Gregg Berhalter to return as USMNT manager, per report

The independent investigation in March found that Berhalter was cleared to be re-hired


Soccer: FIFA World Cup: USA soccer coach Gregg Berhalter looks on vs Netherlands during Round of 16 match at Khalifa International Stadium.
Al Rayyan, Qatar 12/3/2022
CREDIT: Simon Bruty (Photo by Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X164254 TK1)

Gregg Berhalter reportedly is finalizing a deal to return as manager of the U.S. men's national team.

Paul Tenorio and Pablo Maurer of The Athletic reported Thursday, citing sources, that the 49-year-old is in negotiations to return as first-team manager.

The deal reportedly is "imminent."

Berhalter's contract had expired on Dec. 31, 2022 after the end of the World Cup in Qatar. But on Jan. 3, 2023, U.S. Soccer said it was conducting an investigation into a 1991 domestic violence incident that involved Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind.

The incident came to light after Berhalter made comments on young U.S. star Gio Reyna, who was told he wouldn't feature prominently for the team in Qatar, which led to a lack of effort in subsequent trainings. Then after the tournament, Berhalter spoke about the situation without naming Reyna during the Q&A segment of a leadership conference that was running under Chatham House rules, which typically meant any comments were off the record.

Following that situation, Reyna's parents, former U.S. national players Claudio and Danielle Reyna and longtime friends of Berhalter and his wife, reported the 1991 incident to former U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart.

Berhalter in a statement explained what had happened that led to the investigation:

"In the fall of 1991, I met my soulmate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind for the first time," Berhalter said. "We had been dating for four months when an incident happened between us that would shape the future of our relationship. One night, while out drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside. It became physical and I kicked her in the legs.

"There are zero excuses for my actions that night; it was a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day. At the time, I immediately apologized to Rosalind, but understandably, she wanted nothing to do with me. I told my parents, family, and friends what happened because I wanted to take full responsibility for my behavior. Rosalind also informed her parents, family, and friends."

U.S. Soccer also had revealed that it had "learned about potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside our organization," so the investigation had been expanded to include those allegations.

The investigation, led by independent Atlanta-based law firm Alston & Bird, cleared Berhalter to be considered for the role again in mid-March. It said Berhalter “likely constituted the misdemeanor crime of assault on a female” but had not improperly withheld information and remains a candidate for the position. 

Berhalter's win-loss-draw record of 37-11-12 is the best winning percentage of any USMNT manager. Anthony Hudson and B.J. Callaghan have each held the interim position since Berhalter's initial departure.

Berhalter's last game in charge came during the World Cup, when the U.S. lost to the Netherlands 3-1 in the round of 16.

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