Arena sheds light on Saunders talks and other topics after busy Re-Entry Draft

14 December 4:37 pm

Arena sheds light on Saunders talks and other topics after busy Re-Entry Draft

By Adam Serrano

In his teleconference with local reporters following Friday’s Re-Entry Draft, Bruce Arena touched on a number of topics as the Galaxy look ahead to  the 2013 season.

Friday was a busy one for the club as they acquired the rights to midfielder Colin Clark and goalkeeper William Hesmer while trading Edson Buddle to the Colorado Rapids for allocation money and a 2013 first round supplemental draft pick.  But the day began with the club trading a 2013 international roster spot and the club’s natural first round draft pick in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft to Chivas USA for the second selection in Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft, which they used to select Clark. 

With midfielders David Beckham and Christian Wilhelmsson already departed and Landon Donovan’s status still up in the air, Arena admitted that Clark’s selection is part of a plan to add depth to the club's midfield.  

“That’s an area where we've got to focus on and add some depth to a number of positions there,” said Arena. “At the same, I feel pretty good where we’re at and we’re going to move forward and try to improve everything.”

Hesmer’s selection in the second round of Stage Two could have some impact on the current status of goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who is still currently out of contract. Prior to missing the entire 2012 season after undergoing a hip procedure in April, Hesmer served as the Columbus Crew’s number one ‘keeper for five years helping the team win two Supporters’ Shields (2008-2009) and one MLS Cup (2008).

However, the Galaxy remain in conversations with Saunders to, potentially, bring him back for 2013.  

“We’re communicating,” Arena said. “And we haven’t resolved anything contractually.”

Two of the four Galaxy players available for selection in Stage Two were selected as Chad Barrett was chosen with the fourth overall pick to the New England Revolution while defender Bryan Jordan was selected in the third round by the San Jose Earthquakes.  Meanwhile, Pat Noonan and Andrew Boyens were not selected, but Arena has not closed the door on either of those two returning next season.

“I’m sure that we’ll have some dialogue,” said Arena. “No decisions have been made at this time.”

Nearly an hour after the draft’s completion, the Galaxy dealt away Buddle for allocation money and a supplemental selection  in a move that was described by Arena as primarily due to salary cap concerns. Although the amount of allocation money that LA received is not public information, Arena shed some light on the club’s current salary cap situation.

“Certainly, we don’t divulge publicly where we stand with the salary cap,” said Arena. “But there’s not a team in the league that would tell you that they could use more [allocation money] given the circumstances but having said that, we’re in pretty good shape.”

Apart from Friday's madness surrounding the Re-Entry Draft, Arena told reporters that the club is “close” to reaching an agreement with goalkeeper Brian Perk, who reportedly agreed to terms with the club and opted out of the Re-Entry Draft Process earlier in the week. The same cannot be said about midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, who also opted out of the process, but according to Arena, nothing has been resolved at the moment.

The Galaxy head coach and general manager also reiterated that the club remain in contact with Homegrown target and CSU-Bakersfield forward Gyasi Zardes about a potential Homegrown contract. 

“There’s continued discussions with the people that represent him," said Arena. "We’re working to see if that’s something that can come to closure.”