Investigation clears Berhalter to stay in running for USMNT job

March 14 – Greg Berhalter remains in the running to return to the role of US men’s national team head coach following an investigation into allegations of domestic violence.

US Soccer confirmed his eligibility as the investigation confirmed the incident but cleared Berhalter on the grounds of properly portraying what happened. Berhalter thus remains free to be re-hired by the governing body which would not be at legal risk in doing so.

The parents of Giovanni Reyna sought to influence US Soccer and get better treatment for their son with veiled threats to disclose the incident of domestic violence involving Berhalter. Reyna, the 20-year-old son of US national team legend Claudio Reyna, got little playing time during the World Cup and at a leadership conference post-World Cup Berhalter referenced disciplinary issues with a player who apologised to his team mates for not having the right attitude or training hard enough.

This incensed his parents who in turn used the past domestic violence incident as a weapon against Berhlather. The investigation found that the Reynas were very assertive in their behaviour and US Soccer will revisit “policies concerning appropriate parental conduct and communications.”

In January 1992, Gregg and Rosalind Berhalter rowed and had a serious altercation outside a bar. The report read: “Our interview and interactions with Mr. Berhalter during this Investigation…demonstrate that he acknowledges his culpability and his need to be accountable for his actions in January 1992. More critically, perhaps, the witnesses we interviewed confirmed that Mr. Berhalter acknowledged his culpability and his need to be accountable the day after the incident occurred in 1992.

“The witnesses further confirmed that Mr. Berhalter immediately self-reported the assault to his head coach at UNC the day after the 1992 Incident occurred, and, of his own accord, took steps to prevent it from happening again. As noted, we found no evidence to suggest that Mr. Berhalter engaged in similar behavior again.”

The investigation also said that the 1992 incident “does not prevent an employer from employing Mr. Berhalter. 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.”

At the end of this month, interim boss Anthony Hudson will lead the US against Grenada and El Salvador in the crucial final two games of the group stages of the Concacaf Nations League. The US sit a point behind El Salvador. Only the top team in each group qualifies for the Concacaf Nations League finals which will be played in June, prior to the start of the Gold Cup.

US Soccer is seeking to appoint both a permanent manager and a sporting director by the summer.

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