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USMNT's Berhalter & Reyna scandal stole attention from 'good work' done at World Cup - interim coach Hudson

01:20 GMT+3 25/01/2023
Anthony Hudson Rapids
United States men's national team interim manager Anthony Hudson discussed the controversy surrounding the program for the first time on Tuesday.

WHAT HAPPENED? With the USMNT's January international camp approaching, Hudson fielded questions about the ongoing investigation into World Cup manager Gregg Berhalter's domestic violence incident from 1991 and allegations of blackmail against the family of winger Gio Reyna.

Hudson didn't point fingers at anyone, but he said the scandal has marred what he believes what a strong showing at the 2022 World Cup. The team wanted to make the country proud, he told reporters, and now there is regret.

WHAT THEY SAID: "There's a sense of sadness because everyone puts so much into [on-field performances], including [Berhalter and Reyna]," Hudson said. "It's been a dream for so many of them. So many of us but mainly the players.

"They set out with a big lofty ambition, not just to go [to the World Cup] but to go there and represent themselves in a way that people would sit up and take notice of the team. So when all this happened, it's a shame, it's sadness, because all the attention is gone away from all the good work and it's been shifted in another direction."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Hudson added that he will lean on the USMNT's elder statesmen to help provide leadership and keep younger players concentrated during upcoming friendlies against Serbia and Colombia. He said so far "they've responded really, really well as I'd expected."

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WHAT NEXT FOR THE USMNT? With chances for many first-time senior squad players to make an impression, Hudson hopes the performances on the field this month help put controversy in the rearview mirror.