Claudio Reyna: American soccer has too much arrogance, too little humility and too little listening

Few people are as well placed to talk about American soccer as Claudio Reyna.

He played in three men's World Cups and captained the USA on its run to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals under Bruce Arena. He was appointed youth technical director by U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in 2010 and now serves  as sporting director for third-year MLS club New York City FC.

On Tuesday, he took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Harlem as part of the New York City Soccer Initiative, a $3 million public-private partnership to build 50 mini-soccer fields in five years in the five boroughs, and talkedto New York media about the embarrassment of having to hear from friends around the world about how the USA won't be going to the 2018 World Cup.

Claudio Reyna (second from left) at New York City Soccer Initiative. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)

Reyna, who played for clubs in Germany, England and Scotland, said the USA's failure to qualify was a wake-up call and a reality check.

“I think it’s everybody’s fault," he said. "It’s not U.S. Soccer. It’s soccer in the U.S.”

He said arrogance in American soccer was a fundamental problem.

"There’s a lack of humility," he said. "There’s a lack of modesty with how we approach the sport here. You go to Germany, Spain -- and I’ve had the privilege of living abroad for 13 years and traveling the world all the time to learn from people on how to be a better sporting director, how to be a better coach, how do academy coaches work -- and the one thing you see is that there’s much more humility in the work. You go to speak to a U-14, U-15 coach at FC Barcelona and they want to learn more from you than you from them."

Reyna said those Americans involved in soccer think they're better than they really are and it has caught with them.

"If you go to the local clubs anywhere in the country," he said, "and the U-14, U-15 coach, youth technical director and they have all the answers, they have everything. They tend to be arrogant, they don’t want to listen, they don’t realize what they’re doing isn’t right.”

Reyna said the problem is that people confuse soccer's growth of the last decade with progress. But he says progress has stalled and he fears it will remain stalled. Reyna says talent isn't the problem -- his son Giovanni is one of the top U-15 players in the country -- but the environment is lacking. The solutions begin at home, said Reyna, who pointed to the work of NYCFC under head coach Patrick Vieira in trying to create a culture that pushes players.

He said blaming one person or one institution misses the point.

"I think we need to be focused on progress and not control," he said. "There’s too much focus on who’s got the power and who controls the sport and that’s not going to help us. They’re not going to make the difference."

51 comments about "Claudio Reyna: American soccer has too much arrogance, too little humility and too little listening".
  1. Bob Ashpole, October 17, 2017 at 11:18 p.m.

    "I think we need to be focused on progress and not control," he said. "There’s too much focus on who’s got the power and who controls the sport and that’s not going to help us. They’re not going to make the difference."

    Team sports are supposed to teach teamwork, i.e., cooperation in pursuing a shared objective.

  2. Kent James, October 18, 2017 at 12:15 a.m.

    I have tremendous respect for Claudio Reyna, and he is probably better positioned than anyone to know how US soccer compares to soccer around the world, but I'm disappointed he didn't offer more concrete recommendations (other than more humility, which should be easy, given our summer plans...).

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, October 18, 2017 at 12:53 a.m.

    His actions are better than words. He personally promotes soccer in a metropolitan area increasing playing opportunities through building more facilities and organizing playing opportunities. When he was with USSF he established standard practices and curriculum.  

    We could talk about specific practices for training beginners, but more advanced players need training tailored to their individual needs. Even with beginners, the discussion if specific would be a book, not an interview.

    Player development is not a secret. The knowledge has been available for at least 30 years that I know of. The problem is that coaching is an acquired skill. You don't become a good coach by just reading a book. Good coaches learn from their experience and build on it. 

    My interpretation of what Reyna says, is that he is frustrated with the progress at the grass roots of development--coaches training players.

    There is a cultural problem too. 50 years ago, the typical US family had 3 children and parents encouraged children to play outside with their peers. Today many households have no children and many children have no siblings and are not allowed to play outside with other children. School systems cut physical education and recess. Children don't play classic children's games with develop general movements skills and mental skills. Now soccer coaches need to be concerned about poor general movement skills and poor mental skills.

