New England Revolution captain Carles Gil says he has never heard Bruce Arena say anything inappropriate after the coach and general manager was put on administrative leave pending an MLS review into “allegations of insensitive and inappropriate remarks”.
The MLS club told players on Sunday and announced publicly on Tuesday that the 71-year-old Arena would not be taking part in team duties and that technical director Curt Onalfo and assistant coach Richie Williams would be in charge.
In a statement on Tuesday, The Revolution said: “The organization takes any allegations of workplace misconduct extremely seriously and is working closely with the league and fully cooperating with its investigation.”
Arena, who has twice been in charge of the USMNT, has led the Revs since 2019 and in 2021 led them to the Supporters’ Shield.
Gil joined the club in January 2019 and discussed the four years he had spent under Arena. Asked whether he had heard Arena say anything inappropriate around him, Gil said “no”.
“My experience with Bruce has been very good,” the 30-year-old former Aston Villa midfielder said.
“I think everyone on the team would tell you — at the end of the day, the results are there. I think our level of play and our results have been very good. Last year was a little more complicated but this year we’ve achieved what we wanted, to be near the top of the table.
“Every coach I’ve had has helped me in some way; with Bruce, I have a great relationship. I’m the captain of this team so I try to represent the entire dressing room when I speak to him and honestly I have a very good relationship with him.
“I think everyone here knows Bruce. He’s been here for I don’t even know how many years. It’s my fifth year with him and it’s been a very good experience — winning the league two years ago.”
Statement from MLS on New England Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena. pic.twitter.com/9No8sZDEkO
— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) August 1, 2023
Mark-Anthony Kaye, the Canadian midfielder who only joined The Revs last month, was asked whether Arena’s coaching style was tough to deal with. “No, not necessarily for me,” the 28-year-old said. “I worked with Bob Bradley and Bruce and him are good friends. Intense? He has a different way of going about things and I just think I’ve maybe been molded in a way to accept that.”
Kaye was also asked if, in his short time with the club, he had heard Arena say inappropriate. “I haven’t noticed anything,” he said.
Williams, acting head coach in Arena’s absence, declined to comment when asked about the allegations.
The Revs play Thursday in the Leagues Cup round-of-32 against Liga MX side Atlas.
Arena’s agent has declined to comment on the allegations.
(Photo: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)