Click on link for complete article.U.S. has 2 acceptable options to replace Arena
If team officials can convince Klinsmann or Hiddink, it would be big boost
By Filip Bondy
Updated: 7:03 p.m. PT July 15, 2006
Here is the good news: The job of guiding the U.S. national soccer team is no longer the last job on Earth that an international coach of significant status would consider accepting.
And now the bad news: It also isn’t exactly the world’s most plum assignment.
So Sunil Gulati, the shrewd new president of U.S. Soccer, has this dilemma on his hands. The national team is in desperate need of a deft hand from abroad, a man who will lend credence, energy and a new philosophy. And yet Gulati must prepare himself to face rejections, because this, after all, is not the Brazil Football Confederation he represents.
There is little doubt at the moment that Gulati will look first and hardest outside the U.S. for a successor to Bruce Arena, who was handed his walking papers after eight years of good and loyal work. Gulati has more or less said as much, and there are reasons for this. For one thing, no American coach at the moment owns the right portfolio for the task. If Gulati wanted an American coach, he might as well have retained Arena, the most qualified homegrown citizen for the job.
After a dozen years of American coaches (Steve Sampson before Arena), there is need for change, for a fresh mindset. Surely, the first two phone calls ought to be made to Juergen Klinsmann, who just guided Germany to third place in the World Cup, and Guus Hiddink, who has guided two different teams into the World Cup semifinals. This columnist would gladly welcome either. Klinsmann is the happier, fresher face; Hiddink is the more proven commodity.