    When I was growing up in the 1960's, society believed we were in a crisis because of poor physical condition and health compared to earlier generations. So much so that the President promoted a physical fitness program. Today our population's physical activity and health is so poor, that it makes me wish for the fitness levels of the population in the 1960's. I was not an athlete, but I played 4 sports in high school. Virtually every boy played sports, unless he had to work to help support his family. I am happy to say that a great deal changed as far as attitudes for women between 1960 and 1980. Many things have improved since the 1960's but the general health and fitness of the population is not one of them.  

  4. Ian Harper, October 18, 2017 at 7:08 a.m.

    Oh the sweet irony! Is it possible that Paul Gardner reads that article and doesn’t realize that Claudio Reyna’s comment describe him and his holier-than-thou and know-it-all tone perfectly?

    “Arrogance and too little humility”?  That’s describes virtually every single Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk editorial ever written!  Thanks Claudio... for putting a name to what we have to put up with!

  5. Cool Dudes replied, October 20, 2017 at 1:45 p.m.

    Great for Claudio for speaking up.  The only way to be a better coach is to learn and adapt.  No one is born a great coach.  The basic information you get from coach training and certification is like getting a driver's license.  No one in the world thinks a 16 year old who just got their license is a good driver.

    The arrogance comes from people who think certain training methods or strategies are gospel.  They only speak what they think they know and do not take in different ways of doing things.  I read so many of these ridiculous articles that have found the "right" way to teach soccer.  Or all our problems would be solved if we adopted a Latin, Dutch, German, Brazilian, or Barca model.  

    The best clubs and programs learn from them all.  They set up systems to train young players in Mass and have a system if continuous improvement.

    Claudio is right, we do have the talent now at the 14 or 15 year level.  There are kids that constantly practice and play.  There are players out there, but unfortunately US Soccer fails to get them to professional levels.  Pulisic is such a kid who only matured because his father steered him in the right direction.  He was developed by Dortman.  Dortmand and Barca aren't going to take all of our young players.  We need to learn, listen, and employ these skills.  This is exactly why so many are calling for a revolution in US soccer.  Everyone knows these people are entrenched and set in their ways.  They need to be replaced with people who are willing to learn, constantly improve, be challenged, listen, adapt.

    It needs to start with a program manager who has set up a top development system and bring them in and start from the ground up.  We have plenty if intelligence, plenty of talent, plenty of players to make it succeed.  Claudio is right about that.

  6. Brent Crossland, October 18, 2017 at 7:28 a.m.

    Or maybe he is talking about attitudes like -- "We should encourage our elite players to stay here" and "No one in Europe knows anything more about soccer than we do."  Bruce Arena, Sports Illustrated interview, DEC 4 2014

  7. Tom Tani, October 18, 2017 at 8:19 a.m.

    Like Bob I was a child of the 60’s.  What I remember re youth sports is that aside from little league and pop warner youth sports was getting your pals together in an open lot and playing til it was time for dinner.  

    I have one son who played club soccer and soccer for his high school.  I agree w Bob society has changed sadly to where you don’t see kids out playing after dark because of fears of what could happen.  When he asked me what did I do when was his age his eyes popped wide open when I told him that we had 0 youth/rec leagues.  Interestingly he also thought it was kind of cool that we ran around and made our own leagues .

    I had the pleasure of coaching my son and his friends in youth soccer.  I think it’s great that so many kids are playing.  However I read in other columns and agree there IS a “pay to play” culture where we have a lot of players who are there because they are fortunate enough to have folks who can afford the 2-3000 bucks needed to play.   We do get a lot of talented players but I wonders how many talented players we are missing because their folks can’t afford the fees?   How do we get them involved. 

    I also remember reading my youth soccer manual with tons of drills.  They were fine but what I found what worked best was what my coach did.   Fitness for bit, a few skill drills and then let ‘em play in small sided games building to scrimmages.   I also told my guys to “try stuff” and don’t worry if you fail.  That’s what practice is for.  Keep trying.    I found that the kids I had learned how PLAY and have fun.  My son’s teams won a lot of game but more importantly learned teamwork and HAD FUN!  Sad to say I think that’s missing in a lot of programs.  

    I also think that while we have a lot of numbers we still haven’t worked out how to identify the best ones.  The current “pay to play” culture seems to be aimed at finding kids college scholarships (never mind that the best was to get guaranteed college $ is in the classroom).   I think the academy system that is used overseas and is starting to appear here is a start.  However the problem is that you are seeing conflicts between academy and school and travel programs for players.  The poor kids are caught in the middle and I’m afraid we lose a lot to burn out. 

