BRISTOL, Conn. (Jan. 18, 2007) Former U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena will call the team’s first two matches since he last coached the American side in their first round appearance at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, it was announced today by Tim Scanlan, ESPN senior coordinating producer. Arena will join Rob Stone (host/play-by-play) and analyst Eric Wynalda in the booth for ESPN2’s coverage of the U.S. vs. Denmark match Saturday, Jan. 20 at 3:50 p.m. ET, live from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Allen Hopkins will make his ESPN sideline debut.
The commentator team – Stone, Arena, Wynalda and Hopkins – will return Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. for the U.S. vs. Mexico match at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Arena, whose tenure was the most successful of any coach in the U.S. MNT history, will provide insight on one of international soccer’s most heated rivalries – U.S. vs. Mexico.
“Bruce is a natural on television. His knowledge of the sport at all levels is unmatched and his outspoken, matter-of-fact approach resonates with our viewers,” said Scanlan.
The two matches will be the first for the U.S. team under Bob Bradley, who was named the interim head coach on Dec. 8, 2006, following a search for Arena’s replacement.
Arena currently serves as the head coach and sporting director for the New York Red Bulls – a team he led into the 2006 MLS Cup Playoffs after taking the reigns in August. He led the MNT to two consecutive FIFA World Cups, including an historic quarterfinal appearance in the 2002 FIFA World Cup – the best U.S. finish in 72 years. Prior to his national team career, Arena created the foundation that made D.C. United a Major League Soccer power – leading the team to two MLS Cup victories in the first three years of the league.