Bruce Arena has written a book! After leading the USMNT to its worst international showing in 30 years, American Manager Bruce Arena has put pen to paper to explain what’s wrong with US. And no, it doesn’t involve MLS signing Zlatan. The title of the book is What’s Wrong With US? A Coach’s Blunt Take on the State of American Soccer After a Lifetime on the Touchline, and if anyone knows what is wrong with soccer in the United States, Bruce Arena is definitely has first hand knowledge on the subject. Steven Goff of the Washington Post excerpted a few items from the tome.
It includes the tidbit that Arena was asked to replace Jurgen Klinsmann six months prior to the U.S. losses against Mexico and Costa Rica to open the Hex. Goff summarized how the process went, noting:
Gulati, Arena wrote, was trying to finalize a deal without Arena’s agent, Richard Motzkin, getting involved. Arena didn’t want to sign off on it without Motzkin’s input. The next day, Arena said he and Flynn were scheduled to talk further about the job.
Goff goes on to note that Dan Flynn’s heart transplant soon after the offer was made to Arena prevented the deal from going through. So there was a backroom deal to make Arena manager while Gulati was even trying to keep the coach’s agent out of the process. That certainly answers the question of how it was determined that Bruce Arena would become manager of the USMNT and seems to undermine the former USSF President’s claims of transparency that he made in February.
The manager went on to describe how he felt watching the U.S. lose away to Costa Rica 4-0, writing:
“I had trouble watching the Costa Rica game,” Arena wrote. “Seriously. It was uncomfortable for me to see the U.S. team playing that way, out of sync and at odds with one another, looking as though they didn’t really care all that much. … Those back-to-back losses were a fiasco for U.S. soccer, and no matter how much blame lay at Klinsmann’s feet, it was clear he’d coached his last game for the U.S.
“Having been offered the job months earlier, I knew what was coming.”
Luckily, Arena would be much more successful against Costa Rica and only let them score two goals on the Stars and Stripes at home.
So, would Bruce Arena do anything differently after the historic failure of finishing fifth in the Hex and missing the World Cup for the first time since 1990? Let’s hear it from him:
“If I had it all to do over again, I’d take the job again in a second, and even though people don’t want to hear it, I don’t think that, given the limited time I had, there is much I would do differently, either.”
At least he knows that people don’t want to hear it.
If Harper Collins wants to change the title of the book before it is relaseed on June 12, I have a humble suggestion: