Bruce Arena is arguably the most successful coach in the history of American soccer, and it all started in Charlottesville During an 18-year career at the University of Virginia, Arena set an impossibly high bar to follow for Cavaliers men’s soccer, winning five national championships — including four in row from 1991-94 — and posting a record of 295 wins, 58 losses, 32 ties.

While at UVA, Arena also developed several players who would later play significant roles on the United States national team  in advancing the American game, including Claudio Reyna, John Harkes, Ben Olsen, Tony Meola and Jeff Agoos.

Currently head coach and sporting director of the New England Revolution in the MLS, he is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.  After capturing five MLS Cup titles (two with D.C. United and three with the L.A. Galaxy). Arena was also head coach of the U.S. team at the 1996 Summer Olympics, the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and coached the United States national team in 2016-17.

His latest stint with U.S. soccer saw the Americans on the brink of reaching the 2018 World Cup before being eliminated in an upset by Trinidad and Tobago. While Arena contemplated not coaching again, he was quickly considered a candidate for several coaching and managing positions, including the Scotland national team before accepting an offer with New England. 

He is U.S. soccer’s longest-serving head coach.

What Bruce Arena Loves About Charlottesville

When did you last visit?

“Since I left the University in 1996, I have tried to keep a second home in Charlottesville, and I have been able to do that on and over over the last 23 years. Therefore, today I own a condominium in Charlottesville and visit in my off-seasons. I was last in town briefly in September, and hope to return for the Christmas holidays.”

What did you do?

“During the holiday season in 2018, I invited my son (Kenny) and his family to Charlottesville for Christmas. It was great to see my grandchildren as well. A highlight of the stay was that my wife’s (Phyllis) father was able to spend time with his great-grandchildren, which was certainly a special occasion. Additionally, we attended a number of UVA basketball games.”

Where did you go?

“We enjoyed dinners at the Boar’s Head, Farmington, Downtown Grille, the Orzo Kitchen, and Hamilton’s. I also enjoyed shopping at Barrack’s Road and participating in some Hot Yoga classes.”

What did you think about your college town?

“I think Charlottesville is great. Such a beautiful view of The Grounds. It is fun to see the students in their daily routines, and nothing is better than sitting outside of Bodo’s enjoying a great bagel and taking in everything that is so great about the University of Virginia.”