Former U.S. Soccer Star Says Coach Gregg Berhalter Is Lying About Gio Reyna Injury Status

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Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna has been the story of the U.S. Men’s National Team through the team’s first two games.

Reyna’s youth and potential created high expectations among U.S. fans coming into the World Cup. But he didn’t see the field against Wales, and came on for just 11 minutes against England.

After the Wales match, coach Gregg Berhalter was asked about Reyna’s omission from the lineup. The New York Post quoted Berhalter implying that there were lingering injury concerns that kept Reyna out.

“It was trying to get him up to speed,” Berhalter said. “There was some tightness we were guarding against. In the phase of the game we were at, we went with Jordan, who we felt could give us speed and power.”

But one former USMNT star claims that Berhalter’s comments weren’t entirely accurate.

During an interview with Los Angeles Times writer Dylan Hernandez, Eric Wynalda came right out and said Berhalter was lying.

“I don’t know how much I should comment on that, but I’ve been trying to console Gio’s father, Claudio, over the last couple of days with everything on,” Wynalda said. “He was fit to play. Berhalter did lie to the media and say there was an injury. He asked the player to kind of go along with the story, which caused a rift between the two of them, and now he’s on the bench, which is really unfortunate. The situation should’ve been handled very differently.”

Reyna on the field against England
USA forward Giovanni Reyna. (Getty Images)

Can Reyna Help Against Iran?

This is quite an accusation against Berhalter. Wynalda obviously does have these relationships, including with Reyna’s father Claudio.

If anyone could have the internal lines of communication necessary to find this out, it’s Wynalda.

But there could be other explanations. Reyna could feel that he’s ready, but team doctors don’t necessarily agree.

Berhalter also could be thinking that he’d like to save Reyna’s health and fitness for later matches. But even then it’s hard to explain why Reyna’s played so sparingly.

The U.S. team was able to secure a surprising draw against the heavily favored England side, even without Reyna.

READ: WITH SURPRISING DRAW AGAINST ENGLAND, USA CONTROLS ITS OWN WORLD CUP DESTINY

But as one of the more creative, talented offensive options on the team, it would be stunning if he doesn’t play more against Iran.

The USMNT must create goals, and that’s where Reyna excels.

If he doesn’t play and Iran gets a result, it will undoubtedly be an endless talking point for the next four years.

Berhalter’s faced questions about his management and leadership for years. Accusations of lying and rifts with the players certainly won’t help.

The U.S., and potentially Reyna, will take on Iran in a must-win game on Tuesday.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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