CHICAGO (AP) Bruce Arena is bringing much of his LA Galaxy coaching staff with him to the U.S. national team and has hired former under-20 coach Thomas Rongen as his chief scout.
Dave Sarachan, Pat Noonan and Kenny Arena – Bruce’s son – have been appointed as assistant coaches, the U.S. Soccer Federation said Wednesday. Matt Reis will be goalkeeping coach.
Arena, 65, coached the U.S. from 1998-2006, leading the Americans to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals. He returned in November when Jurgen Klinsmann was fired after a 0-2 start in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
Qualifying resumes with a March 24 home game against Honduras, followed four days later with a match at Panama.
Sarachan, 62, was head coach of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire from 2003-07, winning U.S. Open Cup titles in 2003 and 2006, and was a national team assistant under Arena from 2000-02. Sarachan also was an assistant for Arena at the University of Virginia (1984-1988) and D.C. United (1998-1999) and was associate head coach of the Galaxy from 2008-16.
Noonan, 36, made 14 appearances for the U.S. and was a Galaxy assistant for the past four years, and Kenny Arena, 35, worked for his dad with the Galaxy for the past two seasons. Reis, 41, played twice for the national team and was a Galaxy assistant for the past two years.
Rongen, 60, was U.S. under-20 coach from 2001-04 and 2006-11. He coached Tampa Bay to the first MLS title in 1996, spent the next two seasons coaching New England and took over D.C. United for the 1999 season after Arena left for his first stint coaching the national team. Rongen led D.C. United to the 1999 MLS title.
He was American Samoa’s coach in 2011 when it beat Tonga in a World Cup qualifier for its first international win after 30 consecutive losses over 17 years. He coached Tampa Bay in the second-division North American Soccer League in 2015.
Student takes on his mentor: Shuttleworth aims to guide New England past Reis, Galaxy
Matt Reis has been involved in every single moment of the New England Revolution’s MLS Cup heartbreak, so its as fitting as possible that he’ll be on the opposition’s sideline come Sunday.
Reis was in the Galaxy goal when L.A. beat the Revolution in the 2002 MLS Cup, then switched coasts for New England’s three-straight MLS Cup final losses from 2005-2007. He then took a job with the Galaxy as a goalkeeper coach, and see his former mates as a championship foil on Sunday.
Along the way, he began to mentor a young kid fresh off his time at the University at Buffalo.
That kid, Bobby Shuttleworth, is 27 now, and has met the expectations of taking over for a franchise and city hero by helping foil opposition attacks all the way to the MLS Cup final.
“I like the fact that Matt’s going to be involved in the game,” Shuttleworth told Pro Soccer Talk. “Matt had a lot to do with this team that we have now. He was huge for us since I’ve been in on the team. He’s been one of the most integral parts of the Revolution.
“Now he’s with a different club but I think there’s still part of him that feels like he’s a little bit part of this team and I think he should. He has a lot to do with a lot of people’s careers that are on this team.”
For Shuttleworth, his ride to the starting job has been anything but smooth sailing. After waiting four years for regular playing time, he got the chance to slide when an injury to Reis put the club in peril last season. Shuttleworth responded by setting the club record for minutes without conceding a goal, but still had to win the battle for the starter’s gig when Reis retired last winter.
It’s part and parcel for Shuttleworth.
“Every part of my career, I’ve had opportunities and I’ve had people help me, but I’ve really clawed and scratched for every opportunity I’ve been given,” he said. “I feel like I’ve earned all those opportunities with hard work. There have definitely been people along the way who have helped me and I’m so grateful to those people, whether it’s the Revolution or Stevie Nicol or Jay (Heaps) or Remy (Roy) or Matt Reis, a lot of people have helped me to get where I am.
“Every part of my career has led up to this. I’ve taken lots of little steps to take a couple big steps. Every year that I’ve grown as a player and a person, it wouldn’t have been that case unless there were bumps in the road.”
Shuttleworth played the eighth-most minutes in the league this season, and was in the top half of the league in most goalkeeping statistics. He stopped 2 of 4 penalty attempts and recorded eight clean sheets, tied for fifth in MLS.
He’s yet to keep a clean sheet in the wild and wooly playoffs, as New England beat Columbus 7-3 on aggregate before tipping New York 4-3, but with Shuttleworth it’s the sublime reflex saves that are creating a name for him. And of MLS playoff goalkeepers, only Bill Hamid is younger. But his age betrays his journey.
