U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena has selected the technical staff that will assist the team in the quest to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Prioritizing experience and continuity with only two months before Final Round Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup resumes, Arena has chosen several members of the LA Galaxy coaching staff, including former associate head coach Dave Sarachan, assistants Pat Noonan and Kenny Arena, and goalkeeping coach Matt Reis.
Additionally, former U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Coach Thomas Rongen has joined as the MNT’s Chief Scout.
“The entire staff has a great amount of playing and coaching experience both at the international and professional level,” said Arena. “With the need to hit the ground running, it’s even more critical that we have a staff that knows the player pool, shares a philosophy on how we approach the game, and has knowledge and experience in the international arena. In different ways this group ticks all those boxes, and we are already hard at work getting ready for the January Camp and the World Cup Qualifiers in March.”
On the international front, Sarachan served as an assistant during Arena’s first tenure as MNT head coach from 2000-2002, helping to guide the U.S. to a Quarterfinal finish at the 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as that year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup championship. Rongen previously served two stints as U-20 MNT head coach from 2001-2004 and 2006-2011, qualifying the side for three different FIFA U-20 World Cups and Quarterfinal finishes in 2003 and 2007.
Noonan and Reis were both handed their first international appearances during Arena’s initial tenure in charge of the MNT. Both Noonan (14 caps) and Reis (two caps) were part of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship side and were selected as alternates on the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster. Kenny Arena made 24 appearances for the U-20 MNT and was part of the U.S. roster at the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Between their coaching and playing careers, Arena, Noonan, Reis, Rongen and Sarachan have combined for 24 domestic championships (10 M.L.S. Cups, seven Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and seven Supporters Shields).
The group will work full-time out of U.S. Soccer’s offices at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif.
Learn all about the lengthy coaching and playing experience of Arena’s MNT technical staff:
Dave Sarachan - Assistant Coach
A four-time M.L.S. Cup winning coach, Sarachan, 62, returns to the U.S. Men’s National Team having previously served under Bruce Arena from 2000-2002, most notably helping guide the USA to the Quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as well as that year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup championship. Including his previous stint with the U.S. MNT, this is the fifth time in his coaching career that Sarachan has worked with Arena, having previously served as his assistant at the University of Virginia (1984-1988), D.C. United (1998-1999) and as Associate Head Coach with the LA Galaxy (2008-2016).
Along with his time with Arena, Sarachan had a successful tenure as the head coach of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire from 2003-2007, leading the club to the 2003 and 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title as well as the 2003 Supporters Shield.
Holder of a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” Coaching License, prior to joining the LA Galaxy in August 2008, Sarachan served as the Director of Scouting for U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy program, working to help identify many of the top young players throughout the nation. An All-American forward at Cornell, Sarachan had a seven-year playing career, suiting up for the Rochester Lancers (1976-77), Pittsburgh Spirit (1978-79), Buffalo Stallions (1980-81), Baltimore Blast (1981) and Kansas City Comets (1982).
Pat Noonan - Assistant Coach
Holder of a USSF “A” Coaching License, Noonan, 36, will continue working under Bruce Arena after serving as an assistant coach with the LA Galaxy the past four seasons.
A 2004 M.L.S. All-Star selection, Noonan earned 14 caps with the U.S. MNT, helping the team to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship as well as contributing in the qualifying effort for the 2006 FIFA World Cup before being named as an alternate for the tournament. A collegiate standout at Indiana University, Noonan tallied 48 goals in 91 career appearances for the Hoosiers from 1999-2002.
Prior to his move into coaching, Noonan had an impressive 10-year professional career which included stops for five different M.L.S. clubs as well as Norwegian side Aalesunds. During that time, Noonan helped his sides to six domestic championships, winning the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with New England Revolution, 2008 M.L.S Cup and Supporters Shield with Columbus Crew SC, 2010 and 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups with Seattle Sounders FC and 2012 M.L.S. Cup with LA Galaxy in his final season as a player. Noonan also helped the Revolution to three straight M.L.S. Cup Final appearances from 2005-2007.
Kenny Arena - Assistant Coach
Holder of a USSF “A” Coaching License, Arena, 35, joins the U.S. Men’s National Team coaching staff as an assistant after spending the previous three seasons in the same role with the LA Galaxy. Prior to his time with the Galaxy first team staff, Arena served as head coach with Florida International University from 2012-2013. He began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Virginia in 2006 before joining the coaching staff at George Mason University in 2007. In 2008, Arena joined Jorge Salcedo’s staff at UCLA, helping his team to the NCAA Tournament four times, including a berth in the College Cup in 2011. During his time as an assistant with UCLA, Arena served as a head coach with the LA Galaxy Academy where he led the club’s U-16 side to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship in 2011.
A member of the U.S. squad at the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina, Arena played college soccer at Virginia and was selected by the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) in the fourth round of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. He spent three seasons as a player in M.L.S., scoring once in 20 games during two seasons with the club before being traded to D.C. United, where he spent the 2005 season.
Matt Reis - Goalkeeping Coach
After spending 16 years as a goalkeeper in Major League Soccer, Reis, 41, moved into the coaching ranks for the past two seasons as Goalkeeping Coach with the LA Galaxy. Prior to his move to the sidelines, Reis played five seasons with the Galaxy (1998-2002) and 11 with the New England Revolution (2003-2013). Reis won five pieces of hardware during his time with the LA Galaxy, helping the club to the 1998 and 2002 Supporters Shield, 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup, 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 2002 M.LS. Cup. Upon moving to the Revolution, Reis backstopped the club to the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship and 2008 SuperLiga title, as well as leading the side to three-straight appearances in the M.L.S. Cup Final from 2005-2007. His 293 M.L.S. Regular Season appearances rank him fifth all-time among goalkeepers.
Capped twice by the U.S. Men’s National Team, Reis was part of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup winning side and was named as an alternate on the USA’s 2006 FIFA World Cup roster. A standout goalkeeper at UCLA, Reis capped his collegiate career by helping the Bruins to the 1997 College Cup championship, winning the tournament’s Defensive MVP Award in the process. Away from the field, Reis was named the 2013 M.L.S. WORKS Humanitarian of the Year for helping save the life of his father-in-law who was badly injured during the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings.
Thomas Rongen – Chief Scout
A product of the Ajax Academy, Rongen, 60, brings 45 years of experience as a player, coach and academy director to his job as Chief Scout. Having played for various clubs in the North American Soccer League following his time at Ajax, Rongen first took up professional coaching with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1989 and was one of the 10 original coaches in Major League Soccer when he led the Tampa Bay Mutiny to the Supporters Shield during the inaugural M.L.S. campaign in 1996. Following a two-year stint with New England Revolution, Rongen succeeded Bruce Arena as head coach at D.C. United, leading the club to its third M.L.S. Cup title in 1999.
Internationally, the Dutchman served two stints as head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team from 2001-2004 and 2006-2011. As head coach, he qualified the side for all three FIFA U-20 World Cups during his tenure and led the team to the Quarterfinals in both 2003 and 2007. Following his work with the U-20 MNT, Rongen served as head coach of American Samoa, leading the island nation to its first victory when they defeated Tonga in a 2014 World Cup Qualifying match on Nov. 22, 2011. Returning to North America, Rongen served as Toronto FC Academy Director from 2012-2014 and as head coach of the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2015.