Tuesday’s Column: Galaxy Should Follow Chivas USA’s Lead

Two team’s, one season, different directions.

Passion, guts, determination – Chivas USA have embraced those qualities, the Galaxy have not. For the most part, that’s the difference between the two franchises this season.

Reading between the lines, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena appears to agree:

“This is not a project were looking at in the short term, but building this team up over the next couple of years and getting the right kind of characters on the field and by that I mean in terms of their personalities, their competitiveness and their ability. We’ve got to get the right balance and the right combination of players. Obviously, this year we’re going to evaluate what we have and how we can make it better.”

Here’s Arena on one of the team’s major weaknesses that surfaced yet again in Chicago:

“Between (central defenders) Sean (Franklin) and Troy (Roberts) and our goalkeeper (Josh Wicks) in that game … I bet there’s not 50 league starts in there in those three positions – right down the heart of your team and that’s obviously an issue.”

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Joseph DHippolito

    Nick, the difference between the problems both teams face comes down to this: Chivas USA had no control over the injuries it sustained but the Galaxy’s problems are self-inflicted. They begin with a team president (Tim Leiweke) who was so infatuated with Beckham’s presence — and so greedy over the money he could make off of Beckham — that he tried to exploit the situation whenever and whereever he could, from nonsensical “tours” to increased parking.

    That same team president was so infatuated with “entertaining” and “sexy” soccer that he fired a sound coach (Sigi Schmid) and hired one (Ruud Gullit) with a questionable track record — and, as it turned out, a more-than-questionable work ethic. Finally, that same team president allowed an entertainment management firm (19 Entertainment) hire its coach.

    In other corporations, Leiweke would have fired post-haste. Here, he’s insulated from accountability. Perhaps he has some compromising photos of Anschutz?

    The Galaxy’s problems continue through their former general manager (Alexi Lalas), who was so insecure and so much into being the corporate lackey that he did what Leiweke told him to do. Spout the “jewel of MLS” and “Superclub” rhetoric.” Make trade after trade after trade to catch lightning in a bottle — and destroy team chemistry in the process. Intimidate a reputable coach (Frank Yallop) to the degree where he almost had a nervous breakdown.

    Combined with Paul Bravo, Lalas also showed that he could not recognize legitimate talent nor manage a salary cap. How can San Jose get Darren Huckerby and Francisco Lima and not the Galaxy? Because the team was so concerned with “image”

    Then you have Gullit, who was never a good fit for this club, who never bothered to learn the league.

    Why are the players reacting the way they are? Because they’re mentally spent. They’ve put up with all the bovine excrement since Leiweke hired Lalas. Now, that brown flood threatens to drown them.

  • Joe

    Bruce was close, 68 starts between the three guys. Roberts has racked up a few over the past four seasons. You’d never know by his lack of awareness…

    To Joseph above, Leiweke has succeeded in everything that matters to AEG. That can’t be lost in this discussion. The team sucks and has since basically 2003. Even when Sigi had us in first place, it was boring and not fun to watch. Yet our attendance continues to rise as ticket prices have nearly tripled from the RB days. Buying a ticket gameday with the Riot Squad was $18 in 2002 at the RB. Now that ticket in the corner is $50.

    The club has won 60 games over the past six seasons; since we moved to the HDC. We played a total of 180 regular season games in that span. Somehow, we continue to sell out every week.

    Tim’s done his job. The Galaxy is valued at $100million, that’s all that matters at the end of the day…

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Leiweke has succeeded in everything that matters to AEG…

    Unfortunately, Joe, you’re right. It’s not Leiweke’s fault that the fans are stupid enough to sell out HDC with an inferior product on the field, Beckham or no Beckham (and, no, I’m not talking about the Riot Squad guys who would support the team regardless).

    But if all Anschutz values is counting beans, then he has a sad understanding of sports. Then again, he owns the Kings, so what does he really know?