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.
What are your thoughts on Beckham's retirement?
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CHESTER, Pa. – Robbie Keane made his presence felt on Wednesday after missing the LA Galaxy’s last three matches with an ankle injury. Keane tallied a goal and an assist as he helped power LA to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union.
There was no doubt that Keane’s presence settled the Galaxy attack as his veteran leadership and attacking quality spurred LA on to three unanswered goals in the second half of Wednesday’s match.
“It’s nice to be back and get a good win so I’m delighted,” said Keane. “It was a good performance by everyone. We said that it was important that we bounced back after a couple of disappointing results. First half we played okay, probably could have been better, but in the second half, that’s how we know that we can play and we should be playing [with the] counter attack and causing havoc for their defenders.”
Keane was bullish that if LA can maintain that aggressive counter attacking style of play then the Galaxy can compete with any team. And with a match at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls, Keane is eager for a repeat performance.
“When we play against teams the way that we play then we can cause problems for anybody,” said Keane. “It’s always good when you go away from home and get a good result with a convincing performance like we did. It breathes confidence into the guys.”
CHESTER, Pa. –The LA Galaxy learned on Wednesday that they’ll travel to North Carolina for a second straight year as they open their U.S. Open Cup campaign in the third round of the tournament. The fact that the Galaxy must travel across the country midweek did not sit well with LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena
Arena addressed LA’s Open Cup draw, which will see the Galaxy face either the PDL’s Carolina Dynamo or NASL side Carolina Railhawks on May 29, following the Galaxy’s 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union.
“Ridiculous. What more can I say? You have the premier club in the country and we’re being shuffled off like that again. They’re basically saying, they’re telling us that the Open Cup is not important when they do things like that. It’s really ridiculous, but it's life. What are going to do?,” Arena said. “They’ve got to figure out how to get it regionalized. Trips across the country midweek after a Sunday night game don’t work. It doesn’t make any sense. It really doesn’t in my opinion and I know that someone has to do it, but it is odd that we’re doing it every year. It’s stupid. If they want the U.S. Open Cup to mean more, the premier clubs in the country can’t be shuffled around like that like we’re an amateur team, but that’s life.”
The Open Cup match will be sandwiched between LA’s match against Seattle Sounders FC on May 26 at The Home Depot Center and their June 2 game against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
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CHESTER, Pa. – Landon Donovan earned one goal and two assists in his 200th regular season game with the LA Galaxy.
Only three other players have attained this mark as Donovan joins Cobi Jones (306 games), Kevin Hartman (243 games) and Mauricio Cienfuegos (206 games) as having played at least 200 games for LA. The LA Galaxy forward is already the club's all-time leading goal scorer in the regular season with 83 goals.
Donovan will certainly bypass Cienfuegos later this year, but will likely need another year in a Galaxy uniform to catch Hartman for second place.
CHESTER, Pa. – Bruce Arena’s postgame comments following the LA Galaxy’s 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.
The victory snapped LA’s two game losing skid and gave LA their second victory on the road this season. LA ends their three game road trip on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.
Arena’s comments are below…
(On the game…)
ARENA: “We were a little better tonight, not great. We were unbelievably sloppy in the first half and some sloppy times in the second half, obviously some good goals. We had a little bit better performance, some better concentration in the second 45 minutes and we will take the three points but we certainly realize we have to get this team better.”
(On Landon getting back into form…)
ARENA: “My suspicion is he (Landon Donovan) is a very good player and so it’s just a matter of time where he is going to get his touch back, his confidence, and his fitness on a more consistent basis. We’d like to believe that that is going to start now. His second half was real good, he got a little tired in the first half which is natural in these second games but I thought his second half was spectacular.”
(On Donovan’s second half…)
ARENA: “His second half was really good. I thought he got a little tired in the first half which is natural in these second games and I thought his second half was spectacular.”
On having Robbie Keane back
ARENA: “Robbie (Keane) is a great player, what else can you say. He makes us look real good, he was pretty good tonight. I was surprised he got through 90 minutes, I thought we were going to have to take him out around 75 minutes, but we had to keep him on the field and he did a good job towards the end.”
(On whether the team pulled Todd Dunivant out due to fatigue as well…)
ARENA: “He was dead. His legs were shot and you can get away with one of your strikers being a little tired, but your back line has to be a little bit more solid so I thought the change was good. He did fine, it’s going to take some games to get him back as well.”
(On what this win will do to carry them into New York …)
ARENA: Hopefully good energy but we will find out Sunday. It’s good to get the win, but we have a long task ahead of us. We have to get our legs back, make sure the players recover the right way, and hopefully step on the field and give the Red Bulls a good game on Sunday.
(On the team’s depth with Charlie Rugg and Gyasi Zardes playing major minutes…)
ARENA: “Well, they haven’t played major minutes. They’ve played a little bit. The minutes on those two don’t add up two probably don’t add up a 120 minutes yet. They’re players with a lot of potential and we feel about them and we have to find the right ways to move them along so they can be productive for us.”
The LA Galaxy are heading back to North Carolina for the U.S. Open Cup.
The two-time USOC champions will travel to North Carolina face either NASL side Carolina Railhawks or PDL club Carolina Dynamo on May 29. The two teams face off at the Railhawks' home pitch of WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on May 21.
If the Railhawks defeat the Dynamo, the match will take place at WakeMed, but should the Dynamo advance, the match will take place at Macpherson Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. The Railhawks eliminated the Galaxy from the tournament last year with a 2-1 third round victory in Cary.
The U.S. Open Cup match will take place in between LA's clash against Seattle Sounders FC on May 26 at The Home Depot Center and their June 2 match against the New England Revolution.
What do you expect from
LAGalaxy.com's Paolo Ferrari caught up with Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Mike Magee, and Todd Dunivant to preview tonight's clash against the Philadelphia Union.
Watch the video below...
Vancouver Whitecaps FC center back Johnny Leverón has been suspended for one game by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for his foul on Jose Villarreal in the third minute of the LA Galaxy's 3-1 loss to the Whitecaps.
The Honduran defender was awarded a yellow card for the foul by Sorin StoicaLeverón will serve his suspension for Vancouver's match against the Portland Timbers on May 18.
The suspension was only one of the MLS Disciplinary Committee's five rulings on Wednesday, which included one game suspensions for Chivas USA's Mario De Luna, Colorado Rapids forward Edson Buddle, Real Salt Lake defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe and a reduced suspension for San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Marvin Chavez, who saw his two game suspension reduced by a game.
Watch the Leverón's foul below...
Landon Donovan spoke with Joe Tutino in the latest edition of the Galaxy All-Access Podcast.
Joe Tutino spoke to Donovan about a number of topics including his 200th game in a Galaxy uniform as well as a number of topics. But the answer that may draw the most looks is Tutino’s question to Donovan about the SI.com report that he’ll be left off the U.S. National Team squad for their June matches, which include three World Cup Qualifiers.
“Well, Jurgen and I have consistently spoken over many months now. I was not aware that was information that was already made public. Jurgen has not told me that it was definitive."
Tutino then wondered if the report could be incorrect."
"You never know...all I can do is I’ve said all along is do what I do. If I’m looking at it objectively, do I think I can help the team]? Yes, absolutely. Do I think that I’ve really earned my way back in yet? Probably not. That’s a sort of six in one, half dozen in another," Donovan added. "But I really do believe that if I get called in that I can help the team, even if I’m not playing, I can help the team. I think that my experience having been through this three times could be very beneficial, but if I’m not in then it is what it is and I’ll get my way back in.
Listen to the full podcast below…