USMNT: Soccer's Coming Home

ThePrideofShiner

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Also, apparently the incident from Berhalter's past was reported to the Federation on Dec. 11, which is the same day The Athletic's story about Gio came out. Holy shit.
 

Titans Bastard

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rguilmar

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Heath Pierce is tweeting that more details about the Berhalter situation will be coming out later today. I don't know how plugged in he is, but there is a fraternity of former USMNT players so you would imagine he would have some idea just based on the parties likely involved. Eric Wynalda is already saying he had nothing to do with it. I really hate that I dive into the cesspool known as Twitter several times an hour for an update.

It always made sense for the federation to bring in a caretaker manager while they did their due diligence. I haven't really heard too much about them interviewing anyone for the full-time manager position, but it's probably best to take their time and find the right manager.

Does this type of controversy mean that we truly are becoming a proper soccer nation?
 

Pesky Pole

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ESPN reporting that it’s Claudio who tried to blackmail USSF.

Fucked up on many fronts - for Gregg, for Gio’s future, for Claudio’s career, for the Berhalter-Reyna families…
So the timing of all this is going to be real interesting. We have Gio being told he'll have a limited role, Claudio telling USSF about Berhalter's past and Berhalter making the public comments about a player nearly being sent home. I'm not saying that's the order but if it is, that's potentially retaliation times two.
 

rguilmar

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It’s a mess, though I wonder how much this should impact Gio if his dad is being an a$$.

Separately, looks like Anthony Hudson is the interim manager. TB called that one.
 

Cellar-Door

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So the timing of all this is going to be real interesting. We have Gio being told he'll have a limited role, Claudio telling USSF about Berhalter's past and Berhalter making the public comments about a player nearly being sent home. I'm not saying that's the order but if it is, that's potentially retaliation times two.
I believe the reported timeline is:
1. Gio is told he'll have a limited role
2. Gio sulks in training
3. Berhalter makes it a big thing.
4. WC ends
5. Berhalter leaks the Reyna situation.
6. Athletic publishes a pro-Gregg hitpiece on Gio with a bunch of "anonymous" quotes that are clearly Gregg's staff (or Gregg).
7. Claudio tries to use this to get Gregg not renewed.

This shouldn't effect Gio hopefully. The ideal situation is you ban Claudio from some USSF stuff, let Gregg go his way, clean house and bring in a new manager in the Summer.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

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My take on this is that Claudio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter should not be involved with USSF in any way going forward.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Everybody involved here is a jerk and it wouldn't be a bad thing if they were all fired into the sun or at least disassociated from USSF and the USMNT completely.

Gio Reyna shouldn't be punished for the sins of his father. At the same time, he isn't actually that special of a player and shouldn't feel like he has some God-given place in the team because of his last name and having a few good months a couple years back for a Borussia Dortmund side that has made a lot of young players look better than they are.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Yeah, according to the USSF statement yesterday they were alerted to the domestic violence incident on Dec. 11, which is the day the Athletic piece came out. So, there was no retaliation by Berhalter.

Man, the Reyna parents come off as real pieces of shit here.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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My take on this is that Claudio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter should not be involved with USSF in any way going forward.
I'm not married to Berhalter continuing as the coach by any means, but what in this situation makes you feel like he shouldn't be involved? Kicking his then-girlfriend and now-wife 30 years ago? Just curious, because it is the Reynas who should be getting all of the scorn, in my opinion.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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1998 World Cup squad continues its vice-like grip on the most USMNT drama in history, even 25 years later.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

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I'm not married to Berhalter continuing as the coach by any means, but what in this situation makes you feel like he shouldn't be involved? Kicking his then-girlfriend and now-wife 30 years ago? Just curious, because it is the Reynas who should be getting all of the scorn, in my opinion.
You can't have a coach involved in this level of drama lead one of the best USMNT players going forward. In isolation, that's not fair to Gregg, but it's still the truth. You think he's going to treat Gio fairly? There is no way he can be impartial.

Gregg also doesn't deserve to continue on his own merits, in my opinion, but that is separate from this spectacle.
 

SocrManiac

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I'm not married to Berhalter continuing as the coach by any means, but what in this situation makes you feel like he shouldn't be involved? Kicking his then-girlfriend and now-wife 30 years ago? Just curious, because it is the Reynas who should be getting all of the scorn, in my opinion.
His handling of Gio's case at that conference is disqualifying, in my opinion.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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You can't have a coach involved in this level of drama lead one of the best USMNT players going forward. In isolation, that's not fair to Gregg, but it's still the truth. You think he's going to treat Gio fairly? There is no way he can be impartial.

