Pulisic: Berhalter-Reyna drama was ‘childish’
United States forward Christian Pulisic told ESPN the team does not need to make wholesale changes as it looks for a new head coach and said the controversy surrounding Gregg Berhalter and the Reyna family has been “extremely childish.”
Berhalter has been allowed to remain as a candidate for the vacant U.S. men’s national team job following an independent investigation by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which found that both Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind, accurately portrayed the nature of a 1992 domestic incident.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
Pulisic said Berhalter has been “extremely unfortunate” to no longer be the U.S. head coach after his contract was not renewed after the 2022 World Cup.
“I’m not here to appoint the next manager — it’s not my job — and whoever it is I’m going to play and give it 100%,” Pulisic told ESPN’s Graham Hunter in a wide-ranging interview at his home in London.
“Everything that happened with Gregg, first of all, has been handled in an extremely childish manner. I think we’ve seen what’s been going on. I think it’s childish, it’s youth soccer, people complaining about playing time. I don’t want to go too far into that, but I think Gregg has been extremely unfortunate to get into the position he is in now.”
U.S. interim coach Anthony Hudson previously served as an assistant under Berhalter, and he selected Gio Reyna for upcoming friendlies with Grenada and El Salvador — the midfielder’s first inclusion since the World Cup.
Pulisic said the team should not waste time in appointing a permanent coach, adding he felt the side was heading in the right direction under Berhalter.
The U.S. finished second in Group B at the World Cup in Qatar before being knocked out in the round of 16 after a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands.
“Do I feel like we should just wait and wait? I don’t think it’s necessary, because we are not in a phase like we were after not qualifying [for the 2018 World Cup] where we needed a complete rebuild,” Pulisic said.
“We don’t need a bunch of new guys coming in. We have a strong core in my opinion — people have seen that and we need to carry on with that. It’s a tough one for me because we should continue that as soon as we can and build off this World Cup, which I think had a lot of positives in it. We want to get going with that as soon as we can.”