Bruce Arena Calls Out Gregg Berhalter's USMNT
The former US coach says GGG's team wasn't fully ready.
Bruce Arena has sensationally called out Gregg Berhalter's US Men's National team for taking things "too easy" ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, suggesting it led to their 1-1 draw to Wales in their first Group B match.
Arena believes team USA will still make it out of the group stages and qualify for the knockouts, but had some strong words over the state of the team.
Arena coached the USA side twice before, with his second spell ending in humiliation after they were beaten 2-1 by Trinidad and Tobago and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Despite that, Arena feels USA has been playing too many CONCACAF teams, leaving them under prepared for the tournament in Qatar.
"[It’s] clear this team, in this cycle, didn't have enough experiences against quality international teams to be fully ready for a World Cup, Arena wrote on MLS.com.
"That's mainly because of the pandemic, so it's hard to toss blame, but it's also a fact we played a bunch of CONCACAF games that were way too easy. You need those top-tier teams that really challenge you."
That was on display in the match against Wales, with captain Gareth Bale using his experience to draw a foul from US defender Walker Zimmerman, who conceded an erroneous penalty in the 82nd minute.
The USA's next challenge is against England. Gareth Southgate's team beat Iran 6-2 on Monday in a statement victory.
Arena believes that if Berhalter's team is to take anything from the game, the coach will need to be more defensive minded.
"The England game is shaping up as a real test, after they beat Iran 6-2 and sent goal differential/goals scored in their favor. The question is are we grown-ups and do we understand this is one where we're an underdog and we have to play smart, we have to play defensively, play a little bit differently than we talk about how we play."
While Arena's second spell coaching the USA ended up in humiliation, in his first spell he helped USA reach the quarterfinal of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
USA eventually lost to Germany, the runner up in the competition.
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