On Soccer: Bruce Arena Adopts More Inclusive Tone on Foreign-Born Players


Timothy Chandler is one of several players favored by Jurgen Klinsmann, the dismissed coach of the United States men’s national team, who were born abroad.

Moises Castillo/Associated Press

First, a question of clarification for Bruce Arena on the first day of his second stint as coach of the United States men’s national team: Would American soccer grow as nativist in outlook as American presidential politics? Did Arena still subscribe to his earlier remarks that most players should be homemade, like jeans and jazz?

“Players on the national team should be — and this is my own feeling — they should be Americans,” Arena told ESPN in a 2013 interview. “If they’re all born in other countries, I don’t think we can say we are making progress.”

Those comments were viewed by many as a rebuke of the stewardship of Jurgen Klinsmann, a native of Germany who had aggressively pursued a number of German-born players with dual citizenship to supplement the United States player pool. They also raised questions, with Arena replacing Klinsmann as coach of the…

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