- Claudio Reyna a former USMNT star
- Huge figure in American soccer
- But criticized for actions after 2022 World Cup
WHAT HAPPENED? The Reyna family has been at the heart of a scandal involving World Cup coach Gregg Berhalter, with Berhalter suggesting the family blackmailed him with information about a 1991 domestic violence incident. That accusation is being investigated by U.S. Soccer, and the Reynas have denied they blackmailed the coach.
Austin FC's official statement did not mention the USMNT controversy in its announcement about Claudio Reyna's resignation, and the club said he would still be used as a technical advisor moving forward.
AND WHAT'S MORE: U.S. Soccer lost its own sporting director, while the USMNT lost its general manager, earlier on Thursday, leaving the organizations with few long-term leaders at a time the Stars and Stripes are dealing with a full-blown crisis. An investigation into Berhalter and the Reyna family is ongoing. Meanwhile, Anthony Hudson is serving as interim head coach.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I am grateful that [owner] Anthony Precourt and the organization have given me the opportunity to scale back my role and responsibilities while continuing to contribute to the success of a club that I love,” said Claudio Reyna in a statement. “I take great pride in what we have accomplished but am looking forward to a less all-consuming work pace that still permits me to assist ongoing club development.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: It had been widely speculated that Claudio Reyna's role at Austin FC could change after it was revealed that discussions did take place between the Reyna family and U.S. Soccer director Earnie Stewart, with the parents bashing Berhalter for his treatment of Gio Reyna at the World Cup while bringing up Berhalter's domestic violence incident. The Dortmund star barely featured in Qatar and then was subjected to unflattering public remarks about his attitude during the tournament, which infuriated the Reynas.
While admitting she spoke with Stewart, Gio Reyna's mother, Danielle Reyna, denied that the conversation amounted to blackmail.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE USMNT? Hudson, the interim coach, is leading a January camp made up mostly of youngsters, with the team set to play a friendly against Colombia on Saturday.