U.S. coach Bruce Arena: Bob Bradley got a 'raw deal' at Swansea City

United States national team coach Bruce Arena says he thinks countryman Bob Bradley got a "raw deal" from Swansea City when the Premier League club sacked him after just 11 games in charge.

Speaking to the "Soccer Today" show on ESPN Radio in Dallas (103.3 FM), Arena acknowledged that he is concerned Bradley's short reign at Swansea "could hurt opportunities" abroad for other Americans in the future.

"I think, for whatever reason, there's a bias against American coaches," Arena told Soccer Today. "We all know Bob -- Bob's an excellent coach and he went into a difficult situation and he needed to have the right support.

"Any manager, from wherever they came from, going into the Swansea situation was going to be difficult."

Bradley served as an assistant to Arena at both the University of Virginia and with D.C. United in Major League Soccer before starting his own managerial career.

During his brief time in the Premier League, Bradley faced criticism over the American lingo he sometimes used, but Arena said he found "the controversy of over him saying PK" instead of "penalty kick" to be "ridiculous" and "hard to fathom."

"I think he wasn't treated fairly and he needed time, like any manager, to try to get that team turned around," Arena said. "And unfortunately I think in the future, American managers will still be judged differently and it could hurt opportunities for other managers.

"But I can clearly say this: Bob's a quality manager. He's certainly capable of managing in the EPL and I think he got a raw deal."

Arena is starting his second stint as U.S. national team boss after holding the post from 1998-2006 and this week will oversee his first training camp since being hired in November to replace Jurgen Klinsmann.

The 65-year-old has never managed in another country but told "Soccer Today" he had an opportunity to take a managerial post in Scandinavia in 2006 after U.S. Soccer declined to renew his contract.

"‎I was close after the 2006 World Cup and chose not to do it and when you look back maybe 10 years later... I think back a couple times saying it was a mistake," Arena said. "I had an opportunity and perhaps it's one I should have taken. But I thought after the 2006 World Cup [that] I need a little time before diving into a managerial job."

The Americans are facing difficulties in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia following defeats to Mexico and Costa Rica in Klinsmann's last two games in charge, but Arena said there's time to turn things around.

"Well certainly [we're] in a little bit of a hole, but we can close that gap real quick with a win on March 24 against Honduras and then getting at least a point on the road against Panama and all of a sudden things get closed real quick," he said.

"However, if we're not successful in those two games and walk away with, say, a point, we're in a lot of trouble with six games remaining. It is critical that we get, I think, at least four points in the games in March.

"It's certainly not going to be easy, but the reason I took the job is because I think I can turn things around and get the team qualified.

"So I'm confident we're going to be able to do that and I realize there's going to be some bumps in the road along the way, but I think we have a good pool of players and we'll have the right kind of mentality to push our team over the top and be one of those teams in Russia in 2018."