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Arena wins MLS Coach of the Year Award



Bruce Arena has added yet another award to his distinguished coaching legacy. 

The Los Angeles Galaxy head coach was awarded the 2011 MLS Coach of the Year for the third time in his illustrious career on Monday. In 2011, Arena led the Galaxy to a 19-5-10 record earning the Supporters Shield and the second best in league history. Arena's Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Final on November 20th.

 Arena is the first in league history to win the Coach of the Year honor three times as Arena won the award in 1997 as head coach of D.C. United and in 2009 with the Galaxy. Since taking over as Galaxy manager in 2009, Arena has been instrumental in returning Los Angeles to the upper echelon in MLS, going 51-23-30 in regular season contests. 

Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid and Sporting Kansas City's Peter Vermes finished in second and third respectively in the voting. The voting consisted of club representatives, players and media, all of which selected Arena as their number one selection while Schmid was second amongst all voters.

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes finished third in the voting, while Philadelphia's Peter Nowak finished fourth.

Was Arena your selection? Should Schmid or Vermes have been awarded MLS coach of the year?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. Vermes was so outclassed by Kinnear in “the fortress” it wasnt even funny. Graham Zusi can only take you so far. Jeferson and Bravo should have played in that match.

  2. Winter has not failed. He turned TFC around with his acquisitions. If he had this team to start the year they could be in the finals right now.

    They will be no pushover for LA in CCL, especially at home.

  3. All but three or four teams in the league use MORE than their Salary Cap, treasure22.

    Aside from Donovan, Beckham and Keane, the rest of the Galaxy’s salary is quite pedestrian.

    Arena gets credit for managing such a disparity in incomes and experience. I’ve been saying it for the last couple of weeks that his ability to recruit good, cheap talent in the GM role is what sets him apart from every other coach on this list.

    And will continue to, so long as the Galaxy remain competitive.

  4. Very deserving award. COY is often given to the coach who brings a weak team back to mild success. It’s nice for a change to give it to a coach who has talented players who pushed all the right buttons, managed all the egos, and got good results.

  5. +1
    So Cal – Nor Cal love moment. I’m gonna bask in it for a second and then go back to being embarrassed to share a state with Oakland.

  6. Berlin, you and others are hung up on this notion that the most heavily weighted criteria for CotY is that he must “exceed expectations.” That’s problematic because expectations are subjective. Unlike expectations, win-lose-draw records are objective facts. Arena wins. Simple as that.

  7. Any team in the league, including LA, would happily enter the octagon to pick up some of KC’s ‘mediocre talent’.

    Give me a break…

  8. I’m not a fan of KC by any stretch, or even of Vermes, but I would have given it to Peter Vermes. Starting winless in 10 straight road games and keeping the lads’ heads high, getting to the post season with a mediocre selection of talent, yeah, that has Coach of the Year all over it.

  9. Wow….. so much sour grapes.

    I am a SJ fan and i don’t have a problem with this award. three high paid players do not make a team. LA was winning without Keane, winning when Donovan was injured, and Beckham away. I hate the gals, but at least i respect them enough not be blinded by it.

    The salary arguement is so ridicules that i think most people saying don’t believe it. Ask Winter, Backe or any of the multitude of failed coaches who spent on DP’s. If you truely believe that any of us could have coached those teams (or LA) to success, well then you you just descredited your ability to effectivily analyze the game.

  10. The Galaxy spend money yes, why on earth are you people penalizing them for that?

    If it wasn’t for the Galaxy’s efforts in signing Beckham and bringing about the whole DP thing to MLS, then we would of never seen players like Blanco, Henry, Angel, Fernandez, Hassli and we might of not seen some players stay with their clubs like Schelotto, Saborio, Montero etc etc

    We now have some guys like Grazzni with Chicago & Caragglio with New England who can help them lift the teams to better levels.

