Bruce Arena (pictured) resigned as USA head coach on October 13, 2017. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHICAGO -- Bruce Arena resigned as United States head coach Friday after the team failed to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in his second tenure in charge.
The Americans (3W-3D-4L, 12 points), who finished fifth in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, lost 2-1 to host Trinidad & Tobago in the last matchday on Tuesday. That result, combined with wins by Panama and Honduras, saw the current Gold Cup champion be eliminated from contention for a place in Russia next year.
Arena, who guided the U.S. at a pair of World Cups (2002, 2006) and three Gold Cup crowns (2002, 2005, 2017), replaced former German international Jurgen Klinsmann after a 0-0-2 start last November.
“When I took the job, I knew there was a great challenge ahead, probably more than most people could appreciate," Arena stated. "Everyone involved in the program gave everything they had for the last 11 months. No excuses. We didn’t get the job done, and I accept responsibility."
The 66-year-old has enjoyed a storied career for club and country, also directing D.C. United (twice) and the LA Galaxy (three) to a record five MLS Cup championships. He also led D.C. to the 1998 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup title.
“While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction," he concluded. "I believe in the American player and the American coach, and with our combined efforts the future remains bright. 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.”
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said an interim coach would be named in seven to 10 days. The U.S. is planning at least one international friendly in November. There was no rush to name a permanent coach, he added.