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Bruce Arena resigns as coach of US men's national soccer team

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Bruce Arena resigns as coach of US men's national soccer team

NEW YORK — Bruce Arena resigned as U.S. men’s national team coach on Friday, three days after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

The U.S. Soccer Federation did not say who will take over the team for planned exhibition games next month.

USSF President Sunil Gulati, speaking during a telephone news conference, said he did not plan to resign. He said it was not the right time to talk about whether he will seek a fourth four-year term in February’s election.

Gulati said the federation will seek “outside expertise” as it moves forward.

A 66-year-old member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, Arena coached the U.S. to its greatest success in the modern era, from 1998-2006, then was fired by Gulati.

Arena was brought back last November after a 0-2 start in the final round of qualifying in the North and Central American region under Jurgen Klinsmann. The Americans were unbeaten in their first 14 games under Arena but lost at home 2-0 to Costa Rica. They got themselves in position for an eighth straight World Cup berth with a 4-0 win at home last week over Panama and needed only a draw at Trinidad and Tobago, the world’s 99th-ranked team. But they fell behind by two goals and lost 2-1.

With three wins, four losses and three ties, the Americans finished fifth among six teams in the hexagonal. Panama climbed to third and qualified, and Honduras finished fourth and will meet Australia in a playoff next month for a berth.

“This certainly is a major setback,” Arena said in a statement. “Questions rightly should be asked about how we can improve.”

Arena was 10-2-6 in his second term, leaving him with an 81-32-35 record and the most wins among U.S. coaches.

“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.”

Copyright, The Associated Press
 

Carles Gil voted finalist for 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year Award

Carles Gil voted finalist for 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year Award

Carles Gil's hard work with the New England Revolution finally is paying off. 

The 26-year-old forward has been voted a finalist for the 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year Award along with New York City FC's Heber and Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo. The award is given annually to the player who had an outstanding debut season in the MLS after previous professional experience.

The winner of the award is decided by the media, MLS Players, and club technical staffs and will be announced on Oct. 16 ahead of the Revs' playoff matchup with Atlanta United.

Gil becomes the second New England player to be voted a finalist since the award was introduced in 2007 -- Jermaine Jones was a finalist for the Revolution in 2014. Gil tallied 10 goals and 14 assists through 34 games  -- a team high. He was voted JetBlue Revolution Team MVP by the fans, Players' Player of the Year by his teammates and named the Midnight Riders' Man of the Year by New England supporters. 

NYCFC's Heber notched 15 goals and four assists through 22 games while Pozuelo tallied 12 goals and 12 assists through 30 games for Toronto FC. It'll be a close vote, but Gil has a strong case for winning the award -- especially considering he helped propel the Revolution into the 2019 playoffs when no one thought they had a chance. 

He'll be back in action Saturday for the first-round of the 2019 MLS Playoffs against Atlanta United at 1 p.m. ET. 

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'20 Under 25': Ranking the top young Boston athletes for 2020

'20 Under 25': Ranking the top young Boston athletes for 2020

With Tom Brady still excelling at 42 and Zdeno Chara the oldest active player in the NHL, Boston is well represented in the over-40 athlete set. 

But look at the other end of the spectrum, and you can see that there's a bright future for Boston's teams, with a host of up-and-coming stars succeeding before their 25th birthday.

Rafael Devers is leading the American League in several offensive categories, and the Red Sox third baseman should be in the MVP conversation at only 22 years old.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should make even bigger leaps this season for the Celtics, now that they're assuming larger roles.

Between David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy, the Bruins have young offensive and defensive stars who should lead the team for a long time to come.

And from N'Keal Harry and Sony Michel on the offense to J.C. Jackson and Chase Winovich on the defense, the Patriots look to have several young players who can take the reins and keep New England's run of success going for a third straight decade.

But which of those athletes has the brightest future? We asked fans to rank the under-25 set from 1-100 on what their peak video game rating would be at the peak of their careers — and when all was said and done, four players grabbed a rating of 90-plus.

Click here for NBC Sports Boston's "20 Under 25" rankings for 2020.>>>>>

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