head coach Bruce Arena does not suffer fools. The American coaching legend has won five MLS Cups (and counting) and led the US Men’s National Team to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, but he’s just as famous for his blunt, take-no-prisoners manner of speaking.
But Arena’s brusk words usually contain pearls of wisdom. You don’t have to agree with him, but he will definitely make you think.
Here are 10 quotes straight from the mouth of Arena. Some of them are famous (see his thoughts on Clint Dempsey). Some are not, but should be. All reveal a bit about Bruce and his brand of soccer realism.
I would imagine I’ll find some kind of employment after the World Cup. If not, I might want to be a sportswriter.
Players on the national team should be American. If they’re born in other countries, we aren’t making progress.
If there are 23 better players than Landon, then we have a chance to win the World Cup.
Our rule of thumb is, we’re gonna play with a goalkeeper and try to play with a back four — and the next six, who knows?
When you are tentative and wait for the game to come to you, sometimes it never gets there.
The only thing experience tells me is that you can’t be 100 percent sure about any player.
Let’s face it, [goalkeepers] never like the ball. The only time they would be happy is if it was square and heavy.
Clint had a lot of ability. He has a nose for the goal. We have an expression for some players – for Clint, we continually said, ‘He tries shit.’
I’m moving on, I was not happy in the short term with those games, but now I’ve put it past me, I’m looking for greater things in life. I had a grandchild born, we’re in the middle of a heated Presidential election, [the US] lost a difficult Ryder Cup, the Yankees are hanging on for life so really I don’t give two shits about the last time that we played San Jose.
Parity translates to mediocrity. It doesn’t translate to excellence.
I don’t want to blow a lot of hot air … but I’m pretty successful at what I do. There’s reasons for it.