Bruce Arena is back in Major League Soccer, named coach and sporting director of the New England Revolution, the club announced Tuesday morning.
The winningest coach in US men’s national team history and five-time MLS Cup champion will immediately assume all responsibilities as sporting director. The Revolution's current technical staff, including interim head coach Mike Lapper, will remain in place as an exact start date for Arena’s duties as the club’s eighth head coach is determined.
ESPN's Taylor Twellman was first to report Arena's possible hiring.
“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 statement. "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.”
Arena’s hire comes less than 24 hours after the Revs announced they parted ways with general manager Mike Burns, which came on the heels of the firing of second-year head coach Brad Friedel last week.
In addition to five MLS Cups — two with D.C. United and three with the LA Galaxy — Arena has three MLS Supporters’ Shields, seven MLS conference championships, one U.S. Open Cup title, and one Concacaf Champions' Cup on his sterling resume. He also won three MLS Coach of the Year selections, first in 1997 with D.C. United before being honored in 2009 and 2011 with the LA Galaxy.
“It was evident when talking with Bruce that we share a vision for the future of the Revolution and we look forward to having him oversee our soccer organization,” Revolution president Brian Bilello said. “We believe that now is the time for a change in leadership and there is no one better suited to usher in a new era of success in New England.”
After his last stint with the Galaxy, Arena returned to coach the USMNT team for a second time, but was unable to guide the squad to FIFA World Cup qualification. He resigned three days later.
“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.”
The Revs (3-8-2) are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points. In Lapper's first game in charge, they defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, 3-1, Saturday night at Gillette Stadium to snap a four-match winless streak.