US Soccer coach Greg Berhalter under fire amid scandal over kicking his wife

Qatar - A huge US soccer scandal has kicked up, as Men's National Team coach Gregg Berhalter has claimed he was blackmailed over an incident with his now-wife over 30 years ago.

US Men's National Team soccer coach Gregg Berhalter is under the fire after allegedly falling victim to a blackmail attempt over a domestic abuse incident involving his wife over 30 years ago.
US Men's National Team soccer coach Gregg Berhalter is under the fire after allegedly falling victim to a blackmail attempt over a domestic abuse incident involving his wife over 30 years ago.  © KIRK IRWIN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Berhalter, whose contract with US soccer expired at the end of 2022, released a lengthy joint statement with his wife Rosalind on Tuesday explaining that he allegedly fell victim to a blackmail attempt during this year's World Cup in Qatar.

"During the World Cup, an individual contacted U.S. Soccer, saying that they had information about me that would 'take me down' — an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer," Berhalter wrote. "This is a difficult step to take, but my wife, Rosalind, and I want to clearly and directly share the truth."

In the statement, Berhalter recounted an event that happened in the fall of 1991 when he first met Rosalind as an 18-year-old freshman in college.

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"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," Berhalter admitted.

The 49-year-old veteran coach said he still regrets the move 30 years later and immediately sought help following that night.

"There are zero excuses for my actions that night; it was a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day. ... I voluntarily sought out counseling to learn, grow and improve — one of the most valuable decisions that I ever made. To this day, that type of behavior has never been repeated."

Since the altercation, Gregg and his wife Rosalind have reconciled and recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary together with their four children.

US Soccer begins investigation on the Berhalter's incident

On Tuesday, US Soccer released their own statement claiming they became aware of Berhalter's story a month ago and have retained Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an investigation.
On Tuesday, US Soccer released their own statement claiming they became aware of Berhalter's story a month ago and have retained Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an investigation.  © FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Quickly following the Berhalters' statement, US Soccer issued a statement of their own saying that they have retained Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an investigation.

"Through this process, U.S. Soccer has learned about potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization," the statement read. "We take such behavior seriously and have expanded our investigation to include those allegations."

The Statement added: "We appreciate Gregg and Rosalind coming forward to speak openly about this incident. Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we will share the results of the investigation publicly when it is complete. U.S. Soccer condemns violence of any kind and takes such allegations seriously."

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With Berhalter's investigation ongoing, US Soccer will announce a new leader for the January Men’s National Team camp in the coming days.

Berhalter's status as coach under the US Soccer Federation in the future remains unclear.

Cover photo: Patrick T. FALLON / AFP

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