‘On the inside it wasn’t as bad’: DeAndre Yedlin tries to downplay the row between Gio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter that has rocked US soccer and led to the attacker’s mom leaking that the World Cup coach once kicked his wife in a drunken row as teenagers
- Ex-USA coach Gregg Berhalter being investigated over domestic violence claim
- Danielle Reyna threatened to expose a row the US coach had with his wife in 1991
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USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin has looked to diffuse the civil war engulfing US soccer, claiming the row between forward Gio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter ‘wasn’t as bad’ in the locker room.
Controversy has dominated the agenda of US Soccer 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 disparagement of Reyna during the World Cup, Danielle Reyna – Gio’s mother and former US midfielder Claudio Reyna’s wife – 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) ‘wasn’t as bad’ internally
That is the view of USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin, who has tried to diffuse the controversy
US Soccer is investigating the allegations against Berhalter and all the while Reyna has remained with Dortmund for the USMNT’s January camp, led by interim coach Anthony Hudson.
But for Yedlin, the issue has played out more dramatically externally, compared to how it has been handled in the locker room.
‘On the inside it wasn’t as bad as the media’s making it out to be,’ Yedlin claimed to MLSsoccer.com.
‘I know a lot of people that may be writing about us or whatever haven’t played on a team before, or on a high-level team.
Berhalter went public about kicking his wife Rosalind (left) during an argument in 1991
Reyna’s mom Danielle (left) told US Soccer about Berhalter kicking his future wife in 1991
‘But it happens all the time where sometimes they’ll have a player, or players, that for whatever reason aren’t on it, and people talk to them, and then move on.
‘Like, that’s what happened. There was literally no bad blood, nothing. It was fine. We just moved on with it, and that was it, that was the end of it. And so it was, I think, blown up a lot bigger than it actually was.’
Berhalter issued a lengthy statement earlier in the month admitting kicking his wife in the legs, 31 years ago, in a drunken row when they were teenagers.
He said someone had gone to US Soccer with the information, threating to ‘take me down’. It later emerged that Reyna’s mom, Danielle, had informed US Soccer about the incident.
US Soccer has hired a legal team to conduct an investigation into what happened with Berhalter’s past and how it impacted the World Cup.
Reyna played a very 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 USA
This will be the first USMNT squad under the purview of interim manager Anthony Hudson
In December, Berhalter revealed at a summit in New York City that an unidentified player was almost sent home from the World Cup Qatar.
Berhalter did not name the player in question in his comments – MLSSoccer.com first reported it was Reyna that he was referring to.
Furthermore, the USMNT took a vote on whether or not Reyna should stay with the team in Qatar – with the winger winning a vote by a 13-12 tally.
Reyna later admitted he was emotional and lacked motivation, but added that he was told before the World Cup that his role would be limited and that all team disputes would be kept ‘in house’.
In a statement of her own Danielle Reyna admitted to telling US Soccer about Berhalter’s past.
‘I thought it was especially unfair that Gio, who had apologized for acting immaturely about his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg had asked for and received forgiveness for doing something so much worse at the same age,’ she said.
‘Without going into detail, the statements (from the Berhalters) significantly minimize 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 afterward, but I worked hard to give him grace, and ultimately made both of them and their kids a huge part of my family’s life. I would have wanted and expected him to give the same grace to Gio. This is why the current situation is so very hurtful and hard.’
USA star Gio Reyna scored stunning 78th-minute goal to clinch all three points for Dortmund
After finding the back of the net, the midfielder celebrated by ‘blocking out the noise’
Claudio Reyna added: ‘While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends, Earnie and Brian McBride among them. However, at no time did I ever threaten anyone, nor would I ever do so.’
These are the first USMNT matches since the scandal broke and Yedlin and Co are being managed by interim coach Anthony Hudson.
Hudson revealed this week that he’s 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 with Gregg,’ Hudson said. ‘There’s no coaching course or anything, really, to guide you in moments like this.
‘This is a really different situation, and I just fall back on 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.’
USMNT face Serbia in a friendly Wednesday before facing Colombia Saturday night.
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