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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Arena to leave job as United States coach

Bruce Arena is to leave his position as coach of the United States at the end of the year.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati has confirmed that Arena's contract will not be renewed this winter, bringing to a close his eight-year reign.

Arena is the most successful national team coach in United States history, having won a record 71 games out of 130 in charge.

His finest achievement was guiding them to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2002, exiting after a 1-0 loss to Germany.

However, the United States struggled at this year's tournament, failing to get out of the group stage after losing to both the Czech Republic and Ghana, and drawing with Italy.

Gulati paid tribute to a coach who, if nothing else, has changed perceptions about the United States around the footballing world.

'Bruce Arena's success on the field for the United States is unprecedented,' said Gulati.

'But it is more than just the results he has achieved on the field. Simply said, no one has done more to lift the stature and respect of our Men's National Team programs worldwide.

'We appreciate Bruce's years of service to US Soccer, and as we move forward we will be looking for someone to build on the success he has established for our men's program and our organisation.'

The announcement followed a five-hour meeting between Gulati, Arena and US Soccer secretary general Dan Flynn in New York.

There is no timetable to announce a replacement.

'I would like to thank the players, coaches and staff who have been with the program over the last eight years,' said Arena.

'Their tireless effort has helped transform the national team program into something we can all be proud of, and I am extremely grateful for their commitment.

'I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and I would like to thank US Soccer for the opportunity and their support throughout my tenure. I am proud of how far the organisation has come over the last eight years, and I am extremely optimistic about the future of the sport in our country.

'As for me, I am planning to take some time off to weigh my future opportunities.'

Arena was hired in October 1998 with a record of success both at college level and in Major League Soccer.

He guided the team to two CONCACAF Gold Cup titles in 2002 and 2005.