Bruce Arena resigned as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The question was never if Bruce would be removed, but when and how?
Fortunately for U.S. Soccer fans, the resignation of Arena (rather than his firing) is a mea culpa that needed to be displayed. For the first time in over 30 years, the U.S. will not be in the World Cup despite being in a FIFA conference that allows up to four countries to participate on soccer’s biggest stage.
Arena’s failure can be highlighted by the U.S. team’s inability to be competitive outside the U.S. In their five abroad matches during the Hex, the U.S. was winless: 0-2-3 with losses to Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago. Three points out of a possible 15 is simply inexcusable.
U.S. Soccer has a decision to make with their next hire, but shouldn’t look too far. Sporting Kansas City Head Coach and Director of Soccer Operations Peter Vermes has built an MLS empire from scratch by knowing how to scout players and implement winning tactics. For my money, there’s no better qualified coach than a proven winner with U.S. roots and a deep knowledge of the game.
If U.S. Soccer decides to go overseas (as with Klinsmann) or a step backwards (as with Bruce), do not expect the wholesale changes that are required for the U.S. to become the soccer powerhouse to which we aspire to be.