Details of an assault by former U.S. men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter on his then-girlfriend in 1992 were released on Monday by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which published the findings of an independent investigation into the incident at the heart of a feud involving Berhalter and the family of player Gio Reyna.
The law firm Alston & Bird wrote among its findings that Berhalter pushed down Rosalind Berhalter (then Rosalind Santana) and kicked her in the legs when both were freshmen at the University of North Carolina. The two, who were dating at the time, made up and have been married for 25 years.
The report noted that no charges were filed and concluded that Berhalter didn’t mislead the USSF about the incident, adding that the incident “does not prevent an employer from employing Mr. Berhalter.”
The assault became public knowledge in December after Gio Reyna’s parents Claudio Reyna, a former teammate of Berhalter on the U.S. men’s national team, and Danielle Reyna, a former North Carolina classmate of Rosalind Berhalter and former U.S. women’s national team member, informed U.S. Soccer officials about the incident. Reyna’s parents, per the report, were upset at how Gregg Berhalter was utilizing their son at the World Cup.
While Alston & Bird did not find that the Reynas blackmailed Berhalter, their contact with then-USSF sporting director Earnie Stewart and then-USSF general manager Brian McBride led the investigators to conclude that the federation should revise its “policies concerning appropriate parental conduct and communications.”
Berhalter is no longer under contract with the USSF, as his deal expired at the end of last year. His former assistant, Anthony Hudson, took over as interim head coach, and there is no timetable in place to hire a permanent head coach. USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone has said that the federation plans to replace Stewart, then allow the newcomer to hire the head coach.
Berhalter has expressed an interest in returning to the job. It’s unclear who else might be a candidate for the job, but Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes said he turned down an interview earlier this year, and French newspaper L’Equipe wrote that former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rebuffed an offer from the USSF.
Claudio Reyna resigned as Austin FC’s sporting director in January but remained with the club as a consultant.
–Field Level Media
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