US SoccerUS Soccer

Introduction of Bruce Arena as U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach

NEW YORK CITY (Tuesday, October 27, 1998) - Quotes from Dr. Robert Contiguglia, Hank Steinbrecher, Bruce Arena and Doug Logan

HANK STEINBRECHER (Secretary General, U.S. Soccer)

On announcement of Bruce Arena as U.S. Men's National Team head coach:
"The search for a U.S. national team has been an intensive one. We wanted to identify an individual who could get the most out of an American player and the American game.

"We think we have found the right man. We believe in Major League Soccer, the American player and the American coach.

"This is the first time in U.S. Soccer history that we feel that we have the right ingredients to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and a strong foundation for the future success of U.S. Soccer."

DR. ROBERT CONTIGUGLIA (President, U.S. Soccer)

On announcement of Bruce Arena as U.S. Men's National Team head coach:
"It is has been an absolute pleasure the first 60 days as U.S. Soccer President, it has been a lot of fun. Today is a special occasion and event that everyone has been looking forward too.

"Bruce Arena will be our U.S. Men's National Team coach and Technical Director for U.S. Soccer. Bruce is in a four year agreement and I have always been a long term person and we are building towards 2010, building at all levels of the US game and believe Bruce will take us to the next level."

DOUG LOGAN (Commissioner Major League Soccer)

On announcement of Bruce Arena as U.S. Men's National Team head coach:
"This is a joyful day for Major League Soccer. It is important to us as a league that among other things we are giving are best to U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Men's National Team. Arena is just that.

"I am a number one fan of Bruce and his entire movement in achieving his goals. We as a league will be there for the U.S. national team and are open to suggestions on how we can help achieve success in the next World Cup. I offer my friendship, partnership and the MLS offices for Bruce's adventure ahead."

BRUCE ARENA (U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach)

On the announcement of being named the U.S. Men's National Team coach:
"It is a great honor and it will be a tremendous challenge as being the new U.S. Men's National Team coach. The Road ahead will have its peaks and lows but I am confident that we will be successful. To get there we need to start with a new basis of players, young players mixed with old, inexperienced mixed with experienced. There is a great player pool and talent in Major League Soccer.

"The year 1998-99 will be spent developing a pool of players young and old and to prepare for qualification for the 2002 World Cup. We have a match coming up next week against Australia and you will see new blood and new faces. We will be working hard over the next 24 hrs. to finalize that roster.

"I am grateful for the coaches in Major League Soccer (MLS) and believe that our national team players need to be the best in the MLS, game in and game out. MLS will play an important role with the national team and the men's national team will be heavily dependent on MLS."

On the position of Assistant Coach:
"I have a commitment from Bob Bradley from the Chicago Fire for the Nov. 6 match against Australia in San Jose, Calif... He will be an important assistant in the future. I have this philosophy, if you can't beat them, join them."

On Olympic Coaching Staff:
"I know that we have good coaches and I look forward to getting to know them. I foresee no radical changes, they are good coaches. I need to meet with them and make sure that we agree on a philosophy."

On Favorite Style or Team:
"I love Barcelona because of Ronaldo but I have no particular favorite. The last three years have been D.C. United."

On Tactical changes he intends make as head coach:
"I am going to identify a pool of players. Identify a style and let them play. Put the right players in the right places and let them play.

"I have a vision of what I would like us to play and we will do whatever is necessary for the us to be successful.

"We need to be quick in attack and be able to defend. We have strong defenders but we need more young defenders. Our goalkeeping is outstanding but we need improvement in midfield and up front."

On speaking Spanish:
"At this point the language for the U.S. National Team is English and I do have that going for me."

On leaders on the U.S. Team:
"We need 11 leaders on the field not just one or two."

On definition for success as head coach:
"We will use young players, MLS players, overseas players and compete against the best teams in the world in our preparations for the 2002 World Cup.

"I am not to worried about wins and loses in the beginning. My main objective is to qualify for the 2002 World Cup."

On role of veteran U.S. players:
"Very simply at this point in time we have not ruled out anybody. I intend to talk to every player form the world cup and let them know were they stand. We are not excluding any players from the player pool and if they can help us they will be part of this team.

"We know many veteran players and what they can do at the international level and they don't need to be there against our up-coming match against Australia."

On the progress of collegiate soccer:
"Coaches do an outstanding job at the collegiate level. The criticism of the collegiate game has been misunderstood. The coaches are doing an outstanding job at the college level. Three months to train is not enough time to give the college player the right environment to prepare for the international game."

On his (Arena's) experiences as a U.S. National team player:
"Playing for your national team in those days was not the greatest of experiences. The coach at the time was Gordon Bradley and in those days they did not have practices. If you were called up you would just show up at the airport and play. I was first called to play in Haiti but I bypassed that trip and flew with team to Rome to play against Italy's Under-21 squad.

"At that time a young player by the name of Paulo Rossi was playing and I thought he was pretty good. I did not play in that game, we then went to Israel and played against the Israel National team and I was the captain.

"I played the second half but you have to realize that the country was at war and we were completely isolated."

On restoring confidence in media after France '98:
"To work with the media every day. The players will become stars on the field and then they will become very marketable. There are new, talented young and exciting players that will instill confidence in the American soccer game."