Dave Sarachan, former Bruce Arena assistant, is named interim coach for the U.S. national team

Dave Sarachan, Bruce Arena’s top assistant with the Galaxy and in two stints with the national team, was named Tuesday to succeed Arena as interim coach for the U.S. ahead of next month’s friendly in Portugal.

Arena stepped down earlier this month after the U.S. failed to advance to next summer’s World Cup, losing its final qualifier to Trinidad and Tobago.

Sarachan, 63, coached under Arena at the University of Virginia, with MLS club D.C. United and with the U.S. national team before getting his first professional head coaching job with the Chicago Fire. He led them to the league’s best record at 15-7-8, a U.S. Open Cup title and a spot in the MLS title game, winning league coach of the year honors in 2003.

But the Fire struggled after that and Sarachan was relieved of his duties midway through the 2007 season. A year later he was reunited with Arena on the Galaxy staff, helping the team to eight straight playoff appearances and three MLS Cup titles before both men left to join the national team in November.

Sarachan will be assisted in the Portugal match by the rest of Arena’s national team staff, including Ken Arena, Pat Noonan and Matt Reis. All four men remain under contract to U.S. Soccer through the end of the year.

The game with Portugal, the reigning European champion, will be played Nov. 14 in Leiria, Portugal.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11

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