USA soccer coach Bruce Arena: We can start thinking about winning World Cup soon – CBSSports.com
When Bruce Arena was brought back as coach of the U.S. men’s national team late last year, his goal was one thing- get this team to the World Cup after a poor start to qualifying under Jurgen Klinsmann. Well, Arena is looking past that 2018 World Cup it seems. Actually, way past it.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, Arena said in nine years, it will be more about just making the cup.
“I think 2026 will be the time where we are going to start talking about winning a World Cup, to be honest with you,” he said.
Love the confidence, but come on. That still isn’t likely. Whereas big soccer nations have tons of upcoming talent that European powers are drooling over, the U.S. has Christian Pulisic and then some kids you probably haven’t even heard of. It’s not to say the U.S. can’t get really far in that cup, especially. We have seen an underdog host nation make it far with South Korea in 2002, and the U.S. could very well do so. But to start thinking about winning one, even nine years out, sounds very premature.
For the U.S., it is all about taking small steps towards one day getting there. Improving youth academies, properly training coaches, getting kids exposure to the top soccer in the world overseas. From there, the hope would be to one day make it to the semis, one step further than the U.S. ever has, which came in 2002 in Arena’s first tenure. It’s important to look at the immediate future, because if that doesn’t go well, it’s going to be more difficult for the long term future to go well.