TENAFLY, N.J. -- Happy Birthday to retired American soccer player -- and Tenafly native -- Gregg Berhalter.
Berhalter was born at what was then Englewood Hospital 42 years ago today.
He was a high school teammate of Claudio Reyna at Saint Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark and played college soccer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In 1993, he spent the collegiate off season playing for the Raleigh Flyers of the USISL.
Berhalter left UNC after his junior year, signing with Dutch club Zwolle in 1994. He later played for Sparta Rotterdam and SC Cambuur Leeuwarden in the Netherlands and with Crystal Palace in England.
Berhalter played a significant role for the U.S. at the 2002 World Cup, stepping in for an injured Jeff Agoos and starting the last two games.
After a 15-year career in Europe, Berhalter moved back to the U.S. in April 2009. He signed the Los Angeles Galaxy player -- and in his very first season helped the team cut its goals against in half -- from 61 to 30.
Besides being a leader on defense, he mentored Omar Gonzalez to Rookie of the Year honors.
On November 14, 2009, he scored in the 103rd minute of the scoreless Western Conference final, propelling the Galaxy to a 2–0 win over the Houston Dynamo and into the 2009 MLS Cup.
In his second season, the Galaxy won the MLS Supporters Shield and further reduced their goals against to 26 for the season, a Galaxy record.
On October 12, 2011, Berhalter announced his retirement at the end of that eason.
He became a Galazxy assistant coach -- and soon after was named head coach for Swedish club Hammarby IF.
It made him the first American to ever manage a professional soccer team in Europe. Berhalter was dismissed two year later and became the sporting director and head coach of Columbus Crew.
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