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Hart-Break: Stephen Hart Quits

Fresh off a disastrous end to World Cup qualifying, Canadian national team coach Stephen Hart resigns rather than be fired.

The man walks, instead of being pushed.
The man walks, instead of being pushed.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/canadasocce

Canada's national team coach Stephen Hart has resigned, two days after after the horrendous 8-1 thrashing in Honduras that cost Canada a place in the CONCACAF hexagonal qualification round for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani made the announcement earlier this afternoon, praising Hart an example for national and international soccer, and for his work to raise the profile of the game in Canada.

Media speculation after the match stated that Hart was to be fired, but the Trinidadian, who's in his second spell as Canada skipper, jumped instead. In his post-match statements, he asked Canadian supporters for their forgiveness, but admitted that he was unlikely to receive it. He also took responsibility for the loss personally, in an attempt to deflect blame from the players.

Hart was first appointed as national coach in 2007 after serving as U-17 coach, and led Canada to a semi-final slot in that year's Gold Cup before stepping aside for Dale Mitchell. He returned to the job not two years later, and two months short of three years on the job, he has resigned.

Hart leaves with a record of 20 wins, 15 losses and 10 draws over six years as national team skipper, and did not post a single home loss in the current World Cup qualification cycle.

We'll have more as this story develops.