Wynalda claims Gregg Berhalter had a VENDETTA against Gio Reyna prior to USA’s World Cup campaign

Former US international Eric Wynalda has sensationally claimed that the dispute between the Reyna and Berhalter families was “eight or nine months old” and that Gregg Berhalter had a vendetta against Gio Reyna ahead of the World Cup.

Wynalda, speaking on the Hope Solo podcast, outlined his theory in detail, saying the saga “sheds light on an underworld that many American football fans are unaware exists.”

Reyna, 20, made a surprise substitution from Berhalter at the World Cup, with the attacker widely expected to be a central figure for the team in Qatar.

Berhalter issued a lengthy statement last week admitting to kicking his wife in the legs in a drunken row as a teenager 31 years ago. He said someone went to US Soccer with the information and threatened to take me down. It later emerged that Reyna’s mother, Danielle, informed US Soccer of the incident.

Eric Wyanalda has detailed his thoughts on the Berhalter-Reyna franchise to stun football

Eric Wyanalda has detailed his thoughts on the Berhalter-Reyna franchise to stun football

Gio Reyna was surprisingly used as a substitute throughout the USA's World Cup campaign

Gio Reyna was surprisingly used as a substitute throughout the USA’s World Cup campaign

Reyna's parents told US Soccer that Berhalter (left) kicked his wife 31 years ago in a row

Reyna’s parents told US Soccer that Berhalter (left) kicked his wife 31 years ago in a row

Addressing the saga that has cast a shadow on US soccer, Wyanlda told Hope: “The whole thing with the Reynas and the Berhalters, unfortunate as it is, sheds light on an underworld that many American fans are drawn to.” don’t know it exists.

“We talk about the Reynas and their involvement in it, mainly because they have a sense of entitlement and access. They felt that they had access to the powers, that they could make a phone call and make this go away. That’s not how this process works.

“Unfortunately what happened to Danielle, her involvement in this and her feeling that she needs to say something or be vengeful – if you want to mess up my child’s life I’ll come after you – it’s just, we’ve learned one thing : Don’t mess with a soccer mom.”

After the tournament, Berhalter spoke about how his attitude nearly sent him home from camp, later revealed to be Reyna.

He responded with an Instagram statement, acknowledging his focus had slipped after Berhalter told him he would play a minor role in Qatar and expressing his disappointment “that everyone on the US men’s team went to the continued coverage of this event.”

Wynalda then said he believes Berhalter had a vendetta against Reyna because his own son Sebastian left Austin FC – where Reyna’s father Claudio, the ex-USA captain, is a director – after being loaned out.

Berhalter (top row, right) and Claudio Reyna (top row, second left) played together for USA

Berhalter (top row, right) and Claudio Reyna (top row, second left) played together for USA

Berhalter's son Sebastian was once on loan to Austin, where Claudio now works as a director

Berhalter’s son Sebastian was once on loan to Austin, where Claudio now works as a director

Berhalter pictured with his wife Rosalind at the World Cup in Qatar in December

Berhalter pictured with his wife Rosalind at the World Cup in Qatar in December

Midfielder Sebastian Berhalter joined Austin in March 2021 but Austin declined the contract option to keep him. He left Austin in November 2021 and was traded to Vancouver Whitecaps in March 2022.

Solo asked Wyanalda if he thought Berhalter had a vendetta against Gio Reyna, to which he replied, “I do. What I’m saying is has anyone looked into the history of these two families? Ok, they were lifelong friends…but that wasn’t true for eight or nine months. They were at odds.

“The reason for that was some of the decisions Claudio made when it came to managing a Sebastian Berhalter who played for Austin and moved to Vancouver.

“People have to wonder if that had any impact on the relationship between these two. Did that have anything to do with these two? The answer is pretty clean. What Gio went through, Gio was denied the opportunity to help our country for all the wrong reasons. This is a real problem.

“If you look at the decisions Berhalter has made for this team, we can be critical, but he is the coach. In this particular case, to get the other circumstances to be the determining factor as to why he couldn’t do his job adequately, which was to put the best team on the field to win the game. That didn’t happen and then as ex-players we can be angry.”

US Soccer has hired a team of lawyers to conduct an investigation into what happened to Berhalter’s past and how it affected the World Cup.

Dnaielle Reyna admitted of Berhalter’s past in a statement to US Soccer: “I found it particularly unfair that Gio, who had apologized for being immature about his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud, when Gregg had asked and received forgiveness for doing something so much worse at the same age.

Berhalter admitted after the tournament that a player later confirmed as Reyna was almost sent home from camp due to a waning attitude

Berhalter admitted after the tournament that a player later confirmed as Reyna was almost sent home from camp due to a waning attitude

Danielle Reyna (left) went to US Soccer with the information on Berhalter's past

Danielle Reyna (left) went to US Soccer with the information on Berhalter’s past

“Without going into detail, the testimonies (from the Berhalters) greatly minimize the abuse on the night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate, and best friend, and I supported her through the trauma that followed.

“It took a long time to forgive Gregg and then accept him, but I worked hard to show him grace and ultimately they both and their children made a big part of my family’s life. I would have wanted and expected him to show the same mercy to Gio. That is why the current situation is so hurtful and harsh.”

Claudi Reyna added: “While in Qatar I shared my frustration at my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends including Earnie and Brian McBride. However, I have never threatened anyone and never would.’

While Wynalda suggests the impact has been between the two months, the duo had spoken positively about each other in the run-up to Qatar.

In February, Reyna told Grant Wahl: “From [Berhalter’s] experiences as a player, he wants to make sure they also understand the collectivity of playing for the team that is so important.

‘But how excited and proud he is to be able to see the growth of this game and how these players play at such a high level both domestically and internationally and make his decisions picking a squad, let alone a starting XI difficult.’

Berhalter told the Gab and Juls Show in June that he saw Gio Reyna play football when he was 12 or 13 and thought he could make it as a footballer.

Berhalter’s contract as US coach has expired and US Soccer were considering extending his contract for another cycle, which they still could. The USA are hosting the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada, and reached the round of 16 in Qatar before losing 3-1 to Holland.

Anthony Hudson will oversee the USA camp at the end of January when they play Serbia and Colombia on 25th and 28th January.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11633187/Wynalda-claims-Gregg-Berhalter-VENDETTA-against-Gio-Reyna-USAs-World-Cup-campaign.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Wynalda claims Gregg Berhalter had a VENDETTA against Gio Reyna prior to USA’s World Cup campaign

Maureen Mackey

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