Tuesday 12 December 2017

Bruce Arena leaves LA Galaxy to take over from Jurgen Klinsmann as USA coach

Bruce Arena
Bruce Arena

Bruce Arena has been named as the United States head coach for the second time, replacing the sacked Jurgen Klinsmann.

Arena has left his post in charge of the LA Galaxy to return to the national team role, which he held between 1998 and 2006.

The 65-year-old, who led the USA to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup where they lost 1-0 to eventual finalists Germany, will take up the role on December 1.

A US Soccer statement read: "US Soccer president Sunil Gulati has named Bruce Arena as the new head coach of the US men's national team.

"The most decorated head coach in American soccer history, Arena most famously guided the US to its best finish in the World Cup in more than 80 years with a quarter-final appearance in 2002 and returns to the job where he amassed the most wins of any coach in US MNT history."

Klinsmann, 52, was sacked on Monday after five years in charge.

The US parted company with the former Germany and Tottenham striker with the nation's hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup in the balance following qualifying defeats to Mexico (2-1) and Costa Rica (4-0) earlier this month.

US Soccer moved swiftly to replace Klinsmann and Gulati admits Brooklyn-born Arena - who won 71 of 130 matches as US coach previously, losing 29 - was the number one target.

He said: "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.

"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."

After leaving his national team post, Arena spent a year in charge of the New York Red Bulls before taking the helm of the LA Galaxy in 2008.

During his eight years with the Galaxy, Arena guided the team to three MLS Cups and two MLS Supporters' Shields, with David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane among the star names under his leadership.

Three-time MLS coach of the year Arena said: "My time with the LA Galaxy has been among the most memorable and meaningful years in my entire career.

"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.

"Any time you get the opportunity to coach the national team it's an honour.

"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 (World Cup qualifying fifth round). 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 US resume their qualification campaign next March with matches against Honduras and Panama.

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