The Los Angeles Galaxy announced today that Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena will leave the franchise to become the Head Coach of the United States Men’s National Team. Arena leaves the Galaxy after winning three MLS Cups, two MLS Supporters’ Shield, and recording an MLS-best 125-70-79 record.
“My time with the LA Galaxy has been among the most memorable and meaningful years in my entire career,” said Arena. “I have been fortunate to work alongside an incredible staff and coach teams and players that have made me extremely proud. Together, we brought championships to the LA Galaxy and the City of Los Angeles. It is difficult to leave this great club, but I am excited for the opportunity to return as coach of the United States Men’s National Team."
Arena was previously Head Coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1998-2006, where he led the team to a 71-30-29 record all-time.
"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," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. "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."
A two-time winner of the CONCACAF Gold Cup (2002, 2005), Arena guided the United States to an historic quarterfinal finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, shocking Portugal in their opening match before advancing out of the group and earning a 2-0 shutout against Mexico in the Round of 16.
"Any time you get the opportunity to coach the National Team it's an honor," said Arena. "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."
Does this mean we might see veteran Landon Donovan return to national team duties? Donovan, who notably clashed with U.S. Soccer's previous coaching staff, has been a stalwart of Arena's Galaxy teams over the years.
The LA Galaxy will begin the search for the club’s next Head Coach and General Manager immediately.
Arena will depart from the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer with a record five MLS Cup victories in his career in addition to being only one of two coaches in MLS history to surpass 200 wins all time. Arena led the Galaxy to four MLS Cup Finals during his eight full seasons with the club, winning in 2011, 2012 and in 2014. Previously, Arena captured MLS Cup titles with D.C. United in 1996 and 1997.
A member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Arena has also won three MLS Supporters’ Shields (1996, 2010, 2011), a U.S. Open Cup (1996), a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup (1998) and was named MLS Coach of the Year three times (1997, 2009, 2011).
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services