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The real villain of the Berhalter-Reyna saga? The Nightmare Football Parents of Gio Reyna

Claudio Reyna (top left) and his wife, Danielle, with their sons, bottom right, Jack, 9, Joe, 17 months, and Giovanni, 5, before a news conference in Newark, NJ, July 16, 2008. to announce Reyna’s retirement from soccer. (AP Photo/Mike Derrer, File)

If Claudio and Danielle Reyna were hoping to make someone look bad by revealing the status of the 30-year-old assault, they certainly succeeded.

Ryan looks awesome.

US men’s national team coach Greg Berhalter’s need for revenge for his son Gio’s lack of playing time at last year’s men’s World Cup has had the desired effect in the short term: Berhalter’s contract is set to expire on December 31. was not renewed and the football world found out one night the coach Said he “regrets it to this day.”

Furthermore, Reynas unwittingly veiled his own uncharacteristic-at-best behavior, including frequent complaints to US Soccer, “bullying” of the organization’s officials, sexism; Basically, stereotypical nightmare sports parents stuff.

On Monday, US Soccer released the findings of an investigation it commissioned into Berhalter, who was relieved of the role last year. This corroborates much of what Berhalter has publicly acknowledged regarding an ugly incident that occurred between him and his then-girlfriend, Rosalind, when they were college students at the University of North Carolina.

Through the investigation, all signs point to that one fateful night in 1992 – when Rosalind and Greg’s yelling turned physical, with Rosalind either bruised or scratched on her face and Greg responding. I threw Rosalind to the ground and kicked her – as the only such incident between the pair. The two immediately reported the incident to their parents and the respective UNC football coaches, Greg sought therapy, and they reconciled seven months later; They are still together.

Destroyed though? The decades-long friendship between Reynas and Berhalters and the public perception of one of America’s greatest players. It’s unclear at this point what Reynas’ tactics have done to his relationship with his adult son and how his soap opera-level villainy might affect US Soccer long term.

Claudio Reyna was named to four US World Cup teams, playing in three (he was injured in 1994) and serving as captain for two. He also played in the Olympics twice, retiring from soccer in 2008 after two seasons with the MLS ‘New York Red Bulls’, which allowed him to play his final years not too far from his New Jersey roots.

Her relationship with Greg Berhalter began as teammates in high school. According to Claudio Reyna, after reconnecting post-college, the two were so close that Claudio was best man at Greg and Rosalind’s wedding. And Rosalind and Danielle Reyna have been friends for almost as long as they were roommates and teammates at UNC.

But apparently hell hath no fury like a football parent. Because once their kids were involved, the Reynas were ready to fire up to get Gio what they felt he deserved.

According to the findings, last year’s World Cup was just the culmination.

Claudio, who did not sit with the investigating attorneys, had been contacting US Soccer for years. A federation official said the text messages would come “in the heat of the moment” and would follow calls with Claudio venting. Examples of this include when Gio was a youth player, and Claudio trying to overturn his son’s red card from the federation because it meant Gio would have to sit out the next match, and a 2019 text complaint to Berhalter. The under-17 national team’s performance, Rafael called Vicky “the worst coach”.

A year earlier, Claudio sent an email lamenting the presence of a female official writing, “Can we be real and get male referees for games like this. It’s a shame. What do we have to prove?” Trying to? A game like this deserves bet(e)r attention.”

Because as we all know, men’s game and women’s game are completely different, women’s brain has no way to process it. (For the unaware, that’s sarcasm. Fat sarcasm.)

While the names have been redacted in the documents, someone in US Soccer internally circulated Claudio’s email about female referees, calling it “sorry to see” and “is not appropriate or acceptable.”

Then came Qatar.

When Gio didn’t play at all in the US’s World Cup opener with Wales, both of his parents made “vague” comments to US Soccer officials about the 1992 incident between the Berhalters, and Claudio told US Soccer’s sporting director wrote to Ernie Stewart, “What a complete and utter (offensive) joke. Our family is disgusted … disgusted at how a coach is never challenged and does whatever he wants.” Sent a similar message to general manager Brian McBride.

In a meeting with McBride three days later, Claudio again reportedly said on the night 30 years earlier, “You guys don’t even know what we know about Greg.”

Ultimately, though, it was Danielle Reyna who stopped and followed through on the threats. On a call with Stewart after the World Cup, she was the one who said that Greg “(humiliatingly) beat” Rosalind in college, setting everything in motion.

Since nothing further came out of US Soccer’s investigation, it has said that Berhalter remains a candidate to fill the still-vacant role it once held, although it is considered a long shot with Stewart and McBride now with the federation. goes.

Interim USMNT coach Anthony Hudson invited Gio Reyna, who is still just 20 years old, to training camp in Orlando, Florida ahead of CONCACAF Nations League matches with Granada and El Salvador later this month, and Reyna reportedly accepted.

However, Claudio and Daniele have a very difficult road to travel. While he didn’t break any rules, as US Soccer had no formal policy on parent-employee communication, this may be the least of his worries. His toxic ways are now public knowledge.

Berhalter told investigators, “When things don’t go well for Geo, (Raynas) pivot and go into attack mode.”

What started as a childish quest for vengeance and exposed the misdeeds of a supposed lifelong friend instead ends up exposing Claudio and Danielle Reyna as the bad guys.



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