Bruce Arena is the manager of the United States national team. Again.
U.S. Soccer announced that they have hired Arena to take over for Jurgen Klinsmann, who was fired on Monday. Klinsmann was given the axe after two years of struggles, but mainly because of losses to Mexico and Costa Rica to open the final round of World Cup qualifying that left the Americans dead last in the qualifying group. The immediately focus for Arena will be preparing the U.S. for their next World Cup qualifiers, in March, which the Americans must do well in as they try to dig themselves out of a hole and qualify for the World Cup.
“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,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “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.”
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Arena previously managed the U.S. from 1998-2006, presiding over a run to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, which is the Americans' best showing at a World Cup in modern history. Arena also won two Gold Cups and qualified the U.S. for the 2006 World Cup, where they disappointingly crashed out in the group stage. The 65-year-old spent the last nine years managing the LA Galaxy, where he won MLS Cup three times and the Supporters' Shield twice.
Arena will officially take over the U.S. on December 1. The Galaxy will begin their search for a new manager and general manager immediately.