CARSON, Calif. -- Unlike most MLS teams who took trips to exotic locales like Tucson, Orlando, Charleston or Portland this preseason, the LA Galaxy stayed close to home this year. And according to head coach Bruce Arena, they’ll be all the better for it come March 3.
Aside from a brief trip up Highway 101 to Santa Barbara, the Galaxy were stationed at The Home Depot Center for the entire preseason. Thus allowing players to sleep in their own beds rather than spend considerable time in out-of-town hotel rooms. Although the exceptional Southern California weather played a part in the Galaxy’s decision, so too did last season’s poor start.
After what Arena described as a “messy” start in 2012, the Galaxy boss believes that LA has achieved some continuity ahead of the regular season by staying close to home.
“I think that we’ve had some kind of continuity in training. Last year, with the trip to Tucson, we never got in any kind of rhythm and I think this year, we’ve established a rhythm in our training and the build up with the way that we’ve pieced our games together,” said Arena. “We could slowly build guys in with their minutes and their play and with different guys covering different positions; it’s been a lot easier this year being at home and being able to do that.”
But could preseason trips fit into Arena’s plans for future teams? Possibly.
“I just think that it’s better for us this year to do this,” said Arena. “Maybe next year, it’ll be something different. But we just felt with the overload that we had the last three or four years that we needed to be settled a little bit in preseason and that’s why we did this.”