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Bruce Arena to Remain US Soccer Team Coach Through 2006

United States men's national soccer coach Bruce Arena has agreed to a new four-year contract that will keep him in charge of the American team through 2006.

Bruce Arena has proven to be one of the most successful coaches in American soccer history. During his first four year tenure, the Long Island native became the winningest coach in team history.

Financial terms of Arena's new deal, announced Tuesday, were not released, as is the policy of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Arena's major accomplishments include leading the U.S. men to a surprising quarterfinal finish at this year's World Cup in South Korea and Japan, and increasing international respect for the American soccer program.

Arena, 51 said he was not sure after the World Cup if he wanted to stay on with the national team, that he might want to get back into coaching full-time at the club level. But ultimately he decided to renew his contract.

"Even in our negotiation process I kept an open mind to possibly coming back into MLS, but at the end of the day for a variety of reasons, and mostly personal with my family, the decision was made that I would stay with U.S. Soccer," he explained.

Bruce Arena says he is happy to have the opportunity to improve upon the progress made over the last four years, and is looking forward to the challenge of building a U.S. soccer team capable of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia says there was never a question that Arena was the man to guide the men's national team's preparations for the 2006 World Cup.