Good morning from the 10th floor of the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, which sports a lovely view of the bay and where the wife is attending a convention. Me? I’m here to slum by the pool for a couple of days.
Before I do, here’s today’s column.
Were these normal times for the Galaxy I would be writing an Olympics preview for a column instead. But these are not normal times and so the pressure being applied to Galaxy General Manager Alexi Lalas was an obvious topic.
On a personal level, I like Alexi Lalas.
He’s approachable, witty and accessible (Monday’s interview was conducted on two hours notice).
But I, like many fans, have more than a few reservations about his ability as a general manager.
I suspect it’s Lalas rather than Coach Ruud Gullit who could pay the price if AEG decides things don’t unfold the way the company suits believe it should as the column points out.
Here are a few nuggets left over from the interview that didn’t make it into the column for space reasons:
*On the possibility of the Galaxy coming to an agreement with defender Cory Gibbs – “He is a person of interest as they say,” Lalas said. “He would be a welcome addition not just because of his ability, but because of the position that he plays and our obvious need to upgrade our defense.”
*On whether Landon Donovan will head to Europe:
“At the end of the season we’ll see what’s appropriate for the Galaxy and Landon.”
*On whether Carlos Ruiz and Pete Vagenas remain trade bait:
“I don’t look for us to be making any changes with those players for the rest of the season unless something incredible (is offered) to us.”
*On what the team needs –
“It doesn’t need to be blown up. It doesn’t need major reconstruction. Does it need an attitude readjustment? Absolutely. The sky is not falling no matter what people write or say … We are going to need more men and less boys.”
*On the fact the league’s most potent offense can’t keep up with the league’s worst defense in terms of scoring more goals than are conceded –
“We need to get to a point with the Galaxy where we are able to score one goal and win the game. We’re not there yet. If we hope to make the playoffs and take another run at an MLS Cup, we need to get there.”
*So what is the answer? –
“We have set about from the start recognizing our ability to attack is an incredible weapon and also recognizing it will lead to times it can hurt us. We’re still trying to find the proper balance.”
*On the reaction he expects from players – and himself –
“Ultimately I think the players that we have here now – stars and non-stars alike – have to take ownership and take responsibility,” he said. “I have confidence in my abilities and I have confidence in who I am. I don’t feel it’s appropriate for a GM to run around and try and qualify everything and quantify everything.”
On what he would say to fans:
“I know people are frustrated. I know people are angry. They expect and deserve better than what we are giving them especially in recent performances … Everyone from myself on down in this organization are doing everything possible to have this team succeed.”
Enjoy your day. I’m off to the pool, but will be back later for a look at the busy soccer week ahead.