He’s out: Bruce Arena resigns as coach of USMNT (VIDEO)

We all saw this coming.

Following the United States Men’s National Team’s crushing loss to Trinidad and Tobago and failure to quality for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, coach Bruce Arena resigned on Friday.

Arena released a statement through USMNT, which can be read here:

“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.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation did not say who will take over the team for planned exhibition games next month.

USSF President Sunil Gulati, speaking during a telephone news conference, said he did not plan to resign. He said it was not the right time to talk about whether he will seek a fourth four-year term in February’s election.

Gulati said the federation will seek ”outside expertise” as it moves forward.

A 66-year-old member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, Arena coached the U.S. to its greatest success in the modern era, from 1998-2006, then was fired by Gulati. The USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Arena was brought back last November after a 0-2 start in the final round of qualifying in the North and Central American region under Jurgen Klinsmann. The Americans were unbeaten in their first 14 games under Arena but lost at home 2-0 to Costa Rica. They got themselves in position for an eighth straight World Cup berth with a 4-0 win at home last week over Panama and needed only a draw at Trinidad and Tobago, the world’s 99th-ranked team. But they fell behind by two goals and lost 2-1.

With three wins, four losses and three ties, the Americans finished fifth among six teams in the hexagonal. Panama climbed to third and qualified, and Honduras finished fourth and will meet Australia in a playoff next month for a berth.

”This certainly is a major setback,” Arena said in a statement. ”Questions rightly should be asked about how we can improve.”

Arena was 10-2-6 in his second term, leaving him with an 81-32-35 record and the most wins among U.S. coaches.

”I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction,” he said. ”I believe in the American player and the American coach, and with our combined efforts the future remains bright.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.