Bruce Arena

The most successful American soccer coach of the late 20th century and early 21st, scoring major successes at the college, MLS and national team levels.

Arena, who had been a goalkeeper and played one game in the U.S. national team, in 1973, established his coaching reputation at the University of Virginia, where his team shared the NCAA championship in 1989 and won it outright in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.

He was named coach of the U.S. Olympic team in the fall of 1995, then left Virginia after the 1995 season to become coach of D.C. United, which he coached simultaneously with the Olympic team for about six months. The Olympic team played well but failed to advance past the first round. D.C. United, after a slow start to the season, took off in the MLS playoffs and won both the MLS title and the U.S. Open Cup that year. He won another MLS title with D.C. United in 1997, and then took the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1998. Arena’s D.C. United teams were 21-17, 26-11 and 28-10 in the league’s first three seasons.

Arena was expected to face a long rebuilding job when he took over the national team in the fall of 1998, but turned in an impressive string of results in his first year. In 1999 the U.S. team unexpectedly reached the semifinals of the Confederations Cup in Mexico. That was something of a warm-up for Arena’s biggest success, a run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup in Korea. The United States produced two landmark upsets in that World Cup, 3-2 over Portugal in a first-round game and 2-0 over Mexico in the second round.

Arena again coached the United States in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but the Americans were eliminated in the first round. During his roughly eight years in charge of the U.S. national team, Arena produced a record of 71 wins, 30 defeats and 29 ties.

After leaving the national-team job in 2006, Arena had a brief stint with MLS’ New York Red Bulls, and then, in 2008, became coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy, where he returned to the winning ways he had enjoyed with D.C. United. His Galaxy team lost in the 2009 MLS final, but then won MLS championships in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Inducted in 2010.