Pulisic: Berhalter-Reina WC dispute was ‘childish’

United States forward Christian Pulisic told ESPN the team doesn’t need to make wholesale changes as it searches for a new head coach and said the controversy surrounding Greg Berhalter and the Reyna family is “very childish.”

Berhalter was allowed to remain as a candidate for the vacant US men’s national team job after an independent investigation by the US Soccer Federation found that both Berhalter and his wife Rosalind accurately portrayed the nature of a 1992 domestic incident.

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Pulisic said it was “extremely unfortunate” that Berhalter would not be the U.S. head coach after the 2022 World Cup did not renew his contract.

“I’m not here to appoint the next manager — that’s not my job — and whoever it is I’ll play and give 100%,” Pulisic told ESPN’s Graham Hunter in a wide-ranging interview at his home in London.

“Everything that’s happened with Greg has been handled, first of all, very childishly. I think we’ve seen what’s going on. I think it’s childish, it’s youth football, people complain about playing time. I don’t. I don’t go into it too much. I would, but I think it’s very unfortunate that Greg got into the position he’s in now.”

US interim coach Anthony Hudson previously served as an assistant under Berhalter and has selected Gio Reina for the upcoming friendlies with Grenada and El Salvador – the midfielder’s first inclusion since the World Cup.

Pulisic said the team should not waste time in hiring a permanent coach, adding that he felt the team was headed in the right direction under Berhalter.

The United States finished second in Group B at the World Cup in Qatar before being eliminated in the round of 16 with a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.

“Do I think we should just wait and wait? I don’t think it’s necessary, because we’re not at a stage where we’re not going to qualify. [for the 2018 World Cup] Where we needed a complete rebuild,” Pulisic said.

“We don’t need a bunch of new guys coming in. I think we have a strong core — people have seen that and we have to keep it going. It’s a tough one for me because we have to keep it going as soon as possible. As much as we can and build this World Cup. Pari, which I think has a lot of positive aspects to it. We want to get it going as soon as possible.”

Graham Hunter’s full interview with Christian Pulisic will air Friday, March 17 across ESPN platforms

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