Klinsmann’s out and Arena’s in, but is Bruce Arena the right choice for USMNT manager?
Finally, after a reported year of giving him second chances and researching into possible replacements, U.S. Soccer officially fired Jurgen Klinsmann following two embarrassing losses, first 2-1 to Mexico in Columbus and then a 4-0 loss to Costa Rica in San José. Klinsmann’s replacement is a familiar face in Bruce Arena, former USMNT manager for eight years, including producing U.S. Soccer’s best World Cup result when the team reached the quarterfinals in 2002.
Since leaving the U.S. post, Arena’s coached the MLS club LA Galaxy to overwhelming success, which many are hailing as a plus since Arena will have many connections to American players who he feels could help the national team. However, Arena’s hiring does actually point to the worrisome fact that U.S. Soccer wasn’t very successful in finding any other replacements. Sure, Arena’s pedigree is worthy of being a national team coach, but it seems kind of fishy as far as U.S. Soccer’s “research into replacements” is concerned since they decided on a guy to coaching the team before.
Regardless, anything would be better than Klinsmann, especially Klinsmann as he’s been performing over the last year. American fans have been calling for his firing for months, likely because the USMNT has performed awfully over the span of the last year. Yes, he did well as the German manager, but you have to understand that American resources for soccer are much more limited than they are in Germany. That said, Klinsmann’s problem was that he wanted Team USA to emulate Die Mannschaft, which is obviously not happening.
Basically, hiring Bruce Arena gives U.S. Soccer a renewed hope that things might be better or at least more efficient, but player development still needs to be strengthened if Team USA wants to have any hope of competing with the world’s heavyweights.