Arena on the Galaxy’s Draft

I spoke briefly with Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena about the draft today.

I blogged earlier about the Galaxy’s top pick – big defender Omar Gonzalez and the trade of defender Ante Jazic.

The others:
*University of Maryland defender A.J. Delagarza, who played all 26 games in 2008 for the national champion Terrapins.

*Ghana native Josh Boateng, a midfielder from Liberty University, who scored a career-best 13 goals and six assists in 2008.

*Kyle Patterson from St. Louis University, who was a former West Bromwich Albion youth player.

Arena told me that the club went into the draft wanting to emphasize the defense (no kidding) and achieved its goals with the top two picks who are likely to see significant minutes this season.

“These two players in particular have the ability to impress us and hopefully play some significant minutes in the first couple of seasons of their MLS careers,” he said.

I asked Arena about the knock against Gonzalez – namely his perceived immobility: “I’ve seen (Chelsea’s) John Terry a couple of times as well,”he said. “Omar has the tools to become a good defender and in time we’re going to find out the answer to that.”

Arena also said:
*His starting lineup is more than 50 percent set and the roster is already “much improved” over last year.
*He expects Donovan to return to the Galaxy from Bayern Munich: “It’s been in our agreement all the time.”

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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 and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!