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Bruce Arena, the most successful coach in United States soccer history, did not hold back his thoughts about the current USMNT and its chances at the World Cup following the team’s draw against Wales. Arena thinks that it’s clear this squad is not ready to compete on the sport’s biggest stage.
The 71-year-old very well could be right in his assessment. The U.S. squad didn’t resemble a team that was ready to make even a bit of noise in Qatar during its 1-1 draw with Wales on Monday.
Arena isn’t pointing to the actual players or coaching staff as to why this team isn’t ready but is instead pinning the blame on the pandemic.
“It’s also 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 following the 1-1 draw with Wales.
“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.”
America, Not Just The USMNT, Is Adopting Loser Culture
This quote from Arena perfectly encapsulates the soft, complacent, loser culture that’s surrounded the USMNT for its entire existence.
Yes, of course the pandemic affected the USMNT and its preparations for the 2022 World Cup.
Do you know who else it affected?
Every other national team on the planet.
Also, in case you haven’t heard, the pandemic is over. Let’s stop using it as a crutch for when things don’t turn out the way you want them to, especially when it comes to professional athletes and overpaid coaches not performing to a certain standard.
The USMNT failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. This is a group of players and staff that have had eight years to prepare for the World Cup in Qatar. Arena suggesting the pandemic is “mainly” to blame for this group being unprepared is beyond disingenuous and, to be honest, incredibly embarrassing.
The saddest part about Arena using the pandemic as a crutch for why the USMNT couldn’t beat Wales is that it’s not surprising at all.
Excuses and pointing the finger at anything other than the person in the mirror is American culture in the year 2022.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Americans can overcome the pandemic that solely affected them in their battle with England on Black Friday.
I don’t like their chances.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris