US Soccer has launched an investigation after men’s national team boss Gregg Berhalter admitted he had kicked his wife of 25 years during an argument as a teenager.
The governing body instigated the probe after Berhalter, who took his side to the World Cup in Qatar, revealed he had been the subject of a threat to expose the incident involving his then girlfriend Rosalind in 1991 during the tournament.
US Soccer has also widened the inquiry to examine “potential inappropriate behaviour” towards staff members from outside the organisation.
Berhalter, a college freshman at the time, went public with a statement released via an unverified Twitter account, later confirmed to the PA news agency as genuine by US Soccer, and co-signed by his wife.
In it, he said: “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.”
The couple resolved their differences seven months later and recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
Berhalter, whose future as men’s team coach is currently under review with his existing contract having expired, said: “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.”
Commenting on the ongoing and widened investigation, US Soccer said in a statement: “Through this process, US Soccer has learned about potential inappropriate behaviour towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organisation.
“We take such behaviour seriously and have expanded our investigation to include those allegations.
“We appreciate Gregg and Rosalind coming forward to speak openly about this incident. Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we will share the results of the investigation publicly when it is complete.
“US Soccer condemns violence of any kind and takes such allegations very seriously.”