wherein DF travels to Deutschland for the 2006 world cup to follow the US men's national soccer team

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Il Bruce

The boards and the blogs have picked up on this already, but I have to echo their enthusiasm for Grant Wahl's stellar article on USMNT coach Bruce Arena. (That's actually the followup piece to the original that ran in SI; you have to buy the magazine or an online sub to get the latter.)

The article explains in detail something most US fans already know: that Bruce is one of, if not the, major reasons for the rise of US soccer in the past few years. The guy simply knows how to win. He's been the coach ever since I followed the team closely, so I've never had to be in a situation where there were coaching problems, but they're obviously endemic at the national team level, where some countries just can't seem to choose and commit to a system that works for them. It's not only Bruce's talent as a coach that recommends him, it's also the fact that he's been around for so long that helps the team have a sense of stability and confidence that other national teams lack.

There's talk in the article of Bruce's future. The norm is that coaches would stick around for two World Cups at the absolute max, but Wahl's sources suggest that barring a disaster in Germany (or a success so spectacular that Bruce is sure to leave for a club in Europe), he'll likely stay with the US. This may seem like an unorthodox move, but I don't see why there's any reason to get rid of the best coach the US has ever had just for the sake of change. England's great coaches--Walter Winterbottom and Alf Ramsey--led their teams for seventeen and eleven years, respectively. It may be the case that Bruce chooses to move on (and the extended interview that is included in the Journey to Germany DVD suggests that he's contemplating this), but if he doesn't US Soccer would be insane to let him go.


Blogger mirarchi said...

Fantastic article on Il Bruce -- thanks for posting the link to it. I also really enjoyed reading Wahl's earlier article on Arena, written when Arena was still coaching at DC.

10:07 AM, May 02, 2006


Post a Comment

<< Home