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Galaxy's Bruce Arena named MLS coach of year

November 14, 2011 | 11:42 am

Arena_275Bruce Arena, who coached the Galaxy into Sunday's MLS Cup final, was Monday named Major League Soccer's coach of the year for the third time.

Arena, a former U.S. national team coach and a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, is the only man to win the award third times. He also won in 1997 and 2009.

Voting was conducted among clubs, media and players based on regular-season performance. The Seattle Sounders' Sigi Schmid and Sporting Kansas City's Peter Vermes were the other finalists.

Arena's Galaxy finished the regular season 19-5-10, giving it the league's best record for the second consecutive season. The Galaxy also won all three of its playoff matches and is unbeaten at the Home Depot Center this season, which is where the team will play Sunday's MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo.

Arena will be a head coach in MLS Cup for the fifth time, also a league record.

Arena, in his fourth season as Galaxy head coach, guided a team that earned at least a point in more than 85% of its regular-season games. The Galaxy had 17 shutouts -– or one in half of its regular-season games -- tying the all-time record set by Kansas City in 2000. It also conceded the fewest goals in MLS this season (28) for a goals-against average of 0.82, third all-time behind Real Salt Lake in 2010 (0.67) and Houston Dynamo in 2007 (0.77).

Arena was hired as head coach and general manager of the Galaxy on Aug. 18, 2008. Since then, the Galaxy has gone 51-23-30 in regular-season games.

Before being hired by the Galaxy, Arena served as coach of the New York Red Bulls during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. As the head coach of D.C. United from 1996 through 1998, Arena captured two MLS Cup championships in three appearances. Arena ranks second all-time in MLS regular season wins (128) and has compiled a regular season coaching record of 128-74-40. He holds the highest postseason winning percentage (.742) and is the all-time leader in postseason wins with 21.


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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Bruce Arena. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images