Arena makes home debut as Revs battle Union
Bruce Arena finally makes his home coaching debut when the New England Revolution hosts the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.
Arena, a former U.S. men's national team coach, was named the Revolution's head coach and sporting director on May 14 after the firing of Brad Friedel. Mike Lapper served as interim coach for three matches until New England (4-8-4, 16 points) won at the Los Angeles Galaxy on June 2 in Arena's first game.
A pair of road U.S. Open Cup matches followed, the second a loss to Orlando City in a knockout match on June 19, the last time the Revolution took the field.
"We're getting used to what he exactly wants out of us on a day-to-day basis and in games," New England midfielder Brandon Bye said. "He's obviously a very experienced coach and he knows what he wants out of us so we're trying to get on the same page."
The players are looking forward to again playing at Gillette Stadium, especially against Eastern Conference leader Philadelphia (9-4-4, 31 points).
"Being (Arena's) first home game we want to come out and do well," Revolution defender Andrew Farrell said. "Philly's a great team. We saw that last time against them."
He alluded to a 6-1 loss at Philadelphia on May 4 that dropped New England to 6-14-4 all-time vs. the Union.
"For some reason, every time we go up against Philly we struggle, not just the last game but previous games we also haven't been able to come out on top," Revolution forward Juan Agudelo said, "but we're a totally different team and we're going to try and get a totally different result."
The Union has been idle since bowing out of the Open Cup on June 12 vs. D.C. United. Now it's MLS or bust.
"It's a tough way to go out but the focus is totally on the league," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "It does make the schedule a little bit lighter down the road."
--Field Level Media
© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.