USMNT savior Gio Reyna ‘so far past’ Gregg Berhalter feud

ARLINGTON, Texas — United States men’s national team midfielder Gio Reyna said the rift that developed with manager Gregg Berhalter after the 2022 World Cup is “not even an issue at all anymore.”

Reyna spoke to reporters in the wake of the USMNT’s 3-1 extra-time win over Jamaica in their Concacaf Nations League semifinal Thursday night. He assisted on both Haji Wright goals in extra time.

“Obviously what happened, happened, but I think both of us are so far past it, and just so focused on the group that, yeah, it’s not even an issue at all anymore. We’re just so far past it,” Reyna said in his first appearance in front of media in a post-match setting since the 2022 World Cup.

After that tournament in Qatar, Berhalter revealed during a leadership summit that he almost sent an unnamed player home during the competition for a poor attitude in training. It soon emerged that the player was Reyna, and in response, Reyna’s parents disclosed to U.S. Soccer a decades-old domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his wife.

Berhalter’s contract was allowed to expire in December 2022, but he was rehired by U.S. Soccer six months later, and he called Reyna in during an international window in September 2023.

Reyna has found playing time tough to come by so far this club season, first with Borussia Dortmund, and more recently on loan with Nottingham Forest. All told he has logged just 399 minutes across 18 appearances.

But Thursday against Jamaica, Reyna showed little rust. With the U.S. trailing 1-0 thanks to a first-minute goal from Jamaica’s Gregory Leigh, Reyna entered the match at halftime, and provided a spark to the U.S. attack.

Reyna said his mindset was “just affect the game. It was pretty simple. It was not our best performance today, and I just tried to bring a bit of life to the team.”

Reyna did just that. After the U.S. equalized on an own goal deep into stoppage, he set up Wright for two goals in extra time.

“I think [Jamaica] scoring in the first minute made it pretty tough,” he said.

“I think their idea as a team was pretty clear after that, to sit deep and just close the middle and make it difficult for us [with] fouls. You know how it goes. Some games are just really, really tough and they have a lot of quality and a lot of athleticism around the pitch and it was hard to cross. It was hard to go from the middle. But yeah, we stuck with it. Really proud of the team. And moving on to Sunday is the most important.”

After playing 75 minutes, plus stoppage time, Reyna was asked if he was ready to start Sunday’s final.

“I’ll be ready to do whatever it takes for the team on Sunday,” he said. “I feel good actually…I’m still pretty tired. I think I still played 75, but myself and the rest of the squad, we’ll be recovering in the next few days, and prepared for Sunday, whatever it takes to hopefully win the trophy.”