“While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction,” he said. “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 quarter-finals 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.”
Arena said: “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.”
“It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their country’s National Team, and as I leave that role today, I am honored and grateful to have had that opportunity twice in my career,” said Arena, who also coached USA at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
There have been calls for US Soccer to address the way it develops young players after the national team were outclassed by teams with inferior resources and revenue. Arena, however, believes the future is positive. He also appeared to express a desire for the next USA coach to be an American.