    I agree with Claudio in that the powers that be take the US failure to learn from their mistakes.  The system has to change and we can’t make the ae
    mistakes again.  

    Ok off my soapbox :)

  8. erik cabrera, October 18, 2017 at 8:25 a.m.

    I am a soccer coach, i grew up in Mexico. When i came to New York i got into the high school soccer team. Our coach he has no idea what to do. We organized the team and play. Now the coaches that are in a higher rank they think that they know everything. There are some coaches in NSCAA that are really arrogant and the first thing they told us. " don't worry about winning just teach the team." I am not agree if you dont teach the team to win even if they are good players when they try something more professional they always are going to failed. Therefore, i gree with Claudio Reina one of the best players in the history of the USA.

  9. Tony Damiani, October 18, 2017 at 8:35 a.m.

    Reyna is 100% correct.  I would add that the actions of these arrogant petty tyrants retards the progress of soccer in the US by fighting any attempt to implement a unified system of development.  Furthermore, our profound misunderstanding of the subjective component of player identification means an overabundance of athletes in the game and a paucity of true "soccer players with real technical quality and innate tactical insight.  

  10. M S, October 18, 2017 at 9:02 a.m.

    Just another politically answered question. Reyna was as careful as possible. The arrogance he speaks of doesnt start at the top? Come on now.
    And that arrogance isnt transmitted to the next in line and filter itd way to the DA coaches?
    Sense of entitlement maybe? Who is guilty of making DA that way?
    No accountability? Who is guilty of that? LEADERS MAYBE?
    System in place maybe? Who is enforcing this system?
    Leaders are Reyna, so yea, of course changing leaders matters.

  11. Cool Dudes replied, October 20, 2017 at 1:56 p.m.

    Reyna is up to his ears in US soccer.  Is employed by them.  So don't expect him to lead the revolution or throw the first rock.  He is saying there is no one single cause.  It's systematic.  We all need to improve listen and get better.  The fact that all the leadership and all of the "sacred cows" of us soccer need to be fired is another point 

  12. ROBERT BOND, October 18, 2017 at 9:49 a.m.

    the problem is all parents are idiots and the coaches should never listen to them.......

  13. Valerie Metzler, October 18, 2017 at 10:11 a.m.

    I appreciate the thoughtful comments and agree with Reyna.

  14. Andrew Kear, October 18, 2017 at 10:18 a.m.

    Maybe we simply just suck at soccer.

  15. Right Winger, October 18, 2017 at 10:34 a.m.

    If in fact Reyna has traveled to the youth  clubs in Europe and I have no doubt that he has done so he knows that these clubs have only one goal and that is to improve players where they see potential vs what we see in this country.   Our coaches at the DA level have only one goal and that is to win games with the hope that players will improve while doing it.  The majority of the coaches only recognize the athlete vs the potentially good player.   We have fought this forever and this flaw rears its ugly head at the national team levels for younger players.  If the coaches don't see immediate results from the player he is channelled out.  They don't communicate well.  Communication is not just talking but the most important part is listening.  Listening to the players.  It's important.

    You can send these coaches to all the qualifying schools in the world and if they don't know how to communicate its a total waste.

    There have been far to many players with advanced technical skills that have been eliminated from the younger national teams because they did not meet the athletic stereotype that these coaches are looking for.  Damn the skills part with the attitude its my way or the highway.  

    Reyna is right but his comments are to generic.  I would like to hear him elaborate on the points in his comments.  I know he has more to contribute and I think we would all like to hear his comments because they are of value.

  16. frank schoon, October 18, 2017 at 10:51 a.m.

    Reyna took the bandaid off the sore....Don't confuse growth of soccer with progress. I don't see the technical growth reaching higher levels in the past 50years. Yes, there will always be talent around but that comes from natural ability but not due to the system itself. He's also right on about Humility and Arrogance. A perfect example was when the USSF coaching school run by Anson Dorrance  in the mid80's at the time, flunked ,I mean FLUNKED Nene Cubillas, a world great player and world star, third behind Pele in world cup goals, a major star in the NASL, for a coaching B-license. Cubillas who is rich in playing experience,and insights of the game , could demonstrate anything related to the game ,apparently wasn't good enough according these nitwit college coaches, these professors, who taught the course. If you had a choice as to who you want your son to be coached and trained by Cubillas or one of this idiots who received a B-license, whom would you choose.
    Realize the US need people with great know-how and experience in the coaching and training aspects of the game, but the USSF decided we can do ourselves without the help of real expertise.

