Sunday’s confrontation between the United States and Mexico at Estadio Azteca isn’t just for three valuable points in World Cup qualifying, it’s also a battle of former Red Bulls coaches.

In one corner, wearing the red, white and blue and with 41 years of coaching experience is Bruce Arena of the United States of America.

And in the other corner, wearing the green, white and red with 17 years of coaching experience is Juan Carlos Osorio of Mexico.

May the best man’s team win.

These two adversaries might have more in common that you might think.

Here is a unique look at the rival coaches:

Bruce Arena

65 (born Sept. 21, 1951)



Juan Carlos Osorio

55 (born June 8, 1961)

Nassau Community College, Cornell University


University of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University

One (with the U.S. in 1973)


National team appearances


Parts of two (2006 and 2007)

Seasons coached the Red Bulls

Parts of two (2008 and 2009)

He was born there

Brooklyn connection

He played for the Brooklyn Italians

Dos (2001 and 2005)

Dos a cero wins

Uno (2016)

two (a quarterfinal finish in 2002, group stage in 2006)

World Cup appearances

none (although a win would go a long way toward Mexico qualifying)


Red Bulls appearances in MLS Cup

One (runner-up in 2008)

5 (1996 and 1997 with D.C., 2011, 2012, 2014 with LA)

MLS Cup winners


He coaxed Reyna to sign with the club in 2007

When he coached Claudio Reyna on the Red Bulls

He attended Reyna’s retirement announcement midway through the 2008 season

Well, winning at every level of the game in the USA, from the University of Virginia to D.C. United, Red Bulls, LA Galaxy and of course, the U.S. national team

Best known for coaching

Moving up the coaching ladder and moving around every several years, from an assistant coach with the Staten Island Vipers, MetroStars and Manchester City to head coaching positions with Millionarios, Chicago Fire, Red Bulls, Once Caldas, Puebla, Athletico Nacional, Sao Paulo and of course, the Mexican national team

For popularizing the word, obviously, which has caught on through the years in the U.S. soccer community

Something unique that he is known for

For taking copious notes during games and using them as reference at post-match press conferences

After an unsuccessful 2006 World Cup in Germany, he signed with the club. He replaced interim coach Richie Williams

How he was hired by the Red Bulls

After Arena was fired in 2007, New York coaxed him from the Chicago Fire and by mid-December he was the new head coach

He was fired after the 2007 season (the team was eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals).

How he left the Red Bulls

Depending on your vantage point, he either resigned or was fired in August 2009. The Red Bulls were 2-16-4 at the time. finished with a 5-19-6 mark, one of the worst seasons in MLS history. He was replaced by Richie Williams, who was interim coach for a second time

United States

Countries coached in

United States, England, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil