The United States have hired Bruce Arena to be their new manager (again), but only through the 2018 World Cup.
The Americans’ previous three managers — Arena from 1998-2006, Bob Bradley from 2006-2011 and Jurgen Klinsmann from 2011-2015 — all managed the team for more than one World Cup cycle and all had issues in the second cycle. Arena’s team crashed out of the 2006 World Cup group stage, Bradley’s team was beaten in the 2011 Gold Cup final and he was fired, and Klinsmann’s team had an embarrassing 2015 Gold Cup then lost their first two Hex matches before he was let go.
Of those three, only Klinsmann was handed a contract through a second World Cup before managing the first World Cup. So in Arena and Bradley’s cases, they had to earn a second World Cup and that could happen with Arena in his second stint. But at least for now, he will only be on through 2018.
That is welcome news for some fans who thought that Arena may be given a longer contract because he was taking over so late in a World Cup cycle. That could set him up for a problematic second cycle, as the last three U.S. bosses had. But that won’t be the case for now.
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