Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Everyone figured that this would happen....

Bruce Arena named RBNY Head Coach and Sporting Director.

MLSnet.com, and just about everyone else in US Soccer world are reporting that RBNY have announced that Bruce Arena will take over control of RBNY on August 12th, as Head Coach and Sporting Director. He is replacing Mo Johnson, who was "made redundant" and Richie Williams was made interim coach. USSF announced last week that Arena's contract as USMNT Head Coach would not be renewed.

Future of MLS
I am in mixed feelings about this, as some of you should know from what I have previously written. On one hand, I understand the situation that soccer in the USA is in. The USA has 3 major media markets, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Chicago has won the MLS Cup, as have LA, which has won it twice. New York, either as the Metrostars or as RBNY, have really been a blot on the face of MLS. Despite numerous amount of changes, the MLS club in New York City has been under achievers when it came to league wide performance.

In order for MLS to truly get a strong grasp on the US media market, MLS must have successful clubs in these three media markets. They currently have two, NYC being the last one to get a hold on. The future life of the league is really tied to a successful club in New York City. Based on this fact, Bruce Arena becoming their Head Coach and Sporting Director should be a positive step in the reversal of the mediocrity that RBNY has been over the last 11 MLS seasons.

Arena proved with DC United and UVA before MLS, that he is able to get the most from his players and his a good organizer. His time with the USMNT showed that he was able to dramatically change the course of a ship without a rudder and set it on a new and exciting path. 2006 World Cup aside, his term as Head Coach of the USMNT was a huge success, regardless of the criticism that is coming out now that he really never knew what he was doing. With Arena in charge, either RBNY will be set on a new course, or we will truly find that the club is beyond saving. If it is salvageable, Arena is the perfect man to save it, just like he did with the USMNT.

MetroScum, Bunch a' Bull
My other side of me says that as a DC United supporter, I cannot imagine Bruce Arena, the man who delivered 2 MLS Cups, a USOC, a CONCACAF Champions Cup and and an Interamerican Cup to the DC area...is now going to take charge of our most hated opponent? I feel like Luke Skywalker at the end of Empire when Darth Vader just told him he was his father. Bruce has truly gone to the Dark Side. Darth Arena?

The DC United fan in me wants to see him set the RBNY on a new course, one that has them actually win matches, instead of draws. I want them to get their confidence back. I want this so that when they swagger on into RFK, or when we play them at RFK North...we smack them back into reality and let them know who owns the Eastern Conference. I really couldn't care any less for the Atlantic Cup before this, now I want to make sure that RBNY never get to see that trophy, unless they are looking at it in the DC United trophy case.

Return of the King? Only if he was returning to the club he established as the power of MLS. Only we nolonger need him, we have our new guy, you all will see him on August 5th leading the MLS All Stars against Chelsea.


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