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Breaking News: Arena Gone

[UPDATED -- It's now official. Jump to the bottom for statements from the club and Arena. Officially, they are saying he 'resigned']

You heard it here first.....

Four sources told me this morning that the Red Bulls have decided to make a coaching change and have dismissed Bruce Arena after one and a half seasons. New York started well this season, but faded late in the year and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by New England on Saturday night.

Arena accepted the New York job last summer after nearly eight years in charge of the U.S. national team.

Arena told me he had no comment. Calls to Red Bulls technical director Jeff Agoos as well as Arena's agent, Richard Motzkin, were not immediately returned.

Arena's contract was guaranteed for, I believe, the next two years at a base salary of $600,000.

[UPDATED BELOW]

"We've made progress this season, but it is not where we want to be," said managing director Marc de Grandpre. "We made a promise to our fans to provide the best quality product on the field. Unfortunately, we haven't achieved that promise to this point. Thus, we've come to a mutual agreement to part ways. I want to thank Bruce for his hard work. I am certain that he will have success in his future endeavors."

"Marc and I discussed the direction of the team and decided mutually that this was the best move for Red Bull New York," said Arena.

How about Yallop to San Jose, Arena to L.A., Houston assistant John Spencer to Colorado if Clavijo is dismissed and Matthaeus to N.Y.? Or maybe Mourinho to L.A. and Capello to N.Y.? Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  November 5, 2007; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

Time for Bruce to ride off into the sunset.

Posted by: Beltwayrob | November 5, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by: EdTheRed | November 5, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't say this comes as a surprise. Arena's body language late in the season was getting more and more sour/angry.

For an owner like Red Bull who believes they can buy winners, this season wasn't a good one. Some of the mystifying trades made by Arena couldn't have helped matters.

So now we can let the speculation about a big-name European coach run rampant in two cities...

Posted by: MattM | November 5, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The Curse of Caricola strikes again!

Posted by: Jacknut | November 5, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

So the question is, will they build a new trophy case in the new stadium?

Posted by: -K | November 5, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Alas, their stadium woes continue just like their on-field performance... Construction ground to a halt a while back and speculation has it that Red Bulls and AEG have considerable differences of opinion as the final design of the stadium seating formats (AEG wants a stage and Red Bulls don't). Sad state of affairs a year and a half later...

Posted by: Mickey | November 5, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Got a phone call from the fahter of one of the Red Bulls' players. His son and my son played club ball together. He confirmed Arena's firing. It had more to do with Bruce relationship with the NY management than the team's performance. (although that did factor in.)

Posted by: Crazy al | November 5, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Du Nord (by way of ESPN) is reporting Yallop to leave LAG for San Jose.

Posted by: Beans | November 5, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The Metros' and their ineptitude are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted by: Natty | November 5, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

So Jeff Agoos fired Arena? Sweet!

Posted by: Soy United! | November 5, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Agoos fired Bruce Arena?

Posted by: Dave | November 5, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Think he'll go to LA?

Posted by: UVA to RFK | November 5, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahahahahahaha! Sure he was great here in DC but he became a total jerk off with the Nats. Rack him though for all the severance pay he's gotten not to coach.

Posted by: Adios to a jerk | November 5, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Offside Rules picked up a new MLS sponsored Pacific Cup, similar to Superliga. Good thing LA is in automatically every year...

http://theoffsiderules.blogspot.com/2007/11/this-just-in-mls-clubs-headed-for.html

Posted by: doze | November 5, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Can Reyna be too far behind?

Posted by: AlecW81 | November 5, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Contract the Red Bulls?

Seems that it's not just the previous ownership that has problems in North Jersey. Unreal expectations, terrible stadium situation/pitch on the old and new fronts, defense undoing all the offensive output, a coach that went from US savior, to Euro future, to Red bull fired?

Who's going to want to go there to manage?

Posted by: UVA-United | November 5, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I loved watching Arena desperately try to summon the will to tolerate sitting on the sideline for two hours a week. Poor boy.

Posted by: Logan Circle | November 5, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

He probably has an EPL gig lined up.

; )

Posted by: Hoost | November 5, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Is $600K on the high side for MLS head coaches? Is there reliable information on the range of salaries?

Posted by: 22201 | November 5, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Soccer By Ives is saying the same thing.

http://njmg.typepad.com/sbi/2007/11/arena-out-as-re.html

Posted by: Duke | November 5, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

There is no stadium in the near future, if by near future you mean anything within 2-3 years from now.

I hope Arena takes Reyna with him. Seriously.

