One man can't fix US Soccer, and it was crazy to think otherwise

Remember 2006? Remember when we all wanted Bruce Arena fired (myself included), and we were excited about how maybe Jurgen Klinsmann - so young! So successful with Germany! - could be the man to fix everything that ailed U.S. Soccer?

Well, he couldn’t. He tried. But, even if he’d been a great matchday coach, which he wasn’t, the entire system is broken in America; it’s crazy to think that one man could have done the job.

So, we’re back to Bruce Arena. We’re wiser now. We just want Arena to get U.S. Soccer to the World Cup, just like we always did. The painful change won’t be driven from the top down. Everybody’s going to have to accept some pain in this particular movement.

The Day Paul Caligiuri Saved U.S. Soccer

The Hex started this weekend - the U.S., of course, lost to Mexico last night. This week is also the 27th anniversary of the “Shot Heard Round The World” - Paul Caligiuri’s goal in a deciding World Cup qualifier, at Trinidad and Tobago, in 1989. Soccer Insider this week reminisces about that game, and that goal, that altered the course of U.S. Soccer forever.

Just like NASL, MLS has problems

Minnesota United’s tenure in the NASL is over, and the team is off to the big time. The NASL might have problems, but they’re certainly not alone. Soccer Insider this week looks at the biggest problems that MLS has - mainly, that they focus on survival, not soccer.

Goodbye To The National Sports Center

Tonight is the last Minnesota Thunder / NSC Minnesota / NSC Minnesota Stars / Minnesota Stars FC / Minnesota United FC game at the National Sports Center. It’s been a heck of a run in Blaine. For the occasion, I couldn’t help but use Soccer Insider to say goodbye to the place that, for me, will always be the home of Minnesota pro soccer.

Minnesotans that could lead United into MLS

It’s a little hard for me to explain the genesis of this week’s Soccer Insider column. Basically, I started thinking about a Patrick Reusse column from December 2000, in which Mr. Reusse went to the Xcel Energy Center and started quizzing Wild patrons on their favorite Wild players. Memorably, most of them couldn’t name a single Wild player on the expansion team that season; the only one so named was Darby Hendrickson, a former Gopher standout and Minnesota Mr. Hockey. (Also there was a Czech lady who confidently named Lubomir Sekeras.)

Minnesota’s MLS roster next season will be about that anonymous, for new fans. The team isn’t likely to have a big star to hang its hat on. And so I looked at who might play the Hendrickson role in this week’s Soccer Insider. The column also kind of spilled over into the short takes. The weekend watch guide is here as well.