Gio Reyna took to social media to address his fall out with the US men’s national team during the World Cup, after head coach Gregg Berhalter made the situation public during a recent summit.
Amid reports that Reyna had to survive a team vote to remain in Qatar, Berhalter confessed to reporters that he had been forced to confront one unnamed player to address their poor attitude in training.
It later emerged that Berhalter’s comments at the summit were meant to be strictly off the record.
In response to the situation, Reyna wrote on Instagram: “I hoped not to comment on matters at the World Cup. It is my belief that things that happen in a team setting ought to remain private. That being said, statements have been made that reflect on my professionalism and character, so I feel the need to make a brief statement.
“Just before the World Cup, Coach Berhalter told me that my role at the tournament would be very limited. I was devastated. I am someone who plays with pride and passion. Soccer is my life, and I believe in my abilities. I fully expected and desperately wanted to contribute to the play of a talented group as we tried to make a statement at the World Cup,” he wrote.
“I am also a very emotional person, and I fully acknowledge that I let my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role. I apologized to my teammates and coach for this, and I was told I was forgiven. Thereafter, I shook off my disappointment and gave everything I had on and off the field.
“I am 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. I love my team, I love representing my country, and I am focusing now only on improving and growing as a soccer player and a person. I hope that going forward each person involved in U.S. Soccer focuses only on what is in the best interest of the men’s national team so we can enjoy great success at the World Cup in 2026.”
His comments come after Berhalter revealed that Reyna was nearly sent home from the international tournament due to a lack of effort in training and pre-tournament friendlies. Consequently, the player didn’t start any of the USMNT‘s four matches in Qatar, playing just seven minutes against England in the group stage before coming off the bench for the second half of the 3-1 round-of-16 defeat to the Netherlands.
At the time, the 20-year-old’s lack of involvement prompted anger and confusion among supporters given his talent and potential to influence the outcome of the USMNT’s campaign.
Originally, Berhalter told reporters the player was experiencing tightness’, though Reyna went on record minutes later insisting he was ‘ready to go’ and that it was Berhalter’s decision not to play him.