- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 23, 2010

CARSON, Calif. | Bruce Arena, who coached the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, was elected Saturday to the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Arena coached Virginia to five NCAA titles in 18 seasons and D.C. United to a pair of MLS Cup championships and one U.S. Open Cup win before taking over as national team coach in 1998. The 2002 World Cup was the most successful for the U.S. since it reached the semifinals of the first tournament in 1930.

Arena coached the U.S. through the 2006 World Cup, when it was eliminated in the first round.

“It’s certainly a great individual accomplishment, yet you never forget why you’re able to achieve things as a coach,” he said. “During my career, there’s been hundreds of people responsible for my being successful — players, coaches, management, administration, all of that. You can’t forget that.”

Arena, now coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy, appeared on 78 percent of the Builder ballots and will join former national team players Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic in this year’s induction class.

“Hopefully, it’s not the end of a career. That’s usually what the Hall of Fame sometimes indicates in a lot of other sports,” Arena said. “I’d like to believe I have a lot of years ahead of me.”

Bob Gansler, the U.S. coach at the 1990 World Cup, was second with 58 percent.

The top vote-getter each year is elected, but must receive over 50 percent support. All Hall of Famers and select administrators get to vote.

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