USA interim boss Anthony Hudson reveals he has held ‘positive’ talks with Gio Reyna in Germany amid Gregg Berhalter blackmail drama – as he admits situation ‘needed addressing’
Anthony Hudson has revealed he held ‘positive’ talks with young USMNT star Gio Reyna as the team’s interim manager tries to repair the damage done by last summer’s ‘blackmail’ scandal.
Hudson has been placed in temporary charge of the team after the expiry of Gregg Berhalter’s contract, which came in the wake of a dramatic saga involving the former manager and Borussia Dortmund star Reyna.
Reyna played a very limited role for his country in Qatar, despite his impressive domestic performances, leaving many American soccer fans confused and furious over his omission.
In December, Berhalter revealed at a summit in New York City that an unidentified player was almost sent home from Qatar. While Berhalter did not name the player in his comments, MLSSoccer.com first reported it was Reyna that he was referencing.
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.
United States international Gio Reyna fell out with Gregg Berhalter during a difficult World Cup
Anthony Hudson has been trying to patch things up, meeting Reyna in Germany last month
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 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.
US Soccer is still investigating the allegations with Berhalter’s future in limbo, and Gio Reyna’s place among the squad in a difficult situation.
Hudson, though, believes he has put the first steps in place to repair the damage, revealing he spoke to the Dortmund star on a recent trip to watch him play in Germany.
‘I think it was important for whoever is in this role, whether it’s me or someone else, the important thing now is to go and address the situation in Germany,’ Hudson told The Athletic.
‘It would be negligent of anyone who is in this role not to go and do that because he’s an important player and we need to find a solution. He is a talented, important player, a young player and it needed to be addressed.
Reyna was surprisingly given a limited role for the USA in their World Cup campaign
Reyna’s mom Danielle (left) told US Soccer about Gregg Berhalter kicking his wife in 1991
‘The way I look at it is, in (World Cup) camp, this happened. Us as a staff made a decision to take action and there was a response from the player — a positive response.
‘I’m not condoning anything that’s happened, but it was more on a human level to go and see how he was, as a young kid who has been through a lot…’
Reyna has scored three goals in five appearances for Dortmund in recent weeks, but has struggled for minutes amid the team’s impressive form in the Bundesliga.
The USA squad are set to meet again in the coming weeks, with Hudson’s men facing Grenada and El Salvador in the CONCACAF Nations League.