World Cup 2018

Bruce Arena returns to USA fold with World Cup at stake

The USA currently sit bottom of the Concacaf qualifying standings for the World Cup in Russia, prompting the sacking of Jürgen Klinsmann. Venezuela-England live online: Final World Cup U20

Bruce Arena returns to USA fold with World Cup at stake
Jonathan Ferrey

Bruce Arena has been installed for a second stint in charge of the United States international team, replacing Jürgen Klinsmann with the Stars and Stripes bottom of Concacaf qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The 65-year-old American, who guided the United States to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals, previously held the position from 1998 to 2006.

Arena has been coaching Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, and will take up his new role on December 1.

"Bruce was top of the list"

"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," US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said.

"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."

Klinsmann sacked

Former Germany player and coach Klinsmann was dumped after the Americans lost their first two matches in the final round of North American qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, losing 2-1 at home to arch-rival Mexico and 4-0 at Costa Rica.

The timing for making the switch now gives Arena four months until the US squad faces another qualifier, allowing time for players to adjust and Arena to build momentum as the US tries to book an eighth consecutive World Cup appearance.

"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," Gulati said.