Gio Reyna was struck in the head with a Coke bottle after celebrating Christian Pulisic's penalty kick in the second half of extra time to lead the U.S. Men's National Team to a 3-2 win over Mexico this week. The match, which was the CONCACAF Nationals League final, took place at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, and TV footage showed Mexico fans throwing objects at U.S. players as they celebrated in front of them.
The man responsible for throwing the Coke bottle at Reyna has been identified and arrested. He has been banned from attending any other events at the stadium and is facing criminal charges. "While the night showcased Denver as a world-class soccer destination and Empower Field at Mile High as a premiere sports and entertainment venue, the actions of a few patrons, unfortunately, took away from a memorable event," stadium officials said in a statement released on Monday night per Newsweek.
Gio Reyna was hit by debris thrown by a fan as the USMNT was celebrating a goal.pic.twitter.com/NW9NdE4VUy— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 7, 2021
"In addition to ejecting several individuals for violating the fan code of conduct, our security staff worked closely with the Denver Police Department to identify five people who were arrested—four for trespassing and one for throwing projectiles. The person arrested for throwing an object on the field was identified through security footage as being responsible for injuring a U.S. player. Along with facing criminal charges, this patron will be banned from all future events at Empower Field at Mile High."
After the match, U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter said Reyna "is going to be OK." He went on to talk about how the incident shouldn't have happened. "It has no place in the game, spectators throwing objects onto the field," Berhalter said. "Total lack of respect for what's happening on the field and all the effort that both teams were putting into the game. So really disappointing to see. I think he's going to be OK, but he did take something to the head, and it could've been a lot worse."
Reyna had a strong performance in the match as he scored USA's first goal earlier in the first half to tie the score 1-1. It was his first goal in a competitive match for the senior national team after spending the last few years on the youth squads. The 18-year old also plays for Borussia Dortmund of Bundesliga in Germany.