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Bruce Arena '73 questions need for pre-game national anthem

Posted by billhoward 
Bruce Arena '73 questions need for pre-game national anthem
Posted by: billhoward (
Date: June 19, 2020 11:58AM

Bruce Arena questions need for national anthem before games

Arena came to Cornell after two years at Nassau CC playing lacrosse and soccer. At Cornell, he had no plans of playing soccer, only lax. Cornell's two goalies were knocked out of action, Arena was asked to step in, Cornell made the NCAAs and the final four, where he was named defensive MVP. In lacrosse, he was a beast. Unfortunately, for a couple years after the 1971 NCAA lax title, Cornell was 1-2 players (at Arena's level) shy of being final four material.

Stellar soccer coaching career at Virginia, 5 NCAA titles in 18 years, later coach of US national team:

After [HS] graduation, he began his collegiate athletic career playing both lacrosse and soccer at Nassau Community College, a two-year college near his home. Arena was a 1970 and 1971 Honorable Mention All-American lacrosse player and an All-American soccer player. He was inducted into the National Junior College Hall of Fame in 2008. While at Nassau, he played soccer for head coach Bill Stevenson and goalkeeper coach Shep Messing, a future New York Cosmos goalkeeper. At the end of his two years with Nassau, Arena transferred to Cornell University in upstate New York where he was a 1972 Honorable Mention All American and a 1973 Second Team All American in lacrosse. He did not originally intend to play soccer, but injuries to the school's first and second string goalkeepers led to the men's soccer coach, Dan Wood, to recruit Arena into the team as its goalkeeper. Arena backstopped the Cornell Big Red soccer team to the 1972 NCAA Soccer Championship Final Four and earned Most Valuable Defensive Player honors for the tournament

The Guardian
“I question why we’re playing the anthem in professional sporting events in our country ... it puts people in awkward positions,” Arena, currently the head coach of MLS side New England Revolution, told ESPN.

“We don’t use the anthem in movie theatres, on Broadway, other events in the US. I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a national anthem before a baseball game or an MLS game.

Arena said many of the soccer league’s players were also born outside the United States.

“In MLS, most of the players standing on the field during the national anthem are international players. They aren’t even Americans. So why are we playing the national anthem?

“... Having said that, I want it understood, I’m very patriotic, but I just think it’s inappropriate. And today, it’s becoming too big of an issue.”

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2020 12:45PM by billhoward.

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