The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Q&A with Bruce Arena

 Q&A with Bruce Arena
Q&A with Bruce Arena

Q&A with Bruce Arena

U.S. World Cup soccer coach Bruce Arena was the latest speaker in the SMU Athletic Forum Tuesday. The Daily Campus was able to sit in with the rest of the media and ask questions to one of the most heralded soccer coaches of all time.

Q: What changes has the U.S. team made since the recent departure of assistant coach ?

We have not made any change of plans. The way I look at it, we go in four-year cycles. When I first took over the job as the U.S. coach, I went without an assistant coach, so I am used to this situation. Right now I will use Glen Meyer. He was there last summer for the World Cup. What we do as a team will never stop. In the very near future, we are opening a new facility in Los Angeles for the team to use. There are so many changes going on.

Q: What has been your biggest thrill during your coaching tenure in soccer?

I can’t answer that question. If I did, I would single out one event over another. Coaching at the University of Virginia, the DC United, and the U.S. National team, you can not ask for a better experience. I’ll tell you what though; coaching the last game against Germany was a thrill. Even though we lost, I was very proud.

Q: After your recent success, do you now have high expectations?

Oh, they are definitely high. That is a good thing. The only problem is that the expectations are a little too high. This is all part of the challenge; we just want to qualify, though.

Q: What do you think of 13- year-old Freddy Ado, the country’s newest soccer sensation? There are already speculations of him playing on the next World Cup team.

He is definitely a great player for his age. It is too early to say if he is going to be the greatest soccer player of all time. He is too young, but a great player for his age.

Q: Last year, SMU was blessed when senior soccer star Luchi Gonzalez received the Hermann Trophy. He was drafted into the MLS, but played only 48 minutes the whole year and was later waived by his team. Why is it so hard for a player to make the jump from college to major league soccer?

It is just like going from college to any other professional sport. The speed of the game is enhanced. The kids really just need more experience. The only big difference is speed of play; the skills are about the same.

Q: Ryan Suarez is a resident North Texan that plays for the Dallas Burn. He was asked to join your team recently. How is he performing?

He is one of the oldest players on the team at 25 years old. We have had a chance to look at a lot of players recently but we still need to see what he is all about. I have only seen one film of him, but that is what these camps are for. The coaches get a great opportunity to see what these kids are like and we want them to get better.

Q: What is your stance on youth soccer?

I don’t exactly know what goes on in North Texas, but I am sure there are some similarities to where I am from. The U.S. needs to adopt the same system that the rest of the world has. But, the U.S. does have a great system. Last summer, we had two 20-year-olds starting in the World Cup. That’s not too bad.

Q: When it comes to scouting, do you try to recruit kids that play in the 20 and under leagues?

No way. We do not scout youth teams. We go strictly through major league teams.

The next SMU Athletic Forum will take place on Jan. 28, when Joe Theismann will receive the Doak Walker Legends Award. For more information visit www.smumustangs.com/athleticforum.

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