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After the United States men's national team struggled to defeat Jamaica 3-1 in a match that required two extra time goals, manager Gregg Berhalter was highly critical of his teams' performance outside of a few players. One of those notable exceptions was midfielder Gio Reyna.

"I think I heard somewhere that someone asked 'Why did Gio get called into camp?' did you guys hear that?" Berhalter asked the media following the match. "Anyone? I think he showed why tonight. It's clear he deserves to play on this team."

With two assists, one on each of Haji Wright's goals, Reyna showed why he should be with this squad. He was dominant on the ball taking the third most touches of any USMNT attacker despite only playing in 75 of the 120 minutes of the match raising even more questions as to why he isn't playing for Nottingham Forest following his loan move to the club in January from Borussia Dortmund. Since the move, Reyna has only played 38 minutes of soccer for the Tricky Trees.

Berhalter, however, seemed to be responding to questions from the media about Reyna's inclusion with the squad, including some that came from Call it What you Want -- a CBS Sports Golazo Network podcast, on which Jesse Marsch had questioned whether Reyna was a good fit in the quad.

Marsch explains his Reyna position

"He's wrong, first of all, because we didn't say that Gio shouldn't be brought into camp. In fact, we made a list -- all three of us -- of all the players that we thought were locks that should be coming into camp and Gio was on there. ... We were having discussion on [how] when you are putting together a national team squad at any moment -- and now you have to evaluate form, fitness, everything else -- and what you need from the team.

"And we talked later about even understanding the togetherness and the mentality and the growth and development of the team really now continuing to push. Not just from the footballing standpoint, but from a togetherness and a real team belief standpoint. And to be fair, this is what we saw last night. As much as the game was anything that any of us -- I'm sure, including Gregg -- would have hoped for, you still saw this American belief that helped us find a way to get the result."

For more from Marsch, Meola, and cohost Jimmy Conrad, don't miss the entirety of this episode of Call it What You Want, a podcast dedicated to all things U.S. soccer. Episodes air Friday and Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Golazo Network from AT&T Stadium in the buildup to Sunday's big final against Mexico. You can also follow and download Call it What You Want wherever you get your podcast.  

While Berhalter had tough decisions to make on the roster initially leaving out Brenden Aaronson and Wright, who were both later called in due to injuries to Luca De La Torre and Josh Sargent, Reyna was called despite playing time concerns due to his fit and talent which were on display on Thursday. Reyna is far from the only USMNT regular struggling for playing time at their clubs as Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, and Aaronson haven't been full time starters in 2024 while Tyler Adams is just returning from multiple hamstring injuries.

Meola responds to Berhalter

Tony Meola took things a step further, asking why Berhalter would focus on an issue that didn't involve the match, such as Reyna getting the call into the national team.

"What the hell is he addressing this for? Your team performed pretty poorly for 90-plus minutes, given what we expected, and this for me is a deflection. ... He clearly was thinking about something else that had nothing to do with what happened in the match or how he was prepping for the match.

"He felt it important enough to address it in a moment where they almost got knocked out against Jamaica -- and maybe should have [been knocked out]. I'm just surprised that you would go here that night."

What happened between Reyna and Berhalter

This all builds on the stormy backstory of Reyna and Berhalter's relationship. After the 2022 World Cup, Reyna's parents, soccer legend Claudio and Danielle Reyna threatened to publicize a past incident of domestic violence between Berhalter and his now-wife Rosalind Behalter, after a tournament when Gio's playing time was not what the Reyna's had hoped in Qatar. That incident was reviewed by U.S. Soccer and it was revealed to be an isolated incident and not a trend clearing the way for him to return as coach of the team for another World Cup cycle. But. on the other side of the equation, the consequences were far reaching as Claudio stepped down from his role as sporting director of Austin FC. Interim managers oversaw part of Concacaf Nations League and the Gold Cup while the investigation was being completed and a coaching search, which eventually brought Berhalter back, was conducted.

You can find a full timeline of the Reyna vs. Berhalter feud here.

"Watching the interview with Gio Reyna after the match and seeing how happy he was, and the smile on his face. This is what I want to see from the players -- their personality, that they are enjoying their football, that they are enjoying what they are doing with the national team. I think that will lead them into being more successful," Marsch said about Berhalter repairing his relationship with Reyna."

"Even when we discuss Gregg or the tactics or anything else, it's always about [asking] are we maximizing what we're getting out of the team, or is the tactical model what we think is best for the group, and then analyzing it versus what Mexico looks like or Panama or Jamaica. When I'm trying to provide something, that's what I'm trying to provide," Marsch continued. "I don't want anyone to take anything too personally because that's not what it's meant to do. We're just here trying to give a little bit of insight."

Marsch is able to provide a unique perspective based on his own managerial experience but he did also express that he doesn't want to be the USMNT manager if he had the opportunity. 

While Berhalter and Reyna are putting the past behind them, the situation does show how it can be a complicated scenario addressing criticism around the talented midfielder. But where results matter most is on the pitch where Reyna has shown that no matter how much he is playing for his clubs, he can make an impact for his country. Now with seven goals and three assists in the last 12 months for the national team, Reyna has led the USMNT to their thrid consecutive Nations League final and he'll have a key role in if they can defeat Mexico to win it Sunday as well.