Leadership changes have been happening rapidly around U.S. Soccer in recent weeks, and a central figure to the USMNT’s post-World Cup controversy will have a job change of his own.
Claudio Reyna, father of USMNT star Gio, is stepping down from his post as sporting director of MLS club Austin FC, the club announced Thursday. He will remain with Austin as a “technical advisor.”
“We’re grateful for Claudio’s contributions to both our club and our community,” said Austin FC Owner and CEO Anthony Precourt. “Claudio has been committed to the cause of building a club that inspires Austin, and he will remain in a position to contribute to our organization.”
Manager Josh Wolff and interim sporting director Sean Rubio will jointly handle Austin FC’s day-to-day responsibilities for the time being, per the statement.
Claudio’s stepping down comes just weeks after a spat between the Reyna family and U.S. men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter became public.
Claudio’s son, Gio, played just 53 minutes of the U.S.’s four matches at the Qatar World Cup, featuring primarily in the second half of the Americans’ loss to the Netherlands in the round of 16. Reports surfaced after the tournament that Gio showed “an alarming lack of effort” in training after being told he was going to have a limited role with the team. Berhalter, whose relationship with the Reyna family dates back decades, later discussed the situation while speaking at a leadership conference in which he described nearly sending a player home.
In a bizarre response to Gio’s lack of involvement, his mother, Danielle, brought to light an act of domestic violence by Berhalter towards his now-wife, Rosalind, that allegedly occurred in the early 1990s. The USSF launched an investigation after the incident was brought to then-sporting director Earnie Stewart.
Berhalter’s contract with the U.S. Soccer federation expired at the end of 2022 and it has yet to be renewed. The USSF, undergoing changes of its own after Stewart and GM Brian McBride parted ways with the federation within the last week, has not yet made a decision on a future manager. Anthony Hudson, an assistant on Berhalter’s staff at the World Cup, has assumed the interim duties.
Claudio had been with Austin FC since the club’s inception as an expansion team in 2019. The former USMNT captain previously served as sporting director at NYCFC during their first five seasons in MLS. Last season, Austin reached the Western Conference final.
“I am grateful that Anthony and the organization have given me the opportunity to scale back my role and responsibilities while continuing to contribute to the success of a club that I love,” Claudio said. “I take great pride in what we have accomplished but am looking forward to a less all-consuming work pace that still permits me to assist ongoing club development.”