Bruce Arena resigns as the Revolution’s coach and sporting director after MLS confirms ‘certain’ allegations


This season, the Revolution (13-5-9, 48 points) stand in second place in the Eastern Conference, following a 1-1 tie Saturday at Minnesota United, the second successive game they have squandered the lead in the final seconds.
Arena, 71, is the league’s all-time winningest coach and holds the record with five MLS Cup titles. Arena guided the Revolution to a 60-31-42 mark after being hired early in the 2019 season. Despite compiling the best winning percentage in Revolution history, Arena could not get the team to the MLS Cup, falling in the conference final in 2020 and semifinals in 2021.
Bruce Arena announced Saturday he has coached his last Revolution game, resigning his position as sporting director/head coach Saturday, more than a month after being placed on administrative leave by MLS.
The Revolution released a statement from Arena after Saturday night’s match, which said he made the decision to resign “after much soul searching.”
MLS suspended Arena on July 30, ordering an investigation “that he made insensitive and inappropriate remarks.”
A league statement concluded: “As a result of the investigation, which confirmed certain of these allegations, should Arena wish to pursue future employment within MLS, he must first submit a petition to the commissioner.”
Arena’s remarks have not been made public. Manhattan law firm Proskauer Rose handled the investigation, interviewing several members of the coaching staff and team.
Assistant coach Richie Williams has been coaching the team and technical director Curt Onalfo took on Arena’s sporting director role. The Revolution have a 1-1-4 record in all competitions without Arena.
Arena began his coaching career at the University of Puget Sound in 1976, then went on to guide the University of Virginia to five NCAA championships. Arena and D.C. United won the inaugural MLS Cup at Foxboro Stadium in 1996 and repeated in 1997, before he took over as US national team coach. The US team advanced to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, the team’s best placement since 1930, under Arena.
With the Los Angeles Galaxy, Arena captured three MLS Cup titles, then filled in as US coach in 2017, winning the Gold Cup, but falling in the final game of World Cup qualifying.
Arena was out of the game for a year and a half, before the Revolution came calling after getting off to a 2-8-2 start to the 2019 season. Arena rallied the Revolution to a playoff berth, and also convinced ownership to invest in Designated Players. In the last two years, Arena has juggled on-field responsibilities with transfers, keeping the team in contention while Revolution players generated $40 million in fees.
Arena has at least one more year on his contract, which extended after last season.
Arena expressed gratitude to team owners Jonathan and Robert Kraft and noted:
“I also want to thank everyone in the soccer community at large for their tremendous support during the past six weeks. The investigation has been a hard and difficult process, for me and my family, but hearing from so many who have been part of my career truly has been gratifying and has helped make this decision easier.
“Finally, I know that I have made some mistakes and moving forward, I plan to spend some time reflecting on this situation and taking corrective steps to address what has transpired. And while this has not been an easy decision, I am confident that it is in the best interest of both the New England Revolution organization and my family that we part ways at this time.”
Boston Globe Today: Sports | September 8, 2023 Share Watch today’s full episode of Boston Globe Today from September 8, 2023.
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