Vermes and Ramos could replace Arena, but Martino and Osorio intrigue
The Bruce Arena 2.0 era is over, so it's time to start talking about potential long-term replacements. Here are some names that U.S. Soccer should consider.
Vermes is the most-discussed choice within MLS ranks and with good reason. A former national team player, Vermes has guided Sporting Kansas City with consistency in his eight-year tenure and won titles at both the league and cup level. There is little mystery surrounding his teams; there is a plan and a style that his players follow it to a tee. He'd be smart enough to be able to get others to raise their level in what will be a Christian Pulisic-led team for the next decade.
There are already rumors that Ramos will take over in the interim as the U.S. tries to cobble together a squad for the international break in November. This would be a smart short-term choice, considering Ramos has coached the Under-20 team in the past two cycles and there is absolutely no reason why anyone over the age of 28 should be on a U.S. roster for the next two years. Whether he's the right man once the 2018 World Cup concludes and a host of new candidates surface is another story, but his familiarity with the players is a plus.
Gerardo "Tata" Martino
Experienced at the international level -- Martino guided Paraguay to the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals -- Atlanta United boss Martino would be a compelling choice. His work in his first year in MLS is impressive, molding Atlanta into a top three team in the east and with 68 goals scored. His work with Atlanta's young talent is on display each week and one can't help but be intrigued by the possibilities of Martino harnessing the skills of Pulisic and other budding talents like midfielder Weston McKennie and forward Josh Sargent.
The dark horses
Juan Carlos Osorio
Comparing Mexico's 2014 World Cup qualifying to the 2018 edition is like night and day. Under Osorio, who was hired in 2015, El Tri cruised to World Cup qualification, booking their ticket to Russia after just seven matches in the Hexagonal. When Osorio has fielded a full-strength side in an official match, they have been almost unbeatable. Yes, there was the 7-0 Copa America loss to Chile, but also consider that Osorio led Mexico to drought-breaking wins against the U.S. in Columbus and Honduras in San Pedro Sula. He also has a connection to MLS, having coached for the New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire. He might be worth waiting for until after the World Cup.
One of the most respected tacticians in the game, having "El Loco" as the USMNT head honcho would certainly not be boring. However, Bielsa's history is also littered with many a falling out at club and international level. He would require total control and if USSF president Sunil Gulati is still at the helm, it's hard seeing another coach getting as much freedom as was handed to Jurgen Klinsmann. But if any manager was able to give the USMNT the kick in the pants that it needs, it is definitely Bielsa.
Don't count them out
In his second year in the NASL with Miami FC, Nesta has quietly become one of the best coaches in North America. The legendary former Milan and Italy defender led his side to the spring season championship and has them on track for a second-place finish in the fall. With an unheralded squad that includes former MLS players like Kwadwo Poku, Jonathan Borrajo and Hunter Freeman, Miami sprung a couple upsets in the U.S. Open Cup, winning 3-1 at Orlando City and claiming a last-minute 3-2 triumph vs. Atlanta United. "He sees coaching at such a different level. We need more coaches like him in the U.S.," says Borrajo.
Like Nesta, Savarese plies his trade in the NASL and has had great success with the New York Cosmos, winning league titles in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Savarese's roots in American soccer are well-known, dating back to his New York/New Jersey Metro Stars days. It's not like he hasn't been coveted, either. In 2014 he turned down the Houston Dynamo job. Savarese's acumen and knowledge of the game are beyond approach and having the resources of U.S. Soccer at his fingertips could bring out the best of his coaching.
Arch Bell is based in Austin, Texas and covers CONCACAF for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @ArchBell .