Jurgen Klinsmann was fired from his position as the head coach and technical director of the United States men's national team. Where did U.S. Soccer go to replace him? The past.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is now in charge of the national team. The 65-year old American led the U.S. from 1998 through 2006. The USMNT reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup (in what some consider to be the country's finest performance) and had a disappointing showing in 2006.
Arena will take over the role effective Dec. 1.
"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 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."
"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."
Outside of the national team, Arena is generally considered to be the best (or at least most effective) American coach of all time. He's won five MLS Cups and was responsible for two different dynasties (D.C. United in the 90s and the early 2010s LA Galaxy).
The word of the day is now "pragmatism". You're going to hear a lot about how Arena is pragmatic and not prone to wild experimentation. It shall be a return to a simpler time, where the same formation is played game in and game out. Expectations will be lower, but infinitely more attainable. There is no revolution, but a singular goal: grind out results.
The USMNT is currently in last place of its group in the CONCACAF Fifth Round of 2018 World Cup Qualifying after losing to Mexico and Costa Rica. Arena's first test will be in March against Honduras and Panama.