Ron Blum/Associated Press
United States soccer manager Bruce Arena told the Washington Post‘s Steven Goff on Thursday he does not have a desire to remain at the helm through another four-year World Cup qualifying period.
“Obviously, I have no interest in going on a four-year cycle right now,” Arena said. “I’ll do whatever is right. That is the approach I am going to take.”
Following Tuesday’s shocking 2-1 Hexagonal qualifying loss to Trinidad and Tobago that eliminated the Red, White and Blue from contention for a 2018 World Cup bid, the United States will have to wait until 2022 for its next chance at redemption on the global stage.
Arena, who is reportedly expected to discuss his future with reporters Friday, also told Goff he has already sat down with United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati to talk things over.
“We know where everything is at, the status of things,” he said. “We’re all on the same page. We’ll talk again.”
Arena was initially hired by the USSF in November 2016 as the replacement for Jurgen Klinsmann, who was shown the door following a five-year run that included a Round-of-16 appearance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
While the U.S. showed some promise back under Arena’s leadership—including a Gold Cup title triumph over Jamaica—Hexagonal qualifying losses to Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica coupled with a 1-1 tie against Honduras didn’t cut it.
Now headed for a quiet summer in 2018, the USSF will have to hunker down and identify a manager who can help nurture the national team’s young talent and implement a more dynamic system in the aftermath of one of the biggest blunders in program history.