Claudio Reyna resigns as Austin FC sporting director, but will remain with MLS club as an advisor
In a major shakeup at Austin FC, Claudio Reyna resigned as the club’s sporting director Thursday afternoon.
Reyna will remain with El Tree as a technical advisor while the club figures out a longterm replacement.
Head coach Josh Wolff will lead the sporting department on an interim basis, with director of player personnel Sean Rubio being named interim sporting director.
“We’re grateful for Claudio’s contributions to both our club and our community,” Austin FC owner Anthony Precourt said in the club’s press release. “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.”
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Reyna, arguably one of the greatest soccer players the United States has ever produced who had a distinguished career with European clubs Bayer Leverkusen, VfL Wolfsburg, Rangers, Sunderland and Manchester City, was the architect of Austin FC’s roster for the club’s first two seasons after a successful five-year run in the same role at New York City FC.
Earlier this month, Reyna, 49, found himself in the center of a controversy surrounding the U.S. men’s national team stemming from events that happened in the World Cup in late November.
Reyna’s son, Gio, thought to be one of the USMNT’s better scoring threats, received little playing time in the tournament, and former USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter made comments after the tournament how a player was almost sent home due to poor behavior.
Though Berhalter didn’t specifically mention Gio Reyna, the comments were widely thought to be about him, and Gio responded to Berhalter with a lengthy post on his Instagram account the next day.
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ESPN reported earlier this month that Claudio Reyna had sent text messages to USMNT general manager Brian McBride disappointed in how his son was handled at the World Cup and threatened to reveal an alleged domestic incident from Berhalter’s past.
Claudio Reyna has denied doing so.
But Danielle Reyna, Claudio Reyna’s wife and Gio Reyna’s mother, said in a statement earlier this month that she told U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart about Berhalter’s alleged domestic incident from 1991 with a woman who is his now his current wife and at the time was Danielle Reyna’s college roommate and soccer teammate.
Berhalter addressed the incident in a lengthy post on his personal Twitter account on Jan. 3.
Berhalter’s contract as USMNT coach expired Dec. 31.
Whether the USMNT situation had any effect on Reyna’s decision at Austin FC is not known.
Reyna’s still officially with the club, just in a dramatically reduced role.
“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,” Reyna said in the club’s release. “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.”
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Claudio Reyna steps down as Austin FC sporting director for MLS team