Mexico Fan Who Hit USMNT's Gio Reyna With Bottle Arrested and Faces Criminal Charges

The fan who threw a missile that hit Giovanni Reyna during the CONCACAF Nations League final between the U.S. Men's National Team (USMNT) and Mexico on Sunday has been arrested and is now facing criminal charges, according to stadium officials.

Reyna was struck as USMNT players celebrated Christian Pulisic's penalty in extra-time, which gave the U.S. a 3-2 win over their arch rivals at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, on Sunday.

TV footage and videos posted on social media showed Mexico fans pelting U.S. players with soft drink bottles and cups as they celebrated in front of them.

Reyna, who scored the U.S. first equaliser earlier in the game to momentarily tie the score at 1-1, lay on the ground for several minutes and needed treatment from the team's medical staff after being struck in the head by what appeared to be a bottle of Coca-Cola.

I am right in the corner where USMNT celebrated, disgusting what just happened. Some people should spend night in jail tonight, or longer. Gio Reyna got smashed in the temple with a full Coca Cola.

— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) June 7, 2021

The man responsible has since been identified through security footage and was arrested on Monday. He has also been banned from attending future events at Empower Field and will face criminal charges. Four more spectators were arrested for trespassing.

"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.

"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."

Direct hit on Gio.

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) June 7, 2021

Speaking after the incident on Sunday, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter said Reyna was lucky to escape unscathed.

"It has no place in the game, spectators throwing objects onto the field," he 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."

He added: "[Reyna is] going to be O.K, but he did take something to the head and it could've been a lot worse."

Earlier in the game, referee John Pitti was forced to halt play for three minutes because of fans airing homophobic chants. Players from both teams pleaded with the fans to stop the chant, before the game resumed.

The incidents marred the USMNT's first win over Mexico in a competitive fixture for the first time in eight years. Trailing to a Jesus Manuel Corona goal just one minute into the game, the U.S. leveled the score courtesy of Reyna's first international goal halfway through the first half, before Mexico regained with 11 minutes left into the game through Diego Lainez.

El Tri's celebrations were cut short as Weston McKennie equalized three minutes later, before Pulisic sealed the game with six minutes of extra time remaining.

Giovanni Reyna of the USMNT
Giovanni Reyna #7 of the United States celebrates his goal against Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League finals at Empower Field at Mile High on June 6 in Denver, Colorado. Jamie Schwaberow/ISI Photos/Getty Images