United States midfielder Giovanni Reyna was almost sent home from the World Cup in Qatar resulting from an absence of effort in coaching and in a pre-tournament scrimmage in opposition to Qatari aspect Al Gharafa SC, sources informed ESPN on Sunday.
Reyna, 20, didn’t begin a single sport for the US in Qatar however did play your entire second half of their last match — a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands within the spherical of 16. The sources added that Reyna apologized to your entire group for his lack of effort.
The disclosure got here after US supervisor Gregg Berhalter spoke on the HOW Institute for Society’s Summit on Moral Leadership in New York on Tuesday. His feedback had been later revealed in a publication by Charterworks, during which he mentioned the US “had a player that was clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field. One of 26 players, so it stood out. As a staff, we sat together for hours deliberating what we were going to do with this player. We were ready to book a plane ticket home, that’s how extreme it was.”
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Berhalter went on to say: “What it came down to was, we’re going to have one more conversation with him, and part of the conversation was how we’re going to behave from here out. There aren’t going to be any more infractions. But the other thing we said to him was, you’re going to have to apologize to the group, but it’s going to have to say why you’re apologizing. It’s going to have to go deeper than just ‘Guys, I’m sorry.’ And I prepped the leadership group with this. I said, ‘OK, this guy’s going to apologize to you as a group, to the whole team.'”
MLSSoccer.com was first to establish that the participant was Reyna, with The Athletic reporting that Reyna was almost sent home, and his efficiency in coaching was why his taking part in time was affected.
Reached through textual content message, Berhalter issued the next assertion to ESPN: “It’s not really important who it was. The important thing is that the group had very clear standards and they were prepared to communicate if the standards weren’t being met. Sometimes that communication leads to positive change and a clear pathway forward.”
Berhalter later added that the presentation was alleged to be off the document.
Reyna’s taking part in time — or the dearth of it — was the topic of intense scrutiny all through the match. He didn’t get on the sphere in opposition to Wales, with Jordan Morris the final substitute for use by Berhalter within the 1-1 draw. Afterward, Berhalter mentioned that he felt Morris’ “speed and power” may give the group one thing, and later referenced “a little bit of tightness” that Reyna skilled after the Al Gharafa scrimmage the earlier Thursday.
Reyna had struggled on and off with accidents over the earlier 14 months, together with one to his hamstring, however he informed the assembled media after the Wales sport that he was “100 percent.”
“I feel really good. I feel great,” Reyna mentioned. “I feel fine. [Berhalter] doesn’t have to tell me why he didn’t put me in or why he does.”
It was quickly after that Reyna was confronted by coaches and teammates and finally apologized.
“What was fantastic in this whole thing is that after he apologized, they stood up one by one and said, ‘Listen, it hasn’t been good enough, you haven’t been meeting our expectations of a teammate and we want to see change,'” Berhalter mentioned throughout his speech. “They really took ownership of that process. And from that day on there were no issues with this player.”
The temperature round Reyna’s taking part in time elevated previous to the England sport when former US worldwide Eric Wynalda mentioned in a Twitter Spaces trade with the Los Angeles Times that there was “internal strife.” He later mentioned on his Sirius XM radio present that Berhalter had lied to the media and had requested Reyna to lie as nicely.
Wynalda later walked again a few of his feedback.
Reyna performed seven minutes within the 0-0 draw in opposition to England and was an unused substitute within the 1-0 win over Iran.