Tuesday’s Column: The Arena philosophy rebuilds the Galaxy

i-10472e6277291d7a9ed5631ae3caef0c-arena1stday.jpgFirst day of school: Newcomer Dustin McCarty practices Monday under the watchful eye of Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena as the team hit the fields for the first time this preseason (Photo by Brad Graverson, staff photographer).

Coach Bruce Arena has capitalized fully on his years of experience in MLS and with the U.S. Men’s National Team to rebuild the Galaxy.

For more, read the column here.

He reminds me of Tony Waddington (how many of you get that reference?)

Another interesting thing about the Galaxy squad Arena has built is its large representation from UCLA (and from markedly different eras): Brian Perk, Michael Stephens, Chad Barrett, and Frankie Hejduk are all from UCLA (as was the just retired Eddie Lewis, of course).

“It’s never bad to have local kids,” Arena said. “It’s a real plus. We want to be the team every aspiring player growing up in Southern California wants to play for. It’s always good to see local kids having success with the Galaxy.”

Arena also deflected criticism away from David Beckham when I asked why it was better for him (apparently) – to be training in England with Tottenham Hotspur rather than with the Galaxy:

“I wanted to give him the opportunity to be in England in case there was any possibility of him being part of their national team in their next friendly,” he said. “It’s my decision – any criticism is on me, not David.”

Hmmm.

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  • trickhog

    Great stuff, Nick. Keep it up!

  • Studs Up

    Don’t get the Waddington reference. Stoke City has been the armpit of English football for 600. LA has been the envy of this league from day one, win or lose.

    Arena deserves the way he has returned LA to it glory days. My 2 main disappointments with him are that he was not able to slow down the Beckham juggernaut and the fact that he did not re-inforce the team for the playoff push last year.

    Re Beckham training there vs here, it was a fair question and a fair answer. What I don’t like is the lack of transparency with Arena. He would have been a lot more convincing if he had stated that was his intention in letting Beckham stay in London when it first went down. The fact that he became defensive in answering your question now tells me that was in fact NOT his decision.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/soccer Nick Green

    SU:

    Waddington was known in the early 1970s when Stoke were in the old First Division of getting the maximum milage out of players coming to the end of their careers as possible la Angel, Klein, Lewis, Hejduk et al.