Bruce Arena seems to be paying dearly for his sins after he led the U.S Men’s National Team to bury their 2018 world cup dreams. He had signed a contract running through next summer, but following the events of Tuesday night when the U.S Men’s National Team lost 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago, his services as the team manager are no longer needed.
Arena signed the contract last November following the firing of the then Men’s National team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, who had lost the first two rounds of the world cup final round qualifying matches. Bruce Arena was brought on board to steady a sinking boat. His primary role was to lead the team to Russia.
He managed to get through some waves, but the last one capsized the ship upside down. Arena, in a statement, acknowledged the knowledge of the challenges he was getting himself into when he took the job. He said that everyone involved in the U.S Men’s National Team did everything they could for the past 11 months, but at the end, they failed terribly. He, however, took full responsibility for the shortcomings.
Arena’s first matches since November gave promising results. He crushed Honduras 6-0 on the very first one, followed by a draw to Panama, and a win in T&T’s first leg, and a draw in Estadio Azteca stadium in Mexico.
All these achievements were wiped away by the terrible 2-1 lose the Americans suffered at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago. And it all had everything to do with the coach. The changes he made before the match cost the team its spot at the world cup games in Russia.
The worst of all was leaving the America’s best defender, Geoff Cameron out of the match and replacing him with Omar Gonzalez. Omar’s own goal was the blow that sent the Men’s team staggering for stability and eventually crashing down at the foot of the enemy.
Bruce Arena’s Legacy
That one mistake is placing irremovable stain in stain Arena’s already complicated legacy. He coached the US Men’s national team between 1998 and 2006. It is during this period that America went close to winning the trophy in 2002 when they played up to quarterfinals. However, in 2006, the team qualified for the world cup but was defeated all the way to their elimination.
Other than the national team, Arena has coached and won several trophies in DC United, L.A Galaxy, and the New York Red Bulls. He is also a National Soccer Hall of Famer.
As he resigned, Bruce Arena maintained his staunch belief that there is still hope for the national team and that it is on the right path.