Thursday, June 29, 2006

Welcome Home Jimmy Conrad!

DC United vs. Kansas City Wizards
Ok, so I was sorta right in that the return of Jimmy Conrad would have an impact on the match last night between DC United and the Kansas City Wizards. I thought he would return form two matches in the World Cup and be all proud and beaming and return with a fresh load of confidence. Instead he returned and scored an own goal after 5 minutes of MLS work.

Freddy finally broke his goose egg this season as well as assisting on Gomez's match winner in the 50th. Perkins seemed to add some drama to the match with a 70th minute yellow card to set up a Penalty Kick, but even with that goal, united held on for the 3-2 victory and season sweep of the Wizards. Too bad we can't play them all the time.

One thing that surprises me is that in their previous 5 matches, United scores 5 goals and allows 2. They then go back on the road and score 3 (ok, Conrad's really shouldn't be listed) an allow 2 more. Sometimes their scoring ability baffles me. As long as they continue to win these matches, they can continue to baffle me.

Thinking Forward
Frank Dell'Apa has a very insightful and needed article about exactly how the USSF should be thinking when they try and replace Bruce Arena. Before the World Cup, I was very much a supporter of Bruce...and I still am. I think that he has done more for the US National Team than any other person could have. He changed the way that the National team was treated by the USSF and he made changes to the organization of the team, these two imprints alone will continue to have a lasting effect on the US National team for years to come.

Even with the record and almost god-like status that Arena had, before the World Cup, I knew going into the tournament that this should be his swan song. 8 years of coaching an international squad is way too long. He was the right guy in 1998 and still the right guy in 2002. Bruce elevated the US team in the region, to a point where the region and US fans, always expect us to beat the other regions teams. We always expect us to qualify for the World Cup from CONCACAF. He took the large step of establishing the USA as the or co-CONCACAF power. Now that he has done that, he needs to step aside and allow someone else to take the US team from that level, and guide them to the next level, global power. Bruce cannot do that.

I have always been a Bruce Arena fan, from when I was in High School in Virginia watching UVA roll the NCAA every season to leading DC United to the MLS Cup three straight years. I am still puzzled by what I saw in Germany, but considering how good a CONCACAF coach he was and how good a 2002 World Cup result he got, Germany was the only place he would fail, and he would do so in the spot light.

I hope that he bows out gracefully and gets a job overseas. Please do not go to New York.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt Arena is going to get any overseas offers. Its going to be MLS

12:53 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I agree. MLS is where he will go, New York is the 5:1 favorite. Red Bull, even after the World Cup, have wanted a high profile coach, and Arena still falls in that category in the US.

12:56 PM  

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