considered a friend of her family for decades, reporting the incident that happened when she was Rosalind’s roommate would lighten her heart and make the “unwarranted attacks” on her son stop. Based on that feeling, she called Stewart, who she said she has known for years and considers a close friend.
“As part of that conversation, I told Earnie that I thought it was especially unfair that Gio, who had apologized for acting immaturely about his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg had asked for and received forgiveness for doing something so much worse at the same age,” she said.
Danielle Reyna added that Berhalter’s statement “significantly minimized” the 1991 abuse even though it was co-signed by Rosalind, who she said was her “roommate, teammate, and best friend.”
“It took a long time for me to forgive and accept Gregg afterward, but I worked hard to give him grace, and ultimately made both of them and their kids a huge part of my family’s life,” Reyner said.
Having been extended such “grace,” Danielle Reyna expected Berhalter to give her son the same grace instead of throwing him to the wolves.
Berhalter’s position is currently under evaluation as his contract expired on Dec. 31. Danielle Reyna, however, claimed that she did not request for him to be fired. She also clarified that she did not make threats as she maintained she never attempted to blackmail the coach.