After a roller coaster tenure that got US Soccer no where, Jurgen Klinsmann will be outshone by Bruce Arena in the upcoming qualifiers.
Klinsmann was suppose to lift the US Men’s National Team and the entire US Soccer program to the next level. Dominate CONCACAF and challenge the best from Europe and South America. After five years of failing to achieve that level his dominating hold on the program is over.
Now to be fair Jurgen did win some big matches, some that the US had never achieved before, such as the Italy victory. However, his greatest moments were almost always in friendlies. He cared too much about proving ourselves to the European giants, than focusing on football in the region.
Riekerink'in üst üste yaptığı hatalar sonrası G.Saray, 52 yaşındaki teknik adam Jurgen Klinsmann ile temasa geçti. (AMK) pic.twitter.com/bII3l9g2ZR
— Cimbom Haber 🇹🇷 (@CimbomHaberTR) December 6, 2016
Ultimately, his failure to steamroll through CONCACAF teams in qualifying and Gold Cup action sealed his fate. If you lose to 4-0 to Costa Rica (and right after a home loss to Mexico) you deserve to be fired.
So in comes Bruce Arena, and what perfect timing for him after a long successful stint with the LA Galaxy began to fade away this season. His second run out with the USMNT after World Cups in 2002 and 2006. Let’s not forget Bruce took the US to the quarterfinals, one goal away from battling South Korea for a spot in the World Cup Final.
With the US in a major qualifying hole, Arena was an excellent decision and it is easy to see why he can turn this around. Three reasons why Bruce will serve US Soccer better than Klinsmann did:
Experience – no manager has ever overseen more matches for the national side (130). He has the highest number of wins (71) and the best winning percentage at 65.77% (of managers who have more than three games). And it wasn’t all pragmatic soccer, I mean watch the LA Galaxy the last six or seven years. During Arena’s tenure his sides put up a 112+ goal differential. Bruce knows the country, the job, the rivals and how to get the US to the World Cup. At this point that is all that really matters; he can win these games with his eyes closed.
Attitude – after years of it US soccer fans had to just deal with the fact that Jurgen had all the power. Didn’t like Donovan anymore? Gone. Quality player, in form in the MLS, with no European experience? Don’t care. Appeared for him in and scored, but then had a disagreement? You’re out in the cold – I don’t coach. If the US had stayed with Jurgen he would have only continued to alienate more players, lose to CONCACAF minnows and see years go by on quality player’s international careers.
MLS Player Pool – around his eight year run with the USMNT Bruce has coached three major MLS teams – LA Galaxy, NY Red Bulls and D.C. United for a total of 459. To say he knows the league is an understatement.
There are not many in the front office, players or reporters who know MLS better than him. How this will benefit the team now is through the inclusion of players Jurgen was too arrogant to bring into camp. Klinsmann valued European experience over putting America’s best players on the pitch and winning games. Now with Bruce back at the helm, a collector and teacher of talent the US gets back…
- Darlington Nagbe – Excellent in the middle of the park, terrific passer and assist man.
- Matt Hedges – MLS Defender of the Year -> 1 cap thus far. This ends.
- Benny Feilhaber – After relying on Beckerman and Jones for too long, it is time for Feilhaber to finally return. 41 caps with the US before being shut out. MLS Best XI in 2015.
- Sebastian Lletget – Returned to the US and scored 14 goals for the LA Galaxy in his first two seasons. Energetic and familiar with Arena’s system.
- Landon Donovan – Well not likely considering he retired, again. But the US should have had Donovan all along, and he would have been in there under Bruce’s leadership.
— Steve (@stevelocker) December 12, 2016
Not to mention the potential return of Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes (another Bruce / Galaxy alum). The US has a January camp and two friendlies to organize Bruce’s system and prepare for WCQ matches in March. Expect a massive MLS call-in list, some new names, returning players, and a lot more happy faces.
8 players you had no idea have a World Cup winners’ medal…