HEREDIA, COSTA RICA – Prior to the LA Galaxy’s training session in Heredia, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena caught up with traveling reporters to discuss the match.
Arena’s complete conversation with reporters is below..
(On his thoughts on Herediano…)
ARENA: When you see teams from other countries, it’s hard to actually compare them. It’s not like comparing apples to apples, like where we have a better understanding in MLS in making a comparison. It’s a unique to what we are accustom to, in MLS, but certainly, that latin flavor. They have a bunch of good players on the ball, quick, but we’ll see what they look like next to us and vice versa."
(On Marcelo Sarvas’ comment that the game will come down to how the Galaxy manage facing a Costa Rican style of play…)
ARENA: “I think that you can have the same argument in Mexico. Small countries have a style. It’s a little different. Is Costa Rica as big as California? Probably not. When you say that, look at Holland and England, ountries that are small and have one climate and one time zone, it’s a lot easier to have a style of play. That’s certainly what Costa Rica has. I’d say that it’s similar to Mexican soccer. They have a way of playing and it’s their style which is very unique to our country where we have all other kinds of issues that prevent that from happening.”
(On Herediano’s current level of play after their coaching change…)
ARENA: “Results indicate that they’re an improved team because of that.”
(On whether he relishes managing in tough environments…)
ARENA: “I don’t know if relish is the right word, but this is something that we think is part of the job and this is something that we think is important for our club. We’re developing as a club and we think that we should be able to compete successfully in international competitions. That’s what this is and it’s a challenge for our entire organization. How we get here, how we play, all that stuff is important. It’s an organizational challenge not only players and coaches. Then we return next week [to The Home Depot Center] and try to create an atmosphere for our team to be successful .”
(On whether getting knocked out at the quarterfinal stage in the 2011-2012 edition of the tournament motivates the club…)
ARENA: “I don’t think last year matters at this point because actually after that we entered into a new competition, which allowed us to be here. So that’s all forgotten. We did a good job as a team to get through the new competition and be here today and certainly we realize that it is challenging and important.”
(On any specific challenges with Herediano…)
ARENA: “It’s going to be a very competitive match. It’s going to be a fairly challenging environment with the fans, the surface and the officiating. We have to be ready mentally ready for that. If we can put all those distractions to the side and be able to focus and play for 90 minutes, we have a chance to win the game. Experience allows you to do that and we have enough players that have participated in these competitions where we think that we can be successful.”
(On whether he will use the first choice team or the second team…)
ARENA: “Again, circumstances are different. Right now we don’t have a game this weekend. We can play whomever we want and we don’t have to be concerned about that. For this game, we’re certainly going to put a team on the field that can win these games. No question about it, with what we think is our first team.”