Berhalter remains eligible to coach USMNT after investigation


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Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate to coach the US men’s soccer team again following an independent investigation into allegations of domestic violence, the US Soccer Association said Monday.

The three-month investigation, conducted by the law firm Alston & Bird, was launched in January after it was made aware of a 1992 incident in which Berhalter kicked his future wife, Rosalind, while they were in college and dating .

Berhalter had admitted to the “shameful” incident and the investigation revealed that he had not committed any further acts of violence.

“Given investigators’ conclusion that there is no legal bar to his employment, Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate to serve as head coach of the men’s national team,” US Soccer said in a statement.

Berhalter led the United States to what was widely regarded as a successful World Cup campaign last year, in which the team reached the Round of 16 in Qatar.

But a bitter feud between Berhalter and Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna, who barely featured in Qatar, exploded in the public eye when it emerged Reyna was almost sent home after a lackluster approach to training.

Berhalter effectively corroborated the reports in a speech at a post-World Cup conference on moral leadership.

Reyna was angered by these public comments and in a further twist, it emerged that US Soccer had been made aware of the 1992 incident by the player’s parents. His father, Claudio Reyna, is a former US captain and teammate of Berhalter.

The firm concluded that the Reynas were not guilty of racketeering in this matter. However, the investigation revealed that Claudio Reyna had a “pattern of regular contacts” with federation officials, mainly in relation to his son’s treatment.

Berhalter’s coaching contract expired on December 31 and World Cup assistant Anthony Hudson led a national training camp in January.

While Berhalter remains in the race to get the job back, US Soccer said it would not hire a coach until it appoints a new athletic director, a position that oversees all national teams.

Earnie Stewart left that job in February.

“US Soccer’s process of determining who will serve as sporting director is ongoing and interviews are ongoing,” the federation said on Monday. “The sporting director will lead the process of determining who will serve as head coach of the men’s national team.”

The governing body also noted that the report “identifies a need to reconsider US Soccer’s policies regarding appropriate parental behavior and communication with national team-level employees.

“We will update these guidelines as we continue to work to ensure safe environments for all participants in our game,” US Soccer said.

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