New England Revolution athletic director and head coach Bruce Arena has evolved as a club manager, but his model of success has been consistent.
Arena was named Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year on Monday, joining Steve nicol (2002) as the second Revolution club manager to receive the award.
The Arena learned the news as they set up the Revolution (22-5-7) for Tuesday night’s MLS Cup Eastern Conference semi-final game against New York City FC (14-11-9) at the Gillette Stadium. The Revolution won the Fan Shield for best regular season record and earned a first-round playoff pass.
“Am I different than I was in my early years, there’s no doubt about it,” Arena said. “We learn something every day in this business and I think the game has changed and the atmosphere around the teams has changed.
“There are a lot of issues inside and outside of teams that you have to appreciate these days. Thirty years ago I knew everything and today I realize that I don’t know so it’s a big change for sure.
“But I have changed. I think I’m a bit more patient than I used to be and have always enjoyed coaching. It has been a great experience for me.
The arena joins Bob bradley as the second club manager to win the Coach of the Year award with three different clubs. He captured it with DC United in 1997 and twice with the LA Galaxy, in 2009 and 2011. Arena and Schmid share the MLS record with 240 regular season wins, but he’s on his own with 275 combined season wins. regular and in series.
Arena is a five-time MLS champion with 35 playoff wins and is looking to clinch the first MLS Cup title in Revolutionary history. Arena guided the Revolution to single-season MLS records for points (73) and goals per game (2.14) while also tying the record for wins (22) in the post-shootout era.
“We’re going to find out (Tuesday) what all this hard work has meant,” Arena said. “This is the real test.”
Captain my captain
Rainmaker Revolution Carles gil will wear the captain’s armband with undisputed authority against NYCFC and assume all of the responsibilities that come with the role.
“I think having that kind of pressure is good for me and for the team,” said Gil.
Arena is not the only member of the Revolution team to receive individual accolades. Gil, who missed most of the 2020 season with a foot injury, has been named MLS Player of the Year.
Gil has led MLS in seven important offensive categories, including assists (18) and chances created (130) and is the favorite for the Landon donovan MVP Award. The Revolution is 10-2-4 when Gil scores a goal, 22-0-7 when he registers an assist and 5-0-1 when he has a goal and an assist. Guardian Matt Turner was the recipient of the Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Gotham after dark
The history of the strip between New England and the NYCFC reveals how statistically similar the two teams are despite the Revolution ending with 22 more points.
The Revolution had eight more victories, but 18 of New England’s 22 victories were by one goal. New England finished with a 65-56 advantage in goals scored, but the NYCFC were better with 36 goals against 41 by the Revs. NYCFC enjoyed advantages over the Revs in shots (516-495) and shots on goal (188-181) and showed their venomous middle streak in fouls (506-384), yellow cards (72- 53) and red cards (8-3).
“New York City are an attacking team, have good players, a good mentality and a good pattern and they are well trained,” said Arena. “They defend well as a team. They have defended better collectively over the past month and have known center-backs. ”
NYCFC also has an attacker Valentin Castellanos, the 2021 MLS Golden Boot winner with 19 goals in the regular season and one in the playoffs. Castellanos was second in MLS in combined goals and assists with 27. Castellanos personified NYCFC’s mid-streak with nine yellow cards and 83 fouls.
“He’s tough to face and he’s just been exceptional in a very good team,” said Arena. “He’s definitely the key player in their offense but there are definitely other good players out there.
“He can score goals in a variety of ways from set pieces and running games. His movement in the penalty area is excellent.
that of the Revolution Gustavo Bou was tied for fourth in combined goals and assists with 24, while Gil was tied for eighth with 22. Adam buksa, the Revolutionary Golden Boot with 16 goals, was tied for 11th with 20 combined points.