Gregg Berhalter revealed some of the reasons why Gio Reyna saw limited playing time at the 2022 World Cup. The head coach of the US men’s national team even says he almost sent the 20-year-old off the team.
It is important to note that Berhalter did not explicitly mention Gio Reyna. Speaking to the HOW Institute for Society’s Summit on Moral Leadership, Berhalter answered a question about dealing with difficult performance decisions.
“At this last World Cup we had a player who clearly fell short of expectations, both on and off the pitch.” Berhalter said. “One of 26 players, so it stood out.”
Berhalter later said that coaches spent hours deliberating on what to do with this player. He added that the coaches were “ready to book a plane ticket home” for the player. However, coaches had a conversation with this person and he sincerely apologized to the team. In addition, the team embraced the player’s challenges and behavior, saying it “wasn’t good enough,” according to Berhalter.
During his answer to the question in question, Berhalter made sure not to mention the player’s name. However, the indication and belief within the USMNT community is that it is Gio Reyna.
Gio Reyna has been rejected to participate in the World Cup
Reyna is clearly a talent with important goals for both club and country. Yet he only saw the field for the whole 52 minutes over four games at the World Cup. There were injury concerns, Yes. However, rumors spread about the player’s lack of effort during training. The same goes for a pre-tournament friendly against Al-Gharafa, according to The athletic.
After not playing against Wales on matchday one of the World Cup, Berhalter said Reyna did not play due to ‘tight hamstring’. Still, the player himself said he was doing well after playing for Borussia Dortmund six weeks earlier.
Berhalter causes controversy with statements by Gio Reyna
While Berhalter’s miscommunication about Reyna may have stemmed from protecting the player’s goodwill, the coach’s more recent comments seem more out of line.
In addition, US Soccer, which has to make a decision about Berhalter’s future as national team coach, disapproved. U.S. Soccer said the comments to Charter Works were presumed whether or not the coach used Reyna’s name.
Then Reyna’s agent added his thoughts on the development. Dan Segal called Berhalter’s comments disappointing and disrespectful.
Berhalter and Reyna have yet to respond to the situation as it turned out. However, Berhalter’s contract with US Soccer ran until the 2022 World Cup.
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Borussia Dortmund,Gio Reina,Greg Berhalter,United States,USMNT