USMNT and Borussia Dortmund soccer superstar Gio Reyna issued a statement on social media regarding his lack of playing time at the World Cup in Qatar.
The report from The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal detailed team-wide frustration with Reyna that began with the 20-year-old’s lack of intensity in a pre-Cup friendly against Al-Gharafa SC of the Qatari league on Nov. 19. The situation apparently escalated during the United States’s 1–1 draw with Wales in its World Cup opener when a frustrated Reyna “threw his shin guards after not being subbed in” during the game and proceeded to display a lack of effort in the next U.S. training session.
Reyna apologized to the team, and the situation improved after that, according to Tenorio and Stejskal. When the United States lost 3–1 to the Netherlands in the round of 16, the Borussia Dortmund player subbed on in the 46th minute.
Taking to Instagram Monday, Reyna–who did not start in any of the U.S.’s four matches in Qatar–explained that manager Gregg Berhalter notified him before the team’s opening match that he would have a limited role to play in the tournament. Reyna did not dispute any particular aspect of The Athletic report, and he admitted to letting “my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior.”
Here’s full statement:
“I hoped not to comment on matters at the World Cup. It is my belief that things that happen in a team setting ought to remain private. That being said, statements have been made that reflect on my professionalism and character, so I feel the need to make a brief statement.
Just before the World Cup, Coach Berhalter told me that my role at the tournament would be very limited. I was devasted. I am someone who plays with pride and passion. Soccer is my life, and I believe in my abilities.
I fully expected and desperately wanted to contribute to the play of a talented group as we tried to make a statement at the World Cup.
I am also a very emotional person, and I fully acknowledge that I let my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role. I apologized to my teammates and coach for this, and I was told I was forgiven. Thereafter, I shook off my disappointment and gave everything I had on and off the field.
I am disappointed that there is continuing coverage of this matter (as well as some highly fictionalized versions of events) and extremely surprised that anyone on the U.S. men’s team staff would contribute to it. Coach Berhalter has always said that issues that arise with the team will stay “in house” so we can focus on team unity and progress. Iove my team, I love representing my country, and I am focusing now only on improving and growing as a soccer player and a person. I hope that going forward each person involved in U.S. Soccer focuses only on what is in the best interest of the men’s national team so we can enjoy great success at the World Cup in 2026.”
Gio Reyna admits his faults during the World Cup: “I fully acknowledge that I letemotions get the best of me, affect my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role”.
“I apologized to my teammates and coach for this, and I was told I was forgiven”. pic.twitter.com/5qx8yAtMJM
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 12, 2022
#USMNT winger Gio Reyna’s lack of effort in training & scrimmage vs. Al-Gharafa contributed to role at World Cup, per sources.
Reyna eventually apologized to team. Gregg Berhalter comments via @charterworks seem to reference issues.
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) December 11, 2022