Here at the sports desk located somewhere below the decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we freely admit that soccer isn’t our greatest priority. When your team of choice is the San José Earthquakes, the less time spent dwelling on the sport, the better. I already have a lengthy list of losing teams over which to brood. But I digress.
On January 3rd I mentioned here how the United States Soccer Federation has hired a law firm to investigate a 33-year-old incident involving men’s team head coach Gregg Berhalter and his then-girlfriend, now wife of 25 years. Said incident consisted of two teenagers getting drunk and correspondingly stupid. Obviously, they worked it out between themselves, hence the quarter-century of marriage and four kids. If the Berhalters are at peace with each other and have moved on, no one else has an excuse not to follow their lead.
Unless you’re vying for the title of World’s Worst Soccer Mom. From ESPN:
Danielle Reyna, wife of former United States men’s national team captain Claudio and mother of current international player Gio, says she told U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s past domestic violence incident because she was frustrated by comments made about her son after the team’s elimination from the 2022 World Cup.
It gets even more surreal. Danielle Reyna was the college roommate of Gregg Berhalter’s wife Rosalind. Gregg Berhalter and Claudio Reyna are one-time teammates and long-time friends, although I wouldn’t bet heavily on this still being the case. But wait, there’s more.
Gio Reyna was on this year’s U.S. World Cup men’s team. He didn’t play much, which by his admission he did not handle well.
I hoped not to comment on matters at the World Cup. It is my belief that things that happen in a team setting ought to remain private. That being said, statements have been made that reflect on my professionalism and character, so I feel the need to make a brief statement.
Just before the World Cup, Coach Berhalter told me that my role at the tournament would be very limited. I was devasted. I am someone who plays with pride and passion. Soccer is my life, and I believe in my abilities. I fully expected and desperately wanted to contribute to the play of a talented group as we tried to make a statement at the World Cup.
I am also a very emotional person, and I fully acknowledge that I let my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role. I apologized to my teammates and coach for this, and I was told I was forgiven. Thereafter, I shook off my disappointment and gave everything I had on and off the field.
I am disappointed that there is continuing coverage of this matter (as well as some highly fictionalized versions of events) and extremely surprised that anyone on the U.S. men’s team staff would contribute to it. Coach Berhalter has always said that issues that arise with the team will stay “in house” so we can focus on team unity and progress. I love my team, I love representing my country, and I am focusing now only on improving and growing as a soccer player and a person. I hope that going forward each person involved in U.S. Soccer focuses only on what is in the best interest of the men’s national team so we can enjoy great success at the World Cup in 2026.
Okay, so there’s that. But what does this have to do with something that happened in 1991?
As the story unfolds, it becomes evident mommy and daddy were mad over their precious baby boy Gio not playing much. Claudio complained loud and long to assorted USSF bigwigs, while Danielle … well, you know what she did.
Suppose Berhalter’s behavior in what looks to be an isolated incident over three decades ago was as egregious as Danielle Reyna claims. Why didn’t she or her husband immediately call everyone they knew at USSF the moment Berhalter received the job? Why have all parties involved been friends for decades? Would either of his parents have said a peep if Berhalter had inserted Gio in the starting lineup? I do believe the answer is obvious.
Professionally, Gio Reyna plays for German team Borussia Dortmund. Going forward, will his mother stand on the sidelines at each game, yelling at the coach that the other players’ only option is always passing the ball to her baby? She might as well.
This self-destructive, revenge-oriented pettiness is so over the top that you’d think the Reyna family were NeverTrumpers. Good luck getting selected for the 2026 World Cup team, Gio, let alone having anyone believe any playing time you receive is earned by your effort on the field and not your parent’s buffoonery off of it.