What did Gregg Berhalter say about Gio Reyna?
The new USMNT head coach admitted that he has “work to do” to restore the relationship with the Borussia Dortmund forward.
Gregg Berhalter’s return to lead USMNT was confirmed on Friday, bringing to an end a period of uncertainly for the team. The 49-year-old was previously in the role from 2018-2022 but his contract was allowed to expire after last year’s World Cup, with his leadership suffering from a scandal that looked to have derailed his leadership.
Berhalter was at the centre of a domestic abuse allegations made by his former teammate and close personal friend Claudio Reyna, father of current US international player Gio Reyna. After apologising for the historic incident, Berhalter was reinstated to his previous post as head coach of USMNT.
At a press conference to confirm his return to the national set up, Berhalter admitted that he will have to work to restore his relationship with Gio Reyna.
“I’d certainly acknowledge that there’s work to do, and Gio is an important player to this team,” Berhalter said on Friday.
“He’s an extremely talented individual and I have the obligation and commitment to coach him like I coach every other player.”
At 20 years old Reyna is considered to be among the most exciting young wingers in world football and has been playing for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. He made his debut in the German top flight aged just 17 years and 66 days, becoming the youngest American to feature in the Bundesliga. He broke the record previously set by USMNT captain Christian Pulisic.
Berhalter describes Reyna as “a game changer”
Berhalter returns to lead a squad with an array of young talents, bolstered by the recent addition of Folarin Balogun. Nevertheless he told reporters on Friday that Reyna will be a central part of the team going forward.
“I wanna get the best out of him - we wanna get the best out of him, and we know that if we can unlock his talents, he’s gonna be a game changer for this program,” Berhalter continued.
“So there’s work to do, and part of it is working together with Matt [Crocker], and trying to rebuild a relationship, that we know will be important moving forward.”
Matt Crocker recently joined USMNT as technical director and the managerial situation was the first major decision that he had to make. Crocker joins after leaving English side Southampton, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2022/23.