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January 23, 2010
Arena gets into Hall as a builder

Bruce Arena was elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Bruce Arena was elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
CARSON, Calif. -- Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the builder's category, it was announced on Fox Sports Channel Saturday night.

Arena, the most successful coach in U.S. soccer history, won five NCAA Division I titles at the University of Virginia and two MLS Cup championships with D.C. United. He also guided the U.S. National Team into two World Cups, which included a quarterfinal finish in Korea/Japan in 2002.

Arena, who coached the Red Bulls in 2006 and 2007, directed the Galaxy into MLS Cup last season as L.A. lost to Real Salt Lake in penalty kicks in Seattle in November.

"It's certainly a great honor," Arena said on the FSC pre-game prior to the U.S.-Honduras international friendly at the Home Depot Center. "I think those of us in the coaching profession [realizes] that any individual accolades that you receive is because of the [coaching staff and the people around you]."

Arena, a native of Franklin Square, N.Y. was named on 78 percent of the ballots. In 2009, Arena was the leading vote-getter on the Builder ballot, but did not meet the requirement of being named to 50 percent of the ballots to earn election.

“Bruce Arena’s passion for the game, ability to build exceptionally competitive teams at the collegiate and the professional level, and his outstanding work with the U.S. Men’s National Team are well known and highly regarded by his colleagues and opponents,” HOF President Jonathan Ullman said in a statement. “His tremendous record of service in soccer and success in the game has earned him election to the Hall of Fame.”

Arena singled out his family.

"I look back at 100's of people that I can thank for my success as a coach," he said.

At the top of the list was his wife Phyllis and son Kenny, a former MetroStar.

"They have been there through thick and thin," Arena told FSC.

Arena then campaigned for another former U.S. national coach who directed the team in the World Cup -- former Kansas City Wizards coach Bob Gansler, who guided the Americans to their first World Cup appearance in 40 years at Italia '90.

"There's a great coach who still needs to be recognized," Arena said, referring to Gansler. "I hope that he will be inducted as well."

The selection committee for the builder election consists of select soccer administrators and all Hall of Famers. The committee members vote for up to five Builders from the list of eligible candidates an annual 10-person ballot determined by a screening committee. One builder can be elected each year and must have appeared on at least 50 percent of the ballots .

Arena joins Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic, the player elected to the Class of 2010. Results of the veteran player ballot will be released at a future date. The 2010 induction ceremony will likely be scheduled for this summer. Details are still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.
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