A lot has happened with the New England Revolution since Bruce Arena became head coach and sporting director in 2019.
The Revs raised their first-ever fan shield by setting a new single-season points record in 2021. The organization has been active in the transfer market, both buying and selling players. A second team was created with several players who graduated from the first team.
Most recently, their U-19 Academy team won the MLS NEXT Cup for their age group.
Of course, the project is ongoing as the club want to be more successful across the board, but it’s clear that Arena have implemented their Revolution vision.
“First of all, everything in our organization starts with Bruce Arena,” technical director Curt Onalfo told the media on Thursday. “We wanted to bring that winning mentality not only to the first team but to the second team and also to our academy. So I think it was really kind of implementing a culture and a mindset from day one.
That takes time. Onalfo noted that the technical staff strives to “improve a little bit every day” and that they “come every day with tremendous enthusiasm” as they “striving for excellence”.
Onalfo said he felt lucky because club president Brian Bilello and club owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft supported the efforts of the technical staff,
“I think when you combine all of those things together and then you have ownership and a president who supports you when you present a project or anything that requires resources and they give you those resources to do it, then it’s is much appreciated,” says Onalfo. “We have support throughout the process, which forces us to work very hard and try to keep striving for excellence.”
While explaining the current Revolution culture, Onalfo recalled the academy team winning the U-19 championship. As the young men celebrated the prestigious title, Onalfo took note of sports coach Matt Zaremba, who shed tears of joy.
“It just showed how much it meant to him,” Onalfo said. “But for me, that meant it was the culture, that’s what we wanted to create. He is a young employee for us who is in our academy, one day he could move up to our second team and possibly our first team, and he understood what it takes to be a champion.
The goal is to have an organization where everyone (players, coaches and support staff) tries to improve every day. This mentality has led to success on different levels since Arena’s arrival, but there is still a lot to do.
Onalfo said the Revs “still have a long way to go to make sure our career path gets stronger.” The club also wants to lift more championships, including the elusive MLS Cup.
These will come if the organization continues to focus on growth.
“We always talk about how we try to improve a little bit every day,” Onalfo said. “If you do this over a period of time and look back at that time, all of a sudden you realize how far you’ve come.”