A lot has happened with the New England Revolution since Bruce Arena became head coach and sporting director in 2019.
The Revs lifted its first-ever Supporters’ Shield by setting a new single-season points record in 2021. The organization has been active in the transfer market, both buying and selling players. A second team was created with several players graduating to the first team.
Most recently, their U-19 Academy team won the MLS NEXT Cup for their age group.
Of course, the project is ongoing as the club wants to have more success at every level, but it’s clear that Arena has implemented his vision for the Revolution.
“First of all, everything in our organization starts with Bruce Arena,” Technical director Curt Onalfo told media on Thursday. “We wanted to bring that winning mentality not only to the first team but to the second team and also to our academy. So, I think it really was kind of implementing a culture and a mentality from day one.”
This takes time. Onalfo noted that the technical staff focuses on trying “to get a little bit better every day” and that they “come every day with enormous enthusiasm” as they “strive for excellence.”
Onalfo said he feels fortunate because club president Brian Bilello and club owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft have been supportive of the technical staff’s endeavors,
“I think when you combine all those things together, and then you have ownership and a president that backs you up when you present a project or anything that requires resources and they give you those resources to do it, then it’s very much appreciated,” Onalfo said. “We have support all the way through, and that makes us work real hard and try to continue to strive for excellence.”
When explaining the current culture of the Revolution, Onalfo reminisced about the academy team winning the U-19 championship. While the young men celebrated the prestigious title, Onalfo took note of athletic trainer Matt Zaremba, who had tears of joy.
“It just showed how much it meant to him,” Onalfo said. “But for me, it meant that’s the culture, that’s what we wanted to create. He’s a young employee for us that’s in our academy, someday he could move on to our second team and eventually on to our first team, and he understood what it took to be a champion.”
The goal is to have an organization where everyone—players, coaches, and support staff—is trying to better themselves every day. This mentality has led to success at various levels since Arena’s arrival, but there’s still more to do.
Onalfo stated the Revs “still have a long way to go in terms of making sure that our pro pathway gets stronger.” The club also wants to lift more championships, including the elusive MLS Cup.
These will come if the organization continues to focus on growth.
“We always talk about how we try to get a little bit better every day,” Onalfo said. “If you do that over a period of time, and you look back at that time, all of a sudden you realize how far you’ve come.”