For Arena and U.S. Soccer Team, a Vital Point Five Months in the Making


But beyond stabilizing the United States campaign, as he was hired to do in November, Arena has restored a winning mind-set to a formerly discouraged, disjointed bunch of players. They are, Arena said, finally becoming a team, and his players feel it, too.

“I haven’t spent a whole lot of time examining what happened in the past,” Arena said, referring to his predecessor, Jurgen Klinsmann. “In a lot of ways that’s not my business. I’ve tried to provide the environment that I think is right for a national team program, when I started with the team in January. That’s all I can say. I’m just doing things the way I do things.”

Arena was hired for his second stint because Klinsmann presided over a group that had lost its first two matches in this final round of regional qualifying — a 2-1 loss to Mexico at home followed by a…



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