FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena enters his 18th MLS season in 2022, and starts his third full campaign with the squad.
Arena’s résumé speaks for itself with the winning culture he has carried throughout his career. With five MLS Cup championships, four MLS Supporters' Shields and more than four decades of coaching experience, combined with his three Gold Cup titles and two World Cup appearances with the U.S. Men's National Team, his successful coaching career has demanded the respect of the global soccer landscape.
The accomplished 70-year-old is at a point in which he doesn’t necessarily need to continue his coaching career. However, his love for the game and passion for the Revolution continues to motivate him.
“I do enjoy the challenge,” said Arena. “I enjoy working with our coaches every day and our players. That’s still enjoyable to me. So that’s what keeps me going."
Arena even jokes about testing the waters of a retired golf agenda, but for him, coaching is what fulfills him.
“I guess, you could say, I look forward to waking up every day,” said Arena. “That’s the starting point. But the people around me, my family and close friends, kind of insist on me continuing to coach when I have aspirations of playing golf a lot. I did that for about a year and that’s not as good as it sounds sometimes.
“And I’ll be honest with you, I still do not understand why people think this is a job that I do. I think I’m in a very fortunate position. I think coaching, besides the fact that it’s stressful and people get fired a lot and all of that, I still think it’s a wonderful job to have."
For Arena, the challenge and excitement that comes with coaching is extremely rewarding.
“I kind of don’t look at it as a real tough job," he said. "It’s not an easy one, I know that, but it’s something I do enjoy. I think it’s something that the people around me think I should continue to coach. That’s probably why I’m doing it. But I do enjoy what I do, so that’s what motivates me.”
Arena’s experience and dedication throughout his career and through decades of coaching is respected and cherished by the roster, especially among those who played under Arena earlier in their career, and look forward to coming back to a coach they regard highly and trust.
“Nothing’s changed,” said Omar Gonzalez, who reunited with his former LA Galaxy and USMNT coach during Revolution preseason. “That’s what is special about coming back to work with Bruce. You know what you’re going to get. Straight to the point. Very clear. Very concise.
“With little jokes here and there, which is always great to lighten the mood and put smiles on people faces. It’s really just a great environment to be a part of. He treats you as the professional you are, the grown up you are and expects you to show up and do your job.”
Arena’s prestige and distinguished coaching style makes the players want to succeed. The roster is bought in ahead of the 2022 season following the best regular season in MLS history while winning the Supporters' Shield in 2021, and they look forward to an opportunity in the new campaign to potentially win the club their first ever MLS Cup.