Bruce Arena is in.
Just a day after announcing they had fired Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach, U.S. Soccer had appointed his successor Arena.
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The 65-year-old Brooklyn native will return from a second stint in charge of the USMNT after he led the Stars and Stripes from 1998 to 2006, reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup in the process.
Speaking to U.S. Soccer’s website, Arena had the following to say about accepting the position which he will take up on Dec. 1.
“Any time you get the opportunity to coach the National Team it’s an honor,” Arena said. “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.”
Many will see Arena’s hiring as a short-term move for U.S. Soccer who are now fully focused on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Arena has a big task on his hands to turn things around after two-straight defeats to start of the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying meant the end for Klinsmann.
However, he is the only coach in history to manage the USMNT at two World Cups and has the best record of any U.S. coach ever at 71-30-29 He has also excelled in LA over the past eight years since taking over the Galaxy in 2008. He has delivered three MLS Cups in that time (2011, 2012, 2014) to add to his two MLS Cups as D.C. United’s head coach from 1996-98.
Bruce shoots from the hip and tells it like it is. In USMNT terms, he is a blast from the past and this should be fun to watch play out as plenty more old school MLS and USMNT names join him along the way.
The U.S. has an experienced head to try and guide them through to the next World Cup. His approach is vastly different than Klinsmann’s.