Bruce Arena is back in Major League Soccer.
The New England Revolution announced Tuesday they have hired Arena as their new head coach and sporting director. The move comes less than a week after the club fired coach Brad Friedel and hours after the dismissal of general manager Michael Burns.
#NERevs name Bruce Arena Sporting Director and Head Coachhttps://t.co/PyIN2TT8Xw pic.twitter.com/LDEHwO0ZCD— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 14, 2019
The Revolution said Arena, 67, will take on the sporting director role immediately but an "exact start date" for his return to the sideline as coach is to be determined. New England has a friendly against Premier League side Chelsea on Wednesday and returns to MLS action against Montreal on Saturday.
However the pieces shake out, adding the two-time U.S. national team coach to the fold is a bid for stability by the Revs, who currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference at 3-2-8 and have missed the playoffs the last three seasons.
“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," team owner Robert Kraft said in a 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.”
Aside from a bit of television work, Arena has been away from the game since presiding over the final stages of the United States' failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. After replacing the fired Jurgen Klinsmann in the middle of the qualifying process, Arena's side saw a spot in Russia slip through its hands with a disastrous loss to Trinidad and Tobago on the final day of CONCACAF qualifying, leading to the coach's resignation three days later.
Arena previously spent eight years as the U.S. coach, leading the nation through the 2002 and 2006 World Cup cycles, with MLS jobs on either side. He was the inaugural coach for D.C. United with the league began in 1996 and later coached the New York Red Bulls (2006-07) and LA Galaxy (2008-16).
“In my conversations with the Kraft family and (team president) 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 in a release. “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.”