MX23RW : Thursday, September 20 11:19:21

Bruce Arena quits as USA head coach

Bruce Arena steps down from his role as head coach of the United States national side.

Bruce Arena has stepped down from his role as head coach of the United States national side following their failure to qualify for the World Cup.

The 66-year-old replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in the role last November but was unable to turn the tide as the USA missed out on a place at the tournament for the first time since 1986.

Arena's side needed just a draw from their final qualifying match against Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday night in order to qualify but instead suffered a shock 2-1 defeat, leading the former Los Angeles Galaxy coach to tender his resignation.

"It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their country's national team, and as I leave that role today I am honoured and grateful to have had that opportunity twice in my career," he said in a statement.

"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.

"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.

"While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction. 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."

Under-20s coach Tab Ramos and Portland Timbers boss Caleb Porter are among the early favourites to succeed Arena.

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USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann during the International Friendly match between Scotland and USA at Hampden Park on November 15, 2013
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