The current manager of the United States Men National Team Bruce Arena has been focusing inwardly, preferring options in the Major League Soccer (MLS).
After the exit of former coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Arena was expected to focus his attention on players from the league. The former Los Angeles Galaxy coach, who also managed the New York Red Bulls and DC United, up until the recent 2-1 victory over African side Ghana rarely went that route.
Arena handed debuts to three players: English-born Dom Dwyer, Kelyn Rowe and Kenny Saief. The assumption is that the game was preparation ahead of the forthcoming Gold Cup. During the tournament, players from the MLS and the CONCACAF are generally selected ahead of their European counterparts that would be playing or preparing for the pre-season.
Arena has gradually linked the US top flight with the USMNT as it used to be pre-Klinsmann. The biggest prospects in the MLS are sure to graduate to the senior US team now.
FC Dallas star Kellyn Acosta for example is widely expected to fill the shoes of Michael Bradley in the coming years.
Dwyer, who was impressive during the friendly, is one of the biggest prospects for the team. The MLS star has scored 57 goals in 128 games for Sporting KC, earning his invitation to join the big boys. He is a very good option for JozyAltidore and he could be that difference at the Gold Cup.
In sharp contrast to Klinsmann, Arena believes that home based players can develop enough to make the national team without playing the Europe where the competition is believed to be more intense. If he continues with this mentality, it would help develop the connection with the league but Arena still needs to maintain that link with Europe for balance.