Former USMNT coach Bruce Arena is part of the broadcast team for Tuesday’s national team match in Portugal.
The (almost) three cycle USMNT boss had plenty to say regarding the team turning the page, and also talked about the side’s failure to qualify for Russia.
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The juiciest and most head-scratching quote came when it came to who in Tuesday’s young lineup would’ve been a part of his crew for Russia.
Arena didn’t have access to John Brooks for the final two qualifiers, and sat Stoke City mainstay Geoff Cameron. Instead he chose Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler at center back, not even calling in Matt Miazga.
FYI, according to Arena (yes, I’m still bitter): Miazga wasn’t good enough to get that call for the qualifiers, but likely would’ve started for Arena in Russia.
“We had some injuries during the year in particular the center back position. John Brooks wasn’t available for a long time and today we see John Brooks partnering up with Matt Miazga. If I were a betting man, I would’ve bet that those two would be our center backs for the World Cup.”
Sweet. Sweet, sweet, sweet.
As time goes by, it seems more and more like Arena thought the “Don’t do what Klinsmann did because he’s dumb” game plan was all he needed to make it to Russia. He followed his preconceptions and is now still trying to find a rationale for his side’s big failure.