Fox Soccer’s Alexi Lalas has doubled down on his demands to see US World Cup manager Gregg Berhalter remain as the team’s coach, despite the now well-known ‘kicking’ incident between him and his wife that was recently revealed.
Berhalter is currently being investigated by US Soccer after publicly admitting to kicking his wife, Rosalind, in the legs during an argument in 1991.
‘If the leaders of USSF, the United States Soccer Federation believe that Gregg Berhalter is the best person for the job, that should not change relative to what has happened,’ Lalas said on his State of the Union podcast.
The mother of US player Gio Reyna, Danielle, has admitted to telling US Soccer officials about the 1991 kicking incident, seemingly in an effort to force Berhalter out as manager. Danielle was a college teammate and roommate of Berhalter’s wife, Rosalind, at the University of North Carolina at the time. Her husband, former US soccer star Claudio Reyna, was a high school teammate of Berhalter’s, and the two later played together on the national team.
Alexi Lalas doubles down on wanting Gregg Berhalter to remain as USMNT head Coach
Berhalter is currently out of contract as he is being investigated by the US soccer Federation
‘And that’s what was irritating. And continues to be irritating and angering me. That, that is now becoming part of the assessment of Gregg Berhalter. And that’s what I find wrong, that’s what I find unfair.’
Lalas would go on to say that he still believes national team coaches should not be able to stay with a team for more than one World Cup cycle, but he is prepared to change the way that he feels ‘in order to stop a good man from getting screwed.’
During his previous remarks, the former US defender said: ‘There’s part of me now that has gone the way of thinking that I actually want Gregg Berhalter to remain as the head coach.’
‘This goes against everything I believe in, in terms of multiple cycles, but this is where my sadness that I talked about last week has turned into anger; I am angry that Gregg Berhalter is going to be denied the opportunity, even though I don’t think you should continue for multiple cycles, for what has ultimately happened to him. I think it is BS and I think it is unfair.’
‘I have come to the point where I am actually advocating for not letting that win, for not letting that happen, is the best course and saying “no, we are not going to let something like that take down a good man and deny him an opportunity”.
‘If he was in consideration for the US men’s national team coaching job, and by all accounts he was, whatever that percentage was I hope to God that it hasn’t changed.’
The mother of US player Gio Reyna, Danielle (left), has admitted to telling US Soccer officials about the 1991 kicking incident. Danielle was a college teammate and roommate of Berhalter’s wife, Rosalind, at the University of North Carolina at the time. Her husband, former US soccer star Claudio Reyna (right), was a high school teammate of Berhalter’s, and the two later played together on the national team
The incident involving Gio Reyna and what happened between him and Berhalter in Qatar has left many former US National team players, and even more fans, demanding the manager’s dismissal.
Many of those calling for Berhalter’s head, like former USA striker Herculez Gomez, believe that the locker room will never trust Berhalter again as coach.
Former team USA midfielder Eric Wynalda has also hinted that the entire incident may be the result of problems that started when Claudio Reyna did not keep Berhalter’s son Sebastian on the roster at Austin FC where Reyna is the Sporting director.
It eventually emerged that Reyna’s mother, Danielle, had informed the country’s governing body about the incident in question.
Reyna, who represents Borussia Dortmund at club level, was widely expected to be a central figure for the USA at the recent Qatar World Cup, only to end up being used as a substitute by Berhalter.
Danielle, fueled by frustration with her son’s lack of minutes, then made a move that Berhalter insists was a clear attempt ‘to bring about the end of my relationship with US Soccer.’ He also admitted the incident was ‘a Shameful moment and one I regret to this day.’
It is unclear what the future now holds for Berhalter, who has spent the last five years in charge of his country’s team, after his contract expired at the end of 2022.
US Soccer confirmed they have hired a law firm to investigate the 1991 incident as well as ‘potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization’.
According to reports, the US has been reaching out to other candidates, like former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, who was apparently uninterested, while also eyeing AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho.
According to reports, the US have been reaching out to other candidates, like former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane (left), who was apparently uninterested, while also eyeing AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho (right)