Arena: Japan Friendly wasn’t my Idea
It turns out that Japan wasn’t on Bruce Arena’s list of preferred opponents as the US continues its preparations for the World Cup.
“I didn’t pick them. It’s hard to schedule international games, especially friendlies, at this time of year. You’ve got to take whoever you can get.”
“It’s no secret why the game is in San Francisco, where there’s a large influence of Japanese-Americans,” a resigned Arena acknowledged. “They’re going to be supporting the Japanese team.”
Interesting words from The Bruce, but I disagree. Even though Japan doesn’t play a style of soccer like any of the teams in the United States’ World Cup group, I think it is important for the younger players to have the opportunity to play good competition whenever they can. While it might help with the confidence level to face an undermanned Norway side, a solid test against a team like Japan should give Arena a better idea of where the players fighting for the final roster spots really stand before the team embarks on the rest of its preparations with the European-based players in place.
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