Bruce Arena

Bruce Arena handed long-term contract extension by LA Galaxy

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On Thursday the LA Galaxy announced that they’ve extended Bruce Arena’s stay as Head Coach and General Manager, as one of the top coaches in U.S. history will continue to be a fixture in Major League Soccer for many years to come.

Arena, 62, has signed a “multi-year contract extension” after enjoying several seasons of success since joining LA in 2008. Since then the Galaxy have made three MLS Cup finals, winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, while also winning the Western Conference title in three of the last five seasons and capturing the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2010 and 2010.

Since 2008, Arena has a 82-46-44 regular season record, as the Californian outfit have become the most recognizable brand in U.S. soccer.

Speaking about Arena’s decision to extend his current deal Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG which owns the Galaxy, shared his delight.

“We are very pleased to sign Bruce Arena to a multi-year contract extension,” Beckerman said in a club statement. “Bruce is one of the finest coaches in the history of soccer in the United States. His commitment to the LA Galaxy, the club’s winning tradition and continued excellence on and off the field is unrivaled. We look forward to the team’s continued success under Bruce’s management.”

A brash character who does things his own way, Arena is a man who often divides opinion across the U.S. soccer spectrum. But you just can’t argue with his record over a long and glittering career as a coach in MLS.

Arena recently became the first coach in MLS history to win four MLS Cup titles and has been named MLS Coach of the Year three times. Coaching D.C. United, the U.S. national team and now the LA Galaxy, Arena has become an institution on the U.S. soccer scene spanning over two decades. As coach of the USMNT, Arena led the Nats to the FIFA World Cup twice, including an historic quarterfinal berth in 2002 in Japan/Korea and during his time in charge of the national team he compiled a 71-30-29 all-time record.

“I’m honored to remain in this role with the preeminent soccer club in the United States,” Arena said. “I appreciate the continued support and confidence from Mr. Anschutz, Mr. Beckerman, Chris Klein and my staff and players as we head into the 2014 season.”

With Arena on board for the foreseeable future, what does this mean for the LA club? More success, more domination and likely more trophies.

Arena’s stranglehold as MLS most-respected and driven coach is unlikely to diminish during the twilight of his coaching career. if anything we’ve seen a more outspoken and heated Arena in the past few MLS seasons, but his ability to find the best young talent and manage star names, like DPs Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and David Beckham, will hold him in good stead with the Galaxy.

A talented crop of youngsters, Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, Zardes and Omar Gonzalez have broken into the team under Arena’s tutelage and despite Villarreal on loan to Cruz Azul during the 2014 MLS season, expect Arena’s emphasis to still be on blending youth with experience as the Galaxy look to add another MLS Cup to the trophy cabinet.

Arena’s new deal means more of the same for LA. Success.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)