  17. Right Winger replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.

    Frank we have lots of those "licensed" types running around the clubs today.  They have a license, lots of patches a whistle and name brand shoes but lack the ability to get the engine started and moving in the right direction.

  18. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:43 a.m.

    Ive also seen the Uefa licenced coaches here in Usa and they are just aa awful convincing me that the problem lies in the system we have. The system is designed to corrupt coaches into catering to the parents at all levels. 

  19. frank schoon replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:53 a.m.

    FAN, you know what I like about these licensed that they employ the same soccer jargon as if someone chipped them at the USSF coaching school and it is so funny the pre-game warmup routines all these license coaches perform. Before each game they place cones out on an adjacent space, get their pennies out of their ball bag. All these coaches perform the same  warm up routines as if they were  robots out there.  The coaches standing with their hands placed behind their back, looking all professional. Somebody should make a funny camp movie about these soccer coaches and this whole system

  20. ROBERT BOND replied, October 18, 2017 at 3:01 p.m.

    and now to take a D you diagram triangles and circles on a laptop....

  21. don Lamb replied, October 18, 2017 at 3:06 p.m.

    A knowledgable coach won't be "corrupted" by parents. The problem is that licenses don't equal knowledge. Some great coaches don't have licenses. Some do. Some horrible coaches have lots of licenses. Many horrible coaches don't.

  22. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 8:59 p.m.

    Has nothing to do with knowledge. A top trainer knows that a player wont get anywhere with 2-3 practices a week. But if he is getting paid $50,000-$60,000 a year to do so he will not admit to that. Especially when private training is an option.
    A good coach will make sure their best players play up to be challenged but not if his job depends on his team winning nationals.

  23. Andrew Kear, October 18, 2017 at 11:06 a.m.

    The US soccer inferiority complex has returned after nearly 30 years. Don't be so sure the US will qualify in 2022. The US certainly does not deserve the 2026 world cup. Just out of respect for superior soccer playing nations the US should remove itself from consideration for the 2026 world cup.

  24. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:28 a.m.

    Yes because superior soccer playing is what landed the 2022 WC for Qatar.  Please go troll elsewhere.  Thank you.

  25. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:44 a.m.

    Good point Fire. Qatar shouldnt have it either. Nor Russia. 

  26. Scott Johnson replied, October 18, 2017 at 1:23 p.m.

    The World Cup isn't the America's Cup, where the winner gets to host next time around.  Cup hosts ought to have enough of a soccer culture that the tournament will sell--and the 94 Cup remains one of the most successful in that regard, if for no other reason than the US has a large number of very large stadiums in which to host matches.  And despite all the skeptics pulling their hair out over the 2018 qualification failure, US soccer is at a better point than it was in 1994, when the TV commentators had to explain the rules to the domestic audience.

    If there is any reason that the US might not get the 2026 cup, it has nothing to do with US Soccer, and everything to do with the moron in the White House and his contemptious attitude towards the rest of the world.  That said, he'll be gone in 2026...

  27. Lonaka K, October 18, 2017 at 11:33 a.m.

    Great statement by Claudio.  He was one of the earliest technically skilled players with a very high soccer IQ.  Since then maybe Landon Donovan comes close to him.  The latest is Pulisic.  other than that, there are no great US soccer players. 


  28. Lonaka K, October 18, 2017 at 11:33 a.m.

    Great statement by Claudio.  He was one of the earliest technically skilled players with a very high soccer IQ.  Since then maybe Landon Donovan comes close to him.  The latest is Pulisic.  other than that, there are no great US soccer players. 


  29. Right Winger replied, October 18, 2017 at 4:45 p.m.

    You missed a few Lona K.  What about Ramos and Twellman.  Dempsey was good in his time.  Dempsey not technical but always got the job done.  Just a few.

