Bruce Arena has been named the 2014 recipient of the Werner Fricker Builder Award, the highest honor given by U.S. Soccer. The current LA Galaxy manager, who also won titles at D.C. United and at the University of Virginia, in addition to leading the United States for eight years, is widely recognized as the best American coach ever.
The highest honor that an individual can receive from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Werner Fricker Award is bestowed on an individual who has worked tirelessly on furthering the interest of the sport of soccer without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award honors those who created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and who have established a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States.
It's tough to argue that Arena doesn't meet all of that criteria.
Arena's career started 37 years ago at Virginia, where he won five national titles. He captured the inaugural MLS Cup in 1996 at D.C. United and won another the following year. In 1998, he took over the U.S. and became the winningest coach in team history. He won two Gold Cup titles and led the Americans to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, the team's best finish in the modern era. After a short stint with the New York Red Bulls, Arena took the reigns of the Galaxy in 2008, where he has won three MLS Cups and two MLS Coach of the Year honors.
Arena is already in the National Soccer Hall of Hame. Now he has U.S. Soccer's highest honor, and it's all well deserved.