Berhalter and Reyna Mend Relationship for Friendlies
|United States coach Gregg Berhalter, Giovanni Reyna of United States during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 round of 16 match between Netherlands and United States at Khalifa International stadium on December 3, 2022(Image-Getty)
United States men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter and forward Gio Reyna are taking steps to mend their strained relationship, although there are still unresolved issues between them, Berhalter revealed on Thursday.
Reyna is among the 23 players called up for upcoming friendlies against Germany and Ghana, marking the first time he and Berhalter will be working together since the World Cup last year. During the World Cup in Qatar, Berhalter publicly criticized Reyna's attitude and commitment, which led to a bitter public feud.
In response to Berhalter's criticism, Reyna's mother, Danielle, informed the U.S. federation of an incident from over 30 years ago in which Berhalter had admitted to kicking his now-wife during a dispute. These accusations nearly cost Berhalter his job as the U.S. Soccer federation initiated an investigation into the allegations. However, an independent law firm's investigation concluded that Berhalter had not concealed the incident from U.S. Soccer, and he was reinstated as head coach in June.
The recent development in their relationship involves a positive conversation over a Zoom call, which was the first direct interaction between Berhalter and Reyna since the World Cup.
Berhalter expressed his appreciation for the conversation but acknowledged that rebuilding their relationship would take time. Both parties seem to have positive intentions, with the shared goal of working together for the team's success.
Reyna's playing time in the upcoming friendlies against Germany and Ghana may be limited due to his ongoing recovery from a right leg fracture. Berhalter mentioned that they will be cautious in managing his minutes to ensure a safe return and an impactful performance for his club, Borussia Dortmund.
The U.S. squad for these friendlies includes 13 players who were part of the World Cup journey but does not feature captain Tyler Adams, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. A notable inclusion is Heidenheim midfielder Lennard Maloney, who, despite previously representing Germany's U-18 and U-19 teams, has committed to playing for the U.S. and receives his first call-up.