Bruce Arena - I'm a builder; US will not win 2010 World Cup
As far as Red Bull is concerned, he enjoyed it but he doesn't think they gave him the time needed to succeed. "He simply wishes they had shown a little more patience with their soccer team, as he was given just over a year to turn around a team that had very little going for it before he took over in August 2006."
He points to roster changes he made and the fact that the team had a winning season along with a playoff berth as proof that he was moving the club forward. In addition, he changed the structure of the league by adding a Technical Director, which other teams are now doing as well.
Overall, it is hard to argue that Arena had anything less then a good 2007 season with the team. Sure, there were some questionable choices (bringing in Reyna is the big one), but it can be argued that the play of Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore offset such things. But Red Bull was looking for great, not good.
On international matters, he thinks the unsung hero of US national soccer is Dan Flynn because without him US soccer would have gone bust after the 1998 World Cup.
I’ll tell you that one guy who has never gotten his due and deserves it is [U.S. Soccer CEO and Secretary General] Dan Flynn. He has done a phenomenal job getting that organization back on its feet financially. It was a mess. Today, people are reaping the benefits from it.So could this be a bit of a backhand to Sunil Gulati? Since Arena also talks about how he built up the team on the pitch where does that leave the US Soccer President? Perhaps just cheering on the team as some sort of great or super fan.
In ’98, U.S. Soccer had about a year of financial survival left. And when Dan came in back in 2000, he did an absolutely phenomenal job and he’s made that organization what it is on the financial side. He deserves a lot of credit.
Although Arena likes the progress the game has made in the US, he feels the size makes it difficult to develop players as it would be easier to have a unified evaluation environment with a smaller country.
Also, he wants to make something very clear, “the United States is not going to win the World Cup in 2010.” And the rest of the world says, "no, really?"
Finally, it looks like Arena might be trying out for Setanta spokesman as he cannot say enough nice things about the soccer station. "At home, I just got Setanta, as well. It’s absolutely great with all the games you get. It’s unbelievable, you get additional Champions League games, you get additional Premiership games and everything else you can imagine. It’s fantastic. ... The other day I watched Gregg Berhalter play in the German Cup game against Bayern Munich. It was fun to watch."
Maybe he could do an ad with John O'Brien.