Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna’s mother reveals she reported USA coach Gregg Berhalter’s attack on his wife to US soccer but denies it was ‘blackmail’ attempt

    Gio Reyna’s mother has revealed she was the source of a story about USA coach Gregg Berhalter kicking his wife, but denies it was a blackmail attempt.

    Berhalter has publicly acknowledged and apologised for a story that has emerged over his 1991 attack on his then girlfriend, and is under investigation by the US Soccer Federation [USSF].

    Berhalter is the subject of an investigation after revealing details of the 1991 incident

    GETTY

    Berhalter is the subject of an investigation after revealing details of the 1991 incident

    The mother of Reyna revealed she reported the incident to US Soccer

    GETTY

    The mother of Reyna revealed she reported the incident to US Soccer

    In a lengthy post on social media, co-signed by his wife Rosalind, World Cup manager Berhalter admitted to ‘kicking his wife in the legs’ for which he ‘took full responsibility for’ and ‘sought counselling’.

    Commenting on the allegation, which was first reported to the USSF on December 11 during the World Cup, Berhalter said it was an effort to ‘take me down’ and ‘end my relationship with US Soccer’.

    The US, who exited the World Cup at the last-16 stage, return to action in a January training camp, but Berhalter has been temporarily replaced while an investigation takes place.

    And now the mother of one of his players, US and Borussia Dortmund star Reyna, has come forward as the source of the story.

    Danielle Reyna reveals Rosalind was her ‘roommate, teammate and best friend’ at the time of the incident, while her husband Claudio Reyna – Gio’s father – was USA captain and also Berhalter’s best friend.

    And Danielle reveals she told U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about the coach’s past after being left ‘hurt’ by his comments about her son and his performances.

    Reyna’s lack of minutes in Qatar became a big story in the US

    Getty

    Reyna’s lack of minutes in Qatar became a big story in the US

    Danielle Reyna said in a statement to The Athletic: “To set the record straight, I did call Earnie Stewart on December 11, just after the news broke that Gregg had made negative statements about my son Gio at a leadership conference.

    “I have known Earnie for years and consider him to be a close friend. I wanted to let him know that I was absolutely outraged and devastated that Gio had been put in such a terrible position, and that I felt very personally betrayed by the actions of someone my family had considered a friend for decades.

    “As part of that conversation, I told Earnie that I thought it was especially unfair that Gio, who had apologised for acting immaturely about his playing time, was still being dragged through the mud when Gregg had asked for and received forgiveness for doing something so much worse at the same age.

    “Without going into detail, the statements from yesterday significantly minimise 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 for me to forgive and accept Gregg afterward, but I worked hard to give him grace, and ultimately made both of them and their kids a huge part of my family’s life. I would have wanted and expected him to give the same grace to Gio. This is why the current situation is so very hurtful and hard.”

    Reyna’s father Claudio played for Manchester City, Sunderland and Rangers

    getty

    Reyna’s father Claudio played for Manchester City, Sunderland and Rangers

    She continued: “At the time I called Earnie, many people were trashing Gio on social media due to Gregg’s comments, and I didn’t know when or if this would stop. I just wanted Earnie to help make sure that there would be no further unwarranted attacks on my son. I thought our conversation would remain in confidence, and it didn’t occur to me at the time that anything I said could lead to an investigation. I’m not criticising Earnie here.

    “I very much commend the recent efforts by U.S. Soccer to address abuse of women players, and I understand now he had an obligation to investigate what I shared. But I want to be very clear that I did not ask for Gregg to be fired, I did not make any threats, and I don’t know anything about any blackmail attempts, nor have I ever had any discussions about anyone else on Gregg’s staff—I don’t know any of the other coaches.

    “I did not communicate with anyone in U.S. Soccer about this matter before December 11, and no one else in my family has made any statements to U.S. Soccer regarding Gregg’s past at all.

    “I’m sorry that this information became public, and I regret that I played a role in something that could reopen wounds from the past.”

    Meanwhile, Danielle’s husband told The Athletic: “I support my wife, Danielle, and her statement. I too was upset by Gregg’s comments about Gio after the U.S. was out of the World Cup, and I also appealed to Earnie Stewart on December 11 asking him to prevent any additional comments.

    “While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends, Earnie and Brian McBride among them. However, at no time did I ever threaten anyone, nor would I ever do so.”

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