Gregg Berhalter was reinstated as USMNT head coach after months of drama and limbo


Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired after the 2022 World Cup amid an investigation and a bizarre saga surrounding USMNT midfielder Gio Reyna’s parents. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

PARADISE, Nevada — In an extraordinary turn of events, US Soccer has reinstated Gregg Berhalter as head coach of its men’s national team after months of drama and uncertainty.

The FA made Berhalter’s appointment official on Friday, more than five months after his contract expired amid a bizarre saga involving USMNT midfielder Gio Reyna’s parents.

US soccer officials will officially welcome Berhalter at a news conference Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, but said in a press release that interim coach BJ Callaghan will continue to coach the team in the CONCACAF Nations League Finals and Gold Cup this summer. Berhalter will then take over the management in September.

Berhalter began his first stint at the helm of the USMNT in 2018. He coached the team to two regional titles in 2021 and a knockout round at the 2022 World Cup. Soon after, he became involved in the complicated, suspenseful saga sparked by the Reynas became.

The saga led to an investigation into a 1992 domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his now-wife Rosalind. During the investigation, Berhalter’s contract expired; and the two men who would have been responsible for his reinstatement or replacement, athletic director Earnie Stewart and USMNT general manager Brian McBride, quit their jobs.

At this point, Berhalter felt he would struggle to regain his post, despite US Soccer’s continued stating that he remained a candidate. The federation hired consultancy Sportsology to help with a full search and hinted it might not hire a new coach until the summer.

Then the investigation, which largely corroborated Berhalter’s public account of the 1992 incident, officially cleared it for re-examination. A month later, US Soccer hired Matt Crocker to replace Stewart. Crocker immediately took the lead in finding a coach. On Friday, US Soccer described it as a “global,” data-driven search. US Soccer CEO JT Batson told Emox News Tuesday before Berhalter was hired that Crocker had interviewed at least 10 candidates.

“Crocker outlined the ideal competencies for the head coach, which included building lasting relationships with staff and players, planning and effectively promoting a visionary identity, driving innovation and boundaries, and being a key decision-maker,” the association said. “Within these categories, he used advanced data analysis, sophisticated metrics and state-of-the-art hiring methods to profile and rank each candidate. Over the course of several weeks, the candidates were evaluated against all of these filters and underwent a series of practical and… psychological tests.

From the pack, Berhalter reappeared, likely aided by player support. Throughout the process, several USMNT stars, including Christian Pulisic, had publicly praised his work with the team from 2018 to 2022.

That support continued until this week when the team met in Las Vegas for the CONCACAF Nations League final. News of Berhalter’s imminent return broke as the USMNT began their semifinals against Mexico. After the USMNT’s dominant 3-0 win in that game, Pulisic once again praised Berhalter and his work with the USMNT.

“I supported him in the past,” said Pulisic. “Today is a testament to the work he has put into this team. [Interim coach] BJ [Callaghan] He picked up right where he left off and that’s a testament to him, it’s a testament to this team, the way we just kept going and showing such performances.”

Berhalter will resume his behind-the-scenes work this summer before taking charge of the team and starting friendlies in the autumn. He has a contract until 2026 and a mandate to guide a young, hungry side to unprecedented heights.

“This is not just business-as-usual and a return to what was in the past,” Crocker said in a statement. “We have a unique opportunity to continue to develop the team and improve in the future and I want us to take the time to reflect on how we can do that together in collaboration with Gregg. With that focus, BJ will continue to lead through the Nations League Final and Gold Cup tournament this summer while I work alongside Gregg on some big issues outside of the team.”

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