Gio Reyna’s time with the U.S. men’s national team during the World Cup was a puzzling one.
The 20-year-old upstart was expected to make a major impact in the tournament in Qatar as the Americans sported one of the youngest teams in the field. However, Reyna only appeared in the group-stage match against England and the Round of 16 match against the Netherlands, accumulating 53 minutes.
On Sunday, ESPN reported that U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter was ready to send Reyna home over an alleged lack of effort in training camp from the young player. Berhalter suggested last week there was one player the organization was “ready to book a plane ticket home, that’s how extreme it was.”
Multiple reports suggested it was Reyna. After the U.S. loss to the Dutch in the knockout stage, Reyna was reportedly seen wearing a Netherlands jersey in a club.
On Monday, Reyna broke his silence over the story to address the statements made “that reflect on my professionalism and character.”
“Just before the World Cup, Coach Berhalter told me that my role at the tournament would be very limited. I was devasted,” he wrote on Instagram. “I am someone who plays with pride and passion. Soccer is my life, and I believe in my abilities. I fully expected and desperately wanted to contribute to the play of a talented group as we tried to make a statement at the World Cup.”
He admitted he let his emotions and frustrations overwhelm him.
“I am also a very emotional person, and I fully acknowledge that I let my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role. I apologized to my teammates and coach for this, and I was told I was forgiven. Thereafter, I shook off my disappointment and gave everything I had on and off the field,” he added.
“I am disappointed that there is continuing coverage of this matter (as well as some highly fictionalized versions of events) and extremely surprised that anyone on the U.S. men’s team staff would contribute to it. Coach Berhalter has always said that issues that arise with the team will stay “in house” so we can focus on team unity and progress. I love my team, I love representing my country, and I am focusing now only on improving and growing as a soccer player and a person. I hope that going forward each person involved in U.S. Soccer focuses only on what is in the best interest of the men’s national team so we can enjoy great success at the World Cup in 2026.”
It is unclear what the next step will be for both sides.
Berhalter is reportedly negotiating his next contract while Reyna will return to Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga to finish out the 2022-23 season.News Source: Fox News