  30. Nick Daverese replied, October 24, 2017 at 3:59 a.m.

    On Reyna was a good player. But it is possible to coach the genius out of a player if you constantly drum into them to be a high percentage player. That is what happened to Claudio so when Claudio talks about the game. I think he hardly ever tried things in a game. He would focus on being high percentage. If he was in the center of the field and the flank was open who always passed to the open flank player. Maybe know he works on helping the genius player

  31. J Sagett, October 18, 2017 at 11:33 a.m.

    As far as I can tell, Reyna and Twellman are the only ones who have had the courage to say the emperor has no clothes. 

  32. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

    Reyna said nothing of the sort.

  33. frank schoon, October 18, 2017 at 12:18 p.m.

    Looking at this photo with Claudio in it. I think the USSF needs to come up with new coaching licensing for "dieting". There is not a kid in this picture that doesn't  need to lose a few pounds...good grief..

  34. ROBERT BOND replied, October 18, 2017 at 3:03 p.m.

    reinforcing with m & ms does that.....

  35. Allan Lindh, October 18, 2017 at 12:46 p.m.

    Hardly a single word about the core problem.  Do any of you remember the interview with Messi some years ago about he grew up playing soccer?  From age of 4-5, kids with a ball, kicking it around, juggling, PLAYING.  One of the saddest things in America is all the acres of well groomed grass in parks, not a single kid just goofing with a ball.  America will have great soccer players when little kids spend their free time goofing with a ball, with their friends and family.  Instead they sit on the couch with their "smart phone", playing video games.  Recent study found that while one generation ago kids spent 80% of free time out of doors, now they spend less than 20%.  What the world really needs is a World Cup for video soccer, we would rock.   Look at the kids in the picture.  You want your kids to be soccer players?  No TV, No cell phone.

  36. Kent James replied, October 18, 2017 at 1:23 p.m.

    You are so right.  Do all these critics of coaches think that if we simply fired them all, we'd be better off?  What you have identified, the lack of soccer culture (as well as the changing culture), is much more important than coaching.  That's not to say there aren't bad coaches (some, undoubtedly, are horrible), but soccer, more than most games, is in control of the players, not the coaches. A bad coach can hurt a team, but there's only so much a good coach can do to help (it's always easier to destroy than build).   I think the problem is now that there are two opposing forces; the growth of the MLS, international success (at least until this year with the men, but certainly on the women's side), and the continued growth of youth soccer and the opportunity to watch great matches on TIV have helped the soccer culture grow (how many kids in the 1980s knew who Barcelona or Man U were??), vs the growing sendentary culture with lots of distractions (cell phones, and even other sports (lacrosse)).  How this struggle shapes up will have a lot to do with how we develop as a nation.  

  37. Andrew Kear replied, October 19, 2017 at 11:24 a.m.

    This is actually what I have been saying for months. US players need to control the ball more precisely, and to do that they need to work on their freestyle (juggling) skills. The critics of this theory say juggling does not necessarily make an individual a good soccer player, but have you ever seen a great player that could not juggle. I have not. Omar put the US out of the World Cup primilarily due to a poorly controlled ball that ended up as an own goal. It looks as if poor ball control cost the US the world cup.

    I think it should be suggested that all high school varsity players be able to juggle a soccer ball at least 400 times. To tell you the truth that is a not a hard thing to do. If Omar practiced his juggling skills more maybe he would not have put the ball in his own net a week ago, and cost the US the world cup.


  38. Kent James, October 18, 2017 at 1:28 p.m.

    There is one decision point that I think Reyna's plea for humility has a lot of resonance.  That is our ability to identify talent early.  I think we are overconfident in our ability to identify the best players at a very young age (U12 or earlier).  That's not to say we can't identify the best players at that age, but more we cannot predict how they'll develop.  Which suggests to me that trying to identify talent early, and direct our limited resources to them, is not the right way to develop the best talent (at the adult level).  I think we are better off trying to keep the most players playing for as long as possible, to give all the late bloomers a chance to develop, and not try to siphon off the best players for exclusive training until much later in their careers. That's not to say no attention should be paid to developing the talented youngsters, just that it should not be exclusionary.

  39. cisco martinez, October 18, 2017 at 3:56 p.m.

