BOSTON (CBS) — One day after firing their general manager and less than a week after firing their head coach, the New England Revolution have hired Bruce Arena to fill the role of manager and sporting director.
“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 the team’s announcement. “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.”
The Revolution currently sit in last place in MLS’ Eastern Conference, owners of a 3-8-2 record and a minus-17 goal differential. That slow start led to the firing of head coach Brad Friedel last week, with general manager Michael Burns getting fired on Monday.
“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.”
The Revolution touted Arena’s long resume in the announcement: “Arena’s resume includes a record five MLS Cup titles, three MLS Supporters’ Shields, seven MLS conference championships, one U.S. Open Cup title, and one Concacaf Champions’ Cup. In his previous 14 seasons as an MLS coach, Arena earned 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. At the collegiate level with the University of Virginia (1978-95), he also tallied five NCAA College Cup wins with six ACC Men’s Soccer championships.”
Arena also holds the record for most U.S. Men’s National Team victories by a coach, with 81, and he led the U.S. to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2002. Arena’s MLS record (with D.C. United, the New York Red Bulls, and Los Angeles Galaxy) is 202-121-89. He’s also the MLS record holder for most MLS Cups, with five. The most recent of those championships came at the expense of the Revolution, in 2014.
“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.”