Jan. 4—U.S. men's soccer team manager Gregg Berhalter revealed on Tuesday that he committed an incident of domestic violence against his now-wife, Rosalind, in 1991, when he was 18 years old.
"During the World Cup, an individual contacted U.S. 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 U.S. Soccer," Berhalter said in a statement signed by him and Rosalind. "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."
He said that during his freshman year of college at the University of North Carolina, he met Rosalind for the first time. They each played for the Tar Heels' respective varsity soccer teams. Four months later, they got in an argument at a bar and he 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," Berhalter said. "At that time, I immediately apologized to Rosalind, but understandably, she wanted nothing to do with me. ... 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 I ever made. To this day, that type of behavior has never been repeated."
Seven months later, Berhalter revealed, Rosalind reached back out, and the pair reconnected. They have now been married for 25 years, celebrating their anniversary a few days ago, and have four children.
"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," Berhalter said. "It was a single, isolated event over three decades ago and a terrible decision made in a bad moment by an 18-year-old."
He further said: "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."
Berhalter is now 49, and his contract as U.S. men's team manager officially expired at the end of 2022. There has been no word yet on whether he will continue in the job.
The U.S. Soccer Federation said it learned of the allegations on Dec. 11, and immediately hired an independent law firm to conduct an investigation. The results will be published when the investigation is complete; no timeline was given for when that may happen.
"Through this process, U.S. Soccer has learned about potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization," the governing body said in a statement. "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."
The Berhalters' statement said they "have fully cooperated with the U.S. 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."
U.S. Soccer's statement also said it began a review of the men's national team's on-field performance last month. Sporting director Earnie Stewart said after the team's elimination from the World Cup that a review was in the plans.
A source with knowledge of the matter said one of Berhalter's assistant coaches who is still under contract will take the helm on an interim basis for this month's training camp, which will mainly have MLS players in their offseasons. The same source said the arrangement does not preclude Berhalter from getting a new contract. It seems a final decision there has not yet been made.
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