Gregg also doesn't deserve to continue on his own merits, in my opinion, but that is separate from this spectacle.
I mean, I don't think he should be punished because Gio's parents are pieces of shit. Just like Gio shouldn't be punished. I don't know, maybe Claudio and his wife should have thought about that.

If we hire a new coach because it's dumb to have the same coach for two cycles, then yeah, I'm on board. I just don't know how you punish Berhalter when he was the victim in this situation.

And whether Gio is one of our best players is up for debate, in my opinion.
 

67YAZ

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I’m less concerned about Gio’s USMNT future. It’s more about clubs looking at him and seeing an immature, entitled kid with headcase parents.
 
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His handling of Gio's case at that conference is disqualifying, in my opinion.
He didn't name Reyna and that conference was supposed to be off the record. Naive perhaps, but I don't think disqualifying. And I'm someone who's ready to move on from Gregg anyways.

Regardless, there was enough smoke around Gio that both The Athletic and ESPN had articles ready to go about his behavior during the WC. The only reason those were pushed back by a couple of days was due to Grant Wahl's death.
 
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cromulence

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He didn't name Reyna and that conference was supposed to be off the record. Naive perhaps, but I don't think disqualifying. And I'm someone who's ready to move on from Gregg anyways.

Regardless, there was enough smoke around Gio that both The Athletic and ESPN had articles ready to go about his behavior during the WC. The only reason those were pushed back by a couple of days was due to Grant Wahl's death.
It's disqualifying for me. He displayed absolutely horrendous judgement to say what he said. Like you, I wanted him out anyways, but the conference incident should clinch it in my opinion.
 

4 6 3 DP

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He screwed over the son of the guy who was the best man in his wedding to make himself look better. He's garbage and good for the Reyna's for exposing it.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Not sure how you can just declare this.
He's obviously one of the brightest young prospects in US soccer but he hasn't actually shown that much professionally other than initially breaking into the BvB team very early and having some good flashes that year. Injuries have played a big part in that but health is a skill and also not unrelated to his questionable mentality and dedication.

My point is simply that he isn't a player with so much talent you bend over backward to accommodate or please him.
 

Cellar-Door

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He didn't name Reyna and that conference was supposed to be off the record. Naive perhaps, but I don't think disqualifying. And I'm someone who's ready to move on from Gregg anyways.

Regardless, there was enough smoke around Gio that both The Athletic and ESPN had articles ready to go about his behavior during the WC. The only reason those were pushed back by a couple of days was due to Grant Wahl's death.
I mean... if he didn't think it was going to get out he's too stupid to organize a beer run nevermind manage the national team, and the pieces were loaded with anonymous quotes that were obviously from Berhalter or his staff (including some that were later confirmed to be lies) in a pretty clear attempt to elevate Gregg from criticism of his usage of Gio.

Of course beyond that, Berhalter isn't a good manager, he's an asshole and his original appointment process was indicative of all the worst things about USSF.
If he comes back it's a clear sign USSF will remain a not serious endeavor.
 

rguilmar

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The story as far as I can see it is that Danielle Reyna got pissed at Gregg for both not playing her son in the World Cup then talking about the disciplinary issues with Gio at the leadership conference. She acted pretty awfully by calling her old friend Ernie Stewart to talk about her college roommate and good friend Rosalind Berhalter getting kicked by her future husband 31 years ago, perhaps to say "Gregg, look at what you were doing when you were Gio's age." She must have known exactly what she was doing. There is no excusing that on a personal level. It was purely vindictive.

A few people, including Gregg Berhalter himself, have used the word "blackmail". From what we learned today, at least so far, I don't see any blackmail. So either GGG is twisting the story a bit himself or there is more to it. Did any of the Reynas confront Gregg with this information as a threat prior to December 11? There have been rumors of arguments on a rooftop in Qatar, maybe with Weston's father playing the role of peacemaker if I remember the details correctly, so all was not well during the World Cup.

Ultimately none of this will really matter. Both the USMNT and Gregg should have been moving on from one another anyways. Gregg's status was never going to be higher than it is right now, so it was the time to find a position with a club which is probably better suited to his style as a manager than a national team anyways. No clue how the past few weeks have changed that for him though. Regardless how one feels about the job GGG did as manager, it was always probably best for the USMNT to get a new voice involved with fresh, more adaptable tactics. I also don't think clubs will shy away from signing Gio either. If clubs refused to sign talented but spoiled young players with overly involved parents, like 90% of top players would never get a contract.

