When the New England Revolution hired Bruce Arena as head coach/sporting director back in May 2019, the club was last in the Eastern Conference standings.
They had talented players in the mix – midfielder Carles Gil, most notably, was signed to a Designated Player deal ahead of the 2019 season, then from Spanish club Deportivo de La Coruña – but a change was desperately needed. Thus, head coach Brad Friedel and general manager Mike Burns (Marlboro, Mass.) were dismissed within a four-day span after a 2-8-2 start to the season.
In stepped Arena, an all-time coaching great in Major League Soccer and coach for the U.S. men’s national team’s run to the 2002 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals. He had five MLS Cups and three Supporters’ Shields to his name, as well as five College Cups from when he coached at the University of Virginia.