New England Revolution players refused to train on Tuesday after former head coach Bruce Arena resigned on Saturday. Arena had been with the club since 2019. He led the team to the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2021.
The disgraced coach departed the team after an investigation by league officials. Arena was placed on administrative leave by the club on Aug. 1. MLS executives investigated the coach’s use of “inappropriate and insensitive” remarks. The league eventually confirmed some of these allegations on Saturday, which ultimately led to Arena stepping down from his role with the club.
Players cancel practice after series of meetings
The Athletic is now reporting that Revs players received an email from team president Brian Bilello on Monday about a mandatory meeting the following day. In the email, Bilello told players that he would address the Arena situation and answer any questions.
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After the hourlong meeting, Bilello’s comments left players unsatisfied. According to the news outlet, players organized a separate meeting with the coaching staff. This meeting lasted two hours and focused on Revs interim manager Richie Williams.
Williams took over Arena’s duties during the investigation. However, Williams filed complaints against Arena and helped out the league’s inquiry. Players reportedly asked Williams about this, but the coach would not discuss the matter. As a result, Revs players refused to train on Tuesday.
Williams addressed the lack of practice with reporters later in the day. “We didn’t have training today as we had a bunch of meetings between players, coaches and management,” stated Williams. “The length of the meetings and what was discussed we decided as a group, collectively, that we wouldn’t have training today and we’d be out tomorrow.”
NE Revolution yet to replace Bruce Arena
Nevertheless, the Revs ultimately made the decision to replace Williams with Clint Peay Tuesday night. Peay was previously the head coach of Revolution II and will serve as interim coach of the senior side. Team officials also announced that assistant coaches Dave van den Bergh and Shalrie Joseph left the club as well. Van Den Bergh and Joseph were on Arena’s side of things during the aforementioned investigation.
Peay will get to lead the club out against Colorado Rapids on Saturday, Sep. 16. The Revs are currently second in the Eastern Conference table and will be looking right the ship before heading into the playoffs.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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