After the USA is Eliminated, Bruce Arena Steps Down as Head Coach
Soccer News: No one expected the USA would be eliminated from playing in the FIFA World Cup — and that Bruce Arena, who became the two-time coach of the U.S. Soccer Men’s National team to save the day — would lose to Trinidad and Tobago with a wildly shocking result.
While soccer’s popularity in the USA is at an all-time high, we have lost our chance to compete on the world stage for the first time in decades. Soccer fans can be heard all across America whispering, “Who should I cheer for now?”
After being at the helm for less than a year as Head Coach of the USA’s men’s soccer team, Arena stepped down. It is a moment of great embarrassment, and not one that Arena experienced during his first run from 1998 to 2006.
Arena was the superstar coach — managing to get the USA into the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals — our country’s best World Cup result so far.
Taking over for Jürgen Klinsmann, Arena was tasked with saving the day.
Instead, after the USA was eliminated from competing in the World Cup, here is his resignation.
US MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA RESIGNS – IN HIS OWN WORDS on October 13, 2017
It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their country’s National Team, and as I leave that role today I am honored 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 U.S. Soccer can progress.
Having said that, it also is important to recognize 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.
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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 U.S. 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 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.