    Like someone has said having the most money doesn’t always mean the most success see Real Madrid & Manchester City for that. FINALLY City might win something, and ironically Tevez is rebelling during all of it LOL (We did wonder if they could handle all the egos?)

    NY pays their stars more, and they have had 3 academy players join the club yet somehow ran their bench out of town with Da Luz, Garcia and even DeRo who would of kept Ballouchy on bench out of the team

    Arena has done a great job, Vermes could of been a good choice but I’m not sure how much that was coaching and how much adding the Rookie of the Year, seeing last year’s rookie pick get better and also seeing their DP play for them finally?
    Who else would of been worthy?

  11. Arena isn’t a bad coach, but other MLS coaches did the same or more with less. Finishing in 1st place with the 2nd highest payroll isn’t exactly exceeding expectations.

  12. I’m not sure that the MLS Cup thing even applies; don’t they vote on this thing before the playoffs happen?

    Not that he necessarily deserved it for this year’s performance (although placing 3rd overall in the league with the injuries that he had to deal with certainly merit consideration), but Jason Kreis needs to win this award sometime soon. Do people not remember how putrid RSL were when he took over the squad?

    Those stats that you listed: lowest goals against, GAA? RSL set the record last year. They also scored the most goals in the league. While playing a full slate of CCL matches just like LAG, winning their group for the first time ever, coming up just short of the SS despite it all. Winning MLS cup the playoffs prior. Just a fraction of the budget that LAG had. All that and not a sniff of the award last year. What the hell is the criteria for this award again?

    If it sounds like I’m an RSL apologist, maybe I am. If it sounds like sour grapes, that’s because they are. Just seems to me like the criteria for this award changes every year and usually to suit the larger market teams.

    Rant over.

  13. I was just testing the waters to see if there were any Clones out there paying attention.

    Speaking of Rome, he is VERY wrong about soccer, isn’t he?

  14. This would be like the Yankees head coach winning Coach of the Year.

    They have 3-4 times the salary of every team not named New York. Most of us could have coached that team to victories.

  15. This isn’t a criticism of just this choice, it happens in every sport for sure, but I don’t know why Coach of the Year usually just synonymous with best team. It’s supposed to be a coaching around, not a team award. Doing more with less should definitely take precedence over “hey look he was teh head coach of the best team in the league by far, a team who has players that make more than other teams whole budgets, lets give it to him!”

  16. Maybe you suffer from short term memory loss. If so, you have my condolences. Otherwise you must be aware that David Beckham has been with LA since 2007 and has seen his share of sh!tty Galaxy seasons. LA has been a big spending team for a while now, but it wasn’t until Arena came on board that order arose from chaos. See 2011 NYRB for an example of what a bad coach does with a lot of money.

  17. Can’t really argue, but I would have voted for Sigi beacuse he lost his starting striker just before the season began and his best player to injury early on. Despite this, he not only brought his team to second in the Supporters Sheild, they played some attactive footie.

  18. Actually, it’s more like 3-4x the salary of almost all other MLS teams. Or, about the same salary as playoff teams like Houston, SKC, Philly, and Colorado combined. ~Great Job!~ Imagine what Kinnear, Vermes, Nowak and Smith could have done with that kind of payroll. Oh wait, Kinnear has.

  19. Undefeated at home, Lowest Goals Against (28), less than 1 GA/game, most victories, 3rd highest Goals For, Supporters Shield and MLS Cup Finalist. Big budget or not, that’s a pretty impressive string of accomplishments… just ask NYRB.

    Schmid and Vermes were also good candidates, but Bruce has run an extraordinarily tight ship this year.

  20. Grow up.

    This sort of post is as bad as Raiders fans claiming the NFL has it out for them. The Raiders get 50 penalty flags against them every game because they lack discipline. The Galaxy are winning games, supporters shields, and awards because they are GOOD.

  21. MLS loves LA and will always promote them as the greatest because they want to sell beckham kits, so you might as well just give them all the awards and not pretend they are valid in any way.


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