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Arena Says He's Open to Advice

October 28, 1998|GRAHAME L. JONES

After an 18-year coaching career at Virginia, where he won five NCAA titles and compiled a 295-59-31 record between 1978 and 1995, Bruce Arena is well versed in the college game.

But the U.S. national team's new coach is not about to mince words when it comes to college soccer's shortcomings.

"I think what people say about college soccer is misunderstood," he said. "Coaches do an outstanding job at the collegiate level. But given the environment, it's not ideal for player development.

"Being on college campuses, having [only] three months to train and give players the experience they need is not enough."

Still, Arena said he would turn to college coaches for their input in building a competitive national team.

"I want to hear what they have to say," he said. "I know them on a personal basis. . . . They know that any time they can contribute to U.S. soccer we're going to give them an opportunity."

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One of many rumors that swirled around MLS Cup '98 in Pasadena on Sunday was the possibility that Sigi Schmid, a three-time NCAA championship winner with UCLA, might leave to become coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The sale of the MLS team to Philip Anschutz for $26 million has left the position of every Galaxy staff member up in the air, including that of Coach Octavio Zambrano.

Schmid is said to have turned down the opportunity to coach the San Jose Clash. An offer from the Galaxy, however, might be a different matter.

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