Just weeks after their World Cup performance, viewed by many as a positive step forward for a promising group of players, the US men’s soccer team has turned into a soap opera involving head coaches, popular ex-players and current players. (who happens to be the son of a popular former player) and an intricate network of friendly and familial ties.
The drama, the remnants of a decades-old incident outside a college bar, led to an investigation by the United States Soccer Federation, where coach Greg Verhalter was forced to leave his post while negotiating a new contract. threatened to detain It could have damaged the reputation of player Gio Reina and his parents after his mother first reported the bar incident to Bar Halter’s superiors.
Tuesday afternoon, bar halter Released a long statement on Twitterrevealed that an “individual” (he did not name one) contacted the federation during the World Cup and claimed to have information that could cause the team to terminate his employment. .
Berhalter instead went ahead and wrote that in 1991, when his now wife, Rosalind, was 18 and had just started dating as college students, he kicked his leg during an alcohol-fueled fight. .
“The lessons learned from that night more than 30 years ago laid the foundation for a loving, committed, and supportive relationship as we celebrated and celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last weekend.
Minutes later, US Soccer sent a message of its own. ambiguous statementsaid it hired law firm Alston & Bird LLP to investigate the allegations (unspecified) against Berhalter after learning of the allegations against Berhalter on Dec. 11, just over a week after the team was knocked out. World Cup in Qatar.
US Soccer said in a statement on Tuesday that the investigation had uncovered “potential inappropriate behavior by individuals outside the organization against multiple staff members” on a separate basis. The organization declined to provide further details on the matter, citing an ongoing investigation.
The plot got even weirder Wednesday afternoon when the parents of the American team’s 20-year-old winger Gio Reina admitted they contacted the team’s sporting director Ernie Stewart on Dec. 11. . Information on past incidents of Burhalter.
Reina’s father, Claudio, is a former captain of the US men’s team and is widely considered one of the greatest players in its history. His mother, Danielle, played her six times for the US Women’s National Team in the early 1990s.
Reinas’ involvement, first reported by ESPN on Wednesday, was made all the more interesting because of the close family ties known as Close Friends. He played soccer, playing for the club team coached by Claudio’s father and the high school team for St. Benedict in Newark. The two were teammates at his 2002 and 2006 World Cups, and Reyna even served as best man at Barhalter’s wedding.
Rosalind Berhalter and Danielle Reyna were roommates and football teammates at the University of North Carolina.
In a statement Wednesday, Danielle Reyna said she was the one who first contacted Stewart on Dec. 11 about the Barr incident, and characterized her actions as an effort to protect her son. That day, after Greg Berhalter was quoted at a leadership meeting for speaking about a problematic player on a team who was nearly sent home for his bad behavior during the World Cup, she said, Berhalter did not name the player, but it was widely and correctly assumed to be Reyna, who missed far more competitions than expected.
Reina, one of the team’s most promising players, released a statement on December 12, a day after Burhalter’s comments were reported, in response to being told that his playing time in Qatar would be limited. The coach had made the situation public, acknowledging that the
In a statement Wednesday, Danielle Reyna said Barhalter’s description of the bar incident “greatly minimizes the abuse of the night in question,” but didn’t provide details. He added that he contacted Stewart, a friend of the rice field.
“Rosalind Verhalter was my roommate, teammate, and best friend. I supported her through the trauma that followed,” Danielle Reyna said of the incident. It took me a long time to accept, but I worked hard to give him grace and eventually both they and their children became a big part of my family life. I would have hoped and expected him to give Gio the same grace. This is why the current situation is so hurtful and painful.”
In a statement, Claudio Reyna admitted that he had separately expressed frustration during the tournament regarding his son’s playing time against Stewart, whom he called friends, and general manager Brian McBride.
“But I never threatened anyone and never intended to,” he said.
U.S. Soccer didn’t reveal much at its Wednesday night press conference beyond hoping the investigation would be thorough and expeditious.
The current investigation, which follows another independent investigation last fall, found that leaders at all levels of women’s soccer in America have responded to years of reports from players of sexual misconduct and verbal abuse by coaches. Couldn’t handle it.
“Obviously, this is not a positive time for football and the men’s national team in this country. Just like American soccer in general,” said U.S. soccer president Cindy Purlow Cohn.
In addition to Wednesday’s mountain of development, the federation announced that Verhalter will not serve as head coach during the team’s annual training camp in January. .
Burhalter’s contract expires on December 31, and the team has been forced to conduct its customary performance reviews outside the home due to the awkward timing of the World Cup taking place in the fall rather than the traditional summer window. suggested that there was not enough time left in the organization to An investigation will be conducted to determine whether Berhalter should retain its role. The investigation, and the complex soap opera that came out on Wednesday, only has complications.