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USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter releases statement about violent 1991 incident with wife Rosalind

20:59 WAT 03/01/2023
Berhalter USMNT 2022
Head coach Gregg Berhalter, whose United States men's national team contract expired this week, released a statement amid an investigation.

Gregg Berhalter admitted from an unverified Twitter account, later confirmed as genuine by U.S. Soccer, that he "kicked" his wife Rosalind Berhalter in the legs during an altercation at a bar in 1991.

In his remarks posted to social media and co-signed by his wife, Berhalter wrote that an unnamed person recently threatened him with the release of information about the incident, which had not previously been made public.

Later, he called his actions towards the woman he is currently married to "shameful", but he asked for it not to define him.

The incident is now under investigation by U.S. Soccer, the governing body confirmed.

"Upon learning of the allegation against U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter on Dec. 11, 2022, U.S. Soccer immediately hired Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an independent investigation into the matter," wrote U.S. Soccer on its official Twitter account. "The investigation is being led by Jenny Kramer, BJay Pak  and  Chris Marquardt of Alston & Bird LLP and remains ongoing. 

"Through this process, U.S. Soccer has learned about potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization. We take such behavior seriously and have expanded our investigation to include those allegations.

"We appreciate Gregg and Rosalind coming forward to speak openly about this incident. Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we will share the results of the investigation publicly when it is complete. U.S. Soccer condemns violence of any kind and takes such allegations very seriously. Last month, U.S. Soccer launched a full technical review of our men’s national team program."

Berhalter's full statement was 859 words and unusual as it came from an unverified account; he did not own a public Twitter account previously. It included accusations of potential blackmail while at times meandering about on-field performance at the World Cup.

His remarks are as follows: "While we obviously would have wanted to advance further in the World Cup, I am very proud of and grateful for all our players, our staff, everyone at U.S. Soccer, and all of the USNT fans worldwide who supported us.

"Our performance relied on hard work and extraordinary energy and commitment from those on and off the pitch during the years of preparation. There are so many positive examples of how our squad came together, making so many different types of sacrifices all in pursuit of our group's shared vision. I am looking forward to continuing my conversations with U.S. Soccer about the future, but now is the time for me to publicly share some personal information which a third party has used against my family and me.

"During the World Cup, an individual contacted U.S. Soccer, saying that they had information about me that would "take me down" - an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer.

"This is a difficult step to take, but my wife, Rosalind, and I want to clearly and directly share the truth. This is a story that belongs to us, but hopefully there are lessons from our relationship that can be valuable to others. In the fall of 1991, I met my soulmate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind for the first time. There was a familiar feeling when we spoke. Rosalind was and is an amazing person - determined, empathetic, fun to be around – and we connected immediately.

"It felt like we had known each other for years. We had been dating for four months when an incident happened between us that would shape the future of our relationship. One night, while out drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside. It became physical and I kicked her in the legs. There are zero excuses for my actions that night; it was a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day. At that time, I immediately apologized to Rosalind, but understandably, she wanted nothing to do with me. I told my parents, family, and friends what happened because I wanted to take full responsibility for my behavior. Rosalind also informed her parents, family, and friends. While the authorities were never involved in this matter, I voluntarily sought out counseling to help learn, grow and improve one of the most valuable decisions that I ever made. To this day, that type of behavior has never been repeated.

"I feared that I lost my soulmate and then out of the blue, seven months later I received a call from Rosalind asking if we could speak in person. We met and discussed how we had grown and decided to rebuild our relationship. Rosalind shared that her family supported this decision and by working through what had happened, we both realized that our love, trust, and respect for each other was stronger than the incident that occurred months earlier. Since then, Rosalind and I have lived together in five different countries, three different states and have met and remained friends with many wonderful people from around the world. All of these people have witnessed the strong relationship we have and the loving family we have built together.

"The lessons learned from that night over three decades ago became the foundation for a loving, devoted, and supportive relationship, which we honored and celebrated with our 25th wedding anniversary this past weekend. I am sharing this story after 31 years because it's important to understand it was an event that shaped me, but doesn't define me. It was a single, isolated event over three decades ago and a terrible decision made in a bad moment by an 18-year-old. Rosalind and I have been on an amazing journey together. We have raised four wonderful children, who are aware of what happened.

"We are very proud of our marriage, our relationship, the family we have built, and the people we have become. As a team we emphasize accountability, honesty, and growth. Those aren't just principles we instill within the team; it is how I live my life. The foundation of any good team is using the past as an opportunity to learn and get better. People can make mistakes and learn from them; people can also be forgiven for their mistakes. Thankfully, Rosalind forgave me.

"The intention of this statement is to provide transparency and to reinforce that a single bad decision made by a teenager does not necessarily define him for the rest of his life. We will not hide from this. We didn't then, and we won't now. This is our story. We have fully cooperated with the U.S. Soccer investigation into this matter, and while we would prefer not to speak about something so personal from so long ago in such a public forum, we are embracing this opportunity to share what has shaped us and how much we have grown and learned from this over the past 31 years."