San Jose Earthquakes

Bruce Arena blends intense demands with humor to lead US

Bruce Arena bites his fingernails religiously, a habit he has had since age 10.

Among some other unmentionables.

"Are you kidding me? I'm sure there's plenty of those," the U.S. coach acknowledged with a chuckle, "I don't make that public information, though."

Arena walks across midfield soaking in the California sun and surveying the scene as his players take a lap and begin stretches ahead of training on a practice field adjacent to Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes.

He crosses his arms and paces — side to side, forward and backward — eyes up always. He shifts his hands to his hips and steals a glance downfield to where the...