USMNT star Christian Pulisic has lambasted the situation surrounding allegations against Gregg Berhalter made by the family of Giovanni Reyna, declaring it as “extremely childish.”
Berhalter was investigated by U.S. Soccer after Danielle Reyna, mother of disciplined USMNT phenom Giovanni, told USSF director Earnie Stewart about a 1991 domestic violence incident between the then North Carolina player and his now-wife.
[ MORE: U.S. Soccer releases report on Berhalter investigation ]
Berhalter had acknowledged his role in a violent incident with Rosalind Berhalter in 1991, an admission that came shortly after college friend Danielle Reyna reported it to the federation.
The investigation revealed that both Claudio and Danielle Reyna threatened to speak out on the 1991 incident due to discontent with Gio’s playing time at the World Cup and subsequent drama caused by Berhalter speaking publicly about Giovanni Reyna’s poor reaction to being told he would not feature for the team in Qatar.
Christian Pulisic: Berhalter position ‘extremely unfortunate’ (video)
Video was leaked and then amplified by Alexi Lalas of an interview between Graham Hunter and Chelsea forward Pulisic, and the USMNT star laments the actions of the Reynas and the plight of Berhalter while also seeming to be critical of plans to conduct a long search for the next USMNT coach.
Hunter asked Berhalter whether the USMNT should be making such a long search to replace (or rehire) the coach:
“For me it’s an interesting one because I’m not here to appoint the next manager. Whoever it is, I’m gonna give 100 percent but in my opinion everything that happened with Gregg was handled in an extremely childish manner. We’ve all seen what’s been going on. It’s childish. It’s youth soccer, people complaining about playing time. I don’t want to go too far into it, but that’s what we’ll see.
“Gregg has been extremely unfortunate to even get into the position he’s in now. Do I feel like we should just wait and wait? I don’t think it’s necessary because we’re not in phase like we were in after not qualifying for the last World Cup where we need a complete rebuild. We don’t need a bunch of new guys coming in. We have a strong corps, and a lot of people have seen that, and we need to carry on with that. It’s a tough one for me because I think we just want to continue that as soon as we can and build off this World Cup which had a lot of positives in it.”
It sounds like Pulisic would’ve been okay with Berhalter staying on as USMNT coach but now feels the program will suffer if the future of the position isn’t sorted quickly — perhaps with Berhalter still in the role. Read deeper, he may just want him hired outright.
Here’s what Pulisic said when asked if he would welcome Berhalter if rehired by the federation.
“Yeah, no doubt, no doubt about it,” Pulisic said. “I think the strides that we’ve taken in recent years with him in charge, have been evident. I think it’s quite clear.”