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Soccer-Coach Arena signs contract extension with LA Galaxy

Reuters

LOS ANGELES, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Former United States coach Bruce Arena, who has guided the LA Galaxy to two Major League Soccer (MLS) titles and three MLS Cup finals, signed a multi-year contract extension with the club on Thursday.

Since taking over as the Galaxy's head coach in 2008, Arena has compiled a 82-46-44 regular season record and led the team to the top of the Western Conference in three of the last five seasons.

"Bruce is one of the finest coaches in the history of soccer in the United States," Galaxy president Dan Beckerman said in a statement.

"His commitment to the LA Galaxy, the club's winning tradition and continued excellence on and off the field is unrivalled. We look forward to the team's continued success under Bruce's management."

Arena led DC United to back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 1996 and 1997 in his first stint as an MLS coach before becoming head coach of the U.S. national squad from 1998 to 2006.

He stood down as U.S. coach following the 2006 World Cup and took charge of the Red Bulls before leaving the club by mutual agreement in November 2007.

Arena was appointed as Galaxy coach nine months later, replacing former European Footballer of the Year Ruud Gullit who had struggled to make an impact with the club.

"I'm honoured to remain in this role with the pre-eminent soccer club in the United States," said Arena, who was the MLS Coach of the Year in 1997, 2009 and 2011.

The 62-year-old has a career regular season record of 159-97-54 in MLS, and became the first coach in the league to win four MLS Cup titles. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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