Clint Peay will be the new interim coach of the New England Revolution effective immediately, the team announced Tuesday night. Here’s what you need to know:
- Peay has been head coach of the Revolution’s MLS Next Pro side, New England Revolution II.
- The future of former interim head coach Richie Williams is not known at this time. Williams, 53, took over as interim coach when the team placed former coach and sporting director Bruce Arena on leave last month while he was under investigation for “inappropriate and insensitive” remarks. Arena resigned Saturday.
- The Revolution also announced that the club has parted ways with assistant coaches Dave van den Bergh and Shalrie Joseph. Both had posted messages of support for Arena on social media after he was placed on leave.
Revolution players refused to train Tuesday in the wake of Arena’s departure, The Athletic reported, following a meeting where Williams was asked about his reported involvement in the investigation into his former boss. Williams framed the team’s absence from training as a collective decision in a news conference later Tuesday.
On Tuesday morning, Revolution interim sporting director Curt Onalfo met with a number of senior Revolution players to further discuss concerns surrounding Williams’ continuing leadership of the club. “Not many guys trust Richie leading the team right now,” one Revolution player told The Athletic.
Arena, 71, resigned after an MLS investigation confirmed “certain” allegations. Sources familiar with the investigation said that some questions asked by investigators centered around comments Arena allegedly made behind closed doors and to his coaching staff.
Williams has a lengthy history with Arena which dates back to his playing days at the University of Virginia in the 1980s and 1990s, where Arena was his coach. He was an important part of Arena’s D.C. United sides during the club’s championship runs in the mid-90s and has coached alongside Arena in various capacities in MLS and with U.S. Soccer. Williams joined the Revolution in 2019.
Tuesday was not the first time those within the Revolution team have refused to train during this period of internal strife at the club. Sources within the club also said that assistant coaches Shalrie Joseph and Dave van den Bergh have walked out of training on multiple occasions since Williams took over as interim head coach.
Williams said Tuesday he was unaware Arena had resigned until the night it was announced. Club captain Carles Gil was scheduled to speak with the media Tuesday but didn’t, with the club saying he was unavailable because meetings ran long. Gil is still expected to address the media this week.
The locker room has been fractured over the investigation into Arena. Several members of the coaching staff, including the assistants Joseph and Van den Bergh, have publicly expressed their support for Arena. Neither are under contract for the 2024 season and, according to sources within the club, neither are expected to return after this season ends. Williams and Joseph, sources said, have clashed repeatedly, with the two having to be physically separated on one occasion last season.
The Revolution, who are second in the Eastern Conference at 13-9-5, are set to face the Colorado Rapids this Saturday.
(Photo: Andrew Katsampes / ISI Photos / Getty Images)