Posted by: Ze | November 5, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse


its about time. most overrated coach in the u.s. Best move they have done all year

Posted by: andrew | November 5, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Part of me was surprised, most of me wasn't. I'm not surprised he didn't get along with some people and management wanted him out. He's a good coach, but he also has the ego of a good coach.

Posted by: sitruc | November 5, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

On Arena to LA, I can't imagine Arena being able to coexist with Lalas. Arena would not be able to accept the type of treatment that Yallop got this year. It would be interesting, though, to see Arena coaching Beckham.

Posted by: Metzeng | November 5, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

can arena coach the wizards?

Posted by: wplfanatic | November 5, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Fire Soehn and bring Arena back to United!!!!

Posted by: bristol | November 5, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

All kidding aside, look at his track record this year:

* no trophies

* a highly-publicized dispute with the league's MVP (Juan Pablo Angel)

* a tepid playoff series

* no trophies

* poor Designated Player choice in Claudio "Sick Note" Reyna

* poor communication skills with management

* no trophies

* poor personnel moves (sending Todd Dunivant to Toronto FC for Bobcat-or-whatever-is-first-name-is Goldwaithe?)

* second half collapse

and did I mention - no trophies?

Posted by: bristol | November 5, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Jeff Agoos could score an own goal as the general manager.

Posted by: Sean G | November 5, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Red Devil | November 5, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Does the firing mean that the rest of the Cavalier coaches will leave as well? I'd imagine that Reyna would retire, opening up a DP slot .

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | November 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Another season, another empty trophy case.

At least they'll have a new stadium in the near future!

Posted by: the cheat | November 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully ESPN fires Eric Wynalda and replaces him with Arena. God Wynalda sucks.

Posted by: kwamesnani | November 5, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

don't forget that Arena also traded Marvell Wynne to Toronto FC for basically nothing, one of the most confounding moves of the season.
I've watched every one of Wynne's TFC games and he has been a revelation. Amazing speed, good on D, assisted on some key goals... and only 21 years old.

Posted by: satan's choice | November 5, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Could Harkes be promoted - or will they look for someone with more coaching experience ?

Posted by: emanon | November 5, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Arena is overrated, he was clueless during the World Cup.

Posted by: John | November 5, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

It is inevitable that Arena will end up in a booth with Wynalda, providing us with a nice thick accent on top of Wynalda's absolutely atrocious commentary, all the more reason to watch the game on mute...

Posted by: DukeFooty | November 5, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JonInVB | November 5, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The day they signed Reyna I knew they were doomed. They've been rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic in NJ since day one. Arena's just the tip of the iceberg. Hope Jozy gets the hell out of Dodge.

Posted by: Chico | November 5, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Were I KP, I'd ban Arena and Harkes from setting foot on DCU grounds... traitors... both of them!

Posted by: Soy United! | November 5, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

So what does this mean for John Harkes?

Posted by: soccerkitty | November 5, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Chico about Jozy. That poor kid ended up in an industrial wasteland to start his career and now gets to deal with this crap. Here's to some European club picking him up sooner rather than later (or in my dream world, United...).

Posted by: doze | November 5, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

What does it mean for Harkes?

More time with me.

Posted by: Waldo's Wife | November 5, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

How many people am I going to come across in one day that simply do not know what they are talking about? Neither are "traitors"... . They are always welcome in DC!!!

Posted by: soccerkitty | November 5, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It's sad, but that team has got to be cursed or something. The next coach of RBNY had better take a good look at the list of coaches that they've had in the past before signing anything.

Eddie Firmani, Carlos Queiroz, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Alfonso Mondelo, Bora Milutinovic, Octavio Zambrano, Bob Bradley, Mo Johnston, Richie Williams, and Bruce Arena.

If none of these coaches could bring home a trophy, then maybe... just maybe, there's something else at play.

As for the team. I no longer hate RBNY. I pity them... actually I pity their fans and the players that end up there. A rivalry only exists between RBNY and DCU because of distance. Nothing else.

Posted by: TCompton | November 5, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Red Devil -- Arena to Wigan? You think an EPL team wants to hire a guy who has never even played the game? An American, no less? Maybe as an assistant. He could actually learn his trade, like Carlos Queiroz.

Similarly, the idea that a major name (European) coach would take the job is ludicruous. Maybe, the LA job, with Beckham, and a grass field, but I still doubt it. I have no insight as to who Red Bull might get, but I am pretty sure I can say who they will not get.

Poor Jozy. One more year until he turns 18.... I would love to be his agent then.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | November 5, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

What are the chances he goes to the US Women's Team? Hmmmmmmm

Posted by: wishing for soccer in philly | November 5, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

My prediction from a month ago is half way there:
1. Yallop goes back to San Jose. CHECK
2. Klinsmann takes over LA. _______

I hope Arena ends up in the broadcast booth also. All the current commentators they use are atrocious. Some one explain to them what "analysis" is. Put Wynalda down on the field so he can ask players and coaches stupid questions.

