Early Daily Sweeper: Arena Means the Coaching Carousel Is Swingin’

Holy crap, things are moving quickly today!

As I started my web-trawling, what’s the first thing I see? A “rumor” that Head Coach, Technical Director Bruce Arena got canned by Red Bull New York, one that Sports Illustrated picked off Soccer by Ives, again, a source I don’t feel like publishes stories lightly. So…Arena’s gone from NYC. Hm. I know I’m not the only wondering if Arena will make his way to Los Angeles. I’m not saying I would hire the man, but…still…who else will they get? Who else can LA get?

OK, one more thing: wouldn’t it be super-killer and four-times-funny if Jurgen Klinsmann took over with Red Bull? Now that, folks, is 100% raw, half-comical speculation; don’t take it anywhere near a bank or they might shoot you on principle. But the Arena to LA thing – I think that’s at least something to watch for…even if I can’t see Arena doing it.

One has to wonder, at this point, where Arena’s coaching-cred stands. The subtle tinge of controversy – here, I’m thinking the real-or-imagined spat between Juan Pablo Angel and Arena – recalled his semi-bitter firing from, or rather the decision to let his contract run out for, the U.S. coaching job. So, seriously, where will Arena go from here? Nowhere – aka retiring – seems possible, but I can’t see that either. What about a position in Colorado? Whatever his reputation, Arena looks to be one hell of a wild card for this off-season.

Getting back to the other coaching change – e.g. Frank Yallop – The Bigs (the soccer MSM) are already plugging in some gaps. Sports Illustrated’s Jonah Freedman describes Yallop’s move as a “face-saving” way for everyone now and previously associated with LA to move forward. Jeff Carlisle’s Yallop-clocker for ESPN analyzes the move from a more practical, what-does-it-and-did-it-all-mean perspective.

I suspect I’ll be spinning my wheels on this one all day. I’ll add to this one if I see something that makes us all smarter.

UPDATE: The New York Times’ Goal blog posted something on Arena containing two noteworthy additions to the story. Citing “a number of reports” Goal reports that Arena was fired, as opposed to resigning. The second item is a curiosity: why, as the report suggests, would MLS officials be “worried” that Arena might find work as a television analysts. I know his nasal drawl drives my wife insane – she thinks he sounds…well, best not go into that; feelings might be hurt – but I don’t see why Arena condemning the league on TV matters in the grand scheme.

UPDATE II: As one would expect, Soccer by Ives is following the Arena canning fairly closely and has posted some great updated material.  First, a post about Claudio Reyna’s  future – interesting in its own right – mentions a “falling out” between Reyna and Arena some time during the year – which begs the question of why every last single one of us didn’t know; these guys are famous (well, semifamous) and, hence, have no right or expectation of privacy.  An earlier post considers where The Bruce’s coaching talents met Red Bull management’s expectations for success.

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5 Responses

  1. The question I have is whither Claudio Reyna in NY? King Captain was with Arena at UVA and MNT before RBNY. So now will he LAG behind Arena to the left coast? It would be just like Lalas to do that.

  2. At least he’d be playing on grass there, right?

    Still, who would want Reyna – good as he was – with another year on the odometer? That would be an odd personnel move, even for LA.

  3. I actually think Klinsmann to LA makes a lot more sense because he’s lived there for awhile now. LA’s all about hype and they’ll probably go for a high profile manager. Arena will wind up there if and when the search for one goes flat. I highly doubt they’ll want a Red Bull reject as their first choice.

  4. I hear ya. I’m mainly looking at this from a point of view where desperation meets humor and absurdity.

  5. Desperation, humor and absurdity. That sounds like a normal day at the office for Alexi Lalas.

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