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Former Sunderland man quits role amid US soccer World Cup blackmail scandal

Sunderland Nation on FanNation logo Sunderland Nation on FanNation 1/27/2023 Michael Graham
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It continues to properly kick off in US Soccer, with a former Sunderland man right at the heart of it.

Former Sunderland midfielder Claudio Reyna has resigned as sporting director of MLS team Austin FC as US Soccer continue to be rocked by the alleged World Cup blackmail scandal.

Reyna spent two years with Sunderland between 2001 and 2003 before moving on to Manchester City.

It has been a tough few months for Reyna, though, with his family embroiled in a bitter public row with US World Cup coach Gregg Berhalter.

Berhalter has alleged that Reyna’s wife, Danielle, threatened to blackmail him into giving son Gio Reyna more game time at the 2022 World Cup. He even came out publicly with the information Danielle Reyna allegedly held over him him with, which was a confession that he kicked his wife in the 1990s.

Danielle denies any attempt at blackmail and Claudio Reyna has publicly backed his wife.

It is a scandal that is rumbling through the highest parts of US soccer, and Reyna has now decided to step down at Austin FC as a result, although he will continue to serve the club as an advisor.

“I am grateful that Anthony [Precourt, the Austin FC owner] 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.

“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.”

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