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Rumor: Bruce Arena Lobbied Richie Williams to Land Hartford Athletic HC Job
Prior to his resignation, Arena tried lobbying for his long-time assistant
While the 2023 Revolution season is over, the details of what went wrong continue to come out.
Following the Revolution’s first-round playoff exit, Omar Gonzalez talked to The Blazing Musket’s Seth Macomber and Sam Minton along withWPRO’s Tom Quinlan about the backlash to the Bruce Arena resignation and the downfall to the Revolution’s season. Days later, Tom Quinlan reported some additional details regarding the fallout between Revolution coaches during the 2023 season on New England Soccer Weekly.
Notably, Quinlan reported that while Richie Williams was not going to have his Revolution contract renewed, Bruce Arena was lobbying to find him a landing place elsewhere in New England.
“Here’s the other thing that hasn’t come out yet: Bruce was trying to get Richie a job,” Quinlan said. “You got a little bit of a taste of it in The Athletic story, but Richie was supposed to get the Hartford Athletic job. So it’s not like Bruce was leaving Richie hanging high and out to dry, you just weren’t coaching on this team and you probably weren’t coaching in MLS.”
It is unclear what Richie Williams’ interest level was in the Hartford Athletic job. However, it was speculated that Williams had significant interest in succeeding Bruce Arena in Foxboro.
“Dave Ven Den Bergh was going to be the next head coach, not Richie,” said Quinlan. “That’s speculation from people around and close to the situation, but that’s part of the problem that Richie had: He wasn’t going to be the guy and he couldn’t handle it.”
Tab Ramos was fired by Hartford Athletic on June 26, and his long-time assistant, Omid Namazi, was immediately named permanent head coach. Hartford Athletic have opened new a search for the head coach position following Namazi being fired last week after compiling a 2-14-2 record through the second half of the 2023 season. The Blazing Musket understands that the head coaching hire is expected to be made and announced by Hartford sometime in the next month.
It’s unclear if Arena was lobbying for Williams to replace Ramos in the summer or trying to get Williams to replace Namazi when Williams’ contract was set to expire at the end of the 2023 season.
“Maybe USL was a good place to rehab your image,” Quinlan said. “Now you can’t go anywhere.”
Either way, it adds an interesting wrinkle to the inner workings to the ticking time bomb that was the Revolution locker room.
Hartford Athletic had no comment on this report when contacted by The Blazing Musket.