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Coming soon: A frisson of excitement?

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whispers have Bruce Arena as the next coach/GM of the Reds. We should have definitive word by the weekend, shortly after Friday's sparsely-attended, uncompelling matinee defeat.

You didn't have to be a clairvoyant to see Arena ending up in the Meadowlands sooner or later. Several years ago I figured that we'd end up with Arena running the Metros post-WC'06, after doing a little dosie-do with Bob Bradley. Of course, Bob didn't hang around long enough for that (nor did the "Metros", but that's a different story).

It works nicely on multiple levels. There's the sort-of homecoming for Brooklyn-born Bruce. Moreover, there's the appeal (taste the irony) of taking over MLS's "marquee" club - that marquee being the one on the wretched old movie palace downtown that's been shuttered for 3o years. It's been 8 years since Arena guided DC, but it's still hard not to see black-and-red there, so that's a storyline to be thumped again and again. It's a little weak by this point, however - time, the cumulative suckage of this club, and the fact that Metro has had everyone from Jaime Dog Moreno to Richie Williams to Kevin Payne associated with the team makes it hard to get all agitated about another DC guy. For that matter, I reckon most DC fans would rather see Bruce go overseas or upstairs at Soccer House than come to Jersey - either he succeeds, at their expense, or follows in the proud tradition of accomplished coaches who come to Metro to destroy/kneecap their own legacies. Of which DC is a fundamental part, in Arena's case.

Solid as the story sounds, we'll see how it all plays out. Reports also have RB making eyes at Jurgen Klinsmann for some sort of unspecified front office role, which makes you wonder just a little if the team is just playing PR games by getting their names associated with all the big names in American soccer coaching circles - that is, both of them.

Is he the man to start draining the taurine-tinted morass in East Rutherford? Eh, I won't be banking on it. But, at least he gives good quote. The gang over at MLS HQ must already be dancing a jig over the return of Mr. Diplomatic.

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