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Bruce Arena returns as US football team coach

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New York, Nov 23 (IANS) United States Soccer has announced that Bruce Arena will return as head coach of the men's football team a decade after he left the job.

The 65-year-old New York native will take charge of the national team on December 1, replacing German Jürgen Klinsmann, who was fired Monday after more than five years in the job, US Soccer announced on Tuesday.

Arena led the side to a record 71 wins during his 1998-2006 tenure, which included two World Cup tournaments. He is currently with the LA Galaxy.

"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," US Soccer President Sunil Gulati said, citing Arena's "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."

The US lost their first two matches in the final phase of the Concacaf regional qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, but Arena will have several months to work with the squad before the next qualifying match in March.

"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," Gulati said.

Arena said: "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.

"Working as a team, I'm confident that we'll take the right steps forward to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia."

--IANS

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