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By ESPN Staff

Former US coach Arena joins NY Red Bulls

NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - Former U.S. soccer team manager Bruce Arena was named on Tuesday as head coach of the New York Red Bulls.

The 54-year-old Arena will also serve as the Red Bulls' sporting director, overseeing the team's soccer operations, including the first team, reserve and academy teams and youth development.

Arena, the most successful coach in the history of the U.S. men's side, was told last Friday his services would not be retained after eight years in the position.

The U.S. were eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup in Germany last month, losing to the Czech Republic and Ghana and drawing with eventual champions Italy.

Critics said the squad appeared ill-prepared for the month-long, 32-team tournament.

The Red Bulls are one of the least successful sides in Major League Soccer, sitting in the basement of the Eastern Conference.

Arena's first game in charge will be Aug. 12 when the Red Bulls face UEFA Champions League winners Barcelona in a friendly at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.