Tag Archives: US Men’s National Team

Vermes? Donovan? Who should replace Bruce Arena as USMNT manager? Five early names

By, Kyle Gibson

I once said if U.S. Soccer ever built a national stadium like England’s famed Wembley, they should call it Bruce Arena.

Now, that name will probably never happen after Arena presided over the biggest failure in USMNT history and resigned Friday.ย 

Before anyone even finished reading Brucie’s words in his published statement, many were asking who his replacement would be (myself included).

Here are five potential managers the US should take a look at. Three coach in the U.S. One coaches in the Premier League, but is familiar with the USMNT and the other is a dark horse that might not ever happen, but we’re all just having fun, right?

Peter Vermes, Sporting Kansas City

Peter isn’t a sexy pick, but he is consistently one of the best coaches in MLS and has established a signature playing style in KC. Every time I hear him talk soccer, I am blown away by his knowledge.

Knocks against Vermes might be that he has only won one MLS Cup in his tenure. However, Vermes has lifted three US Open Cups with Sporting, which may help out his case, since World Cups are played in a tournament fashion. (Still yet, the US did just miss the World Cup by failing in a group-stage type of atmosphere. Just trying to be fair.)

Also, fans may not want another product of MLS after Arena, just like there was some sentiment against another fancy-pants foreigner when Jurgen Klinsmann left.

Tata Martino, Atlanta United

Martino was suggested on Twitter and makes sense. He has Atlanta playing electric soccer in its first season and has huge international experience as the former manager of Argentina and FC Barcelona.

Martino, Messi and Co. failed to win two straight Copa Americas in 2015 and 2016, however, after being rim-stuffed by God and Chile twice in a row. At Barcelona, Martino committed the cardinal sin of not winning a single trophy in his only season. Even though he failed to win the ultimate prize in these two jobs, I think he is still a very good manager.

Keep in mind, foreign managers typically descend into madness in MLS with its insane rules and long-haul flights. Martino has kept his head so far, which says a lot.

Caleb Porter, Portland Timbers

OK, I included Porter because I had seen his name thrown around. He certainly brings an attractive style to the table, but I do not think he should be the U.S. manager.

I think his Portland teams have underachieved besides his MLS Cup victory in 2015 and he was the manager for one of the US-U23 teams that missed the Olympics and cost the team development.

Porter is a good MLS coach. I just don’t think he deserves a chance with the national team yet.

David Wagner, Huddersfield Town

This one makes a little less sense, but for Wagner, not the U.S. The German, former U.S. player (eight appearances) finally has Huddersfield Town in the Premier League and the Terriors are hanging tough in 11th place with scrappy, no nonsense soccer and brief moments of real skill.

Why would Wagner leave the rarefied air of the Premier League to take charge of a side missing the World Cup? I just don’t think he does. Maybe in a few years, if the job looks a bit more interesting, he might consider.

Landon Donovan, Chilling/Broadcasting

This is that dark horse I was talking about earlier. Donovan is the greatest player in U.S. history and knows a lot about qualifying for World Cups. He scored 12 in qualifiers and another five at World Cups. As a kid, I remember watching Donovan and seeing how fearlessly he seemed to line up in those road qualifiers in terrible conditions.

Still, Donovan has no coaching experience. That alone should probably disqualify him. But, just hear me out, if Donovan was named manager soon and given friendlies and a solid, experienced staff, could he grow into the job in time to start the next qualifying campaign? I might have just talked myself into this one.

Who do you think the U.S. should hire? Keep tweeting me your names, or mention them in the comments.

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New Post: This American youngster is turning heads

Kellyn Acosta is on fire for F.C. Dallas, and that Dallas burn is being noticed by U.S. Men’s National Team coach Bruce Arena.

The 21-year-old midfielder/defender has four goals in all competitions so far in this early season, including three in CONCACAF Champions League play.

Acosta has scored some quality goals as well. Take a look at this free kick from Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Pachuca.

Acosta also scored a very good goal in the opening week of Major League Soccer action against the LA Galaxy.

Hell, Acosta even has the approval of current U.S. Golden Boy Christian Pulisic.

Acosta has been selected for the upcoming World Cup Qualifier games against Honduras and Panama. Scoring threats from free kicks have long been lacking in the U.S. squad. Acosta’s brilliant goal against Pachuca is promising. His feisty play is an encouraging sign as well.

Hopefully the youngster will be rewarded for his good stretch of form and get a serious look from Arena in coming U.S. matches. A tweet from U.S. Soccer said the manager and his staff are keen on several of the younger players.

Players have to earn Bruce’s trust over time, though, so Acosta’s good play will definitely have to be sharp while he’s with the USMNT as well.
In crucial World Cup Qualifiers, Acosta might not get a nod from Arena, but turning the manager’s head in training and continuing to shine at Dallas could set him up for more opportunities with the national team down the road.

New Post: A Case for Wondo in the USMNT

Wondo

By, Kyle Gibson

His style of play is not pretty. He’s never scored jaw-dropping goals. He lacks a certain amount of style you see in most strikers.

Is this the game of soccer or an ad for Armani?

What Chris Wondolowski does, as he showed us all again on Saturday, is score plenty of goals, which, I thought, was the point of the game of soccer. Wondo’s two against South Korea on Saturday helped a US Men’s national team comprised of almost all MLS players to defeat South Korea 2-0.

But still, many don’t see Wondo making the break in Jurgen Klinsmann’s final World Cup roster. Is this bias towards the MLS, where Wondo makes his money as a member of the San Jose Earthquakes, or just a nod to the other U.S. strikers?

Since 2009 Wondolowski has 75 MLS goals. That’s good for 15 goals per season. He has 8 goals in 18 USMNT games, with all 8 goals coming after July 5, 2013. He has three multi-goal games with the stars and stripes, a hat-trick against Belize, two against Cuba and two against South Korea on Saturday.

I saw a lot of people ask on Twitter if Wondo can do that against good World Cup teams. I don’t believe South Korea is by any stretch a bad team. The Koreans had plenty of chances yesterday and played a very crafty game in the midfield.

Here’s the deal. Every team needs a scrapper, someone that knows how to simply put goals in the back of the net. Look at Wondo’s track record. This is a guy that scores often. It may not be pretty, but give him the chance and he will hammer a ball home.

For Klinsmann, imagine the confidence you would have in selection if you could bring Wondolowski on in the 65th minute to try for a garbage goal.

I’ve seen players like Ronaldo and Miroslav Klose make a career out of bagging garbage goals in a World Cup.

I know the U.S. has plenty of other good selections for striker, but I think a country always has room for a player that knows how to score a gritty goal. it doesn’t matter how you score, as long as you are putting numbers on the scoreboard.