U.S. Soccer won't renew Arena's contract
By BRIAN TRUSDELL, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - Bruce Arena is out as coach of the United States men's soccer team less than three weeks after the Americans' first-round exit from the World Cup.
U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said Friday that Arena's contract would not be renewed when it runs out at the end of the year. A search for a replacement will begin immediately, Gulati said, adding that no potential candidates have been contacted.
Arena, who coached the U.S. for eight years, leaves as the most successful coach in the history of the national team, having won more than twice as many games (71) as any of his predecessors.
He guided the United States to two CONCACAF Gold Cup titles and two straight appearances in the World Cup. But the latest trip to soccer's biggest tournament was a disappointment, with the United States being eliminated following a 2-1 loss to Ghana in the first round in Germany.
"Eight years is a long period," Gulati said. "I'm not saying we need to change direction, the direction Bruce set is very positive. But having a fresh approach, after eight years, which is a very long time, is the strongest factor."
Gulati praised Arena for his accomplishments and said he had done "an extraordinary job."
"I am proud of how far the organization has come over the last eight years, and I am extremely optimistic about the future of the sport in our country," Arena said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. "As for me, I am planning to take some time off to weigh my future opportunities."