    I dont agree with Claudio Reyna that our "arrogance" is the issue, nor is the DOC of a local team necesarily arrogant or unwilling to learn. In fact, most DOC are paid to create a style, vision, set formations, budgeting, coaching hirings and firings. Moreover, they have to create a system within there organization that can and must be successful otherwise there gone. The root of the problem is that US soccer has become about pay to play, where academies are nearly $3,500/year per player and if you get an "A" License that costs $5,000 parent thing you are an expert on everything soccer. I know coaches whom were doing a great job before they recieved an licenses or diplomas. Moreover, many academies are requiring licenses despite one's college, professional, or years of playing experience. So what most coaches do since they may be unwilling to fulfill licenses is they start coaching clinics to make money and parents will pay 90/hr for there kid to see a soccer coach to be a babbysitter and not coach them.  

  40. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 18, 2017 at 4:04 p.m.

    That's a good point.  To get an A license in a lot of the top countries in Europe, the cost is more like $500, not $5,000.  The high price of an A license is a barrier to entry for some coaches.  

  41. cisco martinez, October 18, 2017 at 5:50 p.m.

    Its crazy. I have two license the "F" License is a joke and the NSCAA National Diploma which was really good but in all honesty I didnt learn much about soccer; only how to teach in a progressive way which is obvious to anyone who has a brain. What frustrates me is that people that play professional or been a part of the US mens team they automatically can get a waiver to a C license. However, someone like me whom has 4 years at a top D1 school as a player, one year experience as an assistant coach at D1 and high school, been a part of the ODP Region IV programs since I was 14-17, played in two national championships at the ODP Level and at the PDL level, somehow I have no experience to get a waiver either nor do I have any experience to coach an academy according to US Soccer? To me this is beyond crazy its bizarre and only shows that pay to play is what US Soccer is about and thats not right.

  42. Bob Ashpole replied, October 18, 2017 at 6:41 p.m.

    Cisco, what really drove home the point to me was when USSF stopped honoring equivalent NSCAA diplomas as meeting prerequisites for USSF license classes. That had a wider impact than their elimination of most playing experience as credit for lower licenses. If I understand the current rules, a holder of an UEFA or other confederation A license can take the USA C course with waivers, but not higher regardless of coaching and playing experience. Waiver policy is a bit murky and seems to change frequently so I may be wrong.

    USSF seems more interested in bureaucratic control over the license process than developing and licensing qualified US coaches at an appropriate level.

  43. frank schoon replied, October 19, 2017 at 9:40 a.m.

    Cisco, back in the late 90's ,I exactly thought about getting an A-license by working my up, so I called a friend,whose prior job was Coach of the men's Japanes National Team, later head of the KNVB Coaching School in Holland. I was interested in getting my Dutch license. I asked at what level would I begin at the Dutch Coaching School with a USSF-A License. He laughed(at the A- USSF license) and stated for me begin from the bottom again. So much for that Idea...

  44. cisco martinez, October 18, 2017 at 6:51 p.m.

    Bob, I completely agree. I have a good friend whom is a DOC in Arizona and he had a ton of experience through the NSCAA by getting his Master cohort, playing experience and D1 coaching experience but was told to start the F License by USSF. Luckily for him he had a friend through the NSCAA was able to get him in the UEFA program and now he is working on his UEFA A License, but its so absurd all the hoops he had to go through.

  45. Ric Fonseca, October 18, 2017 at 10:52 p.m.

    Wow, I must say that after reading all these comments, most center around the licensing issue as opposed to Reyna's notes on arrogance and humility.  Don't get me wrong but I agree with Rayna's basic premise and I also agree re: the issue of licensing as I've seen, done and experienced the whole "licensing kit and kaboodle," from US Soccer's first schools taught by German Coaching great, Dettmar Cramer, at UCLA in 1971, and '72, followed by being site manager in '77-80 in So Calif (Cal St Long Beach, UCLA and CSUN), and have also experienced the Cal south coaching programs, as well as observing the ayso mandated requirements that if you wanted your child to participate you had to go through some "quick and learn coaching" programs (or referee, etc.) I might also point out that I also grew up playing kickball in jr. high, but ran track in high school since then we didn't have futbol soccer.  When? From the late 50's through the '60s and thanks to the military, I met many-a-soccer players that re-ignited my playing genes.  But back to Reyna's topic, yes there is just too much damned arrogance, and very little humility. Ironically, before I read the article, I was discussing this matter with another friend, who not only does he have his US Soccer licenses, but also went through several English FA licensing schools, and even more ironic is the mere fact that back in the late 80's and into the '90's he was deemed too effing arrogant to land a D1 Coaching gig, yet he, himself was a product of the UC system and was highly recruited, but was not humble enough to land an NCAA coaching job.  I could go on and on, but suffice to say that one of my fondest memories that goes back to the '50s is playing "kickball" on a dirt "football" field with other guys, at Frick Jr. High in Oakland, and then going to my high school - Castlemont - on Sundays to watch the local Club Guadalajara play on the beaitifully kept grass football field, and so ad infinitum...Let's draft Caudio and Tab to head our futbol socce, el jogo bonito's programs, 'cause "good grief Charlie Brown," we need change! 

