Danielle Reyna, wife of former United States men’s national team captain Claudio and mother of current USMNT player Gio, admits she told U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter’s past domestic violence incident because she was frustrated and upset about her son’s lack of playing time and the comments made about him during and after the 2022 World Cup.
“I thought it was especially unfair that Gio, who had apologized 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,” Daniella Reyna said in a statement.
Who is Gio Reyna’s mom?
Claudio Reyna also reached out to USMNT general manager Brian McBride and Stewart during the World Cup on multiple occasions and shared his frustration about Gio’s World Cup experience.
“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,” he said in Wednesday’s statement.
In 1991 Berhalter, then a college freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, met his future wife, who was then known as Rosalind Santana, and they began dating. After a night of drinking Berhalter and Santana got into an argument, and he kicked her in the legs. The couple broke up, and seven months later reconciled and began their relationship again.
In a statement Berhalter said he sought counseling and therapy immediately after the situation and took full responsibility. The two eventually married and have four children.
How Did Danielle Reyna Know About This Incident?
Danielle Reyna, née Egan, was also a student at UNC Chapel Hill. She and Rosalind were roommates and teammates on the women’s soccer team.
Throughout the last three decades the Berhalters and Reynas have been close friends.
This is a wild story with intimate details being leaked. Danielle Reyna essentially went “soccer mom” at the highest level of the sport.
Berhalter issued a statement where he spoke in detail about the incident in 1991 and the pending investigation from U.S. Soccer.
— Gregg Berhalter (@GreggBerhalter_) January 3, 2023
“Without going into detail, the statements from yesterday significantly minimize 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,” Danielle added.
“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.”
If you’ve ever been around sports, you know how much many parents are invested in the success of their kids. Many parents can become overly obsessive and ultimately do much more harm than good.
Was Gio Reyna mad about World Cup role?
We don’t know how Gio Reyna reacted when he was told his role at the World Cup would be limited. But we know it was poor and that’s on him to be better. At 20 years old, he can grow and be better.
Did Berhalter have to mention the situation post-World Cup during a presentation at the HOW Institute for Society’s Summit on Moral Leadership? A presentation that maybe he thought wouldn’t be public, but once he made reference to the World Cup brought it back into focus.
Probably not. He could’ve exercised better judgment and given a much different talk or example about leadership.
But bringing up a past domestic violence incident with the sole purpose of bringing down Berhalter was rough. Danielle has to own that. Which she did, by admitting she is the one who provided the info.
Nobody comes out of this situation looking good.