As we wrote at the time, the feud between former USMNT Coach Gregg Berhalter and the parents of Gio Reyna reeked of really bad youth soccer helicopter parents. It is great to see that USMNT Captain Christian Pulisic agrees. The Chelsea forward slammed the whole affair as “extremely childish” in an interview with ESPN.
Everything about the incident made US Soccer look bad, and the fall out isn’t completely over, as the United States Men’s National Team STILL do not have a true, full time head coach in place.
Pulisic on the Berhalter-Reyna feud: pic.twitter.com/AliDR0Xk4o
— ?? USMNT vs Haters (@USMNTvsHaters) March 16, 2023
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“Everything that happened with Gregg, first of all, has been handled in an extremely childish manner,” Pulisic said.
“I think we’ve seen what’s been going on. I think it’s childish, it’s youth soccer, people complaining about playing time. I don’t want to go too far into that, but I think Gregg has been extremely unfortunate to get into the position he is in now.”
It’s a shame too, for Reyna, as he really didn’t do all that much wrong, his parents did, and now he’ll be forever linked to the goofy and petty actions of his father, Claudio Reyna. And while Pulisic feels sorry for Berhalter, the former USMNT Coach is far from a sympathetic character. He is not without fault here.
But again, maybe THE WORST here is the United States Soccer Federation, as they continue to twiddle their thumbs and do nothing about the vacant USA men’s head coaching job. The USSF said last week that Berhalter is eligible to return as head coach, now that their investigation into the accusations made by Reyna has concluded.
Berhalter’s contract expired on New Year’s Day, and we’re still awaiting a decision on his future. And if it’s not him, and most likely someone else will be taking over, who will it be? We have three candidates over at this link.
Pulisic did not back any specific candidate:
“I’m not here to appoint the next manager — it’s not my job — and whoever it is I’m going to play and give it 100%,” he said.
But he did say that they need to act soon. In the words of Johnny Cash and June Carter, “time’s a wastin.”
“Do I feel like we should just wait and wait? I don’t think it’s necessary, because we are not in a phase like we were after not qualifying [for the 2018 World Cup] where we needed a complete rebuild,” Pulisic added.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.