I'm more concerned about the makeup of US soccer. This only happens because of the relationships and people involved. The Berhalters and Reynas were best friends. Danielle Reyna knows Ernie Stewart well because he is in the same USMNT fraternity as her husband. Ernie Stewart, Brian McBride, Gregg Berhalter, Claudio Reyna. These guys have overlapping USMNT careers, and the nepotism and favoritism are what is rotting US soccer to the core. It makes me really not want to see Steve Cherundolo get a shot at USMNT manager. Fresh faces are needed, and just at manager. Changes need to happen up and down US soccer, but these changes won't happen.
 

Pesky Pole

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The story as far as I can see it is that Danielle Reyna got pissed at Gregg for both not playing her son in the World Cup then talking about the disciplinary issues with Gio at the leadership conference. She acted pretty awfully by calling her old friend Ernie Stewart to talk about her college roommate and good friend Rosalind Berhalter getting kicked by her future husband 31 years ago, perhaps to say "Gregg, look at what you were doing when you were Gio's age." She must have known exactly what she was doing. There is no excusing that on a personal level. It was purely vindictive.
It should be obvious but I hadn't put together the "look at what you were doing at Gio's age" part in my head for some reason. It's an awful vindictive way to do it but it sure does point out that these are kids in situations no 20 year old should be in with handlers that aren't always doing them favors. Not that it excuses what his mom did but I wonder if the comment was made exactly like that (a heated comment complaining about the double standard) but Ernie treated it like an HR department would treat it (now that I know, I'm compelled to act and report).
 

Marciano490

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I hadn’t thought of the “look what you did at that age” angle either. Still pretty gross to publicize the wife’s abuse - clearly she’s not involved here and doesn’t deserve to be collateral damage. The coach’s statement is actually one of the better acknowledgments and apologies I’ve seen. Horrible thing to do, but he seems to have reacted the best he could from that moment on.
 

rguilmar

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It should be obvious but I hadn't put together the "look at what you were doing at Gio's age" part in my head for some reason. It's an awful vindictive way to do it but it sure does point out that these are kids in situations no 20 year old should be in with handlers that aren't always doing them favors. Not that it excuses what his mom did but I wonder if the comment was made exactly like that (a heated comment complaining about the double standard) but Ernie treated it like an HR department would treat it (now that I know, I'm compelled to act and report).
The direct quote from her statement is:
"I told Ernie that 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 asked for and received forgiveness for doing something much worse at the same age".

She does go into depth about how close she and Rosalind were, and how hard it was for her to forgive Gregg all those years ago. Nonetheless, this strikes me as an over-the-top vengeance thing after the news broke about Gregg's comments at the conference.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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I feel like it should be pointed out that this isn't just Reyna's mom saying something to Stewart. Claudio doesn't get away clean here.

From the ESPN article:
Claudio Reyna also sent multiple messages to USMNT general manager Brian McBride and Stewart during the World Cup, in which he said he shared his frustration about Gio's World Cup experience.

Multiple sources told ESPN he threatened to share allegations about Berhalter's past, but Reyna has denied those allegations.
Also, Twellman makes it seem like there is more to come out.

View: https://twitter.com/TaylorTwellman/status/1610739931596324869
 

67YAZ

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Twellman always finds a way to make himself part of the story. He’s the worst.
 

ddeveau

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This is definitely not a good look for all involved. And while GGG may not have done anything wrong during the blackmail portion of this saga ("Play my son or I'll destroy your reputation" qualifies as blackmail in my book), he did badly mismanage one of his players. It's nice when young players show maturity beyond their years (Adams at the Iran press conference comes to mind), but telling a teenager he's not going to play much at the world cup and then being surprised when he acts entitled and petulant seems naïve to me. And he is supposed to know his players, and know how to manage them.

My one suggestion is that it might not be constructive to try to determine who was wrong first or more wrong based on the statements each party has released. They've had close to a month to spin their message the best possible way. For example, I'm tempted to believe Danielle might be right when she suggests that Gregg's account of the events glosses over the severity of the incident. But then I also think her suggestion that she just happened to call one of his bosses to complain about his treatment of her son, and the domestic abuse incident was revealed more as a point of comparison than an attempt to smear Gregg also strains credibility.

Whoever did what to who when ... just please make it stop.
 

DJnVa

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The direct quote from her statement is:
"I told Ernie that 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 asked for and received forgiveness for doing something much worse at the same age".
Took him 7 months. She wanted that forgiveness in a week.
 

Titans Bastard

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What a mess. There's a real Greek tragedy element to the story of the Reyna-Berhalter story. Claudio and Gregg go all the way back to HS, where they were teammates. Danielle and Rosalind were college teammates and roommates. Claudio was the best man in Gregg's wedding.

