US Men’s National Team legend and media analyst Eric Wynalda has suggested that a “break” with head coach Gregg Berhalter is the reason Giovanni Reyna is staying on the bench.
Reyna is arguably the most talented player of this emerging generation of Americans, with the Borussia Dortmund man possessing incredible goalscoring and creative skills at just 19 years old.
Many had Reyna as the first name on the USMNT squad sheet heading into the World Cup but, so far, he has seen only seven minutes of action, coming on as a late substitute against England on Friday after being left out of the game. 1-1. draw against Wales.
After Monday’s stalemate to open the USA’s Group B campaign, Berhalter told reporters that Reyna was feeling a bit “tight” and was therefore not taking any chances against the Welsh. The player himself had a very different opinion, insisting that he was fully fit and keen to play.
Speaking in a Twitter space organized by the The Los Angeles Times Following Friday’s goalless draw with England, Wynalda hinted at a conflict between coach and player regarding the narrative surrounding Reyna’s fitness, while also revealing how much the teen’s USMNT teammates want him in the game. countryside.
“Gio Reyna is out of the lineup at the moment, which has been a big controversy within the team. Even his own teammates want him on the pitch and it seems to be an internal dispute with manager Gregg Berhalter,” Wynalda said.
“I don’t know how much I should comment on that, but I’ve been trying to comfort Gio’s dad, Claudio, for the past few hours and days with everything that’s going on.”
On the contrasting comments about Reyna’s fitness, Wynalda added: “He was fit to play [against Wales]. Berhalter did lie to the media and said it was an injury. He asked the player to follow that story, which caused a rift between the two and now he’s on the bench, which is really unfortunate. This situation should have been handled very differently.”
If Wynalda’s revelations are correct, the conflict only leaves the USMNT in a weakened position, unable or unwilling to trust a player who could make the difference in the must-win clash against Iran on Tuesday.
If the Stars and Stripes win, they will be in the round of 16. Anything less and they’ll be on the plane home without a win in their return to the World Cup.
All this being said, a 90 minutes A source close to the USMNT camp has downplayed Wynada’s claim.
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