Update (April 13, 12 pm ET)
Apparently Arena didn't actually have an offer from FC Copenhagen, but fellow Danish top-flight club Brondby, instead:
Original Text (April 11; 4:25 pm ET)
Alexi Lalas debuted “The Mutant Gene Podcast” over the weekend, with the US soccer legend interviewing another icon of the American game – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena – for the first episode of his new show.
The Fox Soccer analyst went pretty in-depth with Arena, picking the brain of the former D.C. United, New York Red Bulls and US national team boss about bias against Americans in world soccer, the USMNT, MLS refereeing and an interesting job offer he received following the 2006 World Cup.
Arena said that he thinks that a bias against American players still exists in Europe, but that American coaches have it worse. He also revealed that he’s been approached in the past by English Premier League clubs, and was offered a job by Danish club FC Copenhagen after leading the USMNT at the 2006 World Cup.
Arena didn’t end up taking the job, instead returning to MLS to coach the Red Bulls.
“I’ve had inquiries from EPL teams at times, but nothing really serious,” Arena said. “I had a job opportunity after the 2006 World Cup, actually, it was FC Copenhagen and I was uncertain whether I would take the position that was offered to me.
“However, it was made rather difficult for me to leave the position with US Soccer with [several] months remaining on my contract. It was required that Copenhagen would have to buy me out of my contract, which was inappropriate I felt at the time, so that muddied the waters a little bit.”
Arena, who coached the USMNT from 1998-2006, shared his thoughts on Jurgen Klinsmann and the US national team, saying that he thinks the program hasn’t improved since the German manager took over in 2011. He also indicated that he’d be interested in returning to coach the USMNT, should US Soccer ever approach him about the head job.
“Obviously it’s an awkward question for me to answer because I kind of think like an ex-president, you know, you don’t criticize the president in office. However, there are things that I would do differently for sure, but I’m not the national team coach. I would say this that I think that the program could be in better position than it is today. I think there’s a lot more potential there and hopefully it gets better, but I think that we have not made great progress, that’s my honest opinion.”
“I am not auditioning for the national team job, I’m not publicly advocating that Jurgen be relieved of his duties as the national team coach,” he continued. “If I was asked to become the national team coach again, I would certainly be interested in doing that.”
Arena also held court about MLS refereeing, offered a suggestion for how the league could change its scheduling and even dipped his foot into the promotion/relegation debate. The entire interview is truly a must listen – you can hear it by downloading the podcast.