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G. Reyna

Reyna hits back at USMNT coach Berhalter after revelations about 'lack of effort' at World Cup

6:44 am AEDT 13/12/22
Gio Reyna Berhalter USA WC
United States attacker Giovanni Reyna has admitted his 'disappointment' at public revelations about his lack of effort at the World Cup.
  • Reyna hardly played at World Cup
  • He was almost sent home by coach
  • Has admitted emotions affected him

WHAT HAPPENED? The 20-year-old barely featured at the World Cup, with coach Gregg Berhalter revealing after his side's elimination that he considered sending an unnamed player home during the competition because of a lack of effort, and it has been reported that Reyna was the player he was referring to. The Borussia Dortmund youngster took to Instagram to address the claims and is disappointed that so much has come out in the media.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Just before the World Cup, Coach Berhalter told me that my role at the tournament would be very limited. I was devasted. I am someone who plays with pride and passion. Soccer is my life, and I believe in my abilities," he wrote. "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.

"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.

"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."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Reyna is seen as one of the USMNT's most promising players, so the team will be hopeful of getting the best out of him ahead of their next major tournament, which Berhalter admitted he has struggled to do.

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WHAT NEXT FOR REYNA? After his country crashed out at the last 16 of the World Cup, the USA international will return to club action with Borussia Dortmund when the Bundesliga resumes in late-January.