Coach of the United States says he almost dismissed a player during the World Cup

“We were ready to book a plane ticket home,” said Gregg Berhalter of one of his athletes
Josué Seixas
2022-12-16 16:02:03

After being knocked out by the Netherlands in the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar, Gregg Berhalter, coach of the United States, has revealed squad issues with a specific player, although he has not said his name. According to him, the athlete was almost dismissed from the national team due to his below-expected performance and bad relationship with his teammates.

“At this last World Cup, we had a player who was clearly not living up to expectations on and off the field. As a team, we sat together for hours deliberating what we would do with this player. We were ready to book a plane ticket home, it was so extreme,” said Berhalter.

Who was the player?

For the English newspaper “The Athletic”, the player Berhalter was referring to is Giovanne Reyna from Borussia Dortmund. In the group stage, he was benched against Iran and Wales and played just seven minutes against England. In the round of 16, he came on at half-time against the Netherlands.

According to Berhalter, the only reason the player wasn’t cut was because the coaching staff demanded that he apologize to the rest of the squad. “Another thing we told him was, you’re going to have to apologize to the group, but you’re going to have to say why you’re apologizing. Gonna have to go deeper than just personal, sorry.”

Even so, his companions were not satisfied and asked for a change. ESPN reports that the other 25 players called up by Berhalter took a vote to determine who was in favor of Reyna staying. According to the North American broadcaster, 13 players voted for Reyna to stay in Qatar, while 12 wanted the athlete to be dismissed.

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