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Bruce Arena names Galaxy coaches to USMNT staff

Photo by Andrew Fielding/USA Today Sports
Photo by Andrew Fielding/USA Today Sports

Bruce Arena is bringing his LA Galaxy staff with him.

Arena named his coaching staff for the U.S. Men’s National Team on Wednesday, and it is almost completely comprised of members of the coaching team he had at the Galaxy in recent years. Dave Sarachan, Pat Noonan, and Arena’s son, Kenny, will serve as assistant coaches while Matt Reis will be the goalkeeping coach.

Former U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach and current beIN Sports analyst Thomas Rongen has also been brought on board as the U.S.’s chief scout. Rongen is the only member of the staff who was not with the Galaxy last year.

“The entire staff has a great amount of playing and coaching experience both at the international and professional level,” said Arena in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “With the need to hit the ground running, it’s even more critical that we have a staff that knows the player pool, shares a philosophy on how we approach the game, and has knowledge and experience in the international arena. In different ways this group ticks all those boxes, and we are already hard at work getting ready for the January Camp and the World Cup qualifiers in March.”

Prioritizing continuity in his staff in his second stint as U.S. head coach, Arena is looking to help the Americans reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia after an 0-2-0 start in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The 65-year-old American replaced Jurgen Klinsmann this past November.

The U.S. is set to begin its annual winter camp next week. The full roster is expected to be announced some time this week.


  1. You need to remember that Sarachan was Arena right hand man when the US made the quarter-finals in 2002 and has been with Arena since his UVa days aside for a stint as head coach for the Fire. The others are hard working and have all worked together to know each other. This is also the coaching team that delivered three MLS Cups to LAG. Arena has more WC games for the US than anybody else and while he was a pretty good coach when he took up the reigns for the US in ’97, he is, a far better coach, this time around. Arena is not naive, he will call on outside people he needs towards the WC (assuming we qualify)as he has before, but now he needs to evaluate players and the team he has now is at the top (in the MLS, at least)

    As for Rongen, he is responsible for finding and bringing in as many dual nationals as Big Soccer has, and his blowup with Subotic, according to Subotic himself, was made into more than it was. He has admitted in the German press that his decision to play for Serbia was not because of his US U20 snub, but because of his father wanting him to play for Serbia.

  2. I have a huge problem with the rongen hire, man struggles to understand the game, even let subotic slip through the cracks. Hearing him commentate makes me wonder how much knowledge he even has in the sport

  3. Not a Rongen fan; he rarely delivers. As for Arena’s staff – I get it. He needs that shorthand in communicating as well a trust within the group. Good luck USA…!!

  4. Aside from the lack of diversity and qualifications, this d
    oesn’t bode well for bringing in dual nationals. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t Rongen the only reason that Nevin Subotic chose to play for Serbia over the US – which was his first choice.

    • How many dual nationals with actual opportunities to be starters for another country do we actually get. AJ would be one, I guess Green and Zelalem, but they didn’t have any prospect of playing for Germany anytime soon and Ethiopia would a huge step down for Gedion. Even though guys like Jones, Williams, Chandler, Johnson and Brooks were on the radar for Germany they were always going to be fringe players at best. Subotic and Rossi had chances to play for Italy and Serbia who at the time were better teams.

      • Of the German dual nationals (Morales, Williams, Chandler, Jones, Johnson, Brooks, Green, Zelalem – I know Zelalem (Ethiopia) and Morales (Peru) are triple nationals), only Brooks and Johnson would currently be in the pool, realistically. Brooks at 23 is considered one of the best young center-backs in the Bundesliga (seriously). Johnson is considered a very good wing/wingback and has traditionally been in the national team pool from a youth through U23s (and played a lot). Brooks would have a been at the last Euros in France and a real shot of going to Russia with Germany. According to the Bundesliga, he was ranked the 4th best Centre-back last season.

        Green and Zelalem would be watched (and considered good enough to be in the youth pools), but would have to show progression to even be considered in the national team pool.

      • At the time he committed Brooks wasn’t anywhere near a shot at going to Brazil for Germany and would have bene considered a long shot for Russia. Its only been since Dardai took over that JAB has really blossomed (he was very up and down at Hertha before last season). He was with some of their youth teams, but the US was a much better shot. FJ could have been called up for matches against lesser opponents, but isn’t going to beat out the top German Nat. regulars.

        The point is landing dual nationals seems to have more to do with their situation than who is trying to attract them. Klinsmann had an edge in having more “scouts” to identify German/American players, but the bottom line is if the USA provides a player more of an opportunity to compete in a WC they’ll probably come here.

      • I agree dual national weigh their chances and make their choices in terms of what is best for them. I think Jurgen Klinsmann definitely helps because he is legend in Germany.

        In terms of Brazil, of course he was not going to be on that team. He was only 20/21. He joined the USMNT team in 2013 when he was 20 yrs old. Before that he played for both the German and US Youth national teams. Very few center-backs can start for their full national teams at a World Cup let alone make the team.

  5. Is this a club team or a national team? Wow, I guess picking your ‘boys’ overrides any expectation the fans may have. Very underwhelming group in my eyes. Thomas Rongen as scout?? That’s the best scout you could find??

    • I think this is a solid decision on Arena’s part. At this point, he doesn’t have the time to get to know his coaches and his players. He needs to hit the ground running with as smooth a transition as possible.

    • Honestly no idea what you expected. This is how coaching works. Very frequent that coaches bring their trusted crew with them to new gigs. Also, who would you expect him to bring in as an assistant otherwise?


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