Claudio Reyna Steps Down as Austin FC Sporting Director Amid USMNT Scandal

Josh Wolff, Sean Rubio assume interim duties

Claudio Reyna (courtesy of Austin FC)

Claudio Reyna, the architect of Austin FC’s roster since the club’s inaugural season who earlier this month became a central figure in the ugliest family feud in American soccer history, stepped down from his post as Austin FC sporting director Thursday.

The club announced that Reyna will remain an active member of the ATXFC front office in an advisory capacity but will no longer serve as the chief decision-maker on roster-related issues nor as a front-facing representative of Austin FC in dealings with outside clubs and players.

“I am grateful that [Austin FC majority owner and CEO] Anthony [Precourt] 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 a statement. “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.”

Reyna had served as Austin FC’s sporting director – the soccer equivalent of general manager – since late 2019. He had previously held the same position with New York City FC, another MLS expansion side he helped get off the ground. With Austin, Reyna oversaw the construction of a roster that within two seasons emerged as one of the league’s top sides, reaching the Western Conference Final in 2022. Under Reyna, Austin FC’s front office identified and acquired several under-the-radar MLS veterans who have gone on to star for the Verde and Black, including Diego Fagundez and Brad Stuver, and secured the services of designated player Sebastián Driussi, an MVP candidate in 2022.

However, Reyna’s future with the club became immediately uncertain in early January when multiple reports detailed a shocking saga in which he and his wife Danielle disclosed private information to U.S. Soccer officials regarding a decades-old domestic assault committed by U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter, in retaliation to Berhalter’s treatment of their son Gio during, and in the aftermath of, the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.

In a previous issue of the Chronicle, the Verde Report argued that the Berhalter saga revealed too many flaws in Reyna’s character and judgment for him to remain in his role as Austin FC sporting director.

Reyna’s shoes will be filled, at least on an interim basis, by Sean Rubio, who had been serving as ATXFC’s director of player personnel over the past two seasons. Head coach Josh Wolff will also assume elevated responsibilities on the roster-construction side, the club announced. The announcement also made it clear that Reyna will continue to have an active role especially early on, “to help ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.”

Austin FC has 28 players officially signed ahead of the 2023 season, which begins February 25 when El Tree hosts expansion side St. Louis City FC at Q2 Stadium.

For more Austin FC news and analysis, visit The Austin Chronicle's Austin FC hub. Follow “The Verde Report” columnist Eric Goodman on Twitter: @goodman.

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