Bruce Arena Named US National Soccer Team Coach

By Ikenga Chronicles November 23, 2016

Bruce Arena Named US National Soccer Team Coach

United States Soccer Federation has on Tuesday named Bruce Arena as a replacement to sacked German Jurgen Klinsmann as the chief coach of the national team.

Arena who is returning for his second spell, guided the United States to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals during his previous tenure from 1998 to 2006.

The Los Angeles Galaxy manager who takes up a new role on December 1 said “Any time you get the opportunity to coach the national team it’s an honor.”

Former Germany player and coach Klinsmann was dumped after the Americans dropped their first two matches in the final round of the North American qualification for the 2018 World Cup, losing 2-1 at home to arch-rival Mexico and 4-0 to Costa Rica.

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. Working as a team, I’m confident that we’ll take the right steps forward to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.”

The timing for making the switch now gives Arena four months until the US squad faces another qualifier, allowing time for players to adjust and Arena to build momentum as the US tries to book an eighth consecutive World Cup appearance. His first match will be a qualifier at home to Honduras on March 24.

“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” US Soccer Federation president Sunil 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 Arena to succeed Klinsmann as the next coach.”

Arena went 71-30 with 29 drawn when he guided the US squad from 1998 to 2006, but was dropped after a disappointing first-round exit at the 2006 World Cup. He was replaced by assistant Bob Bradley, who was fired in 2011 and replaced by Klinsmann.

In 2002, the Americans shocked Portugal in their World Cup opener and beat Mexico 2-0 in the round of 16 before being eliminated by Germany in the quarter-finals.

Arena has coached a record five MLS Cup champions, guiding the Galaxy to crowns in 2011, 2012 and 2014 after taking the title with D.C. United in 1996 and 1997. He also served as general manager of the Galaxy and is a three-time MLS Coach of the Year, with United in 1997 and the Galaxy in 2009 and 2011.

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