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Bruce Arena hired to lead New England Revolution

Bruce Arena is back, and the New England Revolution are hoping he still has the touch to build another winner in Major League Soccer.

The New England Revolution officially named the former LA Galaxy and two-time U.S. Men’s National Team head coach as their new head coach and sporting director on Tuesday morning.

Arena takes over the Revs after the recent firings of head coach Brad Friedel and general manager Mike Burns, and will now have full control of New England’s operations, much as he did with the LA Galaxy from 2008 to 2016 when he led the Galaxy to three MLS Cup titles.

“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 a 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.”

Friedel was fired after a 12-21-13 record in a little more than one season on the job. Assistant coach Mike Lapper took over and led the team to a 3-1 home win over the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend.

Arena brings a wealth of experience to a struggling Revolution team. He has five MLS Cup titles, more than any other coach in league history, three Supporters Shields, and three MLS Coach of the Year awards in 14 years as a head coach. He is now the winningest active head coach in MLS history and one of only two coaches in league history to collect over 200 victories. Internationally, despite failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, he has the most wins as a coach in USMNT history, having led the United States to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.

“In my conversations with the Kraft family and Brian Bilello, it’s clear that they have high expectations for the club and I believe there is a tremendous opportunity for me to create a winning culture throughout the Revolution organization,” Arena said. “Boston is a great sports town with a history of championship teams, and I am looking forward to working with the staff and players to make the Revolution a club that our supporters can be proud of and that can be part of the tradition of success in New England.”

Arena will be formally introduced at a press conference on Thursday, though it still remains unclear when he will formally take to the sidelines for his first match in charge of the Revs.

New England is sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points. The Revs face English giant Chelsea in a friendly on Wednesday before traveling to Montreal to take on the Impact on Saturday.


  1. Is it possible NER had their backs against the wall and had no choice but to spend money on legit coaching talent? Boston sports fans are passionate and loyal, but do not tolerate a lack of team effort, and certainly do not tolerate an owner who fails to put the best possible product on the field. Here’s hoping Arena negotiated an agreement from the Krafts to join the rest of MLS and improve the quality of the team through investment.

  2. The problem is that in the past Arena has always had the ability to buy stars that enabled roll players to play well above their usual ability. Is he going to get Kraft to open his check-book to sign a couple DPs? Is he going to be able to attract those top tier DPs to a New England?
    II’ll grant you Arena is good at mining MLS for inexpensive veteran talent to flush out a squad but his track record of actually building a team on the cheap or through youth development has not been good. Just like his time coaching the National Team, Arena relies and values established veterans more than young or raw talent.

  3. As I said below, on paper he’s great, and the critique of him lately tends to blow those 2 losses in 18 games way out of proportion. They were 2 huge games but he has generally won everywhere. Two issues: (1) turf team and (2) does he get much of a payroll to work the system. I think he is quite sharp at team building but also usually with more money than most of the league.

    • The game has passed him by. His last 2 seasons with the Galaxy were not good and he made some poor player decisions (he was GM as well as coach). When he left, the team was in pretty poor shape. You can find excuses all you want, but he had one job with the USMNT and that was to qualify. He failed and failed miserably. All they needed was a draw against T&T that was far from full strength and was bottom of the table. He didn’t have the team ready for the game. He failed and it was a big time failure..

  4. I give it the rest of this season and all of next before he starts complaining about the Revs being cheaper than a 2 dollar hooker, and he wouldn’t be wrong


    Did someone say LAFC and REVS are going to be the 2 best teams in MLS????? Lets see if this magic / winning ability is for real (without superstars!!!!!!)

    Lol, something to look forward to……

  6. New England are awful this season. Hopefully BA can turn it around. Can’t stand BA but I forgive him for being a bone head and not qualifying. I wish him the best.

    • 1.5 points per game (his qualifying pace) is usually enough to qualify and if people bother to look up his record last US stint it was 10 wins 6 ties 2 losses. 2 losses in 18 games. (The 2 losses were huge and the last massive but the implication that he is hopeless is basically venting.) Prior to that he was LA’s coach, won about half his games, 2 supporters shields, 3 MLS titles. More than up to task. Any case, best hire they have made since Nicol. My only concerns would be (1) this is a turf team and his one barren career stretch was New York at the Meadowlands. (2) He is good with building a roster and working the rules but he also usually has a fairly overdog payroll to do so. NER is down near the bottom.

      • 1.5 points a game is not great considering Mex@USA and USA@CRC were already out of the way when that 1.5 pace began.

  7. My question is will Bruce Arena sign Omar Gonzalez, Tim Howard and Michael Bradley once he takes control of the Revs.

  8. “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 a press release.

    YES, that was before he failed miserably leading the USMNT in T&T on the miserable night , October 10, 2017. All the US needed was a draw against an inexperienced T&T B-squad.

  9. Bruce won when he had talent. This New England team is not even close to the talent levels of his former DC and Galaxy teams. Look at how he did with the Red Bulls. Not sure if this was a great hire.

    • Last time he took over a team he pretty much did a clean sweep to the roster. Expect something similar over the next year.

  10. All things considered, that’s a pretty smart hire for the Revs. Hiring an iconic-but-tarnished American soccer coach with generations of name recognition from the most casual to hardcore soccer fan. People will tune in to see him fail. People will tune in to see him succeed. He’ll work with the salary cap and bring in pieces to fit his iterations of “4-4-2” ball. The Revs may catch lightning in a bottle….Or be utterly MLS mediocre (with a faint chance for playoffs & MLS Cup). That said, Arena will in one way or another–CONCACAF the East. T&T, Arena’s dynamite.

    • i wouldn’t say the owner is unsuccessful. he’s just unsuccessful at soccer.

      i hope someone else buys this team and moves them to a real soccer venue.


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