Bruce Arena has stepped down as coach of the US mens national team after they failed to qualify for next summers World Cup
Bruce Arena has stepped down as coach of the US mens national team after they failed to qualify for next summers World Cup.
An insipid, and sometimes embarrassing, qualification campaign ended in a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday night. That result meant the US missed out on the World Cup for the first time since 1986, and it was almost inevitable that Arena would leave his post.
It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their countrys National Team, and as I leave that role today, I am honored and grateful to have had that opportunity twice in my career, said Arena, who also coached the US at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
The blame for the USs failure cannot entirely be laid at Arenas feet. He took over from Jurgen Klinsmann last year after a string of poor results but on Friday he accepted responsibility for the teams failings. When I took the job last November, I knew there was a great challenge ahead, probably more than most people could appreciate. Everyone involved in the program gave everything they had for the last 11 months and, in the end, we came up short. No excuses. We didnt get the job done, and I accept responsibility, he said.
There have been calls for US Soccer to address the way it develops young players after the national team were outclassed by teams with inferior resources and revenue. Arena, however, believes the future for football in the States is positive. He also appeared to express a desire for the next USA coach to be an American.
While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction, he said. I believe in the American player and the American coach, and with our combined efforts the future remains bright. I dont know what the future holds for me, but I can say this from the bottom of my heart: from the high of reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup to the low of a few days ago; I have appreciated every minute of being a part of this program.
As well as taking the US to the last eight at the 2002 World Cup, where they narrowly lost to Germany, Arena had a successful career in MLS. He won the title five times during spells with DC United and Los Angeles Galaxy.