On a day when Major League Soccer welcomed prospects from across the world to its draft, the Union were thrilled to welcome prospects from their own backyard.
"For me to be able to go home and most likely finish my career in New Jersey, it's something special to me," Lloyd told the Inquirer and Daily News.
The Union finally made the kind of big move they've promised all winter, acquiring a 27-year-old winger with speed and finishing skill.
Speaking at a forum at the United Soccer Coaches convention, Arena detailed some of the issues that led to the 2-1 defeat to last-place Trinidad and Tobago and marked the end of seven consecutive appearances by the U.S. program at the sport's biggest competition.
Lloyd is coming home to New Jersey to play for Sky Blue FC, whose home stadium is at Rutgers, Lloyd's alma mater.
It wouldn't be surprising if Real is the Union's starting left back on opening day.
Follow live coverage of the NWSL and MLS drafts and other big events at the United Soccer Coaches Convention here in Philadelphia.
In recent months, people close to the bid have grown increasingly concerned about their chances as public opinion around the world has turned against the U.S. government.
As MLS teams' academies come of age, the number of quality players available in the draft has dropped.
For Jozy Altidore, this was supposed to be the time when the United States was preparing for this summer's World Cup. That changed early in October when the Americans got bounced from the tournament.
The United Soccer League has been sanctioned as a second division league for 2018 by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which says the circuit has been given a two-year path to full compliance with the governing body's standards.
Philadelphia has a long and proud history of hosting the United Soccer Coaches' convention, the largest annual gathering of American soccer thinkers, influencers and power-brokers. But there's never been one quite like this year's.
U.S. national team attacker Crystal Dunn is planning to return to the National Women's Soccer League after a year in England with Chelsea.