The New England Revolution have made yesterday’s rumor official, quickly announcing this morning that former LA Galaxy and United States MNT head coach Bruce Arena will take over in not just the coaching role, but as sporting director as well.
“Bruce is one of the most successful coaches in American soccer history, and we feel his commitment to excellence, track record of winning championships in Major League Soccer, as well as his success at the international level, makes him the best person to bring the Revolution back to MLS Cup contention,” Revolution Investor/Operator Robert Kraft said in the press release. “We have known Bruce dating back to the advent of MLS, and we have full confidence that he will raise the level of our club to the standard we all expect and demand.”
Per the release, the current technical/coaching staff will remain in place until a date is set for Arena to begin his duties. This means interim head coach Mike Lapper will at least coach the friendly against Chelsea on Wednesday and likely the road game on Saturday in Montreal.
Arena will be introduced to the media in a press conference, streamed live on Revolutionsoccer.net, alongside Revolution President Brian Bilello in the Gillette Stadium media workroom on Thursday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
“It was evident when talking with Bruce that we share a vision for the future of the Revolution and we look forward to having him oversee our soccer organization,” Revolution President Brian Bilello also said in the team press release. “We believe that now is the time for a change in leadership and there is no one better suited to usher in a new era of success in New England.”
Arena’s coaching resume is perhaps unequaled in the modern or MLS era of US Soccer. In 14 seasons with DC United, the New York Red Bulls, and Los Angeles Galaxy, Arena has won a record five MLS Cup titles, three MLS Supporters’ Shields, seven MLS conference championships, one U.S. Open Cup title, and the 1998 CONCACAF Champion’s Cup with DC United before the rebranded regional Champion’s League era began.
In a combined decade coaching the USMNT, Arena led the US to two World Cups, including a quarterfinal finish in 2002 in Korea/Japan and three Gold Cup titles in 2002, 2005, and 2017. He is the all-time USMNT leader in wins with 81 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010. Arena also won 5 NCAA Championships and 6 ACC Conference titles over 18 years as the head coach of the University of Virginia.
There is no debating Arena’s resume and with the Revs in need of a massive rebuild, and if given the resources, there might not be a better person for the job. The Galaxy had some middling seasons right before Arena took over in 2008, and in just one year he had the Galaxy at the Top of the West for three straight seasons from 2009-11 (including two Supporter’s Shields) and then three MLS Cups in four years in 2011, 2012, and we’re not going to talk about that last one.
We’ll see if Bruce can have a similar impact on the fortunes of the Revolution. In Bruce we trust, welcome Coach Arena.