We’re going to miss you, Bruce. And not just for your smug sense of humor.
Bruce Arena stepped down as coach of the United States Men’s National Team today, a move that was surprising only in its timing. That is, it was a little sooner than I thought it would be, and on the same day as the Italian “Sports Court” announced the fates of the folks involved in the Serie A scandal(s). Oh. Right. No one in the U.S. cares about that, and no one in the rest of the football world cares about Bruce Arena. My bad.
Bruce Arena will be remembered as the best soccer coach the United States has ever produced. While it isn’t as though he was John Wooden or Joe DiMaggio (in terms of unassailable records), he did win a ton of games for the USMNT, maintained a strong record against Mexico, and won an elimination game at the World Cup finals. That’s pretty impressive, and the lameness of the U.S.’s most recent performances shouldn’t overshadow what he’s been able to accomplish. The USA certainly still has a way to go in world football, but we’re undeniably better (in terms of talent, results, and soccer IQ) than we were before Bruce took over — he was an excellent steward for American soccer at an important moment in its development.
Though we don’t have much official comment on the topic, it actually sounds like Klinsmann might be the guy. At least Landycakes seems to think so. Even better — where will Bruce land next? Will he get his shot with a European club? Or did the boys blow it for him in Germany?
Bruce Arena’s Eight-Year Tenure As U.S. National Team Head Coach Ends [US Soccer]
A change at the top [Soccernet]