DCU president and CEO steps down

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DCU president and CEO steps down

After 17 years with the club, D.C. United president and CEO Kevin Payne announced his resignation today.  

“Very few people in American soccer have put their stamp on a club as Kevin has with D.C. United,” said United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “His loyalty to the team and me is something for which I’ll always be indebted.”

Payne has served at the helm since United first came to the district in 1996. During his tenure the club became the most decorated MLS franchise, winning four MLS Cup titles.

“Kevin’s lengthy list of accomplishments speaks to his strong acumen as a leader,” said owner Jason Levien in a team statement. “His dedication to the organization deserves deep admiration and appreciation. As D.C. United begins a new chapter, Kevin's leadership has helped to prepare us for this important and potential-filled inflection point in the club’s history.”

During his time in D.C., Payne also earned honors and awards of his own, including the prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award by U.S. Soccer in February 2011 for his work promoting soccer in the U.S.

“They say the only constant in life is change,” said Payne.  “For me, D.C. United has been like my child.  We brought the team into the D.C. and national sports world 17 years ago and every day since – good and bad – has been a labor of love.  This team has provided many great memories of championships and historic accomplishments, but I will best remember the people I've had the chance to meet, to work with, strive with, celebrate with, and sometimes to share disappointment with. 

“To the players, coaches, co-workers and fans, I can only say thank you so much for the great privilege of having been part of the D.C. United family.  It’s very difficult for me to express how I have felt, and still feel, about all of you.  I will forward a longer statement in the weeks to come to try to do a better job of thanking everyone for all they have meant to me. 

“I'm very excited about the next phase of my life, and very excited about the next phase for D.C. United, as well.  I know the leadership of the team will take it to new heights on, and off, the field.  I look forward to returning to RFK and wish everyone in the D.C. United family the best of luck.”

It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

NEW YORK – Bruce Arena is returning to coach the U.S. national soccer team, a decade after he was fired.

The winningest coach in American national team history, Arena took over Tuesday, one day after Jurgen Klinsmann was fired. The 65-year-old Arena starts work Dec. 1.

With the U.S. 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying, the U.S. Soccer Federation wants to spark a turnaround when the playoffs resume March 24 with a home game against Honduras.

"His experience at the international level, understanding of the requirements needed to lead a team through World Cup qualifying, and proven ability to build a successful team were all aspects we felt were vital for the next coach," USSF President Sunil Gulati, who fired Arena in 2006, said in a statement. "I know Bruce will be fully committed to preparing the players for the next eight qualifying games and earning a berth to an eighth straight FIFA World Cup."

Arena first took over as national team coach after the 1998 World Cup and led the U.S. to a 71-30-29 record.

"I'm looking forward to working with a strong group of players that understand the challenge in front of them after the first two games," Arena said in a statement. "Working as a team, I'm confident that we'll take the right steps forward to qualify"

A wisecracking Brooklynite known for blunt talk and sarcasm, he coached the University of Virginia from 1978-95, then led D.C. United to titles in Major League Soccer's first two seasons before losing in the 1998 final. He guided the Americans to the team's best World Cup finish since 1930, a 1-0 loss to Germany in the 2002 quarterfinals.

He was let go after the team's first-round elimination by Ghana in 2006. Arena coached the New York Red Bulls of MLS from July 2006 to November 2007, then was hired the following August by the Galaxy. He led the team to MLS titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Arena was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010.

RELATED: AFTER 18-MONTH DOWNWARD SPIRAL, KLINSMANN FALLS ON HIS OWN SWORD

Marquez's late goal lifts Mexico over US 2-1 in World Cup Qualifier

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USA TODAY Sports

Marquez's late goal lifts Mexico over US 2-1 in World Cup Qualifier

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Rafa Marquez scored on a header in the 89th minute, and Mexico beat the United States 2-1 Friday night in the Americans' first home loss in World Cup qualifying since 2001.

Miguel Layun put Mexico ahead in the 20th minute, but Bobby Wood tied the score in the 49th.

The U.S. dominated the second half before the 37-year-old Marquez, unmarked and drifting across the penalty area, got the back of his head on Layun's corner kick and lifted the ball over goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Guzan lost the goalkeeper job to Tim Howard, who started at the last two World Cups. But Howard injured his right leg on a goal kick and was replaced in the 40th minute.

The U.S. had beaten Mexico four straight times by 2-0 scores in home qualifiers -- all at Columbus -- and the Americans had been 30-0-2 at home in qualifying since a 3-2 loss to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium in September 2001.