On this day in LA Galaxy history just six years ago, Bruce Arena was hired to be the Galaxy's head coach and general manager, forever changing the club's history.
The now 62-year-old Arena was hired amid a tumultuous 2008 campaign for the manager and his current team as the Galaxy as the team limped out of the gate with a 6-8-6 record under Ruud Guillit and interim head coach Cobi Jones before the former U.S national team head coach took the reins. Immediately after taking the helm, Arena's Galaxy went 8-13-9 to finish second to last in the Western Conference, but the club reached the Superliga final before falling to Mexican side Pachuca in penalties.
By the 2009 campaign, Arena had reshaped the Galaxy by drafting Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza and acquiring goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts who all helped lead the team to the MLS Cup final where they fell in penalties to Real Salt Lake. For Arena's role in reshaping the Galaxy from laughingstock to MLS Cup contender, the LA boss was awarded the MLS Coach of the Year Award.
Since that 2009 season, the Galaxy have won two MLS Cups, two Supporters' Shields and reached the Western Conference Final each year except two with Arena at the helm. During his time with the Galaxy, Arena has gone 91-51-51 in regular season play and 13-4-2 in the postseason as well as 2-1 in MLS Cup matches.
Arena's success with the Galaxy has helped bolster the legacy of a head coach that is already widely considered the best American coach ever. Overall, Arena has a 60 percent winning percentage in 331 games coached which is the highest winning percentage among coaches with 50 or more games coached. The Galaxy boss' 72.5 percent winning percentage in the postseason is also a league record.
In terms of total regular season wins, Arena is second in MLS history with 168 victories which is behind only Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. But despite being second in regular season victories, Arena is first all-time in playoff victories which 27 which is four better than Schmid's mark.
Interesting side note, Arena is fourth in all-time career winning percentage among MLS head coaches to have ever coached in the league. Tied for first is former Galaxy assistant Ralph Perez who won his only game as a head coach when Los Angeles defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in June 1999.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) August 2, 2014
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters following the team's 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers.
Check his thoughts below.
(On the team’s performance in the win….)
ARENA: “It wasn’t similar to the other day. We fell behind a goal. It’s good for our team to be in a hard game against a good team. We prevailed, obviously. The goal at the end of the first half was big. Second half, they came at us with a little bit more energy and created a couple of chances. Obviously, the Keane goal was the difference. But I thought overall it was a good 90 minutes for our team. We were sloppy at times in the first half. We could have been a little bit cleaner. Technically, in and around the goal area, we could have create another goal or two, but overall it was a good performance. We are on a good run, and hopefully we keep getting better.”
(On success of Gyasi Zardes…)
ARENA: “He’s doing well. Big goal obviously. A lot of little things, he’s getting better. He’s running off the ball better .He’s holding the ball better. He’s passing better. Everything’s improved and I think playing next to Robbie [Keane] is important. Robbie’s doing a good job helping him move along .Landon [Donovan] had another good effort tonight. Backline performed well.”
(On Robbie Rogers playing left back…)
ARENA: “I think that coming from a deeper position is good for him. But the thing about Robbie in that position is he’s an excellent defender, which is the number one box you need to check when you are going to play as a defender. He does that exceptionally well. The other stuff like going forward is icing on the cake.”
(On coming back from behind to win…)
ARENA: “I think anytime you win a game when you are trailing is important. It shows character. The goal came against run of play. [Stefan] Ishizaki got his head onto the ball and deflected it. Then end up getting a goal. Probably their only shot of the first half. It was a little bit against run of play.”
(On the team’s performance so far this season…)
ARENA: “We are, what, second place now in the Western Conference, against teams that have a couple games in hand on us. We have the best defensive record in the league. We are probably in the top three or four in attacking categories. We are getting healthier. I give the team a B plus. [For] the coach [i give] a C-minus goes with my grade point average in college.”
In the latest edition of "What to Watch For", I break down the LA Galaxy's match with Seattle Sounders FC with Joe Tutino.
Check it out below.
It's been a busy week for Omar Gonzalez.
Fresh off an impressive showing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the LA Galaxy and U.S. Men’s National Team defender bared it all for ESPN the Magazine, killed it on Conan and is now playing the role of Cameron in Kick TV’s Mike Magee’s Day Off.
The short film, which stars a who’s who of North American soccer, including a perfect cameo by Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, spoofs the classic 80’s film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Former Galaxy forward Mike Magee stars in the Ferris Bueller role and a majority of the film was shot at StubHub Center.
Do you think Omar has a career in acting? Or should he stick to defending?
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that “it was in everyone’s best interest” that Brazilian forward Samuel returned to Brazilian Serie A club Fluminense.
The Galaxy announced on Thursday that the club had terminated the loan of the 23-year-old who scored just a single goal in 10 appearances across all competitions for the Galaxy. Samuel is likely to receive considerable minutes upon returning to the Brazilian giants with incumbent starter Fred likely angling for a move after his stint with Selecao at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“It’s a good move for him. [Fluminense] had an interest in him coming back and we thought that it was an appropriate time to do that,” said Arena on Friday after the club's training session ahead of their match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. “He was a player that got better , but our style of play and our league is different and this was a new experience so it would have taken some time. At the same time, since the loan arrangement was only for one year, it would have taken him a year to make a [full] adjustment.
“At this point, it was probably in everyone’s best interest that he returned to Fluminense,” Arena added before mentioning that he was not surprised that the forward’s transition took as long as it did. “He was a really good guy who got better and we liked him. We’re sorry that it didn’t work out as quickly as we’d want, but it is not surprising. Sometimes the transitions can be quicker, but sometimes they take a little bit longer.”
With Samuel gone, the Galaxy boss said that the club is looking to make a move as they seek to contend for a fifth MLS Cup title.
“We’re looking to make an addition to our team at some point,” said Arena. “We do anything that we can to make our team better.”
There are just two games left in the 2014 FIFA World Cup with the action culminating on Sunday with the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina.
Ahead of the World Cup final and the third place game between Brazil and The Netherlands, check out ESPN FC's video of all the 167 goals scored in the tournament. If just five goals are scored in the last two games, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will set a tournament record for most goals scored.
Just an FYI: the video may not be available abroad, but if you click this link then you should be able to see the clip.
It was 15 years ago today that the United States last became World Cup champions when the U.S. Women's team defeated China in an epic penalty kick shootout in front of more than 90,000 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.
Over the course of 120 minutes, the match was more akin to one played on a chess board which both sides having limited chances. The match then went to penalties where goalkeeper Brianna Scurry made a clutch save in the third round that put the Americans ahead, setting the table for Brandi Chastain who buried her attempt in the fifth round to send the U.S. into bedlam. The iconic image of Chastain pulling off her shirt and revealing her sports bra would become an iconic American sports image.
Being a life-long resident of the San Gabriel Valley, I remember watching the match at age 12 from a nearby Mexican restaurant when Chastain buried her penalty, you could clearly hear the roar of the Rose Bowl crowd in the distance.
Where were you when Chastain buried her historic penalty kick?
Share in the comments section below.
You'd be hard pressed to get through the next few hours before the U.S. takes on Belgium without watching any number of intense World Cup hype videos.
For those that have had enough of the booming music and inspirational speeches, Kick TV's Jimmy Conrad offers a different take as he teams up with comedian WIll Ferrell for a light-hearted look at the World Cup.
Watch it above.
— Sean Dennison (@SeanDennisonMLS) July 1, 2014
Soccer has caught the attention of America over the past month and now MLS kicks back into full swing with a slate of games this weekend.
MLSsoccer.com gets you excited for the action with this hype video.