Eric Wynalda claims to have the answer to one of the big mysteries of the 2022 World Cup.
Gio Reyna, a 20-year-old rising star of the US men’s national team, sat out the first game of the World Cup against Wales, a 1-1 draw, and only played the final 11 1/2 minutes of the World Cup’s goalless tie against England at Friday.
US soccer fans have been at a loss as to why Reyna, who plays professionally for Borussia Dortmund in Germany, hasn’t been given more playing time. Reyna has suffered some nagging injuries and USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter cited her as why Reyna didn’t play against Wales.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times on Twitter Spaces, Wynalda, who played with the USMNT from 1990-2000, said, said that Berhalter is not telling the truth and that this situation causes “internal disputes” in the team.
“With Gio Reyna not in the line-up right now, this has been a massive controversy within the team – even his own teammates want him on the field and there seems to be some internal strife with manager Gregg Berhalter,” Wynalda said.
“I don’t know how much to say about that, but I’ve been trying to comfort Gio’s father Claudio for the last few days, even though everything is on. He was playable. Berhalter lied to the media, claiming there was an injury. He asked the player to join the story which caused a rift between the two and now he’s on the bench which is really unfortunate. The situation should have been handled very differently.”
Explaining why Reyna didn’t play against Wales, Berhalter said: ‘It was trying to get him going. There was a narrowness we were wary of. At the stage of the game that we were in, we went with Jordan, who we felt could give us speed and power.”
However, Reyna claimed to have been at full strength.
“No, I feel great. i feel really good I feel ready to go,” he said. “I felt good, I felt ready to go, but it was just his [Berhalter’s] Decision. He doesn’t have to tell me why he didn’t put me in or why he does. But I’m 100 percent. I can get started.”
The United States play Iran in their final group stage game on Tuesday at 2pm on FOX and need a win to advance to the knockout stages.