Gregg Berhalter, who coached the U.S. men’s national team at the 2022 World Cup, put out a statement Tuesday acknowledging an incident in which Berhalter kicked his now-wife Rosalind in the legs during an argument 31 years ago while the pair were dating as students at the University of North Carolina.
In the statement, Berhalter said an “individual contacted U.S. Soccer” during the most recent World Cup saying “they had information about me that would ‘take me down’” in “an effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer.”
“This is a difficult step to take, but my wife, Rosalind, and I want to clearly and directly share the truth,” Berhalter wrote.
In the statement, Berhalter says that four months after the pair started dating in the fall of 1991, they had an argument “while out drinking at a local bar.” The “heated argument continued outside” Berhalter wrote. “It became physical and I kicked her in the legs.”
“There are zero excuses for my actions that night; it was a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day. At that time, I immediately apologized to Rosalind, but understandably, she wanted nothing to do with me.”
The statement was signed by both Gregg and Rosalind Berhalter.
— Gregg Berhalter (@GreggBerhalter_) January 3, 2023
U.S. Soccer subsequently released a statement stating that upon learning of the allegation against Berhalter on Dec. 11 of last year, it “immediately hired Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an independent investigation into the matter.” The investigation remains ongoing.
The U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup on Dec. 3.
In his statement, Berhalter said he told his parents, family and friends about the incident soon after it happened and that Rosalind also informed her family at the same time. Berhalter said that authorities were not involved in the incident, and The Athletic could not find a relevant police report or other such record after an initial search on Tuesday.
Berhalter wrote that he “voluntarily sought out counseling to help learn, grow and improve — one of the most valuable decisions I ever made. To this day, that type of behavior has never been repeated.”
Berhalter also wrote that Rosalind reconnected with him seven months after the argument and they continued their relationship. “Rosalind shared that her family supported this decision and by working through what had happened, we both realized that our love, trust, and respect for each other was stronger than the incident that occurred months earlier.”
The couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this weekend, Berhalter wrote, and have four children.
“I am sharing this story after 31 years because it’s important to understand it was an event that shaped me, but doesn’t define me,” he wrote. “It was a single isolated event over three decades ago and a terrible decision made in a bad moment by an 18-year-old.”
The U.S. Soccer statement reads that in the course of its investigation into Berhalter it learned of separate “inappropriate behavior toward multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization.” The federation has expanded its investigation to include those allegations, the statement says.
“We appreciate Gregg and Rosalind coming forward to speak openly about this incident. Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we will share the results of the investigation publicly when it is complete. U.S. Soccer condemns violence of any kind and takes such allegations very seriously.”
Berhalter wrote that, “we have fully cooperated with the U.S. Soccer investigation into this matter, and while we would prefer not to speak about something so personal from so long ago in such a public forum, we are embracing this opportunity to share what has shaped us and how much we have grown and learned from this over the past 31 years.”
In its statement, U.S. Soccer said it will have “an announcement about who will lead the January men’s national team camp in the coming days.”
(Photo: Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
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