MLS’ signature franchise easily disposed of Scottish Premier League Champion Celtic 4-0 in a friendly last night at RFK Stadium. Celtic who is only a week and a half away from opening their title defense in the SPL certainly have work to be done if they are to repeat as champions. Freddy Adu Scored a goal and had an assist on a Jamil Walker goal for United. While DC was thrashing a European powerhouse, lesser MLS sides (which for the ten year existence of the league has meant every franchise except DC United) were struggling to defeat minor league competition in the MLS Cup. Chivas USA was in fact upset by Roma FC of the USASA which is essentially the 5th division of American soccer. Roma FC had shocked 1994 World Cup Golden ball winner Romario and his Miami FC club in the previous round. While Miami FC is a second division team, it was thought the presence of three former world cup players (Romario, Zinha and Onadi Lowe) meant that Miami FC were among the favorites to capture the cup.
What is the latest with Bruce Arena and Jurgen Klinsmann?
Well a possibility exists they maybe working together very soon, but not with the United States Soccer Federation according to published reports. Bruce Arena confirmed to the Washington Post that he has been offered the Head Coaching job with MLS side Red Bull New York, whose star player, Youri Djorkaeff is unhappy about the firing of Mo Johnston (who was the first player in the history of Scotland to play for both bitter rivals, Celtic and Rangers……some SPL trivia for you on the day after Celtic were crushed at RFK). Djorkaeff as everybody now knows went to see France play in the World Cup after Johnson was fired because of his displeasure. Djorkaeff was a starter for France in 1998 and 2002 World Cups.
Arena’s options are limited. Sunil Gulati has probably already reached a decision about replacing Arena but wants to give Arena the graceful exit he deserves. Either Arena can leave now and coach the Red Bulls or he can leave in December and be placed in a lesser position as an “advisor” to the USSF and its new coach, who may or may not be Jurgen Klinsmann. Such a role would probably be humiliating for the arrogant Arena.
Bruce Arena has the experience and the skill to finally be the coach to turn around the embarrassing New York MLS Franchise. When he does turn the team around he can correctly state that a former World Champion coach (Carlos Alberto Parriera), a former World Cup quarterfinalist coach (Bora) and a future Real Madrid boss (Carlos Queiroz) failed where he thrived. He should take the job and save the USSF and US Soccer fans the agony of having to fire or demote him.
Klinsmann for his part has been approached by the Red Bulls to be President of the club. Considering Klinsmann lives in the Los Angeles area and has had strong ties to the LA Galaxy through the years (though he never played for the Galaxy as many of us had hoped he would) his hiring would be a nice slap in the face to LA who just poached away New York GM Alexi Lalas. My hunch is that Klinsmann will not accept the job but will “advise” MLS in the next few months on how to attract one star international player per club, the much talked about “Beckham/Ronaldo rule.”
If both Arena and Klinsmann head to New York, who does the USSF hire as national team coach? Post your thoughts as always here!