Bruce Arena Profile
|Born||Sep 21, 1951|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York|
With the longest tenure for a USMNT head coach, Bruce Arena has a legacy as one of the greatest soccer coaches the US has ever seen.
Bruce Arena is an American association football coach who is currently the head coach and sporting director of Major League Soccer (MLS) side New England Revolution.
During his playing career, he was a goalkeeper for Cornell University and earned one cap for the United States Men's National Team (USMNT).
Arena is most famous for his coaching career, however, and particularly his success at club and international level in the USA. Arena has won five MLS Cup titles - two with D.C. United and three with Los Angeles Galaxy.
In two stints in charge of the USMNT, he won three CONCACAF Gold Cup titles, picking them up in 2002, 2005 and 2017.
Bruce Arena and D.C. United
Arena coached the University of Puget Sound and also did some lacrosse coaching, having represented his country internationally in that sport too as a player.
However, while at the University of Virginia, he eventually made soccer his sole focus as he won five national championships during his 18-year stint, including four in a row from 1991 to 1994. He also played a role in the development of key players such as Claudio Reyna, Jeff Agoos, Ben Olsen, John Harkes and Tony Meola.
On January 3, 1996, Arena left the University of Virginia to take over as coach of MLS side D.C. United. This was the league and the team's first season, so Arena had to build D.C. United from scratch while also focusing on the US U-23 side, which he had agreed to coach at the Atlanta Olympics.
Arena led D.C. United to the first ever MLS Cup title and the 1996 U.S. Open Cup. The following year, they defended their MLS Cup crown.
In August 1998, D.C. United beat Toluca 1-0 to win the CONCACAF Champions Cup and Arena's side followed that up with success over Vasco da Gama to win the Interamerican Cup title.
Bruce Arena and USA Men's National Team
In 1998, Arena took over as coach of the US men's national team from Steve Sampson after a poor World Cup campaign in France. It did not take long before Arena turned the USA's fortunes around and he led them to their best-ever World Cup finish - reaching the quarter-finals of the 2002 tournament.
Arena led USA to the Gold Cup title in 2002 and again in 2005, as they climbed to an all-time best FIFA World Ranking of fourth in April 2006.
Arena, however, received criticism for the USA's poor showing at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, which saw them lose to Ghana and the Czech Republic and draw with the eventual champions, Italy. After the tournament, the USSF announced that Arena's contract would not be renewed.
Arena returned for a second stint in charge of the USMNT in November 2016, replacing Jurgen Klinsmann after a disastrous start to 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
His second coming got off to a promising start and Arena led the USA to another CONCACAF Gold Cup title. However, a shock 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago saw their worst fears confirmed as they missed out on qualification for the World Cup in Russia.
"We have no excuses, we failed today. We should have walked off this field with at least a point," said Arena, who resigned from his position.
Bruce Arena and New York Red Bulls
After his first spell as USMNT head coach, Arena took over at New York Red Bulls in August 2006. His stint in charge lasted just short of a year and a half, during which time he failed to inspire a significant improvement in his charges.
Bruce Arena and Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy breathed life back into Arena's coaching career after he took over the team in 2008 and he returned the favour after inheriting a team from Ruud Gullit, which had failed to make the play-offs since 2005 and was severely struggling. As well as being appointed head coach, Arena also replaced Alexi Lalas as general manager.
Arena turned LA Galaxy's fortunes around after a much-needed defensive overhaul and was awarded the MLS Coach of the Year prize for presiding over a team which made the play-offs in 2009.
Arena's LA Galaxy won the 2011 MLS Cup, beating Houston Dynamo 1-0. They also qualified for the elimination round of the CONCACAF Champions League and won a second straight Supporters' Shield. In 2012, LA Galaxy once again won the MLS championship under Arena, beating Houston once more.
In 2014, Arena led LA Galaxy to a third MLS title on his watch, with victory over the New England Revolution clinching the prize. Arena stayed with LA Galaxy until 2016, the year he took over the USMNT for a second time.
Bruce Arena and New England Revolution
Arena was appointed head coach and sporting director of the New England Revolution on May 14, 2019, ending speculation linking him to the likes of Columbus Crew and the Scotland national team.
While at the New England Revolution, Arena oversaw an 11-match unbeaten run which helped them qualify for the 2019 MLS Cup play-offs - their first appearance on this stage since 2014. In the first round, they were eliminated after a 1-0 loss to Atlanta United.
Bruce Arena's personal life
Arena has a twin brother, Michael. He also has a son, Kenny Arena, who works as an assistant coach at Los Angeles FC, having previously represented the USA at U-20 level.
In 2020, at the height of Black Lives Matter protests, Arena questioned why the US national anthem was played before domestic sporting matches. This came amid a debate about whether or not to kneel during the anthem out of solidarity for the movement - a contentious topic.
"I question why we're playing the national anthem at sporting events in our country," Arena told ESPN's Taylor Twellman. "I think it puts people in awkward positions. We don't use the national anthem in movie theatres, on Broadway, or other events in the United States. I don't think it's appropriate to have a national anthem before a baseball game, an MLS game."
Arena added: "As a national team coach at times with the national anthem, I was in tears, honoured to represent the United States in World Cup and international matches. And I think playing the national anthem is clearly appropriate at those levels."
Bruce Arena's net worth
According to Sports Illustrated, Arena received $1,249,348 for the year ending 31 March 2018 from the U.S. Soccer Federation, including a purported $300,000 settlement.