Photo of Bruce Arena courtesy of US Soccer
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
November 28, 2016-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is pleased to see one of our alumni, Bruce Arena, back as US National Team coach, as the US tries to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after two losses opened up the final stage of qualification.
Bruce was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Franklin Square, where he played for New York Hota in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL).
He played both soccer and lacrosse at Carey High School, then both sports at Nassau Community College and later at Cornell University.
Bruce played two sports professionally, just like Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and Dave DeBusschere. Bruce played box lacrosse for the Montréal Québécois in 1975, but the National Lacrosse League folded at the end of that season. So he moved across the continent to play in goal for the expansion Tacoma Tides of the American Soccer League in 1976 as a back-up behind Jamil Canal. The move to Tacoma was significant as it introduced him to coaching when he was asked to coach the men’s soccer team at the University of Puget Sound.
Bruce made a name for himself coaching the University of Virginia men’s soccer team from 1978 to 1995, winning five NCAA championships during that time. Then it was on to MLS franchises DC United, New York Red Bulls and the LA Galaxy, winning five MLS Cups along the way. In his first stint as US National Team coach from 1998 to 2006, he brought his players back to his old stomping ground at New York Hota, which George Vecsey wrote about in The New York Times:
Welcome back, Bruce!
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.