The Dallas Morning News
No hurdle for Berhalter rehire
Probe concludes no additional acts of violence since 1992
Details of a sordid rift between two prominent U.S. soccer families — one that included allegations of domestic abuse against men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter and parental complaints about Gio Reyna’s playing time at the 2022 World Cup — continued to spill out Monday when the results of an independent investigation of the incidents were released.
The three-month probe, conducted by the Alston & Bird law firm, concluded Berhalter had not committed any additional acts of violence against his wife since 1992, in which he admitted to kicking her while they were dating as freshmen at the University of North Carolina.
With that finding, the U.S. Soccer Federation said Berhalter would remain a candidate to return as coach following the expiration of his contract Dec. 31.
“Given the investigators’ conclusion that there is no legal impediment to employing him, Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate to serve as head coach,” the USSF said in a statement.
The governing body said it will not hire a coach until it appoints a new sporting director, a position that oversees all national teams. Earnie Stewart left the job last month. Anthony Hudson, a World Cup assistant, is the interim coach.
Berhalter guided the United States for four years, leading a young squad to two regional championships and a place in the World Cup, where it finished second in group play and lost to the Netherlands in the round of 16.
Investigators said in the report that they “uncovered no facts to show that U.S. Soccer knew of the 1992 Incident when it hired Mr. Berhalter; no facts to show that similar incidents occurred at any point in the last 31 years; no facts to show that the 1992 Incident has any nexus to the present or to the workplace; and no facts to support a claim that Mr. Berhalter presents a risk of harm to others.”
Because there was no police report filed, Berhalter was under no obligation to reveal the incident during his job interview. “There is no basis to conclude that Mr. Berhalter misled U.S. Soccer about the 1992
Incident at any time,” the investigators stated.
They did, however, say the incident was “unlawful and improper” and, had it occurred during Berhalter’s tenure as U.S. coach, “it would have created significant legal issues for the organization.”
Berhalter was not immediately available for comment Monday.
Details of that 1992 incident were brought forward to the USSF in December by Danielle Reyna, the mother of rising star Gio Reyna and college roommate of Rosalind Berhalter, who is now Gregg Berhalter’s wife.
Danielle Reyna and her husband, former U.S. star Claudio Reyna, a close friend to Gregg Berhalter for decades, were upset Berhalter, in a speech that came after the U.S. team was eliminated from the World Cup, had inferred their son had created problems behind the scenes before the tournament and was close to being sent home.
After Danielle Reyna shared the 1992 incident with the USSF, Berhalter went public with details about it and suggested it was being used against him.