Carson, CA – Bruce Arena had to wait over a month, but he finally became the second coach in MLS history to win 200 games in the league when his LA Galaxy defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1 on Saturday night (September 3, 2016). Arena joined Sigi Schmid as the only two MLS Coaches to accomplish the feat.
Speaking to reporters after the LA Galaxy’s 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night, Arena tried to downplay the accomplishment. When asked if this accomplishment meant something he said “At the moment I would say no. But I think when I look back on this it may mean something. As I said out on the field, I think when you win a fair amount of games and you’re coaching it’s because you have good teams and good players. I think that’s the most important thing.”
“As I said out on the field, I think when you win a fair amount of games and you’re coaching it’s because you have good teams and good players. I think that’s the most important thing.” Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy Head Coach
Arena was in line to get win number 200 after the LA Galaxy beat Portland on the road on July 23rd. LA had just capped off a 4-0-1 July campaign and looked to be heading into a part of their schedule that would be difficult, but would include a number of home games — a place the LA Galaxy rarely lose and on most occasions find three points.
But August would be anything but kind to the team. The Galaxy went 0-1-4 in the month and crashed out of the US Open Cup Semifinals. In the final game of the season at home to Vancouver, they saw three starters get injured and saw them terminate the contract of Nigel De Jong — one of the LA Galaxy’s most consistent performers.
However, all that ended when Columbus couldn’t match the intensity of the Galaxy for 90 minutes and fell to the hosts who had somehow avoided defeat with all their own injury problems.
The LA Galaxy, according to Arena, presented him with a team ball in recognition of his 200th win. “I wish this could’ve been done about a month ago,” Arena joked. “I haven’t spent a whole lot time, to be honest with you… I probably would not have been aware of it if somebody hadn’t reminded me.”
One person who’s spent a long time around Bruce Arena, and would probably know better than most what it would take to put together a winning side on a consistent basis is Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan.
“200 wins is quite an achievement over the course of the career,” said Sarachan. “He just has very good instincts and the guy is a winner. And I think that translates to the teams he puts together.”
Sarachan, trying to put the number in perspective said it’s “Hard to believe – When you look at coaches that are successful, a lot of times their record is .500. In this case, he’s been at it so long… when you look at 200, that’s a pretty impressive number.”
Bruce Arena, always trying to put things into perspective, was hopeful that it would mean something to someone one day. “I know one day it will be important, probably for my grandchildren to read about it.
“I’m honored. I’m honored to have just coached some great players in this league and that’s the reason why I’ve been able to pile up a few wins along the way.”