Watch: Bruce Arena rags on Beasley, praises Jones in U.S. January camp
Bruce Arena began his return to the U.S. men's national team with a bit of levity.
In a video released by U.S. Soccer, a mic'd-up Arena pokes plenty of fun at 34-year-old DaMarcus Beasley, who remains available for the national team after coming out of international retirement for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Arena opened his first camp since replacing Jurgen Klinsmann as manager at a team gathering by explaining how he used to run January camp when the Gold Cup was played during the winter, back in his earlier stint as U.S. coach.
“For me personally, I've been involved in this for a long time,” Arena said. “I actually did these camps when we actually played the Gold Cup in January.”
He then deadpanned and said, “Remember that Beas? … Beasley was about 30 years old at the time,” as U.S. players broke out into laughter.
The Gold Cup was last played in January in 2002, and Beasley was on the USA's roster, though he was just 19 at the time.
Arena also offered praise for Jermaine Jones, who officially signed with Arena's former team, the LA Galaxy, on Wednesday. During a training session, Arena turned to his assistants and expressed wonder at Jones's high energy.
“It's amazing,” Arena said. “He's just an animal the way he keeps going and going. You know how guys need a couple games and this and that? He needs like halfway through in a practice. It's ridiculous, his engine.”
The U.S. is building toward a pair of friendlies at the end of camp, one against Serbia in San Diego on Jan. 29 and another against Jamaica in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Feb. 3. World Cup qualifying resumes at the end of March against Honduras and Panama, with the U.S. in an 0-2-0 hole after losses to Mexico and Costa Rica in November.