Jan. 4, 2022 — And also you thought solely ladies’s soccer had drama?


Within the final 24 hours, a sordid story has come to mild which could, if taken out to its fullest extent, may clarify plenty of tales in latest U.S. males’s nationwide soccer historical past.

However the story does little to dispel the notion that there’s a toxicity amongst these in cost.

Three many years in the past, there was a home dispute between College of North Carolina student-athlete Gregg Berhalter and Rosalind Santana, a member of the UNC ladies’s workforce. An argument after a date resulted in a reported assault on the a part of Berhalter — particularly, kicking Santana.

The gamers reconciled after seven months and finally obtained married and began a household.

Berhalter would finally have a profession in Europe and with the U.S. males’s nationwide workforce, working his method as much as develop into the U.S. males’s nationwide workforce coach after the disastrous failure of the States to make it to the 2018 FIFA males’s World Cup.

In the course of the qualifying cycle, one participant who made a bid to make the ultimate group of 26 gamers was Gio Reyna, whose mom, Danielle Egan, was a teammate of Santana’s at North Carolina. Reyna performed solely about 55 minutes for the U.S. within the Individuals’ 4 video games at Doha 2022. Information reviews later got here out that he was virtually despatched dwelling from Qatar for an absence of effort in coaching and in a pretournament pleasant.

The media highlight, within the days main in direction of the tip of 2022, flip to Berhalter’s relationship with U.S. Soccer. An anticipated announcement in regards to the coach’s future by no means got here, and the hypothesis began changing into considerably uncomfortable.

Yesterday, Berhalter began a Twitter account and advised the story of the home violence incident with the lady who would develop into his spouse. However on the identical time, he mentioned this:

In the course of the World Cup, a person contacted U.S. Soccer, saying that that they had details about me that might ‘take me down’ — an obvious effort to leverage one thing very private from way back to carry in regards to the finish of my relationship with U.S. Soccer.

In different phrases, blackmail. Given what occurred in the course of the World Cup surrounding Reyna and his taking part in time, it will, after all, be believable that the supply of the data needed to come from somebody who knew loads in regards to the altercation. And in a spot the place info is as tightly stored corresponding to a university sports activities program, it may very possible have been a teammate of both Berhalter or Santana.

This might run counter to the workforce tradition that Anson Dorrance, the top ladies’s soccer coach at UNC and the boys’s soccer coach till 1988, would have instilled. That tradition very a lot exists to this present day: the workforce is a household, and also you do the whole lot you’ll be able to to guard these relationships.

Whereas a whole lot of scrutiny is more likely to fall on Danielle and Claudio Reyna, I feel there’s a good quantity that needs to be directed on the college administration and training staffs. Did UNC males’s head coach Elmar Bolowich do sufficient to self-discipline Berhalter whereas he was a student-athlete? Did the administration have the type of laissez-faire angle that led to the homicide of Yeardley Love on the College of Virginia?

And what actually occurred that evening? I wouldn’t have thought that kicking a date can be the primary course of lashing out throughout an argument.

There are such a lot of particulars lacking on this damaged puzzle. I get a nasty vibe from this — one worse than the entire NWSL state of affairs.



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