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Reyna gets USA call-up for El Salvador, Grenada games

Gio Reyna, whose parents tried to have US coach Gregg Berhalter removed over a lack of World Cup playing time, was selected for the American squad on Wednesday by interim coach Anthony Hudson.

Hudson announced a 24-player group for CONCACAF Nations League matches in Grenada on March 24 and at home against El Salvador on March 27 in Orlando, Florida.

Reyna, a 20-year-old midfielder, played only 52 minutes over four matches for the US at the World Cup in Qatar last year.

After the tournament, Berhalter mentioned an anonymous player was nearly sent home from Qatar for poor attitude and a lack of commitment to the team, with Reyna later admitting he was the player and apologizing for his actions.

In January, it was revealed that Reyna’s parents, former US captain Claudio Reyna and his wife Danielle, had complained about Berhalter to the US Soccer Federation and revealed an incident of domestic violence involving Berhalter and his future wife from 1992.

A law firm conducted an investigation for US Soccer and determined information regarding the incident was not improperly withheld by Berhalter, with Hudson being named interim coach while the matter was being pursued.

Hudson remains in charge of the team until a new sporting director for US Soccer is hired to oversee a coaching search, with Berhalter among those in contention to become the next coach.

“The situation during the World Cup was handled as a group, there was a positive response from the player, and we all moved forward,” Hudson said regarding the Reyna affair.

“Clearly it became a bit more complex in the months since the World Cup, but as far as we’re concerned Gio is a part of our program. He’s a good guy and a top talent and he is evaluated like any other player.

“We made the roster decisions based on what gives the team the best opportunity to win these games, and we brought him in because we think he can help us do that.”

The US, who won the first edition of the CONCACAF Nations League, trail El Salvador by one point entering the final group stage matches.

Reyna is among 13 players returning for the first time since the World Cup.

“First and foremost, our objective is to win both matches,” Hudson said. “We want to defend our Nations League title and also qualify for this summer’s Gold Cup, and to do that we need to get results.

“We walked away from the World Cup knowing that we are capable of more and we’re excited to continue to move this group forward.”

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