Former USMNT coach Bruce Arena has been rumored as a potential replacement for Jurgen Klinsman if he were to be fired, but some strong words for foreign-born players on the national team resurfaced on Friday on Twitter.
In a 2013 edition of ESPN The Magazine, the current Los Angeles Galaxy coach said the following:
"Players on the nat'l team should be American. If they're born in other countries, we aren't making progress." -Bruce Arena, in next issue— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) March 14, 2013
They should be American and if they are born in other countries we aren't making progress?
Umm ... yeah. That's not going to go over well if he one day is the coach again. He is implying that players that aren't born in the U.S. aren't American? Come on, Bruce.
The current national team has numerous players born in other countries, many from Germany, and many with at least one American parent. The roster used for the last two World Cup Qualifying matches featured a player born in Mexico, one in England and four in Germany.
One of them is Fabian Johnson, one of the team's best players. With very little depth behind him on the outside of the defense, if you think this team is playing poorly now, what would they be without Johnson and some of the others?
It begs the question -- how would things go if Arena is the coach again and his players see these words. Would they embrace him or hold a grudge? Would he look to explain himself?
Some may wonder if this has been a problem for Arena for a long time. I mean, he had five players on the 2002 World Cup squad that weren't born in the U.S. Just because Jeff Agoos was born in Switzerland doesn't mean he isn't American, does it?
Martin Lawrence was born in Germany but is American. And his TV show "Martin" was and still is the best. But is it not a true American comedy because of where he was born?