Longtime Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger announced he will step down as manager at the end of the season on Friday. In the short term, it means an end to the Wenger In/Out meme. In the long term it means figuring out what’s next for Arsenal and Arsene. We have one suggestion for Wenger's next job: USMNT coach.
Long before that fateful day at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad, there was a glaring weakness in the USMNT that had been identified by Jurgen Klinsmann but had no real fix: essentially, an entire generation of players who should’ve been entering the prime of their careers had gone missing.
The USSF has launched its bio-banding initiative. The search for the American Messi is buoyed by widespread support for an increased scouting budget. And despite the U.S. team's absence this summer, World Cup fever will clear sporting goods stores of adidas Predators as surely as Brood X cicadas will reemerge in 2021.
Last week, U.S. Soccer announced its first youth initiative since the USMNT’s World Cup failure. Bio-banding was presented as a new way to encourage technical development in youth players big and small. It was an idea put forth by the U.S. Soccer High Performance Department. But it turns out, U.S. Soccer should have just asked Facebook, because scores of our readers responded and apparently every single one of them knows exactly how to fix U.S. soccer.
We just couldn’t help ourselves. With just over 60 days to go until the release of the most anticipated book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we had to celebrate Bruce Arena’s magnum opus, What’s Wrong with US?: A Coach’s Blunt Take on the State of American Soccer After a Lifetime on the Touchline (so blunt), by revisiting the former USMNT manager’s favorite dilemma — the MLS cohort versus their "hotshot" European counterparts.
In a certain light, Shaq Moore could be looked upon as a blueprint for young Americans looking to develop careers in professional soccer. The 21-year-old fullback spent time in the IMG Academy and the FC Dallas Academy before moving to Spain, where he rose through the reserve divisions and currently plays for Levante in the Primera Division. He has even appeared against Barcelona.
However, to hear him tell it, there is no blueprint.
You can take the USMNT out of the World Cup, but you can’t take the World Cup out of the USMNT ... or something. We might not be creating any new memories in Russia, but at least we’ve got some historical moments that're always worth revisiting. I’m talking about the 2002 World Cup team.
The team’s run to the quarterfinals of that competition was no fluke — they didn’t Portugal Euro 2016 themselves into the history books.
Bruce Arena (with the help of Jurgen Klinsmann and some uninspired performances from the players) failed to qualify the U.S. for the 2018 World Cup. Now he wants to monetize that failure with a new autobiography. The Bruce Arena book is titled “What's Wrong with US?: A Coach’s Blunt Take on the State of American Soccer After a Lifetime on the Touchline,” a clear and obvious money grab revolving around a fiasco of his own creation.
Andrija Novakovich is a 21-year-old forward for Dutch club Telstar. He’s not exactly a household name among U.S. fans, but his debut for the USMNT on Tuesday was one of the best moments for U.S. soccer in months.