USMNT winger, Giovanni Reyna has taken to Instagram to debunk reports which suggested that he was nearly kicked out of the United States World Cup team due to bad behavior.
The 20-year-old who plays his club football with German giants Borussia Dortmund claimed that the reports were "highly fictionalized". He also expressed his disappointment at the fact that the events that occurred concerning him in Qatar were not kept "in house".
On Sunday, it was reported that USMNT coach, Gregg Berhalter made comments about Reyna at a news conference the Tuesday before. He revealed that Reyna showed a lack of effort in training and was asked to apologize to his teammates for his behavior.
Reyna's involvement in the team during the World Cup puzzled many as the most minutes he played in one game was the entire half of the USMNT defeat against Netherlands. Reyna did not start any of their four games at the World Cup.
Reyna disappointed at treatment from USA backroom staff
On Monday, Reyna took to Instagram to address the situation. In that post, he said that his bad behavior at the time was due to the limited role he was going to play at the tournament but he eventually got over it after apologizing to the team.
"I am disappointed that there is continuing coverage of this matter (as well as some highly fictionalized versions of events) and extremely surprised that anyone on the U.S. men's team staff would contribute to it," Reyna wrote on Monday.
"Coach Berhalter has always said that issues that arise with the team will stay 'in house' so we can focus on the team unity and progress."
"I am also a very emotional person, and I fully acknowledge that I let my emotions get the best of me and affect my training and behaviour for a few days after learning about my limited role," Reyna added. "I apologized to my teammates and coach for this, and I was told I was forgiven. Thereafter, I shook off my disappointment and gave everything I had on and off the field."
"I love my team, I love representing my country, and I am focusing now only on improving and growing as a soccer player and a person.
"I hope that going forward each person involved in U.S. Soccer focuses only on what is in the best interest of the men's national team so we can enjoy great success at the World Cup in 2026."
At the HOW Institute for Society's Summit on Moral Leadership in New York on Tuesday, Gregg Berhalter said that he "had a player that was clearly not meeting expectations on and off the field".
Though Berhalter did not mention the name of the player in question, he was later identified as Reyna. The USMNT coach then told ESPN that the comments were meant to be off the record.