Bruce Arena has resigned as the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team head coach following the disastrous 2-1 defeat at the hands of 99th-ranked Trinidad & Tobago. A result, along with Panama’s victory over Costa Rica, meant that the Americans will not nbe playing in next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
This ends Arena’s second stint as head coach of the USMNT, which began in November when Jurgen Klinsmann was fired in November.
He confirmed the news in a statement released by US Soccer on Friday.
‘It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their country’s national Team, and as I leave that role today I am honoured and grateful to have had that opportunity twice in my career.
‘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.
‘This certainly is a major setback for the senior men’s national Team program, and questions rightly should be asked about how we can improve. No doubt this process already has started and will continue so that US Soccer can progress.
‘Having said that, it also is important to recognise the tremendous growth and accomplishments we have achieved over the past two decades in all areas, including player development, coaching education and a stable domestic professional league.
‘This work is ongoing and despite the result in Trinidad, the sport is on the right path. By working together, I am confident soccer in this country will continue to grow in the years and decades ahead.
‘Obviously the biggest disappointment is for our fans. As a person involved in the sport for more than 40 years, to see how support for soccer in the United States has grown is incredibly gratifying. I believe I speak for everyone involved in the game in thanking all of you for your passion and commitment, and I hope you maintain your steadfast support of US Soccer.
‘While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction. I believe in the American player and the American coach, and with our combined efforts the future remains bright.
‘I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I can say this from the bottom of my heart: from the high of reaching the quarter-finals 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.’