Bruce Arena has changed the game for the New England Revolution. Having a head coach of his stature can lead to lots of success, but what is it that makes him such a talented head coach?
Arena is well-traveled and well known in the United States. In MLS he has managed three other clubs besides the Revolution and has already lifted the MLS Cup five times.
Then you also factor in that Arena coached at the international level with the United States Men’s National Team. Arena helped the USMNT win three Gold Cup’s and also coached the team in two separate World Cup’s.
Arena led the USMNT to new heights including being ranked fourth in the FIFA world rankings and reaching the quarterfinals in the 2002 World Cup. He also boasts the most wins of any USMNT coach to date.
For AJ DeLaGarza it has to be Arena’s knowledge of MLS that makes him such a talented coach.
The 33-year-old said, “He knows this league inside and out. It’s different than any league in this world. In other countries, if the coach or the team is having a bad year, then you can go spend a couple million to go buy a player. But here you have to kind of figure it out with domestic players, with bringing in the right, because you only have three DPs [Designated Players], so you have to be very smart. You look at this team and there’s very good DPs and then very good young, quality players in [Henry] Kessler and [Tajon] Buchanan and [Matt] Turner, and the list goes on. There’s so many guys that are younger. I look back at 2009, and Bruce helped move me along as a rookie and a young player. I’m grateful for those guys that they have Bruce here to help them as well, and I’ll do whatever I can as well to help on and off the field. He just knows the league inside and out, and I think that’s very valuable.”
Wilfrid Kaptoum on the other hand doesn’t have the experience with Arena that DeLaGarza has, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t picked up on how Arena conducts himself as a head coach. His new teammates have also talked about how great of a head coach he is.
Kaptoum said, “My teammates told me that he’s a coach that’s very patient. He’s a great observer and he’s honest with his players. That’s a fundamental characteristic for every player. It’s great to know that the coach always has his eyes on you and he’ll tell you the truth. That helps players understand what they’re doing right or wrong so players can correct those things and improve. I can tell Bruce is a coach that has a lot of experience. He doesn’t speak a lot but he speaks the truth and that’s what I like about him.”
Arena is helping the Revolution reach new heights just as he did with other teams in his career. Hopefully, that means New England will be lifting an MLS Cup relatively soon.