Giovanni Reyna has been welcomed back to the US men’s national team, earning his first call up to the US men’s national team since the post-World Cup scandal involving his parents, Claudio and Danielle Reyna, and former manager Gregg Berhalter unfolded.
Following the team’s elimination from the international tournament, Berhalter revealed Reyna was nearly sent home due to a lack of effort in training and pre-tournament friendlies. He explained the Borussia Dortmund player’s tumultuous behavior as ‘clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field’, forcing the staff to come together and deliberate for hours on his future with the team.
The former manager’s comments unleashed Reyna’s parents, Claudio and Danielle. The two came out with their own statements and threats that forced Berhalter into admitting to a 30-year old domestic abuse scandal involving his now-wife Rosalind. Subsequently, the US Soccer Federation launched an investigation into the incident and related threats.
USMNT interim head coach Anthony Hudson initially justified the player’s inclusion to the 24-player roster for the March Nations League matches by reaffirming his potential and talent: “He’s determined to come in and do well.”
Veteran defender Tim Ream further explained that the team has ‘moved on from that’, accepting Gio Reyna as part of the team to work towards greater goals as a group.
“The biggest thing is making sure that everybody knows we’re here for a reason and what’s happened with Gio in the past is in the past and what happened at the World Cup happened at the World Cup and we moved on from that as players,” 35-year-old Ream said Tuesday.
“I think the biggest thing for us as a leadership and all the guys in camp is to see that he’s working hard, training hard, that he’s wanting to be here and up to this point, it’s been nothing but positive,” Ream said. “Having conversations with different guys, everybody knows what he can bring to the table, everybody knows how talented he is.
“And to see him come in here with that attitude and the work rate and the desire to be a part of the group and just get back on level terms with everyone without having to overly address it has been a big positive for all the guys to see.”
Ream then revealed he held personal one-on-one conversations with Reyna to ensure proper communication within the group.
“I’ve had individual conversations with him. Those will stay between him and I because I think that’s important, to have that kind of line of communication and trust between players, between teammates, between groups,” he said.
“What he’s feeling, what he’s seeing, what his worries may be will stay between him and I, because I think that’s important to allow him to move past everything that’s happened. And I think it’s important for all of us to be able to move past that and work together as a good team.”