Reyna set for USA return after Berhalter ‘conversation’

Giovanni Reyna (center) is set to return to the United States national team after talks with head coach Gregg Berhalter (Louis Grasse)

USA head coach Gregg Berhalter has held talks with midfielder Gio Reyna and the Borussia Dortmund player could return to the national side next month, US Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker said on Sunday.

Reyna and Berhalter were embroiled in an acrimonious bust-up during last year’s World Cup in Qatar that led to Berhalter’s future as US national team coach being thrown into doubt.

The dispute spread to involve Reyna’s parents and an investigation into a 1991 altercation between Berhalter and his wife, then his girlfriend.

Berhalter, who was cleared after the federation’s probe, was eventually re-hired as USA coach in June.

The coach said last month that he had yet to talk with Reyna who was injured for two US friendlies in September.

But Crocker, speaking to reporters, said the pair had now communicated.

“Of course we’ve had conversations with Gregg, Gregg has had conversations with Gio, and we’re in a place where, as soon as Gio is fit, he’ll be in the next camp and there’s a way forward,” Crocker said.

“I think both Gregg and Gio are in a good place to move forward. That’s the best thing to say.”

Reyna has yet to feature this season in the Bundesliga for Dortmund as he recovers from a leg injury.

But he could be fit again in time for two USA home friendlies in mid-October against Ghana and Germany.

Despite the bitter nature of the dispute between the pair, Crocker believes they can work together again.

“Clearly there’s been a lot of emotions over the last 12 months,” Crocker said.

“The common connection is they both want the program to be successful and that’s the starting point. There’s a clear way forward, a professional way of working, and they are both ready.

“Gio is looking forward to the next camp as soon as he’s fit and Gregg is looking forward to working with him, the same as all staff and all players who want to welcome (Gio) back. We’ve got a way forward and I just want this next camp to be over, so we can stop talking about it.”

Reyna, whose father Claudio was also a USA international and a former midfielder for Scottish club Rangers and Manchester City, played only 52 minutes in total during the USA’s four games at the World Cup.

He was part of the team that won the CONCACAF Nations League in June under interim coach B.J. Callaghan.

The 20-year-old has made 20 appearances in total for his country.



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