Claudio Reyna once again proves to be the stumbling block

I don’t think there are too many coaches that can really say that fealty to a player has proven to have cost them not once but twice. It does look like Bruce Arena like George Bush prizes loyalty rather than competence. Reyna proved to be Arena’s undoing at the 2006 World Cup with his pallid form and insipid captaincy. Reyna already slowed down by multiple knee injuries left Man City. He retired from international soccer.
Arena was forced to resign as national coach after that disastrous World Cup campaign which unraveled very quickly against the Czech Republic with the Jan Koller goal and was bookended by a uninspired display against Ghana, summed up by Haminu Dramani’s hustle sweeping the ball away from Reyna’s feet, leaving him in the dust, and scoring Ghana’s first goal. Reyna suffered a knee injury and had to be stretchered off.
Reyna then became the Red Bulls designated player joining Juan Pablo Angel another player with extensive Premiership experience. Whereas the Colombian became an instant catalyst for the New York attack, Reyna in his 21 games scored no goals and even worse, as a playmaker provided 3 assists. Compare this to Angel’s 19 goals and 5 assists. We can make a case for Reyna providing the cohesion to the midfield but his frailty was always a sticking point.
There are many reasons given for Arena’s departure including an almost indifferent preparation towards the New England playoffs but once again the player that he reposed most faith in Claudio Reyna in an eerie play out of the World Cup suffered a pulled hamstring within half an hour and had to be replaced by Mathis. Two crucial matches and Reyna comes up short through injury. Red Bulls once again fail to advance in the playoffs.

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