Former U.S. men's national team star Claudio Reyna resigned his post as the sporting director of Austin FC on Thursday. He will remain with the club as a technical adviser.
It's just the latest development in the fallout of the mess surrounding the USMNT.
BREAKING: Claudio Reyna resigns as sporting director of Austin FC.Reyna will remain as a technical advisor to ATX. pic.twitter.com/BaUwm3HFBb
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) January 26, 2023
“We’re grateful for Claudio’s contributions to both our Club and our community.”Claudio Reyna has transitioned into Technical Advisor role, stepping down as the Club’s Sporting Director.
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) January 26, 2023
With Reyna stepping down, coach Josh Wolff has taken on the added responsibility of running Austin's sporting department as "interim chief soccer officer." Director of player personnel Sean Rubio was promoted to interim sporting director.
"I am grateful that (majority owner and CEO Anthony Precourt) and the organization have given me the opportunity to scale back my role and responsibilities while continuing to contribute to the success of a club that I love," Reyna said in a statement. "I take great pride in what we have accomplished but am looking forward to a less all-consuming work pace that still permits me to assist ongoing club development."
Precourt said in a statement: "Claudio has been committed to the cause of building a Club that inspires Austin, and he will remain in a position to contribute to our organization."
Reyna and his family are involved in a spat with the family of USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter that included Reyna's wife telling U.S. Soccer of a domestic violence incident between Berhalter and his partner three decades ago.
Berhalter gave Reyna's son Gio a limited role in the World Cup, and the midfielder didn't respond well. The 20-year-old player later apologized to the team, but Claudio was involved in behind-the-scenes criticism of Berhalter.
Then, days after the U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup, Berhalter referenced the Gio Reyna situation — without specifically naming the player — when speaking to a leadership conference. That angered Claudio Reyna's wife Danielle Reyna who promptly told U.S. Soccer that in 1991 Berhalter kicked his partner Rosalind — now his wife — while they all attended the University of North Carolina.
Danielle Reyna revealed in a statement that she brought the 31-year-old incident to U.S. Soccer's attention on Dec. 11.
"Without going into detail, (the Berhalters' statements) significantly minimize the abuse on the night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate and best friend, and I supported her through the trauma that followed," Danielle Reyna said in her statement. "It took a long time for me to forgive and accept Gregg afterward, but I worked hard to give him grace, and ultimately made both of them and their kids a huge part of my family's life.
"I would have wanted and expected him to give the same grace to Gio. This is why the current situation is so very hurtful and hard."
U.S. Soccer has since been investigating the incident, which Berhalter acknowledged, just as Berhalter's contract as USMNT coach expired and the organization was evaluating whether to bring him back for the 2026 World Cup cycle.
Claudio Reyna had been Austin's sporting director since November 2019, ahead of the team's inaugural season in 2021. He previously served in the same position for New York City FC from 2013-19.
Wolff played for the USMNT with Berhalter and Reyna back in the early 2000s, and served as assistant coach to Berhalter for five years with the Columbus Crew and the USMNT before he became head coach in Austin.
--Field Level Media