Skip to Content

Gregg Berhalter, U.S. Soccer Release Statements About Alleged Blackmail Plot Over 1991 Domestic Violence Incident

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 3: Greg Berhalter of the United States lines up for the national anthem before a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Netherlands and USMNT at Khalifa International Stadium on December 3, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Two days after his contract with U.S. Soccer expired, men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter released a joint statement with his wife Rosalind describing an alleged plot by someone to "leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer." As laid out in the statement, the blackmail plot concerned a 1991 incident in which Berhalter, then 18 years old, kicked his wife Rosalind in the legs during a "heated argument" outside of a bar. Details of the incident were not public until Tuesday.

The Berhalters' statement tells a long story about how their relationship evolved in the wake of the incident, which they say they publicized "to provide transparency and to reinforce that a single bad decision made by a teenager does not necessarily define him for the rest of his life."

Minutes later, U.S. Soccer released a statement of its own. This one said that the organization hired a law firm to investigate the 1991 incident against Berhalter, which the organization was made aware of one week after the U.S. was eliminated by the Netherlands in the Round of 16, and days after the two parties were rumored to be discussing a contract extension. Interestingly, the U.S. Soccer statement references "potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization." The statement says the investigation is still ongoing, and that the results will be publicized when it wraps up.

This investigation could explain why so little news has leaked out about the USMNT's coaching search. As the U.S. Soccer statement mentions, the annual January camp for North American players is fast approaching with nobody in charge.

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter