US men’s national soccer team coach Gregg Berhalter has claimed he was blackmailed during the 2022 Qatar World Cup – and has been forced to go public about kicking his wife in 1991.
The manager, whose contract expired following last month’s tournament, has moved to clarify some personal information ‘which a third party has used against my family and me.’
In a lengthy statement posted to his Twitter profile on Tuesday, Berhalter discussed a violent incident in 1991 involving his wife Rosalind and admitted to ‘kicking her in the legs’ during an argument.
USA head coach Gregg Berhalter has claimed he was blackmailed during the Qatar World Cup
Berhalter admitted to ‘kicking his wife Rosalind (left) in the legs’ after an argument in 1991. The pair are pictured at Oktoberfest, Munich, in 2006
‘While we obviously would have wanted to advance further in the World Cup, I am very proud of and grateful for all our players, our staff, everyone at US Soccer, and all of the USMNT fans worldwide who supported us,’ the post read .
‘Our performance relied on hard work and extraordinary energy and commitment from those on and off the pitch during the years of preparation. There are so many positive examples of how our squad came together, making so many different types of sacrifices all in pursuit of our group’s shared vision.
‘I am looking forward to continuing my conversations with US Soccer about the future, but now is the time for me to publicly share some personal information which a third party has used against my family and me.’
Berhalter’s US Soccer contract officially expired at the end of last month after the World Cup
Berhalter, who played for the USA in defense between 1994 and 2006, made the information public to his 1,003 Twitter followers. His account is unverified, but the statement was confirmed by the US Soccer Federation. The governing body is also conducting an investigation.
‘During the World Cup, an individual contacted US Soccer, saying that they had information about me that would “take me down” – an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from a long time ago to bring about the end of my relationship with US Soccer, ‘ the post continued.
‘This is a difficult step to take, but my wife, Rosalind, and I want to clearly and directly share the truth. This is a story that belongs to us, but hopefully there are lessons from our relationship that can be valuable to others.
‘In the fall of 1991, I met my soulmate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind for the first time. There was a familiar feeling when we spoke. Rosalind was and is an amazing person – determined, empathetic, fun to be around – and we connected immediately.
It felt like we had known each other for years. We had been dating for four months when an incident happened between us that would shape the future of our relationship. One night, while out drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside. It became physical and I kicked her in the legs.
Berhalter released a statement to his Twitter profile on Tuesday afternoon to clarify some ‘personal information which a third party has used against my family and me’
‘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. I told my parents, family, and friends what happened because I wanted to take full responsibility for my behavior.
‘Rosalind also informed her parents, family, and friends. While the authorities were never involved in this matter, I voluntarily sought out counseling to help learn, grow and improve – one of the most valuable decisions that ever made. To this day, that type of behavior has never been repeated.’
The 49-year-old coach, born in New Jersey, met Rosalind, also 49, at the University of North Carolina where they both played soccer and started dating in 1991 before getting married eight years later. The couple live in Lake View, Chicago, and have four children.
‘I feared that I lost my soulmate and then out of the blue, seven months later I received a call from Rosalind asking if we could speak in person. We met and discussed how we had grown and decided to rebuild our relationship,’ Berhalter continued his statement.
‘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.
‘Since then, Rosalind and I have lived together in five different countries, three different states and have met and remained friends with many wonderful people from around the world. All of these people have witnessed the strong relationship we have and the loving family we have built together.
Berhalter and his wife embrace after the USA exited the World Cup on December 3
‘The lessons learned from that night over three decades ago became the foundation for a loving, devoted, and supportive relationship, which we honored and celebrated with our 25th wedding anniversary this past weekend.
‘I am sharing this story after 31 years because it is important to understand that it was an event that shaped me, but does not define me. It was a single, isolated event over three decades ago and a terrible decision made in a bad moment by an 18-year-old. Rosalind and I have been on an amazing journey together.
‘We have raised four wonderful children, who are aware of what happened.
‘We are very proud of our marriage, our relationship, the family we have built, and the people we have become.
‘As a team we emphasize accountability, honesty, and growth. Those aren’t just principles we instill within the team; it is how I live my life. The foundation of any good team is using the past as an opportunity to learn and get better.
‘People can make mistakes and learn from them; people can also be forgiven for their mistakes. Thankfully, Rosalind forgave me. The intention of this statement is 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. We will not hide from this. We didn’t then, and we won’t now.
‘This is our story. We have fully cooperated with the US 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. Thank you.
‘Rosalind and Gregg Berhalter.’
Berhalter guided the USMNT to the last 16 of the World Cup but crashed out to Holland
While Berhalter’s future with Team USA remains unknown, US Soccer is still evaluating his performance in Qatar with an eye towards picking a manager to lead the men’s squad into the North American World Cup in 2026.
A statement on Tuesday afternoon read: ‘Upon learning of the allegation against US Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter on Dec. 11, 2022, US Soccer immediately hired Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an independent investigation into the matter. The investigation is being led by Jenny Kramer, BJay Pak and Chris Marquardt of Alston & Bird LLP and remains ongoing.
‘Through this process, US Soccer has learned about potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization.
‘We take such behavior seriously and have expanded our investigation to include those allegations.
‘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. US Soccer condemns violence of any kind and takes such allegations very seriously.
Last month, US Soccer launched a full technical review of our Men’s National Team Program. With the review and investigation ongoing, US Soccer will announce who will lead the January Men’s National Team camp in the coming days. We look forward to building off the performance in Qatar and preparing for the journey towards 2026.’
Berhalter took charge of the USMNT in 2018 after starting his coaching career with LA Galaxy in 2011. He worked with Hammarby IF in Sweden and MLS team Columbus Crew SC before switching to international soccer.