U.S. soccer brings back Bruce Arena to coach men's team

Bruce Arena was confirmed as the new head coach of the United States soccer team on Tuesday, returning to the job after an absence of 10 years.

Arena replaces Jurgen Klinsmann, who was fired on Monday following a pair of defeats to begin the final phase of World Cup qualifying.

Since 2008, Arena has been coach and general manager of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, and is American soccer’s most successful domestic coach, having lifted MLS Cups.

He led the U.S. during its run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup and again during its disappointing 2006 campaign.

Arena will formally take charge on Dec. 1, and was scheduled to speak to reporters on Tuesday afternoon. His appointment was confirmed by U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who made the move to sack Klinsmann in the wake of a 2-1 home setback against Mexico and a 4-0 thrashing in Costa Rica.

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“When we considered the possible candidates to take over the men’s national team at this time, Bruce was at the top of the list,” Gulati said. “His experience at the international level, understanding of the requirements needed to lead a team through World Cup qualifying, and proven ability to build a successful team were all aspects we felt were vital for the next coach. We all know Bruce will be fully committed to preparing the players for the next eight qualifying games and earning a berth to an eighth-straight FIFA World Cup in Russia.”

U.S. Soccer also released a statement from Arena.

“Any time you get the opportunity to coach the national team it’s an honor,” Arena said. “I’m looking forward to working with a strong group of players that understand the challenge in front of them after the first two games of the Hex. Working as a team, I’m confident that we’ll take the right steps forward to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.”


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