USA defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Walker Zimmerman back coach Gregg Berhalter as his future with the national team hangs in the balance amid investigation into bombshell revelation he kicked his wife in 1991
National team defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Walker Zimmerman praised coach Gregg Berhalter for bringing the Americans together during the World Cup in Qatar even though he’s currently under investigation by US Soccer.
Yedlin and Zimmerman said they understand there could be uncertainty about the team’s leadership structure for a while as Berhalter is investigated for a 1991 incident during which he kicked his future wife in the legs.
Berhalter said in a statement last 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.
United States head coach Gregg Berhalter has been backed by two of his World Cup defenders
DeAndre Yedlin told reporters he believes Berhalter is a ‘great head coach’ on Tuesday
‘I think Gregg’s a great head coach, I think he did a great job of kind of banding us all together and really making sure we’re all fighting for the same goal,’ Yedlin said Tuesday at MLS media day.
‘Obviously, we all know certain things are happening and again some of those decisions they’re not up to me. He’s a great coach and I’ve really enjoyed working with him.’
The US Soccer Federation said last week it learned of the allegation against Berhalter on December 11 and hired the law firm Alston & Bird to investigate. The federation said Berhalter and his wife Rosalind had ‘spoken openly’ about the matter, and Berhalter admitted kicking her during an argument after a night of drinking in 1991 before they were married.
Berhalter went public about kicking his wife Rosalind (left) during an argument in 1991
Danielle Reyna (pictued left with husband and former US player Caludio Reyna), the mother of Gio Reyna, admitted last week to sharing information of the incident with US officials
He released a statement last week calling his behavior ‘a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day’ and said he was ‘looking forward to continuing my conversations with US Soccer about the future.’
Danielle Reyna, the mother of USA player Gio Reyna, admitted last week 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.
Anthony Hudson is serving as the interim coach while Berhalter is under investigation.
Although US Soccer has stated that they will wait until after the investigation into Berhalter is complete to decide his future the team reportedly offered the job to Zinedine Zidane, who rejected the offer.
Zinedine Zidane has reportedly turned down a chance to manage the USA national team
Walker Zimmerman also praised Berhalter’s job with the team during the 2022 World Cup
Yedlin controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Group B match between USA and Wales
The Americans were eliminated in the round of 16 in Qatar with a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands – the same result for the team as in the 2010 and ’14 World Cups.
‘Gregg has done a great job for the national team. I think that the record speaks for itself,’ Zimmerman said. ‘We obviously wish we could have gone further in Qatar. I know he wishes that as well. I think he did a really good job creating a team culture and a chemistry that was impressive. He has handled a lot of things very, very well. So, yeah, we´ll see what happens.’
Berhalter has said he would like to coach the national team through the 2026 World Cup, which the U.S. will cohost.
Yedlin likes the Americans’ chances playing on home soil.
‘You go to any World Cup and you’d ask the host country if it would be a unique opportunity to win and of course it would,’ he said. ‘I think especially for this era of U.S. Soccer. I think we have a very good chance with the players that are in the pool and the players coming up into the pool. It’s an unbelievable group of players.’