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Omar Gonzalez Comments On Bruce Arena After His Resignation
Gonzalez: “I think this place will forever be different without Bruce Arena, for what he did to the club."
Saturday marked 14 days since Bruce Arena resigned as the head coach and sporting director of the New England Revolution.
Speaking to the media after the Revs’ 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire, Omar Gonazlez commented on Arena’s departure.
Below is the entirety of his answer when asked if the locker room is different without the veteran coach:
“I think this place will forever be different without Bruce Arena, for what he did to the club. You know, the changes that he made, the important changes that he made to this club in bringing quality players and big things like that, pushing for a better training ground, things like that.
“I think he will be missed by a lot of people and with his personality, it’s very different around here.
“But as a team, as a club, they made decisions. And as a team, we have to look forward. We have to focus on what we're paid to do and that's to be footballers, to be soccer players, and to do our job. And so, that's what we're gonna do.
“I miss Bruce and I hope he had a good birthday the other day and I think he'll be alright. He's a guy who who knows what he's doing and I think he'll land on his feet.”
Arena was placed on administrative leave on Jul. 30 while the league reviewed allegations that he made insensitive and inappropriate remarks.
Gonzalez was asked to comment on the investigation on the Aug. 17 edition of CBS’s “Morning Footy.” The experienced center back, who worked with Arena at the L.A. Galaxy and U.S. Men’s National Team, stated:
“First and foremost, the team is together. The locker room is tight.
“This did come from left field. It’s just bizarre what’s going on. Still really have no idea what happened, what’s going on. Guys are hoping that Bruce will be back soon and get ready to kick off the second half of the season and continue the way that we’ve been going.
“We’re doing really well. On our best days when everyone is healthy, we can match up against anyone. We can go toe to toe with anyone. We have a talented roster, we play well together, and we’re just a tough team to play against.
“Having Bruce back will help us in the latter part of the season. Everyone is just laser focused right now. We got kicked out of Leagues Cup a little earlier than we’d like. Now we have this time to train, get everyone ready, hopefully get everyone back healthy — no hiccups there — and we can just hit the second half running.”
On Sept. 9, Arena resigned from his positions at the Revolution. His statement read:
“After much soul searching, I have decided to resign my position as Head Coach and Sporting Director of the New England Revolution.
“To begin, I would like to thank Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft for providing me with this opportunity over 4 years ago. In my time with the Revolution, we have had much success and it truly has been a direct reflection of all the support the organization has provided me. In particular, I also want to thank all the players, coaches and staff at the Revolution as everyone has provided outstanding service and done a terrific job to help elevate the club to where it is today.
“I also want to thank everyone in the soccer community at large for their tremendous support during the past 6 weeks. The investigation has been a hard and difficult process, for me and my family, but hearing from so many who have been part of my career truly has been gratifying and has helped make this decision easier.
“Finally, I know that I have made some mistakes and moving forward, I plan to spend some time reflecting on this situation and taking corrective steps to address what has transpired. And while this has not been an easy decision, I am confident that it is in the best interest of both the New England Revolution organization and my family that we part ways at this time.”
MLS offered the following statement soon after Arena’s resignation:
“As a result of the investigation, which confirmed certain of these allegations, should Arena wish to pursue future employment within MLS, he must first submit a petition to the Commissioner.
“MLS is committed to safe and welcoming work environments and expects all employees of the League and its clubs to conduct themselves appropriately in the workplace.”