Bruce Arena on Friday announced that he is resigning as coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team.
“No excuses,” he said in a statement through the U.S. Soccer Federation. “We didn’t get the job done, and I accept full responsibility.”
“This certainly is a major setback for the senior Men’s National Team program, and questions rightly should be asked about how we can improve,” Arena added, referencing Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago.
“While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction.”
The Washington Post on Friday reported that Tuesday’s result meant that the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
The U.S. had been among seven nations to participate in every soccer World Cup since 1990 before the outcome.
The Americans needed a draw in Tuesday’s contest to secure an automatic berth from the CONCACAF region for the World Cup’s 2018 edition.
The team fell two goals behind Trinidad and Tobago before halftime – the worst team in the six-country competition – and eventually lost 2-1.
Arena, 66, is the most successful coach in U.S. men’s history, boasting a 81-32-25 record, including 10-2-6 this year.
The Hall of Fame coach has also guided the team to the 2002 and 2006 World Cup competitions, with the former squad making it deeper than any U.S. team since 1930.
Arena has also earned five Major League Soccer (MLS) trophies, two with the D.C. United and three with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Post reported that it remains unclear who will replace Arena as the coach of the U.S. men’s national team.
The U.S. Soccer Federation will most likely pick an interim coach for two proposed friendlies in November while hunting for a longer-term replacement.