NEW YORK (AP) — Gregg Berhalter spoke with Gio Reyna for the first time in nine months since a family feud erupted into public view following the World Cup, and the returning U.S. coach invited the oft-injured 20-year-old midfielder back to training camp ahead of exhibitions against Germany and Ghana.
Berhalter announced his 23-man roster on Thursday and said he spoke with Reyna during a Zoom “weeks ago.”
“The conversation was positive,” Berhalter said during a video news conference. “I think it will take time. It’s a difference between a Zoom call and being in person, but I think that both intentions are positive and the idea is that we work together for the team to be successful. And I think we’re both prepared to do that. So I think that although it may take some time, we’re both aligned with what we want to accomplish.”
A son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and midfielder Danielle Egan, Gio Reyna was limited to a pair of substitute appearances at last year’s World Cup. Berhalter said during a management conference after the tournament that he nearly sent a player home from Qatar for lack of effort during training, remarks Berhalter thought were not going to be made public and clearly were about Reyna.
Reyna’s parents contacted the U.S. Soccer Federation about a three-decades-old domestic violence allegation involving Berhalter and the woman who later became his wife. Berhalter was replaced by a pair of interim coaches and, after a law firm retained by the USSF determined he did not improperly withhold information when he was hired in 2018, was rehired in June to resume coaching in September.
Reyna, a central and attacking midfielder and winger, has not played a first-team match since he sustained a hairline fracture in a bone in his right leg during the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal against Canada on June 18.
Berhalter said the staff has to determine “how many minutes can we give him on the field that he can build up in a safe way and then go back to Dortmund and really propel him to make a big impact for his club?”
The U.S plays on Oct. 14 at East Hartford, Connecticut, in the debut of Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann, then faces Ghana three days later at Nashville, Tennessee.
Captain Tyler Adams will miss the matches because of the recurrence of a hamstring injury that has limited him to one game since March 11. Among defenders, Antonee Robinson was left off to help him with a developing sports hernia, Mark McKenzie has a broken toe and Walker Zimmerman has Achilles tendon pain.
Heidenheim midfielder Lennard Maloney could make his U.S. debut. Maloney, who turns 24 on Monday, played for the U.S. under-20 team in 2018 and has appeared for Germany youth teams.
“What really attracted the staff to him is how he plays the game, with really a lot of emotion, with a lot of passion,” Berhalter said. “You see him clapping for his teammates, you see him going into tackles, a really committed player.”
Berhalter has spoken with Luca Koleosho, a 19-year-old Burnley attacker eligible to play for the U.S., Italy, Canada and Nigeria.
“We are in communication,” Berhalter said. “In terms of a decision and in terms of a final outcome, that’s TBD.”
Defender Cameron Carter-Vickers was picked after returning from a hamstring injury Wednesday. He was a second-half substitute for Glasgow Celtic and was dispossessed in injury time, leading to a tiebreaking goal in a 2-1 loss to Lazio in the Champions League.
Just two players are with Major League Soccer teams.
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest, England), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest, England)
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Glasgow Celtic, Scotland), Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), DeJuan Jones (New England), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo, Italy), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace, England), Miles Robinson (Atlanta), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Germany)
Midfielders: Johnny Cardoso (Internacional, Brazil), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo, Spain), Lennard Maloney (Heidenheim, Germany), Weston McKennie (Juventus, Italy), Yunus Musah (AC Milan, Italy), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin, Germany), Folarin Balogun (Monaco), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg, Germany), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Christian Pulisic (AC Milan Italy), Tim Weah (Juventus, Italy).
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer