UPDATE (4:15pm) Not so fast my friends...
It appears I might have jumped the gun at Jeff’s original tweet from this morning as Bruce Arena led training today:
Bruce Arena said he still hasn't decided whether he'll make his debut on the sidelines this weekend in LA, where he coached for eight years: "If I think I'm going to be a distraction to the team, I won't do it." #NERevs— Jeff Lemieux (@jeff_lemieux) May 28, 2019
So while Arena hasn’t decided if he will make the trip to Los Angeles, he is starting the process of acclimating with his new team. I’d expect a mini-preseason during the Gold Cup break in which the new coaching staff will have several weeks to install a new system and evaluate players.
Also in that updated tweet thread from Lemieux is no concrete update on the status of interim head coach Mike Lapper on remaining on the staff, with Arena stating “Mike will speak for Mike. I don’t want to do that. He’s done a very good job here.” It’s an odd quote that seems to leave open every possibility for Lapper to stay and/or pursue other opportunities if he wants.
(Original Story at 12:45pm) The Bruce Arena era for the New England Revolution will officially begin this weekend when the Revs go cross country to face Arena’s old team, the Los Angeles Galaxy according to Revs online host Jeff Lemeiux:
The transition into the Bruce Arena era takes another big step today - Arena will lead training as he assumes head coaching responsibilities ahead of this weekend's trip to visit his former club, the LA Galaxy. #NERevs— Jeff Lemieux (@jeff_lemieux) May 28, 2019
Most fans will remember that one trip to LA late in 2014 that I will not mention by name, where Arena was the head coach of the aforementioned Galaxy. It seems an appropriate place to begin his sideline tenure with the Revs despite the odd schedule in June due to the international break.
Arena will take the sidelines with a familiar face alongside him, as former assistant with the USMNT Richie Williams joined Arena’s staff from his then current post as DC United affiliate Loudoun United’s head coach.
It’s also a very good time to mention that interim head coach Mike Lapper’s tenure ends undefeated with a 1-0-2 record and just two goals conceded. Hopefully Lapper remains on the staff for at least the rest of the year and even beyond that with the way the team responded to him in particular these last few weeks. Results and even style of play aside, Coach Lapper will leave a tremendous impression and breathed a sense of new life and fun into the bulk of the locker room which was sorely missing.
Bruce Arena now begins the incredible task of getting the Revolution back into the playoffs, something that might not be able to happen this year, but we have to start somewhere. The Revs have 19 games left and sit in 11th place in the East on 13 points, four points behind 7th place Toronto FC who have two games in hand as well.
Arena’s first home games at Gillette Stadium will come after the CONCACAF Gold Cup international break against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, June 26th and the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, June 29th.