New U.S. men’s national team manager Bruce Arena has been a very busy man over the past few weeks. In preparation for his first camp in his second stint as USMNT boss, to be held in January, Arena has been globetrotting to meet and greet some of his player pool.
Beginning with the MLS Cup playoffs, Arena took in the second leg of the Seattle Sounders Western Conference final triumph over Colorado Rapids, in which Jordan Morris scored the series-clinching goal while playing with the flu.
A few days later he saw Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley punch their ticket to MLS Cup in a thrilling second leg against Montreal Impact that saw the Reds win it in extra time.
After making the domestic rounds, Arena flew over to Germany to get acquainted with several of the prominent USMNT representatives in the Bundesliga. There, he personally met with Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Christian Pulisic, Bobby Wood, and John Brooks.
“It was important to spend time with the players for us to get to know each other better and talk about where we are going and what we want this team to be about,” Arena told ussoccer.com. “I was very impressed, both professionally and personally. They want to be a part of this group, and they want the team to be successful. I’m looking forward to working with them.”
If there were any leftover worries that Arena would not include dual-nationals in his setup, this hopefully alleviates them. He’s working hard to make sure everyone knows they are wanted and that’s great to see. This is his job, obviously, but he could’ve sent others to do his bidding. The fact he’s going personally to all of these places and meeting face-to-face says a lot about his intentions to make the USMNT all-inclusive.
Arena will finish up his scouting trip by attending MLS Cup this Saturday where three of his potential USMNT members will be squaring off.
January camp is fast approaching. Arena will likely be scouring the domestic player pool now to decide which players deserve a call to his first camp. He’ll also be finalizing his coaching staff in the next week, according to Grant Wahl. It’s not expected that U-20 coach Tab Ramos will be a part of that staff. It’s also reported that his staff could look very similar to the one he had in his last season with the LA Galaxy that included Pat Noonan, his son Kenny Arena, and Matt Reis.