Bruce Arena: Revs' turnaround with new MLS record for points is 'remarkable'

The New England Revolution, the 2021 Supporters' Shield winner, defeated the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, on Wednesday night to improve its record to 22-4-7.

The win gave Revs a new MLS record for points in a season with 73, marking the fourth straight full season the record has fallen:

1996. Tampa Bay Mutiny (58 points).
1998. LA Galaxy (68 points).
2017.
Toronto FC
(69 points).
2018. New York Red Bulls (71 points)
2019. LAFC (72 points).
2020 -- season shortened due to pandemic shutdown.
2021. *New England Revolution (73 points)
*One game to play.

Bruce Arena has downplayed the importance of the Supporters' Shield, which the Revs clinched on Saturday, but he said the points record was remarkable, considering he took over as head coach and sporting director in May 2019 with the Revs in turmoil.

The Revs were 3-8-2 when Arena replaced Brad Friedel and Mike Burns and coming off a string of four games during which they conceded 18 goals -- 3-0, 6-1 and 5-0 losses and 4-4 tie -- to tie an MLS record for most goals allowed in four games.

"I said that to the team, ‘Man, what a s***show I inherited in May of 2019.’ To think how far they’ve come is kind of remarkable," he said. "It really is. That shows the character of these people – not only the players, but the staff. You know, we come to work every day, it’s a pretty good work environment. And I guess, they accomplished more than any team in the history of the league."

Arena won five MLS Cups with D.C. United (1996-97) and the LA Galaxy (2011-12, 2014) and three Supporters' Shields with D.C. United (1997) and the Galaxy (2010-11). He said it was too early to say where the Revs rank in MLS history.

“I’ve been asked this question so many times," he said. "First of all, we haven’t won anything. We won a Supporters’ Shield and all. And I guess, the way you’re judged in this league is what you do at the end, and there’s still a lot ahead. So I don’t know how you judge this team. I’ve had some really good teams. I tell people all the time, the 1998 D.C. United team I had was the best team, I think, I’ve coached in this league and we lost in the final that year."

In 1998, D.C. United went 24-8 in the MLS regular season and won the Concacaf Champions Cup and Copa Interamericana but fell to the Chicago Fire in MLS Cup.

Revs Photo: Front Row (L-R): DeJuan Jones, Andrew Farrell, Matt Polster, Carles Gil, Tommy McNamara. Top Row: Matt Turner, Brandon Bye, Henry Kessler, Adam Buksa, Tajon Buchanan, Gustavo Bou. By David Silverman

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4 comments about "Bruce Arena: Revs' turnaround with new MLS record for points is 'remarkable'".
  1. Eddie Rockwell, October 28, 2021 at 11:59 a.m.

    There should be some clarification on points per game, and lack of ties in the early years. Article says DC United went 24-8 in 1998 - wouldn't that be 72 points by today's standard of 3 points for a win?  How did they calculate points for a "shootout" win? Remember, in the early years there were no ties, they rolled out the 5 second clock and had the dribble from 35 yards out shootout to see who "won"...

  2. Jeff Chambers replied, October 28, 2021 at 12:16 p.m.

    If I am reading the standings chart correctly, if shootouts were replaced by ties, DC would have been 17W, 5L, 10T in 1998.

  3. stewart hayes, October 29, 2021 at 9:35 a.m.

    Arena = great coach.  

  4. Kent James replied, October 31, 2021 at 12:55 a.m.

    Given his success in the college ranks, the MLS and with the national team, that's a hard point to argue with.  

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