The former U.S. boss does not believe the nation’s developmental system is broken but thinks MLS needs to get more young Americans on the field
Bruce Arena thinks Major League Soccer needs to feature more young American players and is open to the league requiring teams to have a quota of U.S. players.
The former U.S. national team manager voiced his thoughts on Fox Sports 1 following the U.S. national team’s 1-1 draw with Portugal in its first friendly since a shock World Cup elimination in October.
Arena was asked about the idea that the U.S. was not doing enough to discover young players and dismissed that thought, arguing that U.S. Soccer is not broken and talent on display at the youth levels is proof.
“I do not agree with [the idea there are talented players falling through the cracks of the U.S. system] at all,” Arena said. “I think all the talented players are involved in our systems. We need to do a better job developing them. We see a variety of levels at the youth competition, we have very talented players on the field. When we look four or five years later, we can’t find them.”
Later, Arena praised the younger players on display in the Portugal draw and noted MLS must do a better job at finding them playing time.
“Today you saw a bunch of young players on the field,” Arena said. “They’re coming out of our system. So there’s some hope there. Obviously a number of them have moved on to European clubs as well.
“I think our…