The Gio Reyna World Cup controversy has become a lot clearer after more information has been released about his lack of playing time for the USA in Qatar.
Fox journalist Jason McIntyre has reported that there was a squad vote on whether to send Reyna home from the World Cup, due to his lack of effort in training ahead of their opening game against Wales, and his behaviour on the bench after not being subbed on.
The situation became even more tense when USA head coach Gregg Berhalter claimed that Gio Reyna was nursing a small injury, which Reyna denied soon after.
The tight vote ended up 13-12 in favour of Reyna, while the Borussia Dortmund star had to apologise to the squad for his behaviour.
At a summit in New York last Tuesday, Berhalter provided more details about what went on in camp.
In this last World Cup, we had a player that was clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field.
One of 26 players, so it stood out. As a staff, we sat together for hours deliberating what we were going to do with this player. We were ready to book a plane ticket home, that’s how extreme it was.
And what it came down to was, we’re going to have one more conversation with him, and part of the conversation was how we’re going to behave from here out. There aren’t going to be any more infractions.
Gio Reyna Nearly Got Sent Home From The World Cup
Here’s the story I alluded to on the herd and talked more about on the podcast. One thing I didn’t reveal yet that isn’t in the story - the vote to send Reyna home was 13 stay, 12 go home 😳😳
Sources: US almost sent Reyna home from WC https://t.co/VqLpsLQkLk
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) December 12, 2022
“But the other thing we said to him was, you’re going to have to apologize to the group," continued Berhalter. "But it’s going to have to say why you’re apologizing. It’s going to have to go deeper than just, ‘Guys, I’m sorry.’
"And I prepped the leadership group with this. I said, ‘OK, this guy is going to apologize to you as a group, to the whole team.’ And what was fantastic in this whole thing is that after he apologized, they stood up one by one and said, ‘Listen, it hasn’t been good enough.
"You haven’t been meeting our expectations of a teammate and we want to see change.’ They really took ownership of that process. And from that day on there were no issues with this player."