United States Men's Soccer Introduces Gregg Berhalter
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After the United States made it to the World Cup, it was fair to question whether Gregg Berhalter was the right person to lead the team into the 2026 cycle as co-hosts with Mexico and Canada. The coaching search has been put on a brief hold following an alleged blackmail attempt against Berhalter in regard to a 1991 domestic violence incident with his now-wife Rosalind Berhalter. 

Danielle and Claudio Reyna, the parents of 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger Giovanni Reyna, contacted U.S. Soccer to voice their displeasure over Gio's lack of playing time and subsequently reported an incident where Berhalter kicked his now-wife in the legs. Claudio denies sending threatening text messages to members of the staff about the incident involving Berhalter. His wife Danielle, who was close friends and teammates at North Carolina with Rosalind, came forward and revealed she contacted U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about the 1991 incident.

Stewart was unable to go in-depth on details surrounding the investigation when speaking to the media on Wedneaday, but did add that Berhalter was still in consideration for the job once the investigation is over. 

"Until the investigation and review takes place, Gregg Berhalter is still in consideration to lead the United States," Stewart told reporters and added that "any player with a United States passport will be eligible to represent the U.S. moving forward" with regards to speculation that Gio Reyna wouldn't be called into camp because the drama surrounding the two families. 

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Berhalter is out of contract as of Dec. 31 and while the investigation is ongoing, his assistant coach Anthony Hudson will lead the team during the January camp. In that camp, the team will play Serbia on Jan. 25 and Colombia on Jan. 28. It is likely that Hudson will also continue in the interim role until the results from the investigation are published. Hudson will also be assisted by assistant coach B.J. Callaghan and U-20 men's national team head coach Mickey Varas.

This is a messy situation with a number of layers to peel back as the two families have a long history as close friends. It is a shame that it has taken such an ugly turn. 

Stewart revealed that the federation is still in the midst of reviewing of this World Cup cycle, which he labeled as a "success." If Berhalter is cleared of any wrongdoing and is extended, he would enter his second cycle in charge of the national team which, barring Didier Deschamps with France, normally does not bode well for success as ideas tend to become a little stale with the same group of players. Considering the likely replacements for Berhalter, Stewart and USSF will need to ensure that they are making the right decision if they do move in a different direction.

Questions were made about the hiring process of Berhalter, which, at the time, his brother Jay Berhalter was U.S. Soccer's chief commercial officer. "That will be one of the things we review," U.S. Soccer secretary general JT Batson said. "There will be learnings as we strive to have professionalism in this process."

That review will be an important one as U.S. Soccer will want to ensure that no stone is left unturned, be it from a tactical perspective or a personal one, as it is a big job to coach the 2026 World Cup on home soil.