Less than 24 hours after Jurgen Klinsmann’s firing, the U.S. Men’s National Team has found his replacement.
Bruce Arena was officially named as head coach of the USMNT on Tuesday and will officially begin on Dec. 1, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday.
“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,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. “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.”
Arena, the winningest coach in USMNT history, previously held the job from 1998 to 2006. Among his accomplishments was guiding the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, the team’s best-ever result in the tournament. He also won two Gold Cups in 2002 and 2005.
“Any time you get the opportunity to coach the National Team it’s an honor,” said Arena. “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.”
The Hall of Famer will take over a USMNT that has zero points through its first two matches in the Hexagonal phase of World Cup qualifying. It’s the team’s worst start in the Hex since it was implemented for 1998 World Cup qualifying.
Arena recorded 12 wins, three draws and five losses in the Hex during the 2002 and 2006 qualifying cycles.