Bruce Arena has officially been named the new head coach of the United States Men’s National Team. He had been strongly tipped to become Jurgen Klinsmann’s replacement after the former manager and technical director was relieved of his duties Monday afternoon.
Bruce Arena Officially Named New USMNT Head Coach
Klinsmann was let go after disappointing results to open the Hex forced the hand of Sunil Gulati and the rest of the United States Soccer Federation. While Klinsmann had been under fire from fans and media alike, the 2-1 loss at home to Mexico and the disaster of a 4-0 defeat in Costa Rica were the final straw for the German.
As for Arena, this will be his second sting with the USMNT. He managed the squad from 1998 to 2006 with a very successful 2002 World Cup run. He led that team all the way to the quarterfinal round after a dos a cero win against Mexico in the round of 16. the 2006 tournament was a different story. The team went winless in the group and only escaped with a single point after a 1-1 draw with eventual champions Italy.
Arena leaves behind a legacy with LA Galaxy that includes three MLS Cup Championships. He previously managed D.C. United to the first two titles in league history back in 1996 and 1997 before taking over the national team the following year.
Arena has gone on record criticizing Klinsmann’s use of dual nationals, saying, “Players on the national team should be — and this is my own feeling — they should be Americans. If they’re all born in other countries, I don’t think we can say we are making progress.” He recently clarified those remarks to include playing with passion and pride for the country, regardless of where the player is born.
Arena’s first task will be assembling a roster for January camp and leading the team in the next round of World Cup Qualifying matches at the end of March. His side sits in last place in the Hex with zero points and eight matches remaining.
Arena did issue a statement through the LA Galaxy website on his departure from the club.
“My time with the LA Galaxy has been among the most memorable and meaningful years in my entire career,” Arena said. “I have been fortunate to work alongside an incredible staff and coach teams and players that have made me extremely proud. Together, we brought championships to the LA Galaxy and the City of Los Angeles. It is difficult to leave this great club, but I am excited for the opportunity to return as coach of the United States Men’s National Team. I want to thank Mr. Anschutz, Dan Beckerman, Chris Klein and the entire LA Galaxy organization for my time here.”
No word has been given on a replacement for Arena at the head of the Galaxy.