There aren’t many people who have had a bigger impact on Major League Soccer than Bruce Arena. The New England Revolution head coach has a legacy there for all to see whether it be with LA Galaxy or the USMNT. He also created history in D.C. as he now prepares to take his Revs’ side back there…
Bruce Arena Goes into Battle Against D.C.
Who Will Make the Revs XI?
The burning question for those following the Revolution is regarding the status of Carles Gil. He played just 30 minutes in the defeat to LAFC before not even making the matchday squad for the narrow win over Nashville SC.
Bruce Arena went some way to alleviate the worries of the Revs’ faithful in this week’s media availability, saying that “Carles trained today [Thursday] and looked good.” In the Spaniard’s absence, others have had to step up and they have done so impressively in the eyes of the boss.
“We’re real pleased with the contributions Gustavo [Bou] has made since he’s come back, and Bobby Wood has been pretty steady, so we’re real pleased with that.” Arena also said that he expects Jozy Altidore and Giacomo Vrioni to contribute this year too, labelling it a “good problem” to have in the attacking third.
Bruce Arena mentioned on today’s media call that Carles Gil participated in training today, and just told @ZoandBertrand that if there aren’t any issues in tomorrow’s training session, he’ll travel to D.C. for Saturday night’s game.#NERevs
— Jeff Lemieux (@jeff_lemieux) March 23, 2023
Another potential headache for the former D.C. United head coach is regarding the status of Dylan Borrero and more importantly, finding a replacement. The Revs will be without the winger for this trip to the national’s capital after he was called up to the Colombian national team for this international window.
Borrero has looked very lively so far in 2023 and so whilst Arena labels him as “a good, young player with a lot of potential”, the 71-year-old is confident that his team will still perform to the best of their abilities. In his own words: “We’ll be okay. We’ll make some changes and be ready to play the game.”
Bruce Arena Returns to Familiar Territory
The Revolution and D.C. United are amongst the exclusive group who can call themselves MLS originals. Bruce Arena has managed both as well as two other teams with that status, the Galaxy and the Red Bulls, although the latter then went by the name of the New Jersey Metro Stars.
Striker Bobby Wood discussed his early experiences of Arena from his brief time thus far in New England. “I think Bruce [Arena] just uses his experience to kind of just tell the players the truth and I think everybody kind of just appreciates that and we move on from there.”
“After four games, you got nine points. That’s pretty damn good.”
Bruce Arena to the team last night pic.twitter.com/ebqVbzGxKx
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 19, 2023
In typical style, the New York-born head coach is more focussed on the task at hand than the romantic side of this fixture. That being said, Arena labelled it as one of the “great experiences in [his] career”, going on to say this also. “I have nothing but great memories of D.C. United and their great, legendary president Kevin Payne, so those were really great years for me.”
On this weekend’s opponent, Arena highlighted a few of the more veteran-like players on the D.C. roster. “[Christian] Benteke’s an excellent player, very dangerous and clearly a good goal scorer. [Mateusz Klich] is an excellent midfielder. They’ve got experienced center backs in [Steven] Birnbaum and [Derrick] Williams.”
Arena has fond memories of D.C. and the club hold him in high regard, but that will all go out of the window for this game. Bruce Arena versus Wayne Rooney, the New England Revolution vs D.C. United, will take place tomorrow night at 7:30 ET from Audi Field.
Featured image credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports, March 4 2023.
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