Two days before the World Cup begins, former US men’s national team manager Bruce Arena will release his book What’s Wrong With US?, which is meant as a postmortem on the USMNT failing to qualify. The book isn’t a proper response. Arena and the publisher assumed the US would qualify and they’d release the book ahead of the team’s involvement in the greatest sporting tournament in the world. But the US didn’t qualify and part of the reason it didn’t was because of Arena. So, this book now shifts gears and attempts to diagnose what needs to change.
I wrote a review of this book for World Soccer Talk. I doubt you’ll come across a more in-depth critique of it. Here’s the opening and the link to the full article–
“The United States men’s soccer team failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup. This simple fact has sent shockwaves throughout US soccer. Everyone it seems has an opinion on what went wrong and what the nation has to do to improve. Few, however, are actually in any sort of position to affect change. In fact, many and most not only lack the necessary acumen to offer up meaningful critique but also only possess a range of influence extending over their like-minded social media bubble. Thus, when a major presence in US soccer speaks up, we need to listen. Especially if that voice belongs to the coach responsible for the best men’s finish ever in a World Cup as well as the complete collapse of the team in 2017.”