On Friday 13 October, Bruce Arena resigned as a coach of United States Men’s National team after the team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Arena said, “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,”.
He took responsibility for the team’s defeat against Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 on Tuesday night. “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.”, Arena said.
Arena also spoke about the development of the American program since the US hosted the 1994 World Cup. He said, “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,”.
“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.”, Arena added. He also expressed his desire foe the next USMNT coach to be an American.
Arena said, “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.”
Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer president, said that decision on a new USA coach would be taken in the upcoming week. He said, “We don’t need a long-term four-year commitment to a coach by February or March,”. “I’m not saying that won’t happen, but it’s not necessary. What we need is someone to guide the team in November, and that’s a much easier decision because it’s a short-term situation”.