US coach Berhalter admits kicking future wife in 1991 incident

US national football coach Gregg Berhalter, his future uncertain after a last-16 World Cup run, admitted Tuesday kicking his girlfriend in a 1991 incident that US Soccer is investigating.

After the US Soccer Federation was contacted during the World Cup by "an individual" looking to "bring about the end of my relationship with US Soccer," Berhalter released a statement with his now-wife Rosalind detailing the matter.

"It was a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day," Berhalter said. "There are zero excuses for my actions that night."

Berhalter said he was 18 and a college freshman and had dated Rosalind for four months when they were drinking at a bar.

"Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside," Berhalter said. "It became physical and I kicked her in the legs."

Berhalter said the incident from more than three decades ago made a lasting impact.

"While the authorities were never involved in this matter, I voluntarily sought out counseling to help learn, grow and improve -- one of the most valuable decisions that I ever made," he said.

"To this day, that type of behavior has never been repeated."

US Soccer said in a statement that it began an investigation into the matter after learning of the allegation against Berhalter on December 11, more than a week after the Americans were eliminated by the Netherlands in Qatar.

"We appreciate Gregg and Rosalind coming forward to speak openly about this incident," the statement said.

"US Soccer condemns violence of any kind and takes such allegations very seriously."

US Soccer said it is also looking into "potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization.

"We take such behavior seriously and have expanded our investigation to include those allegations."

- 'Doesn't define me' -

Berhalter said that seven months after the physical violence, Rosalind called him and they "decided to rebuild our relationship," which saw a 25th wedding anniversary last weekend.

"It was an event that shaped me but doesn't define me," Berhalter said. "It was a single, isolated event over three decades ago and a terrible decision made in a bad moment by an 18-year-old."

Berhalter said it was a "difficult step" he and Rosalind made to "share the truth," adding, "This is a story that belongs to us" and he was thankful for her forgiveness.

"The intention of this statement is to provide transparency and to reinforce that a single bad decision made by a teenager does not necessarily define him for the rest of his life," Berhalter said.

"We will not hide from this. We didn't then and we won't now."

The sordid matter became public as US Soccer's leadership is undergoing a full technical review of the national team, deciding whether or not Berhalter will be retained as US coach.

The American squad's next four-year cycle culminates with sharing host duties for the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and Canada. It kicks off with a training camp later this month and home matches against Serbia on January 25 and Colombia three days later.

"US Soccer will announce who will lead the January men's national team camp in the coming days," the group's statement said. "We look forward to building off the performance in Qatar and preparing for the journey towards 2026."