Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate to return to coach the US men’s soccer team following an independent investigation into allegations of domestic abuse, the US Soccer Federation said Monday.
The three-month investigation by law firm Alston & Bird was launched in January after it was raised about a 1991 incident in which Berhalter kicked his future wife, Rosalind, while they were dating at university.
Berhalter had admitted to the “shameful” incident and the investigation concluded that he had not committed any additional acts of violence.
“Given the investigators’ conclusion that there are no legal bars to hiring him, Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate to serve as head coach of the Men’s National Team,” US Soccer said in a statement.
Berhalter had guided the United States in what was widely considered a successful World Cup campaign last year, with the team reaching the round of 16 in Qatar.
But an acrimonious feud between Berhalter and Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna, who was barely used in Qatar, erupted into the public eye when news broke Reyna had nearly been sent home after a mediocre approach to training.
Berhalter did confirm the reports in comments at a conference on “moral leadership” after the World Cup.
Reyna was angered by those public comments, and in another twist, news broke that US Soccer had been tipped off to the 1991 incident by Gio Reyna’s family.
His father, Claudio Reyna, is a former US captain and Berhalter’s teammate.
Berhalter’s coaching contract expired on December 31, and World Cup assistant Anthony Hudson oversaw a national training camp in January.
Although Berhalter remains in the race to regain the job, US Soccer said it would not hire a coach until it named a new sports director, a position that oversees all national teams.
Earnie Stewart left that job in February.
“US Soccer’s process to determine who will serve as sporting director is ongoing and interviews are underway,” the federation said Monday. “The Sports Director will lead the process of determining who will serve as head coach of the Men’s National Team.”
The governing body also noted that the report “identifies a need to review US Soccer’s policies regarding appropriate parental conduct and communications with staff at the national team level.
“We will update those policies as we continue to work to ensure safe environments for all participants in our game,” US Soccer said.