Major League Soccer announced this afternoon that Los Angeles Galaxy manager Bruce Arena has won Coach of the Year. Bruce Arena is one of the few coaches in MLS who also have General Manager duties, and thus qualifies under the European definition of manager, but it was what he did on the field – not off the field – that won him this award.
Bruce Arena is the first person to win the award three times, having won it previously in 1997 with DC United, and in 2009 with the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy had a turnaround year in ‘09, and this year repeated as Supporters’ Shield winners and had the second best point total in MLS history. On Sunday, Arena will coach in his fifth MLS Cup match, a league record.
This year’s Galaxy earned at least a point in 85% of their regular season matches. LA had 17 shutouts, half the regular season tying a record set by Kansas City, and allowed the fewest goals in MLS history. The Galaxy also went undefeated this year at the Home Depot Center.
Since Bruce Arena was hired as head coach of the LA Galaxy, they’ve gone 51-23-30 in 89 regular season matches for a .742 winning percentage. Bruce Arena beat out Sigi Schmid and Peter Vermes for the award. It would have been Schmid’s third win with three different teams.