07 December 2005

Arena Reacts to WC Seedings

Bruce Arena has doubtless been the best coach the U.S. National Soccer team has ever had. He is a savvy developer of talent, a meticulous strategist, and possesses an unflappable demeanor. Just read his reaction to yesterday's seedings announcement for Germany '06. You would think he might betray just a touch of disappointment at coming so close to being a top-seeded team but no. His bottom line reaction- "I don't think any group is going to be easy and at the end of the day, I don't have a preference one way or another." Lets hope that pragmatic and defiant attitude infects the players as well.

As a result of the seedings, it is likely that the U.S. will be drawn into a group with two other European teams. That's a fairly daunting prospect, to face European teams in Europe on such a large stage. The European teams will be buoyed by large contingents of traveling fans. Unless, the U.S. plays it's games near a military base, it's doubtful they'll have much fan support at all. It also means that the U.S. cannot face any of the qualifiers from Asia, probably the weakest confederation, in the group stage. In addition, it is likely that the U.S. will face an African team. The U.S. have precious little experience against teams from Africa, having faced only Cameroon and Tunisia in the past five years. Given all this, Arena's devil-may-care approach is certainly appropriate.

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