SOCCER

Arena Takes Over Floundering Red Bulls

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bruce Arena took over the struggling New York Red Bulls yesterday, but also predicted that his former squad -- the U.S. soccer team -- would not win consistently at the World Cup until 2018.

"Why did I say 2018? Because I know that it's not going to happen in 2010, 2014," he said at his introductory news conference. "We have a long way to go. To get there, you've got to know where you are. It's the same thing with this team. If I told you we were going to compete for the MLS Cup right away, if I told you we were going to win a World Cup in 2010 . . . who's going to believe that?

"We made progress in this World Cup. But we do not have players of the quality and experience of the teams in the group that ended up in the last eight."

Red Bulls fans may also have to wait. The club is 3-6-8 this season -- the fewest wins in the league -- and is last in the Eastern Conference with 17 points. Only Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference has fewer points.

Arena won more than twice as many games than any other U.S. coach, going 71-30-29 in 130 games with the national team. Before that, he won or shared five NCAA titles as coach of Virginia, won two MLS championships with D.C. United and also won the CONCACAF Champions Cup with United.

He is ready for the challenge of remaking yet another club.

"We're going to try to build a good team here," Arena said. "I know it's been said before . . . we still have a long way to go."

-- From News Services


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