The US National Team deserved to lose today. Nothing went properly today, or in this cup, and it can be traced back in all occasions to Bruce Arena. How do you start a game you have to win and you play a 4-5-1? Arena had a proved target player in McBride and a proved poacher in Johnson and leaves one of them on the bench until the 60th minute. That is an utterly unacceptable tactical move when you are a goal down in a game you have to win. The US should have gone to a 3-5-2 with Donovan playing a deep lying attacking midfielder in tandem with Convey, Beasly and Lewis on the wings to run AT players (Beasly!) and Olsen to play the holding midfielder (which he did quite well today for such a pressure game).
Instead Arena stubbornly stuck to defense - a defense that surrendered 6 goals in three games. Then he removes the one midfielder who was creating quality chances in the second half, Eddie Lewis. The only bright spots of this World Cup for the USA were Onyewu, who played astounding - really proving himself to be a strong central back, a rare thing, and Dempsey who proved he can play and run at anyone.
It is time for the US to take the next step - hire a European or South American coach to teach these players how to win. The talent pipeline is starting to feed this national team with talent. The foundation is in place to pluck players out of low level youth leagues and place them into developmental situations. Adu, Johnson, Beasly, Donovan, Dempsy, Onyewu are all young players of quality who should get out of the US and into Europe. They need to learn to play with flair, with confidence, with attacking swagger. Arena obviously cannot do this. In addition his attacks on his own players during this cup will have lost the confidence of his players. A team cannot win when players do not believe in the man putting them in position to win - or lose - a game.
Bruce Arena, you said before this Cup started that the only reason you were still with the national team was because you had not been offered a job in Europe. I should think that offer is no faster in coming after a one goal performance on a team loaded with attacking options and speed. Perhaps MLS has a spot available for you to ply your trade?