MeAmerican football fans cheered in the aftermath of Team USA’s performance at the Qatar World Cup. The young US team advanced from the highly competitive group stage and capped off his play in the pool with a thrilling winner-takes-all win over Iran, where he scored 1-0. A scoreless draw against England on Black Friday proved that the men’s team can keep up with one of the world’s most talented footballers in his power. Even after his disappointing 3-1 loss to the Netherlands in the round of 16, US supporters may be forgiven for raising hopes for the future. Dreaming of a deeper run in four years with the team’s core players who are about to reach their prime in 2026 when the next World Cup takes place in North America.

Such magical thoughts may need to be put on hold for now.

A new crisis has hit American football. And this controversy speaks to most American sports practices. Investor parents were pissed off at their kids’ playtime and turned the channel back to fix that precious problem. Only this time, a complaint was lodged with the nation’s premier football authority during the world’s biggest tournament, instead of taking place beside a youth sports megaplex off the interstate. The drama involved his two families in America’s football dynasty, who were close friends for years but are now in a public feud, raising disturbing allegations of past abuses and criticizing America. World Cup-backed coach Greg Berhalter, good to keep the team moving forward.

It’s also a scandal ridiculed by soccer elite nations around the world, and leaves them with considerable doubts.

Who is involved in this mess?

Protagonists in this surreal tale include Verhalter, the US men’s coach for the last four years, and his wife, Rosalind, who played soccer for the University of North Carolina in the 1990s. Then there’s Reinas. Claudio Reyna was Greg Verhalter’s high school teammate in New Jersey, a four-time World Cup entrant, and captain of the team who was best man at Verhalter’s wedding.He is now , is the sports director for Austin FC in Major League Baseball. This includes his wife Daniel, Rosalind’s college roommate and football teammate, and 20-year-old prospective member of Qatar’s US World Cup team, who plays regularly for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. Add a year old son Gio.

What is The Beef?

At the World Cup, Gio Reina did not receive as much playing time as many expected. He played just seven minutes in the group stage and 45 minutes as a substitute against the Netherlands. Gio completely retained from his two games. Three days after the Netherlands eliminated America from the tournament on his December 3rd, Berhalter attended a leadership conference in New York City. He told the audience:

Business website Charter posted Verhalter’s comments, and on December 11, The Athletic reported that Verhalter was talking about Gio Reyna. (In an editorial note of December 11, Charter stated that Burhalter’s words were “not intended to be published and were erroneously authorized for publication by someone representing the organizers of the event.”) increase).

The next day, Gio Reyna took to Instagram to basically confirm that Berhalter was referring to him at the conference. “Just before the World Cup coach Verhalter told me that my role in the tournament would be very limited,” Reina wrote. “I am devastated. I am a person who plays with pride and passion. Football is my life and I believe in my abilities.”

“I’m also a very emotional person,” he added. He apologized to his teammates and coach and was told he was forgiven. In the post, he said he was “disappointed” that the matter didn’t stay “at home” as he expected Verhalter to keep it.

The world learned this week that Claudio and Danielle Reyna didn’t appreciate the airing of the Burhalter case.

meet my parents

On Tuesday, Gregg and Rosalind Berhalter long statement on Twitter. Greg Berhalter’s contract expired at the end of December and a position as coach of the United States had already been under consideration. Berhalters continued to describe the incident in question.

In 1991, when they were at the University of North Carolina, “Rosalind and I had a heated argument” after drinking in a bar. Greg Verhalter has accepted responsibility for the incident. He and Rosalind told the family about it, and Greg said he sought counseling. They re-established their relationship a few months later, according to the statement.They were aware of the affair even though he has been married for 25 years and now has four children.

“It was a single, isolated event more than 30 years ago,” the statement concluded.

Minutes later, US Soccer released a statement on December 11 saying it had learned of the allegations against Verhalter. This was the same day that Verhalter’s comments about Gio went public, and the federation hired an independent law firm to conduct an investigation, which is still ongoing. .

The statement said, “Through this process, US Soccer has learned of the potential for inappropriate behavior towards several staff members by individuals outside the organization. We are expanding our research to include

Later, on Wednesday, Gio Reyna’s mother, Danielle, revealed that she had spoken to US soccer officials about the incident on December 11. “To set the record straight, I called[U.S. Soccer Sports Director]Ernie Stewart shortly after news broke that Greg had made negative comments about his son Gio at a leadership meeting on December 11. I did,” Daniel Reyna said in a statement released. It was picked up by multiple media outlets, including ESPN and The Athletic. “I have known Ernie for many years and consider him a good friend. I wanted to let him know that my family feels very personally betrayed by the actions of someone they considered a friend for decades.

“As part of that conversation, I told Ernie that Gio, who apologized for acting immaturely about playing time, was still in the mud when Greg asked and received forgiveness for what he did. I think it’s especially unfair to be dragged inside.” Worse at the same age. I won’t go into details, but yesterday’s statement greatly minimizes the abuse of the night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate, and best friend. I supported her during the trauma that followed. It took me a long time to forgive and accept Greg after that, but I worked hard to give him grace and eventually both they and their children are a big part of my family life. I would have hoped and expected him to give Geo the same grace. This is why the current situation is so hurtful and painful. ”

Daniel denies trying to bring down Burhalter. “To be clear, I did not seek Greg’s dismissal, I did not threaten him, I know nothing of the attempted intimidation, and I have never spoken to Greg’s other staff members. — I don’t know of any other coaches I didn’t contact anyone at US Soccer about this until December 11th.

“I apologize for making this information public, and I regret ever being involved in anything that could reopen past wounds.”

ESPN reports that multiple sources say Claudio Reina threatened to share claims about Barhalter’s past during the World Cup. I, too, was offended by Greg’s comments about Geo after America withdrew from the World Cup and appealed to Ernie Stewart on Dec. 11 to refrain from further comment,” he told The Athletic. .

“While in Qatar, I shared my frustration with my son’s World Cup experience with many close friends, Ernie and Brian McBride. I don’t intend to.”

McBride is the general manager of the US Men’s National Team. He and Claudio Reina have played together in three World Cup teams. Stewart and Claudio Reina have also played together for his three World Cup teams. McBride, Stewart, Berhalter, and Claudio Reyna were all teammates on his 2002 American World Cup squad, reaching the quarterfinals.

Why This Confusion Matters

At Wednesday’s press conference, Stewart, U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cohn, and U.S. Soccer CEO JT Batson shared little new information about the unfolding drama, citing an ongoing investigation. I did.

“Obviously, this is not a positive time for football and the men’s national team in this country, but a tough time for the families involved,” said Parlow Cohn. , I hope that not just the men’s team but U.S. football in general can move forward.”

Burhalter will not coach the team in January’s friendly matches against Serbia and Colombia. It raises uncomfortable questions. Even if US Soccer admits to Berhalter’s wrongdoing, can he co-exist with Gio Reyna, an emerging talent who is set to play a prominent role in the future? How will the fact that NBA players seem to use rapport to complain about playing time affect team morale?

And if the investigation takes time, plans to put a coach in place early in the next World Cup cycle will stall, and the choice will be Verhalter or someone else?

After the optimism emerged from Qatar, American football quickly found itself in a pretty sad place.

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write destination Sean Gregory (sean.gregory@time.com).


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