https://www.theringer.com/2018/6/5/1742 ... ruce-arena
Some interesting stuff from obviously off the record players.
Cameron’s anger was just one example of tension inside the U.S. locker room. According to several close observers, the environment around the team during the past few years could be “toxic” at times, a lingering aftereffect of the inconsistent and culture-degrading management style of Arena’s predecessor, Jürgen Klinsmann, who had been fired one year before. Arena had labored to rebuild team chemistry, but that had proved to be more challenging than the veteran coach had expected.
Michael Bradley had long known that the team’s fragile identity could derail qualification. Moving around the room, the captain and central midfielder tried to rally his teammates, beseeching them to raise their collective games. But he was also one of the most polarizing figures in the fractured dressing room: His massive seven-figure MLS salary and sometimes overbearing leadership style grated on teammates. Although Bradley knew that all of their legacies were on the line, he was an imperfect messenger.
I will always love Clint Dempsey.
A few weeks before a friendly with Chile in January 2015, veterans Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey had a conversation about the state of the team. Dempsey, a quiet Texan who was the team’s captain, led with his play on the field, not with his words. When Gulati reached out in 2010, asking him to discuss the state of the team under Bob Bradley, he never picked up the phone or returned the calls.
Now, posed with a question about what should happen with Klinsmann, Dempsey wanted no part of it. “I wouldn’t have done this to your father, and I’m not doing this now,” he told Bradley, according to multiple sources within the team. “I just want to score goals and go fishing.”