Former U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena, in an interview with MLS’s ExtraTime radio, responded to some of current U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments on MLS players and the league's schedule.
On Klinsmann’s notion that MLS players aren’t playing enough and need to be more active in the offseason, Arena, coach of MLS champion Los Angeles, said, “The only reason players around the world play 10 and a half months is because those clubs have to schedule that for revenue purposes. I think every club in the world would tell you our players are run into the ground, they need more rest, and their time off is valuable. … There’s nothing wrong with a player having six to eight weeks off. Your body needs time to recover.”
Arena, who coached the USA from 1998 to 2006, and in 2002 guided the team to the World Cup quarterfinals, added, “I don’t remember when our national team was doing well that anyone was complaining about the fact that we had too much time off.”
Responding to a question about Klinsmann searching for an “American style of play,” Arena said, “The American style is what we’ve always said it is and it hasn’t changed. It’s always been that. There was this kind of rumor that all of a sudden we were going to have a team with the great flavor of the Hispanic player and Mexican- Americans -- all of that. Do you see any of those on the field right now?”