Bruce Arena

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USMNT: Arena “hopeful” to cap Dom Dwyer this summer

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Dom Dwyer is on Bruce Arena’s radar.

The English-born Sporting KC striker gained U.S. citizenship in March, and is hopeful of becoming the second member of his marriage to wear the red, white, and blue despite being born in another country.

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Dwyer moved to the U.S. in 2009, where he terrorized defenses at the junior college and Division I level. He married USWNT striker Sydney Leroux in 2015, and has been open about his desire to represent his adopted nation.

USMNT coach Arena is seemingly just as ready to cap the 26-year-old. From MLSSoccer.com’s Simon Veness:

“Dom’s a very good player,” Arena said. “He has just become eligible and is certainly on our radar. I’m hopeful between now and the end of summer we’ll have an opportunity to have him play for the US.”

Dwyer has five goals in 10 MLS matches this year, giving him 67 in 149 appearances for Sporting KC. He’s likely to be called up for the Gold Cup in July.

The Yanks play their group games in Nashville, Tampa, and Cleveland.

Bruce Arena: US should be in conversation for 2026 World Cup champion

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With new World Cup fervor surrounding the United States amid the announcement of a CONCACAF bid for the 2026 World Cup, there has been talk about what a successful bid could mean for the growth of US Soccer.

The United States hosted the 1994 World Cup, and many saw that as a coming out party for the USA on a global stage, and US head coach Bruce Arena echoed that sentiment. Then he said this time around, the United States could use home field advantage to achieve a much bigger triumph.

“In 1994, the U.S. was looked at as this emerging frontier in the game and FIFA wanted to bring the U.S. into the world’s game,” Arena said via a teleconference Thursday. “In 2026, we’re going to be fully emerged into the game and a big player. I think 2026 will be the time where we are going to start talking about winning the World Cup. It wasn’t going to be in 1994. It wasn’t going to be in 2010. But 2026 could be our time.”

Arena brought the United States to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, but the nation has not advanced past the Round of 16 since. 1994 brought the US out of the group stage as well, but they fell 1-0 to eventual champions Brazil in the first knockout stage.

Popularity for the game has grown exponentially in the United States, but that hasn’t exactly translated to tangible growth on the field in the last decade or two. The US achieved its highest-ever FIFA ranking in early 2006, rising to 4th in the world, but they fell off with an unsuccessful World Cup later that summer, ending a stretch of five years where they reached the top 10 at least once in every calendar year. They have not cracked the top 10 since.

Report: USMNT to face Venezuela, Ghana in summer friendlies

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The U.S. Men’s National Team calendar will be packed this summer between CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and Gold Cup, and Bruce Arena’s side has reportedly added two more matches to the fold.

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According to ESPN FC, the USMNT will meet Venezuela and Ghana in June and July, respectively, as the team prepares for its busy summer schedule.

While Ghana has become a World Cup powerhouse over the last several international cycles, Venezuela has already been eliminated from reaching the 2018 World Cup in Russia out of the CONMEBOL region.

The U.S. will take on the South American side on June 3 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah before meeting Ghana on July 1 at Rentschler Field in East Harford, Connecticut.

Arena’s squad will resume WCQ just five days after the Venezuela match when the USMNT hosts Trinidad & Tobago in Denver, Colorado. The U.S. will then travel to the Azteca Stadium to face Mexico on June 11.

The USMNT currently sits in fourth place in the Hexagonal on four points. The top three nations from CONCACAF automatically qualify for the World Cup at the conclusion of qualifying, while the fourth-place side will compete in a playoff against the fifth-place nation from Asia.

USMNT to Denver: The Hex heads a mile high

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U.S. Soccer has finally announced the destination for the USMNT’s third home World Cup qualifier of the Hex.

Bruce Arena will lead him men onto the pitch at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, for a June 8 qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago.

With a trip to Azteca just three days later, the match is an absolute must-win for the U.S., who will enter the T&T qualifier in fourth place in the Hex.

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The first three finishers in the Hex qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while the fourth place team would face the Asian playoff winner for another berth.

“In a World Cup Qualifying campaign, winning games at home is critical,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “In all ways, Colorado provides a great environment for our team. We are at an important stage of the campaign, and we look forward to the great support.”

Kickoff is set for 7:50 p.m. EDT.

Three takeaways from the USMNT’s 1-1 draw at Panama

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What did we learn from the United States’ 1-1 draw in Panama City on Wednesday?

For one thing, that the coach isn’t going to matter without a number of your very best players.

[ MORE: Match recap | Player ratings ]

The USMNT saw precious few moments of brilliance from its injury-ravaged side, saved by its soon-to-be all-time leading scorer, its 18-year-old star attacker, and its legendary goalkeeper.

But mainly, we saw that you can change the boss, but you need better performances to make a difference.

Limits of depth tested in ugly affair

Bruce Arena was without his best center back pairing thanks to injury, and you could argue he was without his best back four if you see Fabian Johnson as a left back (John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, DeAndre Yedlin, and Johnson).

The U.S. also couldn’t pair Bobby Wood with Jozy Altidore or Clint Dempsey, and lost Sebastian Lletget to injury on Friday. Timmy Chandler has rarely thrived with the USMNT, but it certainly would’ve been nice if Arena had called him up for the second match alone (He was suspended Friday for yellow card accumulation).

Given the above, this was not a pretty match. You just have to hope this isn’t the result that keeps them from Russia.

Mexico, revisited (What game plan?)

This might be an unpopular take, but Tuesday’s loss was nothing more than the performance put forth against Mexico in Columbus.

The main differences? Tim Howard was there to make a tremendous save, and Panama is nowhere near to the level of El Tri.

[ WATCH: Full match replay (Spanish) ]

The Yanks didn’t have a great plan other than to outwork Panama. This isn’t a big knock on the coach’s tactics given the lack of starting caliber players noted above, but once Panama flooded the middle of the pitch with fouls and tight tackles, an answer wasn’t provided by the players or the coach.

Plan B hasn’t been a U.S. strong suit for a long time, perhaps back to the finer moments of the Bob Bradley era. Arena got away with one on Tuesday.

Rough road ahead

This is something we know, but my was it reinforced: Winning CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers at home is a necessity, because there’s carnage and bad pitches on the road.

Perhaps that could’ve changed if referee Cesar Ramos brought a yellow card out for either team at any point in the proceedings. Christian Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe were fouled as part of Panama’s game plan, and the Yanks’ beleaguered defense went with a similar plan as the sloppy match wore into the waning moments.

The U.S. is still in control of its own World Cup destiny, of course, but simply must handle its business in remaining home matches against Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, and Costa Rica. T&T is next, and anything other than three points sends them into Azteca in a bad, bad way.