Alhough Gregg Berhalter is back with the U.S. men’s national soccer team and has spoken to nearly every player on the roster, Berhalter has yet to talk with midfielder Gio Reyna after their very public dispute at last year’s World Cup.
Berhalter, who was reappointed as the USMNT coach in June, told Vanity Fair’s Tom Kludt in a feature published Tuesday that he has had calls with “almost every player” on the team over the past two months. He and Reyna, however, have not spoken since the World Cup.
“It’s not something where you just pick up the phone and say, ‘Hey, bud, here’s how it’s going to be,'” Berhalter said. “There is work to be done.”
The Berhalter-Reyna saga has been well documented, and it left Berhalter’s position with U.S. Soccer very much in limbo.
Berhalter said at a leadership summit in December that he nearly sent a player home from the 2022 World Cup because the player “was clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field.” That player was later determined to be Reyna, who played just eight minutes in the group stage. It was apparently so bad that Berhalter said they were “ready to book a plane ticket home. That’s how extreme it was.”
Reyna’s lack of involvement during the World Cup prompted plenty of questions, though it only got worse after the World Cup ended. Reyna’s parents, Claudio and Danielle Reyna, contacted U.S. Soccer in December and told them about a decades-old domestic violence incident involving Berhalter. U.S. Soccer launched an investigation, and Berhalter detailed the 1991 incident with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, because he said it was being used to “take me down.”
Berhalter and his wife are still married, and Claudio was Berhalter’s best man at their wedding. Danielle said she felt “very personally betrayed” by Berhalter’s comments about Reyna at the World Cup. Berhalter declined to talk to Vanity Fair about his relationship with Reyna’s parents or if it was reconcilable.
Berhalter was rehired as the USMNT coach in June, more than five months after his contract expired. He first joined the organization in 2018, and he’ll now work to start preparing the team for the 2026 World Cup in North America.
Reyna, whom Berhalter called a “super talented player,” has yet to play for USMNT since he went down with a calf injury during a CONCACAF Nations League game in June. It’s unclear when he will do so next, though the USMNT is back in action for a pair of games against Uzbekistan and Oman in September.
Regardless, Berhalter and Reyna clearly have some work to do.
“We started this process of how to set expectations a little and figure out how we’re going to move forward together,” Berhalter said. “Some of it will involve him, some of it will involve us, and eventually, hopefully, it leads toward Gio being comfortable in the team, comfortable that he’s being evaluated fairly and coached fairly and held to the same norms and standards as everybody else.”