USA's Berhalter, Reyna ready to move forward after meeting

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CHICAGO -- U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker said men's team manager Gregg Berhalter and midfielder Giovanni Reyna have communicated in an effort to move forward in their relationship, with Reyna set to be called into the next camp he's healthy enough to attend.

Speaking at a roundtable with reporters, Crocker said: "I think both Greg and Gio are in a good place to move forward."

Neither Crocker nor a U.S. spokesperson elaborated further on the nature of the meeting, other than to say that Berhalter and Reyna spoke "recently."

Berhalter and Reyna hadn't spoken since a feud involving the two families spilled into public view last December. As recently as Aug. 29, Berhalter said he had yet to meet with Reyna, but the two have now communicated, clearing the way for them to work together again.

Crocker added: "Clearly there's been a lot of emotions over the last 12 months. The common connection is they both want the program to be successful and that's the starting point and there's a clear way forward, a professional way of working and they're both ready."

The relationship between Berhalter and Reyna has been under immense strain for much of the last year, and first began to fray at the 2022 World Cup when Berhalter informed Reyna that he wouldn't have a starting role with the U.S. in Qatar. Reyna reacted poorly, and sulked so much that Berhalter contemplated sending the midfielder home.

An intervention among Berhalter, the team's senior leadership and Reyna saw the player's attitude improve, though Reyna continued to play sparingly, logging a total of just 52 minutes at the tournament.

The issue of Reyna's attitude and lack of playing time burst back into view after the United States' elimination by Netherlands in the round of 16, when Berhalter, speaking at a leadership conference, alluded to a situation involving an unnamed player who was nearly sent home. Reports soon named Reyna as the player in question.

Reyna's parents, Claudio and Danielle, both of whom are former U.S. internationals, were already incensed over Gio's lack of playing time. When the details of Berhalter's speech came out, they complained to then-U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about their son's treatment, with Danielle informing Stewart about a decades-old incident of domestic violence involving Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind.

The dispute between the Berhalters and the Reynas was especially fraught given that they have been longtime friends. Gregg Berhalter and Claudio Reyna were high school teammates, while Rosalind Berhalter and Danielle Reyna both played for North Carolina. Claudio Reyna was best man at the Berhalters' wedding.

The disclosure resulted in an investigation initiated by U.S. Soccer and conducted by the law firm Alston & Bird, and it had the effect of halting negotiations with Berhalter over a new contract. His contract was allowed to expire, with the USMNT managed on an interim basis, first by Anthony Hudson and later by B.J. Callaghan.

The investigation largely corroborated the Berhalters' version of events, that Gregg Berhalter sought counseling in the aftermath and took other steps to make amends. The couple eventually reconciled, got married and have four children. The investigation concluded that U.S. Soccer was free to bring Gregg Berhalter back if it chose to do so. The rehiring of Berhalter was formalized last June.

Reyna made his return to the USMNT in March against Grenada, but he sustained a lower leg fracture in June during the final of the Concacaf Nations League against Canada. He subsequently missed the September international window that saw the U.S. win 3-0 against Uzbekistan and 4-0 against Oman.

Reyna is back in full training for club side Borussia Dortmund, and was an unused sub in Saturday's 1-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg.

The USMNT's next scheduled games are friendlies on Oct. 14 against Germany and Ghana three days later.

"Gio's looking forward to the next camp, as soon as he's fit, and Greg's looking forward to working with him," Crocker said.