Former U.S. national team manager to take reins on Aug. 12
NEW YORK CITY (July 18, 2006) - Bruce Arena, the most successful coach in U.S. Men's National Team history, was named as Red Bull New York's new sporting director and head coach on Tuesday morning. Arena will oversee all of the club's soccer operations, including the first team, reserve and academy teams and youth development.
Arena's contract was not renewed by the U.S. Soccer Federation following a spectacular eight-year career that saw the national team reach the World Cup quarterfinals and a FIFA ranking as high as five. At the request of Arena, U.S. Soccer agreed to terminate his contract early and he was introduced to the New York media on Tuesday at the Stone Rose Lounge.
Arena will be on the Red Bulls' sidelines starting on Aug. 12 in the team's friendly vs. UEFA Champions League winner FC Barcelona at Giants Stadium. Until then, current interim head coach Richie Williams will serve as the acting head coach until Arena permanently arrives.
Though tasked with building a squad that has not, in its 10-year history, hoisted an MLS Cup, Arena comes to the Tri-State Area with an undeniable record of success.
Arena was appointed the U.S. MNT head coach in October 1998 after a disappointing World Cup for the United States in France.
Injecting exciting, young stars such as Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley into his lineup, the U.S. made a remarkable run into the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, defeating Portugal and Mexico along the way before falling 1-0 to eventual runner-up Germany in a tight battle.
In the most recent World Cup this summer, Arena and the U.S. faced their most daunting task in years when they were placed in the "Group of Death" with Italy, the Czech Republic and Ghana. After falling to the Czechs in the opening game, Arena rallied his squad against eventual champion Italy. The Americans played with nine men throughout most of the second half, but valiantly earned a 1-1 draw.