It's just a wild story.

It's amazing how much hinges on certain twists of fate. The Reynas' parental advocacy would have never seen the light of day if not for the leadership symposium leak of Berhalter's comments, which is when the Reynas went nuclear.

It's a real shame because I think Berhalter managed the Gio situation rather well throughout the World Cup. I think he accurately judged that they'd be better off ripping the band-aid off by telling Gio upfront that he wasn't going to play a ton, rather than have tension and doubt build as the tournament actually progressed. And when Gio melted down in the locker room and on the practice field because Gio couldn't accept that GGG wasn't going to start a half-injured player, the situation was resolved behind the scenes. Gio played more minutes in the USMNT's final game against the Netherlands than in any other game, suggesting that all was moving in the right direction.

I think people overstate the level of risk about Berhalter's leadership symposium comments leaking out, but it was still a pointless risk to take, especially with this incident so fresh. Some third party organization blew it, and it still took like five days for anyone to notice. But notice they did, and here we are.

I find part of Danielle Reyna's statement to be fairly egregious: her claim that she didn't ask for Berhalter to be fired or for there to be an investigation is as ridiculous as it is weak. Like, what did she think she was trying to accomplish?

I think that most of the fanbase is too harsh on Berhalter, but I'm not sure why either the USSF or Berhalter would want a second term at this point.

He screwed over the son of the guy who was the best man in his wedding to make himself look better. He's garbage and good for the Reyna's for exposing it.
I didn't think we'd have a "the Reynas' actions here are good, actually" take on SOSH.
 

Mooch

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Yeah, the Reynas are complete pieces of shit. They were willing to let whatever happened slide all of those years ago and be friends with the Berhalters for DECADES until their son acted immaturely and then they lash out when someone had the nerve to hold him accountable?

FUCK THEM. I'm no fan of Berhalter and would be happy if he's gone as coach but Claudio and Danielle are sociopaths.
 

Titans Bastard

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There's an ongoing USSF press conference and the Scuffed discord has live updates. It's an incredibly pointless dodgefest with Stewart, Parlow Cone and Batson answering basically nothing.
 

rguilmar

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No answers to any of the questions really at the presser. Apparently lots of "can't comment because of the investigation" type of statements. Seemed like there were a few questions about the hiring of Gregg in the first place and if the accusation of domestic violence, which presumably Gregg's brother knew about, should have been considered. The only bit of actual "news" was Ernie's assertion that Gregg is still in consideration for the manager's position.

There are no winners here, and I especially feel for Rosalind Berhalter, someone who before yesterday I had never heard of. To have this traumatic event played out in public is terrible. I'm kind of ashamed about how much interest I am taking in this.

We also don't really know that much beyond the fact that an incident took place 31 years ago between Gregg and his then-girlfriend, and that Danielle Reyna told Ernie Stewart about this event on December 11, the same day that Gregg's comments about Gio at the leadership conference came out. Past that, we have unsourced comments and events that haven't been corroborated, and a whole lot of assumptions and conjecture. I would like to know about any actual blackmailing or threats to go public. I know what ESPN reported, but it is ESPN, the sources were unnamed, the claims were refuted predictably by Claudio, and in some ways the claims make no sense. I would also like to know why Gregg went public with this yesterday. Article coming out? To get ahead of any investigation?
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Is there any chance that the USSF and Berhalter released statements yesterday because a coach announcement for the January camp was scheduled to be made today? Basically getting ahead of the many questions that would come with him not being in charge?

I agree as to the timing being curious. One thing from the press conference today that sounded positive is the federation saying they will release the full report findings once it is complete, which in light of recent investigations in the NFL and MLS that weren't exactly transparent, seems like good news.
 

Cellar-Door

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Probably worth noting aside from the Reyna part, that this exposes that one of the people in a major position of power during the coaching search (Jay Berhalter) knew about this and did not bring it up, which is deeply concerning.
The Reyna's are nuts and Claudio probably was threatening (but he'll claim he was just saying it's out there and people will find out), but it also paints a really bad picture of the previous coaching search which was already widely considered to be a combination of nepotism/friendship based with a process that was a sham, with hard requirements tailored to the guy they wanted and a couple show interviews with marginally qualified people, while ignoring the real qualified contenders.

Honestly CPC should come out of the investigation swinging the axe and take out Stewart, he's ineffectual and damaged goods already, and she isn't tied to him. The rot is USSF is way deeper and is never going away given it's built into the system, but she could gain points publicly AND help a bit by cleaning house a bit.
 

