USA’s Reyna surprised World Cup fallout not kept ‘in house’
US midfielder Giovanni Reyna took to Instagram on Monday to denounce reports he was almost sent home from the World Cup, adding that he was disappointed that details of his participation in Qatar are not kept “at home”. would.
Comments released on Sunday made by manager Gregg Berhalter at a conference on Tuesday revealed that Reyna showed a lack of effort in training and in a friendly ahead of the World Cup and was asked to apologize to the team for his behavior in the Apologies days leading up to the tournament.
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Reyna, who was not in the starting XI for the USA but played the entire second half of the 3-1 defeat by the Netherlands in the round of 16, wrote on Instagram that he hoped events at the World Cup would remain private, but felt compelled to respond after multiple reports in the US detailed the reasons for his lack of playing time, which “reflect my professionalism and character”.
“I am disappointed that this matter continues to receive coverage (as well as some heavily fictionalized versions of events) and very surprised that anyone on the US men’s team would contribute,” Reyna wrote on Monday. “Coach Berhalter has always said that problems that arise with the team are kept ‘in house’ so that we can focus on unity and the team’s progress.”
The post added that ahead of the World Cup, Berhalter told Reyna that his role in the tournament would be “very limited” and that he was devastated by the news and not handling it well.
“I’m also a very emotional person and I fully appreciate letting my emotions get the best of me and influence my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role,” Reyna added added. “I apologized to my team-mates and my coach and was told I was forgiven. After that I shook off my disappointment and gave everything I had, on and off the pitch.”
Speaking at the HOW Institute for Society’s Summit on Moral Leadership in New York on Tuesday, Berhalter said in part that he had “a player who clearly failed to live up to expectations on and off the field” and that it was an intervention by the coaching staff needed. as well as an apology to teammates to bring the player back into the team’s good graces. While Berhalter didn’t mention the player by name, sources later identified the player as Reyna, with the US coach telling ESPN on Sunday the presentation in New York was intended to be confidential.
Ahead of the first game – a 1-1 draw with Wales – in which Reyna was an unused substitute, Berhalter said Reyna was suffering from “a certain amount of tension”, although after the game Reyna said he was “100 per cent”.
Shortly after, Reyna was confronted by coaches and teammates and eventually apologized while his status continued to be a topic of discussion for the rest of the tournament.
Reyna ended his Instagram post on Monday with the following comment: “I love my team, I love representing my country and my only focus now is to improve and grow as a football player and as a person.
“I hope that going forward, every person involved with US soccer will focus only on what is in the best interest of the men’s national team so that we can have great success at the 2026 World Cup.”