On the day that he was installed as United States manager for the second time, Bruce Arena said he will "embrace" all players who are eligible for the U.S., but he wants to make sure they are sufficiently committed to the U.S. cause.

Before his hiring was made official on Tuesday, Arena came under fire about comments he made in 2013 about foreign-born players who have played for the U.S. national team.

In an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Arena had said, "Players on the national team should be -- and this is my own feeling -- they should be Americans. If they're all born in other countries, I don't think we can say we are making progress."

Predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann made extensive use of dual nationals, including German-Americans like Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, and John Brooks.

On Tuesday during a conference call with reporters, Arena sought to clarify his remarks, adding that one of his favorite players from his first stint in charge was Earnie Stewart, who was born in the Netherlands and whose father was a U.S. serviceman.

"I believe that anyone that has a passport for the U.S. is certainly eligible to play for our national team and I embrace all players that are eligible to play," he said. "I just want to make sure that their heart is in the right place, when they place that U.S. jersey on, that they're playing for the crest on the shirt. It's important to me.

"I have great passion for this national team and I expect the same out of our players. I'm all for any players that are eligible to play for us, and I'm really looking forward to working with -- using your term -- our foreign nationals as well as our domestic players."

Arena's comments were echoed by U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati.

"If you are eligible to play for the U.S. national team, you are available for selection," he said. "After that, the coach makes those decisions, but we are open to anyone, whether they are born abroad or born here."