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Former US national coach Bruce Arena on the decline of American soccer, and how to fix it




Former head coach Bruce Arena of the the United States looks on before playing against El Salvador during the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinal at Lincoln Financial Field on July 19, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Former head coach Bruce Arena of the the United States looks on before playing against El Salvador during the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinal at Lincoln Financial Field on July 19, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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The world of sports is full of highs and lows, and Bruce Arena can attest to this.

He, more than most people, has felt the pain of loving a sport that the U.S. just can’t seem to master – soccer. As a coach, he’s worked with soccer stars David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Christian Pulisic. Arena’s also lead the men’s national team to the 2002 World Cup, deemed their best performance. But his dreams were crushed for the 2018 Russia World Cup, when the U.S. men’s team failed to qualify for the first time in 32 years.

What needs to happen for the state of soccer to change on our home turf? In his new book, “What's Wrong with Us?: A Coach’s Blunt Take on the State of American Soccer After a Lifetime on the Touchline,” Arena looks back on his career, both as a player and coach. He speaks to fill-in host Libby Denkmann today with his take on what needs to be done to reform the game.

Guest:

Bruce Arena, author of the book, “What’s Wrong With US?: A Coach's Blunt Take on the State of American Soccer After a Lifetime on the Touchline" (HarperCollins 2018), former head coach of U.S. Men’s National Team; member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame