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USMNT Manager Anthony Hudson: Sense of 'Sadness' Around Team; 'Not a Nice Situation'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2023

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 24: United States National Men's Soccer interim-head coach Anthony Hudson speaks at a press conference at Dignity Health Sports Park on January 24, 2023 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

United States men's national team interim manager Anthony Hudson said the current state of affairs surrounding the team is "not a nice situation" after Gregg Berhalter's contract expired amid an external investigation into a report of alleged domestic violence.

"They set out with a big, lofty ambition, not just to go [to the World Cup], but to go there and represent themselves in a way that people would sit up and take notice of the team," Hudson told reporters regarding the USMNT players. "So when all this happened, I think it was [a feeling] of shame. It's sadness because all the attention has gone away from that. All the good work and it's been shifted in another direction."

Since the World Cup, the USMNT has been mired in controversy.

In December while speaking at the HOW Institute for Society's Summit on Moral Leadership, Berhalter alluded to a player who almost sent home from the World Cup for behavioral reasons. While the event was supposed to be off the record, his comments ended up going public, and it was quickly surmised that he was referencing Gio Reyna, the 20-year-old USMNT star who barely featured for the team at the Qatar World Cup.

In an Instagram post, Reyna acknowledged that he was "devastated" after learning he'd have a limited role in Qatar and that he let his "emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role."

He added that he later apologized to his teammates for his behavior, writing that he was "disappointed that there is continuing coverage of this matter (as well as some highly fictionalized versions of events) and extremely surprised that anyone on the U.S. men's team staff would contribute to it. Coach Berhalter has always said that issues that arise with the team will stay "in house" so we can focus on team unity and progress."

Claudio and Danielle Reyna, the parents of Gio, then informed the U.S. Soccer Federation about an argument between Berhalter and his wife but then-girlfriend, Rosalind, in the 1990s, when Berhalter kicked her in the legs.

Berhalter acknowledged publicly that the incident happened and released the following statement:

Gregg Berhalter @GreggBerhalter_

<a href="https://t.co/421kvOoQBj">pic.twitter.com/421kvOoQBj</a>

Danielle Reyna and Rosalind Berhalter were college teammates on the University of North Carolina soccer team and close friends at the time. Danielle Reyna said Berhalter's public statement "significantly minimize[s] the abuse on the night in question."

Berhalter said that situation was "an apparent attempt to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer."

The contract of the former USMNT manager expired on Dec. 31. It is unclear what the next steps will be for the USMNT in its managerial role, outside of Hudson handling the interim duties for the time being.

"I've said yes to doing it for now and then my next huge responsibility is to the players," Hudson said of his current role. "Because we can't get all our players from overseas because they're not available, historically, this camp opens up a space for new players to come in."