Blackmailed USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter goes public about kicking wife during drunken argument in 1991

Blackmailed USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter goes public about kicking wife during drunken argument in 1991
US men’s national soccer team head coach Gregg Berhalter was blackmailed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup for a violent incident involving his wife in 1991 (Stobe/Getty Images)

Gregg Berhalter, coach of the US men's national soccer team, has claimed he was the victim of blackmail during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and has been forced to speak out about kicking his wife in 1991. The manager has moved to clarify some personal information "which a third party has used against my family and me," as his contract expired after the competition last month.

In a lengthy confession published on his Twitter account on January 3, Berhalter talked of a violent incident with his wife Rosalind Berhalter in 1991 and admitted to "kicking her in the legs" after a heated exchange. “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.”

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Gregg Berhalter, Head Coach of United States, looks on during the United States Training and Press Conference at Al Gharafa SC Stadium on November 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
Gregg Berhalter has opened up about the violent incident involving his wife (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

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Between 1994 and 2006, Berhalter, a former defender for the USA men’s national team, shared the news with his 1,003 Twitter followers. Although his narrative cannot be backed, the US Soccer Federation verified his post, as reported by Daily Mail. The ruling authority is also looking into the matter. 



 

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The tweet read, “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 long 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.”

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Further adding, Berhalter wrote, “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. 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.”

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The 49-year-old coach who was born in New Jersey met Rosalind, 49, while playing soccer at the University of North Carolina. They began dating in 1991 and were wed eight years later. They have four children and reside in Lake View, Chicago. Berhalter told, “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. 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.”

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Gregg Berhalter, Head Coach of United States, applauds  during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and USA at Al Bayt Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.
US Soccer Federation is considering replacing Gregg Berhalter as the head coach of the US men's national team (Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“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. 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," the coach's tweet read.

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“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," concluded Berhalter. Despite the fact that Berhalter's future with team USA is up in the air, the US Soccer Federation is still reviewing his performance in Qatar in order to select the manager who will take the men's team to the 2026 North American World Cup.

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