US football has seen a rapid change of leadership in recent weeks, and the central figure in the post-World Cup USMNT controversy is set to change his own job.
USMNT star Gio’s father, Claudio Reina, is stepping down as sporting director for MLS club Austin FC. the club announced on ThursdayHe will remain in Austin as a “Technical Advisor”.
Anthony Precourt, owner and CEO of Austin FC, said: “Claudio is committed to the cause of creating an inspiring club in Austin and will remain a contributing member of our organization.”
Manager Josh Wolfe and interim sporting director Sean Rubio will jointly handle Austin FC’s day-to-day operations for the foreseeable future, according to a statement.
Claudio’s resignation comes just weeks after an altercation between the Reina family and US men’s national team coach Greg Verhalter went public.
Claudio’s son, Gio, played only 53 minutes in the USA’s four games at the Qatar World Cup, mostly appearing in the second half of the USA’s Round of 16 loss to the Netherlands. Reported after the competition Gio said he showed an “amazing lack of effort” in training after being told his role on the team would be limited. He said he was about to send the player home.
In a bizarre reaction to Gio’s lack of involvement, mother Daniel said, domestic violence came to light by Verhalter to his now-wife, Rosalind, allegedly in the early 1990s. After the incident was brought to then-sports director Ernie Stewart, the USSF launched an investigation.
Burhalter’s contract with the United States Soccer Federation expires at the end of 2022 and has not yet been renewed. Since then, the USSF has undergone its own transformation stewart and GM Brian McBride He parted ways with the federation within the last week and has yet to make a decision about his future manager. Anthony Hudson, who was an assistant to Verhalter’s staff at the World Cup, assumed interim duties.
Claudio has been with Austin FC since the club was founded as an expansion team in 2019. The former USMNT captain served as sporting director at his NYCFC during his first five seasons in MLS. Last season, Austin made it to the Western Conference Finals.
“I am grateful to Anthony and the organization for giving me the opportunity to reduce my role and responsibilities while continuing to contribute to the success of the club I love,” said Claudio. But I’m looking forward to doing less of the wasted work so I can help the ongoing development of the club.”