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USMNT interim coaching staff facing changes

Bruce Arena’s former assistants are moving elsewhere.

Portugal vs USA - International Friendly Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

After Bruce Arena resigned as United States Men’s National Team head coach in October, his assistants, Dave Sarachan, Kenny Arena, Pat Noonan, Matt Reis and Richie Williams, were asked to temporarily oversee the USMNT while the U.S. Soccer Federation searches for a permanent replacement. According to a report by the Washington Post’s Steven Goff, Pat Noonan and Kenny Arena are on the move to MLS clubs while Dave Sarachan has held preliminary discussions about a college head coaching vacancy. Goff notes that all five men were permitted to look for permanent positions elsewhere since their contracts are slated to expire in March.

Pat Noonan has agreed to join the Philadelphia Union as an assistant coach while Kenny Arena will join Los Angeles Football Club’s technical staff. Previously, Noonan interviewed for the New England Revolution head coaching position, which was ultimately given to Brad Friedel this past fall. Noonan was a member of the New England Revolution, Columbus Crew SC, Colorado Rapids, Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy during his long MLS playing career. That playing career included 15 caps for the USMNT. After finishing his career with the LA Galaxy in 2013, Noonan immediately joined the team’s coaching staff under Bruce Arena. He left that post to join Arena on the USMNT coaching staff last January. Union coach Jim Curtin was looking to fill a staff position vacated by Mike Sorber, who joined Bob Bradley’s staff at LAFC last month.

Kenny Arena, the son of Bruce Arena, will be joining LAFC’s technical staff. He has known Bob Bradley his entire life. Bob served as an assistant on Bruce’s staff at both the University of Virginia and D.C. United. Kenny has previously served as an assistant under his father with both the Galaxy and USMNT.

Dave Sarachan served as interim head coach for the team’s match in Portugal and will again oversee the team during this month’s camp and match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 28th. Sarachan has held preliminary discussions with the St. Louis University Billikens about their head coaching vacancy.

It is not yet known whether Pat Noonan and Kenny Arena will be with the USMNT this month in California since MLS teams are preparing for the upcoming MLS Combine, MLS Draft and MLS preseason. With the next FIFA window slated for the middle of March, it will be interesting to see if the USMNT schedules a friendly or two, and, if so, which coaches will oversee the team.