EvilEmpire

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I think the biggest thing I've learned so far from this still-developing saga is that the people who hate Gregg Berhalter really hate Gregg Berhalter.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Have a nagging feeling this is all leading to a circle the wagons situation and Gregg will be back.

As for the Reynas, it’s kind of amazing to see this kind of soccer parent bullshit play out even at this level.
 

67YAZ

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Probably worth noting aside from the Reyna part, that this exposes that one of the people in a major position of power during the coaching search (Jay Berhalter) knew about this and did not bring it up, which is deeply concerning.
this is one of those problems with nepotism. If Jay Berhalter wasn’t in an executive position at USSF, he’d have no reason to disclose this (if the events are as depicted in Gregg & Rosalind statement). Indeed, I wouldn’t expect a brother would do that.

But once you mix up family and business, the conflicts can’t be ignored.
 

rguilmar

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I think the biggest thing I've learned so far from this still-developing saga is that the people who hate Gregg Berhalter really hate Gregg Berhalter.
I was actually struck a little differently. Many of the anti-GGG/Fire GGG/ Don’t Rehire GGG crowd I see online seem to be 100% consistent in going after the Reynas on this. Make no mistake, their opinions of Gregg aren’t changing. They just seem to be saying “we don’t want Gregg, but this isn’t a reason why”.

I will caveat this by saying I don’t read any comments to any posts or videos, so I don’t see what is usually the more vitriolic material.
 

67YAZ

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Susaeta not a fan of Hudson.

I also agree - Chicago is the greatest city in the world, but the residency requirement is bad.

 

Jimy Hendrix

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Hudson's in that Jason Kreis bucket of doing bad jobs in MLS and failing upwards or sideways into doing bad jobs at US age levels. If he's just in for the January camp because it's the cheapest option, who cares, but if he coaches any meaningful matches with meaningful players then I too will be irritated at USSF for how long they are taking on their search.
 

InstaFace

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Gio Reyna shouldn't be punished for the sins of his father. At the same time, he isn't actually that special of a player and shouldn't feel like he has some God-given place in the team because of his last name and having a few good months a couple years back for a Borussia Dortmund side that has made a lot of young players look better than they are.
Um, I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with ya there. He wasn't a Golden Boy finalist in both 2021 and 2022 just because the voters were blinded by laundry - everyone on that list is in some glitzy laundry. And watching him, as we all have, I'll just say his talent and potential are clearly world-class. We don't have anyone like him.

He's not "special enough" to play for the US even when sulking and half-assing it in training and his teammates and coach are pissed at him for it. But he's definitely special enough that we ought to worry about the trajectory of his career and reputation and relationship with US Soccer. And ultimately he will matter more to the program than the difference between Berhalter and a replacement coach.

If it were Cole Bassett's mother trying to start some shit, nobody would care, we'd all go "what a jerk" and then move on. This is a big problem precisely because Gio Reyna is a big fucking deal.
 

Cellar-Door

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Hudson's in that Jason Kreis bucket of doing bad jobs in MLS and failing upwards or sideways into doing bad jobs at US age levels. If he's just in for the January camp because it's the cheapest option, who cares, but if he coaches any meaningful matches with meaningful players then I too will be irritated at USSF for how long they are taking on their search.
Failing upwards because you know a guy is what American Soccer is all about.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Um, I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with ya there. He wasn't a Golden Boy finalist in both 2021 and 2022 just because the voters were blinded by laundry - everyone on that list is in some glitzy laundry. And watching him, as we all have, I'll just say his talent and potential are clearly world-class. We don't have anyone like him.

He's not "special enough" to play for the US even when sulking and half-assing it in training and his teammates and coach are pissed at him for it. But he's definitely special enough that we ought to worry about the trajectory of his career and reputation and relationship with US Soccer. And ultimately he will matter more to the program than the difference between Berhalter and a replacement coach.

If it were Cole Bassett's mother trying to start some shit, nobody would care, we'd all go "what a jerk" and then move on. This is a big problem precisely because Gio Reyna is a big fucking deal.
I believe he was only a Golden Boy finalist in 2021, but in any case selection to that list is highly endogenous to what club you play for. Its a list that tends to encompass a pretty broad range of talent from bonafide future superstar like Erling Haaland or Phil Foden or Bukayo Saka to young-player-getting-first-team-minutes-every-journalist-has-heard-of like Bryan Gil or Moise Kean or Matteo Guendouzi or....Sergino Dest.

I'm not saying that he isn't a good young talent that hopefully will be an important part of the team for years to come. But world class potential? I have never seen that at all (admittedly my sample of watching him isn't huge).