Bruce Arena has resigned as manager of the US national team, he announced on Friday.
Arena and the USMNT failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup for after losing 2-1 at Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, the first time the US will have missed the tournament since 1986.
Arena took over for his second stint in charge of the US last November after Jurgen Klinsmann was fired following a 2-1 home loss to Mexico and a 4-0 defeat at Costa Rica to open the CONCACAF Hexagonal. He led the US to a 10-2-6 record and the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2017, but his last year in charge of the national team will be almost entirely remembered for his failure to qualify for the World Cup.
A five-time MLS Cup winner, Arena departs the USMNT with an all-time record of 81-32-35. The National Soccer Hall of Famer guided the US to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup and coached the team when they crashed out of the 2006 World Cup in the group stage.
US Soccer has not yet announced any plans for replacing Arena. It was reported on Friday morning by MSG Network's Kristian Dyer that US Under-20 national team head coach and former USMNT midfielder Tab Ramos will take the reins on an interim basis.
His full statement is below:
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 has started and will continue so that US Soccer can progress. Having said that, it is also 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. That 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 the level of 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 your commitment, and I hope you maintain your steadfast support of US Soccer.
While this is a difficult moment, 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 quarterfinal 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.