UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. –LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has seen many of his former assistants or players take full-time head coaching gigs and the latest is New York Red Bulls boss Mike Petke.
It was Arena, who gave Petke his first of two national team appearances in 2001 while the Galaxy boss was the coach of the U.S. National Team. Arena also faced off against Petke multiple times during his coaching tenure in MLS and will take on his former player when the Galaxy meet the Red Bulls meet on Sunday.
True to his role as the standard-barer for American coaches, Arena admitted that he was pleased Petke became the head coach at Red Bull Arena.
“It’s great to see some of our former players in the league in coaching positions,” Arena told reporters following LA’s training at Montclair State University on Friday. "Mike is basically a hometown boy, so it’s great to see that the Red Bulls have one of their own coaching the team.”
MLSsoccer.com profiled LA Galaxy great Mauricio Cienfuegos for their MLS Legends feature.
Check it out below...
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Hector Jimenez fought and clawed his way back into the Galaxy rotation after five games as an unused substitute earlier in the and now it is paying dividends.
Jimenez entered Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union as a substitute in the 72nd minute and promptly scored the second goal of his three-year MLS career in the 80th minute of LA’s victory. The goal comes amid a mini-renaissance for the 24-year-old as he has appeared in LA’s last four matches –including two starts—while notching a goal and an assist.
After missing out on five games from late-March to late-April, Jimenez was pleased to get on the scoreboard against the Union.
“It felt nice. It’s always nice to score and contribute like that off the bench,” Jimenez told LA Galaxy Insider. “It always feels great.”
Jimenez will likely be one of the prime beneficiaries of LA’s upcoming congested schedule that will see the Galaxy play four games in 15 days including a U.S. Open Cup tilt against either Carolina Dynamo or Carolina Railhawks on May 29.
“Hopefully, I'll play," said Jimenez. "I just have to keep getting myself ready and if my name gets called then I’ll go out there and contribute."
Of course, David Beckham would go out on top. It couldn’t end any other way for the English soccer legend.
On Thursday, he announced that he would be ending his illustrious 20-year professional career at the end of the Ligue 1 season next weekend after winning the French Cup and Ligue 1 titles with Paris St. Germain. Beckham’s announcement ends a career that included champions in four different countries including his two MLS Cup triumphs with the LA Galaxy.
While one can go and on about Beckham’s impact throughout the world and his stops at prestigous clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, the Galaxy, and PSG, I’ll focus briefly on his six-year tenure with the Galaxy. Throughout my own four years covering the LA Galaxy, there were dozens of fine Beckham moments that stick out in my mind, whether it was his performance in LA’s three MLS Cup appearances or his numerous classy goals, but I think what I’ll remember the most is the presence that he had across the country and the world.
There were the trips in CONCACAF Champions League where thousands flocked to see the Galaxy play and families of heads of state jostled for a chance just to catch a glimpse or take a picture with Beckham. But in the United States as well, Beckham drew packed crowds across MLS, many of whom were eager to ask about my opinion of the English superstar
However, despite all the hoopla and flashbulbs, Beckham remained an ordinary person as all of his teammates can attest. As the likes of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Mike Magee, and Omar Gonzalez reflected on Beckham’s career with the Galaxy each were quick to mention their memories of Beckham as a friend, father as well as a teammate.
And I’d have to agree that, that aspect of Beckham is what sticks out the most in my mind. More often than not, Beckham remained generous to fans on the road as well as media requests despite the constant attention that he received.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Beckham's on the field abilities as his grit and passing vision was second to none in MLS. As for my favorite goal of his Galaxy tenure, I’d have to select his 35-yeard bomb from LA’s 5-3 win over the Portland Timbers last July. The match, as some of you might remember, served as the first-ever game for the LA Galaxy Insider Blog and proved to be a delight from start to finish.
What Beckham will do now that his playing days are over remains a mystery. Will he jump into ownership of an MLS side –possibly even the Galaxy? — or will he go a different route and focus on his many business interests around the world? That remains to be seen.
But there is no doubt in my mind that Beckham made a great impact on the Galaxy, MLS and soccer in America as whole.
HOBOKEN, N.J. – David Beckham changed the landscape of soccer in the United States.
He brought attention and fans to both the LA Galaxy and MLS as a whole and with his announcement that he is retiring from soccer, the Galaxy were left to reflect on Beckham’s impact.
“The way that this league has turned around in the last six years since he got here is black and white and it’s fair to say that it is 100 percent because of him,” said midfielder Mike Magee, who spoke to Beckham on Thursday to congratulate him on his retirement. “Obviously, the league has taken the necessary steps to grow it steadily, but he made it make a huge jump. I could tell difference easily from before he got here till now and it’s not even close.”
As for how the league has changed? Magee admits that Beckham provided a greater importance to MLS.
“I played in MLS before he got there and it was always a struggle,” Magee added. “The league kind of lacked importance at times with fans and from when he got here, it completely changed around. People started caring and people started showing up at the games, our contracts got a little bigger, it was a lot to do with him.”
