Bruce Arena was brought in to right the United States ship and get the side to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Yanks took four of their final 12 available points, including a home loss to Costa Rica, a road draw at Honduras, and an away loss Tuesday at Trinidad and Tobago.
That’s the same nation Paul Caligiuri and the Yanks beat to qualify for the 1990 World Cup, a return to that stage for the first time in ages.
Now, it feels like they are back in the wilderness. Bruce, your thoughts?
Well, hand it to the man, as he’s still supportive of the direction of the program, saying, “There’s nothing wrong with what we’re doing.”
As for the game…“Our center backs were not confident with the ball, and really we were playing eight against 10 in the first half. Our forwards were not able to hold the ball. We didn’t get Pulisic into the game. We played poorly.”
And the goals… “The first goal was unfortunate. Those things happen. The second goal was an incredible shot. What can you say?”
Hopefully something better than that!
On not qualifying… “It’s good for CONCACAF that they had such a competitive go at it. Mexico was the dominant team in the Hex. The teams that finished third, fourth, and fifth were pretty inconsistent throughout the campaign.”
On his work… “We didn’t qualify for the World Cup. That was my job to get the team qualified for the World Cup. … No excuses. We failed today.”
On his player selection and the player pool… “If we had qualified for the World Cup, there needed to be a number of changes for the World Cup roster.”
That last statement is inexcusable. Bruce Arena pretty much admitted he didn’t play or even bring his best players to the party. Now they’re not invited to the bigger one.