Gio Reyna mystery solved as Berhalter reveals USMNT star was almost sent home from Qatar!

New York, New York - In the aftermath of the USMNT's quarterfinal exit from the 2022 World Cup, head coach Greg Berhalter was persistently questioned for the lack of game time afforded to wonderkid Giovanni Reyna. Now, we have the unexpected answer.

Gio Reyna played less than 45 minutes for the USMNT against the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Gio Reyna played less than 45 minutes for the USMNT against the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals.  © REUTERS

Last week, Berhalter confirmed that he almost sent a player home from the tournament in Qatar, but didn't give a name.

It didn't take long for ESPN to do some digging and come up with a culprit. On Sunday, the outlet pointed the finger at 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna.

He was reportedly on the verge of leaving the US camp due to "a lack of effort in training and in a pre-tournament scrimmage against Qatari side Al Gharafa SC."

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This all came after Berhalter spoke at the HOW Institute for Society's Summit on Moral Leadership in New York, and his comments were published in a newsletter by Charterworks.

"In this last World Cup, we had a player that was clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field," Berhalter told the audience, according to the readout. "One of 26 players, so it stood out. As a staff, we sat together for hours deliberating what we were going to do with this player. We were ready to book a plane ticket home, that's how extreme it was."

Reyna was then told to apologize to the group, a story corroborated by The Athletic.

"But the other thing we said to him was, you're going to have to apologize to the group, but it's going to have to say why you're apologizing. It's going to have to go deeper than just 'Guys, I'm sorry,'" Berhalter said at the event.

Despite being one of the most high-profile members of the USMNT roster, Reyna barely clocked up 45 minutes on the field in Qatar.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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