On Tuesday night, the U.S. men's national soccer team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The team lost 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago.
The loss came as a surprise to all. This is the first time that the U.S. men's soccer team has failed to qualify for the World Cup since 1986. The team's coach, Bruce Arena, assumed responsibility.
He said, "We failed on the day. No excuses."
On Friday, Arena made another shocking announcement following the team's defeat: he will resign as head coach. Arena is the winningest coach in U.S. soccer history, the only head coach to claim the Gold Cup title on three different occasions, and a National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee.
He posted his resignation announcement on the U.S. Soccer website.
He said, "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."
Arena went on to talk about the major defeat. He said that the National Team program needs to ask themselves how they can improve. However, he still wanted to recognize the growth that they have achieved over the last few decades.
He continued, "Obviously the biggest disappointment is for our fans. As a person involved in the sport for more than 40 years, to see how 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 commitment, and I hope you maintain your steadfast support of U.S. Soccer."
"While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction," he concluded. "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 quarterfinals 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."
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