Gregg Berhalter said he feels ‘sadness’ after revealing a domestic violence incident from 31 years ago as he gave his first interview since his bombshell statement and the Reyna family disclosed the story to US Soccer.
Berhalter said in a statement earlier this week that he was targeted by a third party who aimed to ‘take him down’ as he admitted to kicking his now wife Rosalind when he was 18 years old.
Danielle Reyna, the mother of USA player Gio Reyna, admitted Wednesday to sharing information of the incident with US officials on December 11 after Berhalter detailed at a leadership conference how an unnamed player (later confirmed as Reyna) was nearly sent home from Qatar due to not ‘meeting expectations.’
Ex-USA captain Claudio Reyna also threatened to share details of Berhalter’s past during the tournament, according to ESPN.
And the coach spoke publicly for the first time since the story emerged on Thursday.
‘I think its sadness. Our entire family is saddened by these events. It’s something we wanna move forward from,’ Berhalter, who played youth and high school soccer with Claudio Reyna, told Harvard Business Review on Thursday.
‘The worst part of it for me is my heart aches for my wife. It was her story to tell.’
Berhalter also mentioned during the 30-minute chat that he would like to continue on as USA coach after the team was ousted by Holland in the round of 16 in Qatar.
‘It’s a fantastic group of players, super high potential in this group… it would be an amazing challenge for this team [competing in the 2026 World Cup in the US, Mexico and Canada],’ he added.
Berhalter went public about kicking his wife Rosalind (left) during an argument in 1991
Claudio and Danielle Reyna (pictured in 2018) released statements after telling US Soccer about Berhalter’s domestic violence incident in 1991
Berhalter’s US soccer contract expired at the end of 2022, with assistant Anthony Hudson tapped to coach the team’s January friendlies.
At the HOW Institute for Society’s Summit on Moral Leadership in December, Berhalter called the situation regarding Reyna in Qatar ‘extreme,’ as the player later acknowledged his poor behavior after being told he would play a ‘very limited’ role at the tournament.
The Athletic cited sources who described a ‘pronounced’ lack of effort from the player during the World Cup.
Asked Thursday if he had any regrets with how he handled the Reyna situation, Berhalter said, ‘We’re always looking to improve… if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have told that story.’
He added at another point: ‘Trust is something that takes a long time to build but can go away really quickly.
Danielle Reyna was unhappy at the treatment of her son Gio by Berhalter at the World Cup
‘You have to be consistent in who you are, and you have to have clear values. And if you are they can see that.
‘My bond with the players is very strong and its about maintaining that bond. And I think the players and the staff know who I am and what I stand for.’
Reyna, a winger for German Champions League club Borussia Dortmund, is regarded as one of the national team’s top talents and was expected to play a significant role in Qatar.
Instead, he played just 52 minutes and didn’t make a single start.
‘It’s about looking those difficult conversations in the face and going through with it,’ Berhalter said Thursday.
Claudio Reyna (No. 10) and Berhalter (No. 3) played for the USA between 1994 and 2006
‘If a player is not starting a game, the last thing a coach should do is avoid telling them why.’
The coach wrapped up the interview by answering how he’s been coping with the recent situation.
‘I have a strong family. I have a very supportive family. To me its about my wife, it about feeling for her,’ he said.
‘It’s her story, I feel tremendously bad that my profession had to bring this to the public light. We’ve received a lot of support a lot of great messages from people who have known our family through the years.’
Berhalter, who played for the USA in defense between 1994 and 2006, made the information public to his 1,003 Twitter followers. His account is unverified but the statement was confirmed by the US Soccer Federation. The governing body is also conducting an investigation.
‘During the World Cup, an individual contacted US Soccer, saying that they had information about me that would “take me down” – an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with US Soccer,’ part of his statement read Tuesday.
Berhalter released a statement to his Twitter profile on Tuesday afternoon to clarify some ‘personal information which a third party has used against my family and me’