Bruce Arena resigned as coach of the United States men’s national team on Friday, the first casualty of The team’s failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
U.S. Soccer announced Arena’s departure in a news release. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, whose job performance — like Arena’s — has been assailed by fans and commentators in the days since the Americans’ embarrassing failure, was to address his own status in a conference call later Friday morning.
Arena was in his second tenure as United States coach; he previously led the team in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. The first of those, a run to the quarterfinals in South Korea, was the modern high-water mark for the men’s national team program. In the second, in Germany in 2006, the Americans finished last in the field, and led to Arena’s first ouster as coach.
“It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their country’s national team, and as I leave that role today, I am honored and grateful to have had that opportunity twice in my career,” Arena said in the news release.
“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 didn’t get the job done, and I accept responsibility.”
Arena’s departure was not a surprise. He was under contract only through next summer’s World Cup, and with hopes of reaching that goal dashed, there was little reason for him to stay on.
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