Netherlands v USA: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
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Gio Reyna took to Instagram to share his side of the story in the soap opera that boiled over on Sunday regarding his dynamic with his United States teammates and his coach Gregg Berhalter during the World Cup in Qatar.

Reyna logged only 54 tournament minutes before the USMNT crashed out in the round of 16 in a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Netherlands. He was almost sent home from U.S. national team camp for displaying a lack of effort during training in the build-up to the World Cup opener. 

But as more information has emerged, it only poses more questions as a fractured relationship between Reyna and manager Berhalter could see U.S. Soccer look in a different direction before the 2026 World Cup in the United States.

"Just before the World Cup, coach Berhalter told me that my role at the tournament would be very limited. I was devastated. I am someone who plays with pride and passion. Soccer is my life, and I believe in my abilities," Reyna said in a statement on Instagram. "I fully expected and desperately wanted to contribute to the play of a talented group as we tried to make a statement at the World Cup.

"I am also a very emotional person, and I fully acknowledge that I let my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behavior for a few days after learning about my limited role. I apologized to my teammates and coach for this, and I was told I was forgiven. 

"Thereafter, I shook off my disappointment and gave everything I had on and off the field ... coach Berhalter has always said that issues that arise with the team will stay 'in house' so we can focus on team unity and progress."

For context: Berhalter spoke at the HOW Institute for Society's Summit on Moral Leadership in New York last week, and an interesting chunk of quotes were made public in a Charter newsletter on Sunday. U.S. Soccer claims the intimate conversation was supposed to be off the record.

"In this last World Cup, we had a player that was clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field," Berhalter said, without naming the 20-year-old Reyna. "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."

Listen below and follow In Soccer We Trust: A CBS Sports Soccer Podcast where your three favorite former USMNT players cover everything you could possibly want to know about the United States men's national team following their World Cup elimination in Qatar.

Berhalter is a coach who tries to let players know where they stand even if it's not what they'd like to hear. It may have been even bitter for someone like Reyna who was getting back to full fitness for Borussia Dortmund in the ramp up to the World Cup. 

Reyna wasn't the only one surprised to learn about his outlook under Berhalter. The trio of Ricardo Pepi, Zack Steffen and Jordan Pefok all spoke out about missing the squad completely. But it also works both ways. In Tim Ream's case, as someone who was also criticized by Berhalter, he became a key contributor to the World Cup squad and played every available minute in central defense. 

The second bit from Reyna about issues that were supposed to stay in house is fascinating and further complicates matters. You have to imagine Berhalter spoke about things candidly in that summit because either he wanted to get ahead of any possible leaks or he knew his time as U.S. national team coach was coming to an end. No matter the case, when players begin questioning trust levels, it's hard to stay in charge. If he does continue, there will be plenty of damage to repair and only time may heal some of it.

The team seemed to have bought into Berhalter's style, but now that they're eliminated from the World Cup the cracks are beginning to show. Considering Berhalter's club management experience with Hammarby and the Columbus Crew, that's not shocking as it could be time for a fresh voice with the team.

This doesn't mean that Berhalter was wrong for benching Reyna. After all, Tim Weah was important on the wing and the USMNT haven't used a 4-2-3-1 formation, which would've required Berhalter to drop one of his other prolific midfielders (Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie). 

Regardless of who coaches the team, it's clear that Reyna has work to do in order to become a national team regular and regain the trust of his teammates. Given his age and what's at stake in 2026, he is on the right path if he can stay healthy.

Not playing as much as he'd like during the World Cup is a disappointment but it's time to put that behind him and perform at his best for club and country. Reyna's situation with the team mirrors that of McKennie who came back to become a regular for Juventus and the national team. If Reyna can follow that example, both he and the national team will be on a great path for 2026.