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Timeline of U.S. Soccer's investigation into coach Gregg Berhalter's violent conduct towards wife Rosalind and blackmail allegations

22:10 GMT+3 30/01/2023
Gregg Berhalter
On January 3, U.S. Soccer confirmed 2022 World Cup USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter was under investigation.

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter, technically no longer under contract as of the start of 2023, is under investigation by U.S. Soccer because of an incident in 1991 in which he admitted he kicked his wife Rosalind before they married. His statement on January 3 prompted U.S. Soccer to acknowledge the ongoing inquiry.

While Berhalter said he had informed family and friends of the situation long ago, the matter remained unknown publicly through the 2022 World Cup.

Here's what is known right now about his contract status and the investigation...

What happened between Berhalter and his wife?

All that has been disclosed comes from the lengthy statement the manager published on Twitter (which can be found in its entirety here).

In the statement, Berhalter said he kicked his wife in a dispute at a bar in 1991 when they were dating. He said his actions were "shameful" but had been dealt with at the time inside his personal circle. He wrote that he sought counseling and "that type of behavior has never been repeated" - and he asked readers for his violent conduct not to define him.

Authorities were never involved in the matter, Berhalter said.

What are the blackmail claims?

Berhalter suggested he was blackmailed before sharing the information about the 1991 incident, and ESPN reported that former USMNT star Claudio Reyna, father of current USMNT player Gio Reyna, was involved in apparent retaliation for Gio's treatment at the World Cup.

"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," Berhalter wrote.

U.S. Soccer said the blackmail claims are part of its investigation.

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

Later, Danielle Reyna, the mother of Gio Reyna, admitted she mentioned the domestic violence incident to then-sporting director Earnie Stewart, however she denied the conversation amounted to blackmail.

Stewart has since announced he would leave U.S. Soccer but claimed the controversy was unrelated, while Claudio Reyna stepped down from his job at MLS club Austin FC.

Timeline of U.S. Soccer's Berhalter investigation

U.S. Soccer indicated the investigation into Berhalter began on Dec. 11, 2022, eight days after the World Cup campaign ended with a loss to the Netherlands (the existence of an investigation wasn't made public until January). The organization did not indicate who tipped it off to open up an inquiry, though it appears it was the Reyna family, and it remains unclear whether any members of U.S. Soccer were aware of the domestic violence incident beforehand.

Because the investigation is ongoing, there are not yet any conclusions reached by Alston & Bird LLP, the firm responsible for carrying out the inquiry.

U.S. Soccer did not estimate when the investigation would end but did say results would be made public.

"Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we will share the results of the investigation publicly when it is complete," wrote the organization in its statement.

Is Berhalter still under contract?

Berhalter is no longer an employee; however, the USSF will carry out the investigation anyway.

There have not been any announcements about whether U.S. Soccer will give Berhalter a new contract, though the manager is apparently still in the running.

For now, the USMNT has named Anthony Hudson the interim manager for January's international camp.

With Stewart stepping away as U.S. Soccer sporting director, Hudson may remain in his role through at least the summer. He said he has no idea what the future holds.