Posted by: Matt Brock | November 5, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I hear Greg Ryan and Bruce Arena are going to open up a school to teach fellow soccer coaches how to get fired from their jobs!

Posted by: Mitch | November 5, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What are the chances he goes to the US Women's Team? Hmmmmmmm

----------------------

Zero

Posted by: WNT fan | November 5, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry-- I've seen worse hirings in the Premiere League than Arena. It's all a joke of course, but so is Megson as Bolton Manager.

Posted by: Red Devil | November 5, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

What are the chances he goes to the US Women's Team? Hmmmmmmm

Having worked for Arena back in the 80s, I can safely say, "None." I can't think of a guy more poorly suited to working with women.

Posted by: None | November 5, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm going to go against the grain, and remember that Arena used to be the best coach that we've ever had in the US. Sorry to see this happen, and I hope he ends up in a better position.

Posted by: RK | November 5, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Wynalda isn't so bad, he at least does analysis and isn't afraid to say controversial things if they need to be said. Much better than that MLS cheerleader Rob Stone. The thought of listening to Arena's lisp and complaining in the booth for 90 minutes is already giving me a headache.

Posted by: John | November 5, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Matthaeus to NY? Would his brief stint as a player in MLS work against him? He was perceived then as not taking his responsibilities very seriously. Wouldn't there be concern that he wouldn't take his job as a coach very seriously? And what is the story behind his last coaching gig, at a Red Bull affiliate in Austria? From what I can gather, the club was successful on the pitch, but he was canned anyway.

Posted by: 22201 | November 5, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

That's an average of one coach every 1.2 years! Hard to build a team when the strategy keeps changing.

Arena could be a good MLS commentator, and he definitely has the insights. That, and a nice Division II/III coaching job that won't pop his veins and he's set.

Posted by: ML | November 5, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

According to Wikipedia (which is always right), Jozy is 18 tomorrow. Goodbye swamp. Hello Benfica! (Freddy needs someone to pass to).

Posted by: NamelessFaceless | November 5, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Hristo to NY!

Posted by: Looking Dangerous | November 5, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I think that having Arena on MLS telecasts, especially those involving NYRB, would be a conflict of interest. I remember the 2006 WC coverage, where Wynalda had an obvious axe to grind, because he didn't think Arena gave him a fair chance to make the 2002 squad. At a minimum he (and Disney) could have been more upfront about disclosing this source of bias. And then they had Chinaglia, with his distinctive axes to grind. Would you pay to listen to, say, a financial adviser with such personal involvements? At least people such as Julie Foudy and Allen Hopkins generally don't have dogs in these fights.

Posted by: 22201 | November 5, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

As for the team. I no longer hate RBNY. I pity them... actually I pity their fans and the players that end up there. A rivalry only exists between RBNY and DCU because of distance. Nothing else.

Posted by: TCompton


I don't pity them. I laugh at them. Like I laugh when the Redskins get beat down 52-7. They are the enemy and shall remain so forever. I can't wait for the next bus trip up there for another full round of domination from the stands to the field.
Pity??? Please!!!

But seriously, I do sometimes feel for the fans. How hard must it be not to flip over to another team? I mean how ridiculous is that situation up there? And for how long? How uch longer? (Still hoping forever ;-) )

Posted by: marksman | November 5, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

According to Ives, Reyna and Arean had a "falling out" earlier this season "were barely on speaking terms by the end of the year."

http://njmg.typepad.com/sbi/2007/11/what-arenas-dep.html

With the supposed feud between Arena and JPA, Red Bulls' thin patience with Arean is less surprising.

Posted by: Mickey | November 5, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Wynalda is insufferable. No national broadcast in a "major" sport would tolerate that degree of self-referential and self-reverential commentary from the color seat. If ESPN wants to grow the general viewership they need to find someone who doesn't feed the stereotype that American soccer fans are self-absorbed and thin-skined. What sticks out in my mind was when he lost the US scoring record and complained on air about not getting a reply to his congratulatory text messages. What a boor.

Posted by: WNT fan | November 5, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The boys at bigsoccer are having a field day
http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=618641

Posted by: Bruce | November 5, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Let me step in here: Wynalda is complete idiot, well that's it. Get Arena in the booth asap.

Posted by: ted | November 5, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I hate to toot my own horn...

Way to go Bruce. Get your coaching tips from Greg Ryan? Playing a man down while your striker is begging to go back in with a concussion was reckless.