  46. cisco martinez replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:56 p.m.

    Ric, cmon. Reyna is talking about DOC coaches being arrogant, US soccer not being humble, what is this non sense. Does Reyna really belief that the reason we didn't make it to the World Cup is because we lack humility as a lacking soccer nation? It's pay to play, it's Klinsmann not producing on the development side on two failed Olympics, it's lack of technical player, it's the American mentality of bigger, stronger, faster, it's MLS rewarding sub par players more money,it's coaches not choosing a better team versus individual talent, academies charging a fortune, how expensive it is to get a license, NOT American arrogance?

  47. Bob Ashpole replied, October 19, 2017 at 5:58 a.m.

    Cisco, my impression is that Renya is saying that arrogance in the USA is widespread from top to bottom. Not just coaches or DOCs or club officials or state officials or national officials. While he says arrogance, he means the arrogance of thinking I-know-it-all-already and human nature's resistance to change.

    Without getting into substance, what Renya tried to do at USSF was reform player development. Bringing change to an organization is extremely difficult, even in the tiniest area. Renya was trying to bring widespread changes. I have no doubts that Renya is smart and capable, but also I have no doubt that he is greatly frustrated. Bringing change to an organization is a whole specialty in organizational management and consulting. To bring real change to the player development process requires that all the people involved "buy into" the need for change as well as the specific changes. For that reason, it is far more effective for all of us involved to "think globally and act locally" than for someone at USSF headquarters to try to force change from the top down. 

    USSF is a federation of regional members. If I was consulting, I would suggest talking globally while promoting changes on a regional basis so that one region's successes would demonstrate the validity of the changes and inspire other regions to follow suit.    

  48. Gak Foodsource, October 18, 2017 at 11:18 p.m.

    yes!! Claudio spot on. Pay to play incentivizes coaches to sign up and evaluate, not coach and develop. Admitting we don't know enough and have a long way to go is an important first step. 

  49. cisco martinez, October 19, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    Bob, I think if Reyna is right in regards to "arrogance" it was most of the players that played against T&T were arrogant, not US Soccer as a whole. I can only speak for myself, I dont think we are arrogant becuase we clearly havent won anything. In fact, we must remind ourselves that France and England didnt make the 1994 World Cup, Holland missed out on Russia 2018, Spain in 2014 didnt even get out of there group, so I like to put things in perspective as well. We as a country only once in a while can compete with Belgium, mexico, Holland, but when it comes to the powerhouses of the world we are miles away.

  50. Bob Ashpole replied, October 21, 2017 at 2:14 a.m.

    You might be right Cisco. I, however, don't want to put the blame on these 23 players or say that the problem is the loss to T&T. The loss to T&T changed nothing about US Soccer. The problem is we need to improve soccer in this country from top to bottom.

    I am not interested in continuing to qualify every cycle, as we had since 1990, and then applaud our team for getting out of group before being eliminated. In 1989 that was enough. It is not enough now. I don't think it is enough for Bruce Arena and the current MNT team either.

  51. Michael Hearon, October 21, 2017 at 4:05 p.m.

    I agree with Claudio, but he should point out that the most arrogant coaches usually have an "accent". After all these years Americans just figure if you are from another country you must be an expert in soccer. By that reasoning, with baseball being our national pastime, any American living in another country would be a great coach for a baseball team!

    Unfortunately, a lot of these foreigners have made a nice living off their BS.

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