Meet the new boss – same as the old boss. After firing Jurgen Klinsmann following some major World Cup failures, US Soccer named a new manager of Team USA on Nov. 22, handing the job over to former USMNT coach: Bruce Arena!
“When we considered the possible candidates to take over the Men’s National Team at this time, Bruce was at the top of the list,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a press release that announced Bruce, 65, would replace the ousted Jurgen, 52.
“His experience at the international level, understanding of the requirements needed to lead a team through World Cup qualifying, and proven ability to build a successful team were all aspects we felt were vital for the next coach,” Sunil said. “We all know Bruce will be fully committed to preparing the players for the next eight qualifying games and earning a berth to an eighth-straight FIFA World Cup in Russia.”
It’s been ten years since Bruce has led the United States Mens National Team. He was the manager from 1998 to 2006, exiting the role with a record of 71-30-29. The winningest coach in U.S. Men’s national soccer history, his biggest achievement came in 2002 World Cup. There, he saw America upset Portugal and pull a 2-0 shutout of Mexico.
“He’s a wonderful guy — just what we need right now,” Doug Logan, the first M.L.S. commissioner, told The New York Times on Nov. 21. “I’m his biggest fan. I think the world of him. He is one of the finest American coaches — in any sport.”
Bruce is known to be a fan of K.I.S.S — Keep It Simple, Stupid. “He doesn’t overcoach,” Doug said, drawing comparisons to Arsene Wegner, 67, the man who’s currently managing Arsenal to both Premier League and Championship League success.
Similarly, Arena has dominated Major League Soccer. The former goalkeeper and US Soccer Hall of Famer has coached the two top squads in the league – D.C. United and Los Angeles Galaxy. He won back-to-back MLS titles with D.C. in 1996 and 1997, before leading L.A. to three championships (2011, 2012 and 2014.) Will Bruce, who’s familiar with both World Cup success and the American style of soccer, help the USMNT keep their Russia 2018 World Cup dreams alive?
What do you think about Bruce becoming the new (for the second time) coach of Team USA, HollywoodLifers?