Former U.S. Men’s National Team boss Bruce Arena made an appearance on Fox Sports 1’s broadcast for Tuesday’s friendly against Portugal, and he didn’t shy away from projections from what could have been.
Arena stated that the center back pairing of John Brooks and Matt Miazga would’ve been his choice had the USMNT qualified for the World Cup in Russia next summer.
“We had some injuries during the year, in particular at the center back position,” Arena said, per Goal.com. “John Brooks wasn’t available for a long time and today we see John Brooks partnering up with Matt Miazga. If I were a betting man, I would have bet those two would have been our center backs at the World Cup.”
Arena, who drew plenty of criticism on social media for his appearance just a month after failing to guide the USMNT to the World Cup, praised the decision by his former assistant and current interim boss Dave Sarachan to include young players for Tuesday’s match.
“There’s a bunch of good young players here today. Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Kellyn Acosta, Juan Agudelo — so I think today’s game is a great showcase for our young players,” Arena said.