Concacaf says a familiar face will be back on the sidelines in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL), with New England Revolution Head Coach Bruce Arena set to guide his third different team in Concacaf club competition in the 2022 SCCL.
“Only two men can say that they have led a team from the United States to a Concacaf title, and Arena is one of them,” said Concacaf in a statement.
As Head Coach of DC United, Arena was at the helm when the Washington DC outfit made its Concacaf Champions Cup debut in 1997, narrowly falling 1-0 in the semifinals to fellow MLS side, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Concacaf said.
A year later though, in 1998, it said the tournament would belong to Arena and DC United.
After an 8-0 victory over Joe Public of Trinidad and Tobago in the quarterfinals, a Roy Lassiter brace powered DC United to a 2-0 semifinal win over Mexico’s Club Leon, Concacaf said, adding that “that set the stage for the final against another Mexican side, Toluca, in which an Eddie Pope goal made DC United the first MLS team to win a Concacaf club championship.”
Concacaf said Arena would have to wait more than a decade before he got another chance at Concacaf club competition, beginning with the 2010-11 SCCL as Head Coach of the LA Galaxy.
Outside of the 2010-11 tournament, Concacaf said the Galaxy, under Arena, advanced to the knockout stage of each edition in which it appeared: 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16, with the best performance a semifinal finish in 2012-13.
All told, Concacaf said Arena led the Galaxy to an overall record of 15W-6D-9L in those five SCCLs, with 52 goals scored and 36 conceded.
“Now, Arena will be back on the touchline in the SCCL, this time as the Head Coach of the New England Revolution, who are making just their second appearance in the tournament after qualifying as the 2021 MLS Supporters Shield winners.
“The Revolution’s debut came back in the inaugural edition in 2008-09, when they were eliminated by Joe Public in the Preliminary Round,” it added. “Fourteen years later, New England are once again tasked with a Caribbean opponent in AS Cavaly of Haiti in the Round of 16.
“With former Concacaf champion Arena as manager, the Revolution will be a team to watch for in the 2022 SCCL,” Concacaf warned.