Gregg Berhalter remains USA head coach candidate despite US Soccer finding he DID kick his wife
US Soccer released the final report of the investigation into the behavior of former head coach Gregg Berhalter regarding a 1992 domestic incident.
The report made by Alston & Bird says that Rosalind and Gregg Berhalter struck each other during a fight and that their investigation ‘did not uncover evidence that contradicts’ their accounts.
Additionally, the report found that while Claudio and Danielle Reyna – the parents of Gio Reyna – did not commit ‘blackmail or extortion’ a question was raised of whether Claudio’s communications violate the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The report says that Claudio Reyna had, ‘a pattern of periodic outreach… to US Soccer officials and staff from in or around 2016 through the end of 2022… to convey complaints and comments about US Soccer’s treatment of his children, including primarily his son, USMNT player Gio Reyna.’
This communication would have occurred while Claudio Reyna was the sporting director of New York City FC and Austin FC.
An investigation from Alston & Bird found that Gregg Berhalter did kick his wife in a 1992 fight
The report details that Claudio and Danielle Reyna had a telephone conversation with USSF sporting director Earnie Stewart the night that reports detailed Berhalter’s speaking at a leadership conference in New York.
That speech included an anecdote about an unnamed player who caused issues within the team, which was later reported to be about Gio Reyna.
Per the report, Mr. and Mrs. Reyna’s conversation with Stewart mentioned that Berhalter had physically assaulted Rosalind. Mrs. Reyna said that Berhalter ‘beat the s**t out of’ Rosalind.
In the investigation, they uncovered that on the events in January 1992, Gregg and Rosalind were both 18-years-old and drinking at a bar while they attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The pair began to argue in the bar and left, continuing their discussion.
The report says that Rosalind hit Gregg in the face, after which Gregg pushed her down and kicked her twice. Gregg was tackled by a stranger – upon which Rosalind got up and left.
Within days of the incident, Gregg and Rosalind each separately reported the incident, but didn’t file a police report or a complaint. Rosalind also did not seek medical attention.
Gregg reported the incident to his coach at UNC, Elmar Bolowich, as well as his academic counselor. He then sought counseling and chose of his own accord to do community service at a women’s teenage correctional facility in Durham, North Carolina.
Rosalind says she reported the incident to her head coach, Anson Dorrance, and did not seek medical attention, ‘because, she explained, she was not injured.’
The report deemed this an ‘isolated incident’ and that they found ‘no evidence to suggest that Mr. Berhalter has engaged in similar misconduct at any other time… The interviews… lead to the conclusion that Mr. Berhalter never assaulted Mrs. Berhalter again and the Investigation revealed no evidence to suggest that he has engaged in violence against another person at any time prior to or thereafter.’
The report added that Mrs. Reyna, ‘also confirmed that she knew of no other fights or acts of alleged abuse by Mr. Berhalter’ over the 30-year course of their friendship.
The reports detailed a phone conversation that the Reynas had with USSF’s Earnie Stewart
Danielle and Claudio Reyna said that Gregg Berhalter ‘beat the s**t out of’ now-wife Rosalind
The phone conversation came after Berhalter shared an anecdote about an unnamed player at a conference following the 2022 FIFA World Cup – later revealed to be the Reynas’ son Gio
‘Based on the facts obtained throughout the Investigation, the legal analysis conducted by Alston & Bird leads us to conclude that the fact of the 1992 Incident does not prevent an employer from employing Mr. Berhalter,’ the report says.
‘Given that the 1992 Incident occurred approximately 31 years ago, and given the lack of information or any evidence contradicting witness accounts or suggesting any similar conduct after that 1992 Incident, there is no basis to conclude that employing Mr. Berhalter would create legal risks for an organization.’
The report then says that the Reyna’s spoke to Stewart on the night of December 11, 2022 to disclose ‘information about Mr. Berhalter… that Mrs. Reyna had known for decades and… the information was disclosed at a time when it would be expected to discourage or otherwise influence the organization from offering a contract extension to Mr. Berhalter.’
However, despite these actions, Alson & Bird’s report says they do not constitute blackmail or extortion.
‘Blackmail or extortion is the act of obtaining property by compelling or inducing a person to deliver such property by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will cause some form of harm to the person,’
‘Based on the facts gathered to date, we do not conclude that the Reynas’ actions rise to the level of or would otherwise result in a conviction for extortion. We obtained no information that could suggest that the Reynas demanded to receive something of value in exchange for not disclosing information about Mr. Berhalter to others.’
Gregg Berhalter, seen hugging wife Rosalind during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
The report says they made ‘several attempts’ to speak to Mrs. Reyna before having ‘two brief calls with her on December 29.’ In the first call, she that she wouldn’t ‘confirm or deny that I made that allegation to Earnie’ and that she denied that they were on a phone call. ‘Yes, I am denying this whole thing,’ she said.
The report then goes on to say, ‘Very shortly after the first call ended, Mrs. Reyna called back. She began the second call by saying, “I did say it,” in reference to the call with Mr. Stewart.’ She then went on to detail that she informed Stewart of ‘an incident our freshman year I had to deal with’ involving the Berhalters, but, ‘I wasn’t there. I didn’t observe the fight.’
Mrs. Reyna then added, ‘I honestly, truly believe that Gregg never had an incident like that with Rosalind again. I truly believe he has never done it again – it was just a particular situation.’ She then went on to say she didn’t believe Berhalter was dangerous or someone who posed a danger ‘to anyone affiliated with US Soccer.’
In a discussion with Bolowich, he described Berhalter’s confession as ‘teary-eyed and remoreseful’, beginning the conversation saying that he ‘did something really stupid’.
The report detailed that Jay Berhalter – the brother of Gregg who was the Chief Commercial Officer for the USSF at the time Gregg was hired – said that he was informed of the incident the day after. Gregg told him that he was ‘going to talk to his coach at UNC and his parents about what happened.’
Alston & Bird said they, ‘made several attempts during January 2023 to interview Claudio Reyna. We were contacted on January 12 by an attorney representing the Reynas and, over the course of multiple phone calls and email messages, we attempted to negotiate dates to conduct an interview of Mr. Reyna and to conduct an additional interview of Mrs. Reyna.
‘Their attorney expressed his desire to give us a “proffer” of information from his clients about the Investigation. After much back-and-forth, we indicated that we would agree to hear his “proffer” as long as he confirmed that any such “proffer” would be in addition to, and not in lieu of, our opportunity to interview the Reynas directly.
‘We did not receive interview dates in response to our emails and, as a result, did not have a chance to speak with Mr. Reyna to get his perspective on issues.’
Claudio Reyna did not interview with investigators from Alston & Bird despite negotiations
THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY. MORE TO FOLLOW.