On November 22, 2016, Bruce Arena was appointed as coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. He replaced Jurgen Klinsmann after the U.S. suffered bad losses to rival squad Mexico in Columbus, and a 4-0 defeat to Costa Rica. This costed Jurgen Klinsmann’s job, as he was fired on November 21, 2016. Sure, Klinsmann has proven he can develop young players such as DeAndre Yedlin, but due to his shrewdness and tactical ineptitude, it was decided that he wasn’t going to lead the U.S. anymore.
Bruce Arena is widely considered the best coach in American history. He has won a total of 5 MLS Cups with the LA Galaxy and D.C United, and even took the USMNT to the quarterfinals in the World Cup in 2002. This was the U.S’s best ever finish in a World Cup. This was a great decision for the country, as Arena has proven to be a great manager for both club and country. Ever since taking the job, Arena has gone unbeaten, with a record of 3-0-4. This includes a 6-0 win against Honduras and a 2-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago in the World Cup qualifiers.
Most recently, the U.S. earned a point against Mexico at Estadio Azteca, their 3rd draw in the stadium. The U.S. has never won a game at Azteca. Before the game, people were criticizing Arena for the lineup he put out, as players such as Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore, and John Brooks were on the bench. The 3-4-3 formation actually worked, as the U.S were able to draw 1-1 in Mexico, leaving many Mexican fans frustrated and angry after the match.
Even though Arena was heavily criticized, his tactics were on point. Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Bradley and Kellyn Acosta were key players that helped the team get the huge result. The U.S. are now currently placed 3rd in the CONCACAF table for World Cup qualifying. They are yet to play games against Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Trinadad & Tobago.
It has been 7 months since Arena’s appointment, and he’s proven he can do the job better than Jurgen Klinsmann. The U.S. are now more organized and are not playing down to their opponent. With the upcoming Gold Cup next month, it wouldn’t be surprising if Arena and the U.S. keep up their good form as they’ll look to improve on their 4th place finish in 2015. Bruce Arena is a perfect fit for the national team as he’ll have more success in the future.