How do you transform a team that finished practically last in their league, fired their head coach and general manager, has spent way too much money on having an icon as a player and hasn't seen the playoff in four years, into a team that has not only made it to the playoffs, but has the potential to win the championship? You do exactly what Bruce Arena has done with the Los Angeles Galaxy this season.
In 2007 most MLS and Galaxy fans thought that the Galaxy were going to be the top dominating team in the MLS. Word hit the street that David Beckham was leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season to transfer to the Los Angles Galaxy. This was probably one of the biggest sports stories of that year. The idea that a "footballer" of that stature was coming to the US to play in the MLS meant a lot not only to the fans, but to The Future of US Soccer.
As time went on, and Beckham Jerseys started to sell, the Los Angeles Galaxy started bringing on more players, received new jerseys and even got a new coach, Ruud Gullit. Yet, things did not really seem to change when it came to the game itself. Though the Galaxy was actually in the headlines and finally on Sports Center, they were not making news for the games they were winning but rather for drama in the club. Such headlines as Beckham being injured and fights between the head coach and certain players were all we saw. The team that was supposed to reshape soccer in the US was not doing anything but giving sports commentators another opportunity to bash the world's sport. This went on for another season making fans and investors unhappy with the outcome.
In the middle of the 2008 season there were mixed feelings about what would become of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Many thought AEG (Owners of the Galaxy) would try something new but were not sure what that would be. News soon broke that AEG had fired both the General Manager, Alexi Lalas and head coach, Ruud Gullit along with waiving many players on the team. I must admit, this was a shock to me. In most situations when there are problems between players, coaches and GMs, you get rid of one or the other. I guess AEG felt they all were the problem and just wanted to start fresh. The Galaxy hired Bruce Arena as head coach for the team, which I personally felt was a great opportunity for the team. Arena, who has an extensive background in coaching soccer teams here in the states including the US National Team, would be a great success for the team. Because of many transfer rules and salary issues in the MLS, Arena was forced to just coach the team that he was given and not really reshape the team until after the season.
When you give an artist a canvas, he will paint a masterpiece. This is what Bruce Arena has done with the Galaxy. In the off-season, Arena quickly waived and cut players that were just not working out. He is not a coach that looks at problems in a team and then tries to fill those gaps. Instead, he fixes the problems, whether the problems are a player's abilities or a player’s cockiness, Arena cut the fat and allowed the team to move as a team rather than individuals.
This season the Los Angeles Galaxy have made the playoff for the first time in four years. They have the potential to finish top in the west and go to the MLS Cup. I strongly feel that this has everything to do with the way Bruce Arena has coached and managed this team. The team is working great together for the first time in a while. They are having fun on the field and although there have been some bumps along the way, ultimately the team has come out on top. Thank You Bruce Arena for allowing my team to get to the point they are at today.
What did you think of this review?
Los Angeles Galaxy is an American, professional soccer club based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California. The club is a member of Major League Soccer (MLS). It is one of the ten charter franchises of MLS and is the league's second most-decorated club, after D.C. United. The name "Galaxy" is derived from Los Angeles being home to the 'stars' of Hollywood.
The club has won the MLS Cup twice (2002, 2005), and the U.S. Open Cup twice (2001, 2005). L.A. plays its home matches at The Home Depot Center in Carson, which they share with arch-rival, Chivas USA.
In January 2007, the club made international headlines by signing English superstar David Beckham, to a record deal potentially worth $250 million. L.A. is currently MLS' most profitable and popular club and is among the top teams in the league in attendance.