Even LA captain Robbie Keane admits that without Beckham’s convincing, he might not be playing for the Galaxy.
“He was the one that kind of brought me here, well, between himself, Tim Leiweke and, obviously, Bruce. But he was the one that kind of got the ball rolling when he went to train with Tottenham,” said Keane. “It was kind of up to him, why I am here.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has compiled this video of LA Galaxy players reacting to David Beckham's retirement.
Watch the video below...
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Landon Donovan and David Beckham's relationship had its ebbs and flows over the years, but by the time that the Englishman departed the LA Galaxy, the pair had developed a proven track record of success together including two consecutive MLS Cup trophies.
Beckham announced his retirement from soccer on Thursday, ending his illustrious career, which included two MLS Cup victories with the Galaxy. As LA prepares for Sunday’s match against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, Donovan discussed the retirement of his former teammate.
Donovan's comments are below...
(On David Beckham’s retirement….)
DONOVAN: "We’re not all that surprised, but he’s had arguably one of the best careers of any players. I think that he’s won championships in four different countries with four different teams which is pretty impressive. All the stuff that he’s meant and done for our league speaks for itself. We’re happy that he’s ready to move on to the next chapter in his life.”
(On any lasting memories of serving as a teammate of Beckham’s….)
DONOVAN: “Some of the best memories for me are just seeing him interact with his children. He’d bring his kids into training a lot and for me; I enjoyed that part a lot because it humanized him. A lot of times, celebrities are put on a pedestal and someone with his fame is seen in one way, but he’s human and a father just like many people are and it was always nice to see him with his kids."
David Beckham retired on Thursday, ending one of the most distinguished careers in professional soccer.
Earlier this year, MLS complied all of his MLS goals...Which do you think is the best?
Also check out this video that the Galaxy produced last year.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena coached David Beckham from August of 2008 to the end of the 2012 seasons and developed plenty of wonderful memories as the pair helped lead the Galaxy back to prominence.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Arena discusses Beckham's retirement, his role in the growth of the Galaxy and MLS as well as his potential future as an owner in the league.
Arena's comments are below...
(On David Beckham’s retirement…)
ARENA: “I really don’t think that it’s a sad day; I think that it is a great day because we will now be able to celebrate such a fabulous career. David is such a great player, a great personality, a great friend, a great family man. We in the United States, in Major League Soccer and specifically the LA Galaxy were honored to have David here for seven years. He’s a person that we can’t replace on the field or off, he really has meant a lot to the professional game in the United States as he has for the game in so many countries. He had such a fabulous presence and we are so thrilled that he can finally have his day in the sun and we can all celebrate a terrific career.”
(On Beckham’s integration to MLS in 2007….)
ARENA: “Just to let you know, I didn’t work for the Galaxy until 2008, David had already been with the Galaxy for about a year and a half. At the time, obviously, everyone said what a great person that he was, a good teammate, however, very frustrated because the LA Galaxy experienced very little success on the field. David is such a great competitor and he was questioning his move to the United States and we were fortunately able to turn it around, and all I’ll say is that it is a tribute to David’s presence on and off the field. My four years working with him is one of the great honors of my life. I found him to be a player with incredible skills on the field as we all know, one of the greatest passers that the game has ever seen. Just a great personality and incredible competitor, who did wonderful things for our club and our game.”
(On Beckham’s influence on soccer in the U.S)
ARENA: “In our market, he brought a lot of attention to our club, but as we traveled across the United States and the world, there was always sold out stadiums. We all know that he’s a global icon and a real terrific ambassador for the game. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.”
(On whether Arena can see David Beckham becoming an owner in MLS…)
ARENA: “I certainly can. Our league would be foolish not to have David Beckham back in it. I know that he’s going to be back in Los Angeles this summer, I look forward to seeing him and his family again and I look forward to him playing a permanent role in the growth of Major League Soccer. Hopefully that’s going to happen.”
David Beckham ended his illustrious career on Thursday as he announced his retirement from soccer.
The former LA Galaxy midfielder was the world's most iconic soccer player throughout his career which included successful stops at some of the world's biggest clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, and Paris St. Germain.
I'm thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level. If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over one hundred times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy. I'm fortunate to have realised those dreams.
To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country. I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country. I'm honoured to represent England both on and off the pitch.
I wouldn't have achieved what I have done today without my family. I'm grateful for my parents' sacrifice, which made me realise my dreams. I owe everything to Victoria and the kids, who have given me the inspiration and support to play at the highest level for such a long period. I also want to thank Simon Fuller and his team for their continued support.
I want to thank all my team-mates, the great managers that I had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to thank the fans who have all supported me and given me the strength to succeed.
Nothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like I'm starting a new adventure and I'm genuinely excited about what lies ahead. I'm fortunate to have been given many opportunities throughout my career and now I feel it's my time to give back.
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