And it cost you.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | November 3, 2007 10:40 PM

I said to my wife right there that he should have been fired for pulling the Greg Ryan. Not to mention bringing in Reyna.

Thx,

Jay!


Posted by: JayRockers! | November 5, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

We need for Harkes to replace Wynalda on ESPN. Arena would be even worse.

Can we get Ritchie back? He could take Clyde Simms under his wing.

Posted by: Shatz / DCUMD | November 5, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I cannot derive any joy from this. Bruce was a very, very good coach for a very long time, but he came into this job with a chip on his shoulder. He acted like the league was lucky he that he was willing to participate on any level and that Red Bull NY was the only organization that he would even consider working for. Remember all of those self serving comments about how the league was better back when he was coaching and how it had degressed since? His arrogance caught up to him this year as he found out that maybe the league isn't quite the cakewalk he thought it was. I hope that Bruce is able to take responsibility for some of the poor moves that he made in NY. He is still a talented coach that is capable of a lot of really good stuff. He just needs to understand that, like most of us, he isn't good enough to overcome out-of-control arrogance.

Posted by: Shame | November 5, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

My gues is that Arena will become the coach for the Women's National Team! :-)

Posted by: JP | November 5, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that Arena will become the coach for the Women's National Team! :-)

Posted by: JP | November 5, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine that ABMOD will be staying around NY to be an assistant for another head coach.

UVA has had a dreadful year, hmmm?
Duke is probably not a good fit.
NCST and UNC both should replace their coaches. These would be high profile programs.

Posted by: JSF | November 5, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

fg

Posted by: Anonymous | November 5, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Yep, just like the US Women's coach...it's SO APPARENT...USA Soccer Coaching has reached at ALL TIME LOW.
Arena made a huge mistake as had Ryan.
No loss.
Bruce - I hear the Home Depot is hiring.
Good Luck.

Posted by: syswizard | November 5, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Were I KP, I'd ban Arena and Harkes from setting foot on DCU grounds... traitors... both of them!

Posted by: Soy United! | November 5, 2007 01:26 PM

That's not fair. They have both contributed to the continued success of United by keeping NJRB down.

Posted by: sitruc | November 5, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Were I KP, I'd ban Arena and Harkes from setting foot on DCU grounds... traitors... both of them!

Posted by: Soy United! | November 5, 2007 01:26 PM

That's not fair. They have both contributed to the continued success of United by keeping NJRB down.

Posted by: sitruc | November 5, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Angel. Mathis. Reyna. Doe. Altidore. Van den Bergh. Watterus. Nah, Arena hasn't done jack squat for the team

Posted by: Dan | November 5, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Wynalda is insufferable. No national broadcast in a "major" sport would tolerate that degree of self-referential and self-reverential commentary from the color seat.

Posted by WNT Fan

Have you ever heard of Joe Morgan? He loved to go off on how Ryne Sandberg wasn't good enough for the Hall of Fame. They played the same position. He did (still?) a lot of games for ESPN.

Posted by: does it really matter? | November 6, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

We need for Harkes to replace Wynalda on ESPN. Arena would be even worse.

Posted by: Shatz / DCUMD | November 5, 2007 04:25 PM
---------------------
You CANNOT be serious! [Turn off John McEnroe switch]

Harkes' main concerns in the booth is telling us whom he has played with in England, which clubs he has visited to see their training systems, and other ego-centric statements. Analyze the match Harksey, and shut up with the name-dropping.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | November 6, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse


Guys on WSD yesterday was saying that McLaren could go to the Galaxy after he is fired when England don't qualify for Euro 2008.

Posted by: the wackiest rumour | November 6, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The problem is that somewhere after his first world cup, Bruce lost his nerve. Before that he was a terrific coach, and he still has my thanks for that. I remember how excited I was when he replaced Steve Sampson, and how he vindicated that with a terrific world cup. The problem is that after that he became Steve Sampson. United under Bruce, and after that the U.S. team in Bruce's first world cup, were not only good, but exciting to watch, because of the attacking style they played. What happened to that?

I wish Bruce well. I sincerely hope he takes a year or two off, enjoys his guaranteed money, and regroups and thinks about what made him so successful to begin with, so that when he comes back, wherever that may be, the new Bruce Arena is the old one.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

Posted by: regular fan | November 6, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"What does it mean for Harkes?

More time with me."

Posted by: Waldo's Wife | November 5, 2007 01:32 PM

THAT is one of the funniest things I have ever read. Well in.

Posted by: str8red | November 6, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This is why the New York teams sucks. They take the most successful coach by far in US history and its best player ever and don't give it a change to build a winning team. I think the the whole group(including Harkes and Agoos) have accomplished a great deal more than the Red Bull ownership.

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