Bruce Arena on controversial Panama goal: "That's CONCACAF"

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Bruce Arena - gives instructions during the Gold Cup final - US national team

USA Today Sports

In his first remarks since the US national team‘s failure to qualify for the World Cup, head coach Bruce Arena spoke to The Washington Post’s Steve Goff on a wide range of topics relating to the team’s bitterly disappointing 2-1 loss at Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday and the subsequent fallout

On perhaps the most pressing topic – his own future – he said he’d “do whatever is right.” And though he offered  “no excuses” for the defeat, he also touched on a topic that has rankled a portion of US fans after the team – the officiating in Panama’s 2-1 win over Costa Rica, one of the results that contributed to his team’s elmination.

The refereeing crew incorrectly allowed Panama’s equalizer to stand in their eventual win over the Ticos. Replays showed that the shot clearly didn’t cross the line. Had Panama not won, the US would’ve advanced to a World Cup qualifying playoff against Australia.

“That’s CONCACAF,” Arena said. “If the officiating is right, probably half of those [Panamanian] guys aren’t even playing in that game because of what they did to us on Friday [in the US’s 4-0 win against Panama in Orlando].”

Read Goff’s full report for much, much more from Arena.

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