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Bruce Arena resigns as U.S. soccer coach after World Cup humiliation

Bruce Arena resigns as U.S. soccer coach after World Cup humiliation
From CBC - October 13, 2017

Bruce Arena resigned as U.S. men's national team coach on Friday, three days after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

The U.S. Soccer Federation said within 10 days it will announce an interim coach 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 during the federation's annual meeting from Feb. 8-11 but did say it recent weeks he had sent letters to people seeking to be nominated.

"This is a big shock to the system. We understand that. We understand how much frustration, anger, disappointment, hurt there is," he said.

Gulati said the federation held a board meeting Thursday night and will seek "outside expertise" as it evaluates what went wrong.

"We will look at everything, from our player development programs to our coaching to our refereeing to our facilities to the play-to-play model to the role of education and universities," he said. "Where we need to make major changes, we will do that. Where we need to make incremental changes, we will do that. We will take out time with that and unfortunately we have the luxury of time before we have competitive games again with the senior team."

Greatest success in modern era

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.

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, winning its third CONCACAF Gold Cup under him, but they lost a home qualifier to Costa Rica 2-0 last month, putting a berth in danger.

A 4-0 home win over Panama put the U.S. back in position for an eighth straight World Cup trip and the Americans needed only a draw at Trinidad and Tobago, the world's 99th-ranked team. After months of constant lineup changes, Arena kept the same 11 starters, and the Americans fell behind by two goals in the first half and lost 2-1.

'Major setback'

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