USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin looked to diffuse the civil war engulfing US soccer, saying the feud between forwards Gio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter was ‘not as bad’ in the locker room.
Controversy has dominated US Soccer’s agenda since the World Cup, with Berhalter’s future with the team up in the air following a bombshell ‘blackmail’ scandal.
In response to Berhalter’s insult to Reyna during the World Cup, Danielle Reyna – mother of Gio and former US midfielder Claudio Reyna – notified US Soccer last month of an incident in 1991 in which Berhalter kicked his future wife, Rosalind – Danielle Reyna’s then college. roommate
The row between Gio Reyna (left) and Gregg Berhalter (right) is ‘not as bad’ inside.
That’s the view of USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin, who tried to diffuse the controversy
US Soccer is investigating the allegations against Berhalter and while Reyna remained in Dortmund for the USMNT camp in January, led by interim coach Anthony Hudson.
But for Yedlin, the issue played out more prominently externally, compared to how it was handled in the locker room.
‘Inside, it’s not as bad as the media makes it out to be,’ Yedlin told MLSsoccer.com.
‘I know a lot of people who may be writing about us or whatever who have never played in a team before, or in a high-level team.
Berhalter opens up about kicking his wife Rosalind (left) during an argument in 1991
Reyna’s mother Danielle (left) told US Soccer about Berhalter kicking her future husband in 1991
‘But it happens all the time where sometimes they’ll have a player, or players, who for whatever reason aren’t here, and people talk to them, and then move on.
‘Like, that’s what happened. There is literally no bad blood, nothing. Good. We just moved on with it, and that was it, that was the end of it. And so it, I think, blew up a lot more than it actually did.’
Berhalter released a lengthy statement last month admitting to kicking his wife in the legs, 31 years ago, in a drunken row when they were teenagers.
He said someone went to US Soccer with information, threatening to ‘take me down’. It later emerged that Reyna’s mother, Danielle, had informed US Soccer about the incident.
US Soccer has hired a legal team to conduct an investigation into Berhalter’s past and how it affected the World Cup.
Reyna played a limited role for his country in Qatar, despite impressing domestically for Borussia Dortmund, leaving many USMNT fans confused.
Berhalter (top row, right) and Claudio Reyna (top row, second left) played together for the USA
This will be the first USMNT squad under interim manager Anthony Hudson
In December, Berhalter announced at a summit in New York City that an unidentified player was about to be sent home from World Cup Qatar.
Berhalter did not name the player in question in his comments – MLSSoccer.com first reported that he was referring to Reyna.
Furthermore, the USMNT voted on whether or not Reyna should remain on the team in Qatar – where the winger won the vote by a 13-12 tally.
Reyna later admitted he was emotional and unmotivated, but added that he had been told before the World Cup that his role would be limited and that all team disputes would be kept ‘in house’.
In a statement her own Danielle Reyna admitted to telling US Soccer about Berhalter’s past.
“I thought it was especially unfair that Gio, who apologized for acting so wrong about his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg asked for and received forgiveness for making a something worse at the same age,” he said. .
‘Without going into detail, the statements (from the Berhalters) significantly downplayed the abuse on the night in question. 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 afterwards, but I worked hard to give him grace, and eventually made them both and their children a big part of my family’s life. I would like and hope that he will give the same grace to Gio. This is why the current situation is so painful and difficult.’
USA star Gio Reyna scored a stunning 78th-minute goal to secure all three points for Dortmund
After finding the back of the net, the midfielder celebrated by ‘blocking the noise’
Claudio Reyna added: ‘While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with some close friends, Earnie and Brian McBride among them. However, I have never threatened anyone, nor will I.’
These will be the USMNT’s first matches since the scandal broke and Yedlin and Co will be managed by interim coach Anthony Hudson.
Hudson revealed this week that he is still in regular contact with Berhalter, who promoted him in 2021 from a head coaching job with the US under-20 team to an assistant role.
‘I’m close to Gregg,’ Hudson said. ‘There is no coaching course or anything, really, to guide you in moments like this.
‘It’s a really different situation, and I’m just going back to being honest. I have a lot of respect for Gregg, and he gave me this opportunity, so I don’t know why my relationship would change. He’s still a good man.’
The USMNT will face Serbia in a friendly on Wednesday before facing Colombia on Saturday night.