“It was a grind for a lot of years and it was a lot of wondering if I was going to be able to do this long-term or where the path was going to take me,” he said. “I’m grateful to the Revolution for allowing me to develop, and all those people that’ve helped me in this club along the way. To say that it was an easy road, wouldn’t be honest. It was definitely a grind, but I think that’s made me into a better player and a better person.”
Top-notch goalkeeping is going to be necessary for the Revs to top L.A. on Sunday, with the veteran-savvy of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane oozing through the Galaxy attack alongside fierce young talent like Gyasi Zardes. And Shuttleworth’s wary of the challenge.
“We’re a group of working players who know what we have,” he said. “They have a great team. They have unbelievable attacking pieces. They’re a complete team, and it’s going to be a very very difficult for us. We’re excited about the opportunity and we’re relishing being able to go in there and hopefully win the club’s first Cup.”
As many know, today marks the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Some of you may know that former New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis played a pivotal role in the aftermath of the attack, as his father-in-law was seriously-wounded watching his daughter, Reis’ wife, run the race.
MLSSoccer.com’s cool MLS Insider” series has a 8 1/2 minute video piece on Reis’ heroics on that that awful day. It’s a touching video that has some incredibly emotive moments between the lines, including the knowledge that Reis and his 7-year-old son were forced to move from a site very near to the blast in order to get a better view of the runners.
New England goalkeeper Matt Reis retired on Wednesday after a marvelous career filled with honors from both on the pitch and off.
Reis played 16 years in MLS, starring for the Revs while making 254 appearances from 2003-13. He won a CONCACAF Champions Cup, an MLS Cup and a Supporters Shield with L.A. in 2002. He also won a US Open Cup with the Galaxy, repeating the feat with New England in 2007.
Reis released a statement:
I have been truly blessed for the past 16 years. I’ve been able to do something that I love – play soccer for a living. There have been many coaches who have influenced my development and helped get me to this point, and I have played with some fantastic players, many of whom are friends for life. I have played for two amazing organizations over the years. Both of those owners, the Kraft family and Mr. Anschutz, are deeply committed to ensuring soccer thrives in the United States.
“Because of their guidance, MLS has come a long way in the last two decades, and I am very proud to have played my whole career in this league and with these teams. I also want to make sure the fans know how much I’ll miss them, too. They’ve made this amazing ride more fun to be on through the years.”
Revs operator Robert Kraft weighed in on Reis’ time with New England.
“Trading for Matt Reis was one of the best acquisitions the Revolution has ever made. On the field, he was an elite MLS goalkeeper who set every career goalkeeping record in club history. He was a respected leader, both on the field and in the locker room, for more than a decade. He quickly became a fan-favorite and, for much of his career, was one of the faces of our franchise.”
The UCLA product finished his career with 110 victories and 75 clean sheets. Moreover, he’s firmly entrenched among the best of the best in MLS goalkeeping history, “fourth in games played in goal (282), games started in goal (288) and minutes played in goal (25,936), fifth in wins (110) and saves (1,114) and sixth in shutouts (75),” according to the MLS web site.
The longest-tenured player on the New England Revolution is now Chris Tierney, who signed a new contract with the club in August. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth has been with New England since 2009 and played 22 games for the Revs last year, posting a 7-11-5 mark with nine shutouts. The University at Buffalo product is the only goalkeeper with MLS experience left on New England’s roster, with Indiana product and 2013 second round pick Luis Sofner yet to feature.
Bad news for the New England Revolution today: the team announced that veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis will require 5-7 months to recover from surgery to repair a left quadriceps tendon tear.
The injury occurred in the dying seconds of his team’s loss to Sporting Kansas City in last week’s second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal series. So the injury did not impact the outcome of his team’s series with Sporting KC, the Revolution’s first playoff matches since 2009. But it will impact 2014.
This is all assuming that Reis returns in 2014 – and seeing how strong the man toward the end of his 16th MLS season, let’s all hope he does. Reis will turn 39 early next year.
In the very best-case scenario, Reis would be back on the training ground at the beginning of April next year. That’s the earliest possible return, which puts him back on the field more than a month into the season.
The less optimistic outcome has Reis getting back into action about three months into the season.
The club does have Bobby Shuttleworth, a highly capable backup who even took the job from Reis for a while this year. So the cupboard is hardly bare.
Reis went 7-0-4 on the year; he was the first MLS goalkeeper to go undefeated in a season with more than 10 appearances.