Revolution Turn To Bruce Arena As Next Coach, Sporting Director
The Revolution last week fired coach Brad Friedel and yesterday parted ways with GM Michael Burns, and today "officially announced the hiring of former US national team coach Bruce Arena," according to Frank Dell'Apa of the BOSTON GLOBE. Arena will be the club's coach and sporting director, and he brings "vast experience and credibility." Revolution co-Owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft "attempted to lure Arena to the team" after the '17 season, shortly after he resigned from the USMNT (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/14). In Boston, Sean Sweeney wrote Burns' dismissal is a "stunning dinnertime move that swept the Boston soccer landscape in an uproar and left it turned on its head." Burns' firing came in the "days after The Rebellion and Midnight Riders -- the two main fan groups of the club -- released statements that the team needed new leadership in the soccer operations department" (BOSTONSPORTSJOURNAL.com, 5/13).
KRAFTY SPENDING: THE ATHLETIC's Sam Stejskal noted the Revolution "don't spend on their first team and don't pay transfer fees." The team has been in the "bottom half of the league in payroll in six of the last eight seasons and have ranked in the bottom three in three of those." Being "cheap makes it difficult to build a consistent winner in MLS." The club is "invisible in a sports-mad market, out-of-sight and out-of-mind at out-of-the-way Gillette Stadium." In order to "stick with the same leadership in the face of so little progress, or, in the case of the on-field product, flat-out regression, raises real questions about how much" the Kraft family cares about the team. It is also "fair to ask if they'd tolerate this type of mediocrity from the Patriots." Better coaching and "smarter management should lead to better results," and the Krafts are "starting to open the wallet, too." They recently spent $40M on a "state-of-the-art training facility that will open at Gillette Stadium late this summer." However, the "real leap will only come with a new stadium." Sources said that the club is "working on finding a soccer-specific home of their own in Boston proper." Some sources have "gone as far as to say that the club is on the brink of securing a stadium site." One source added that the architectural plans for any such stadium are "near completion," and that the Revolution would be "ready to break ground on a stadium shortly after receiving approval, should it come" (THEATHLETIC.com, 5/10).