MIAMI - Former LA Galaxy Under-16 head coach Kenny Arena has enjoyed a week with his father and mother, but once Bruce Arena's LA Galaxy team sets off for Dallas, it'll be all business for the 32-year-old head coach of the Florida International University Golden Panthers.
FIU and Arena will look to build on last year's 8-8-2 record and eighth place finish in Conference USA when they open up their season on Aug. 30 in Southern California against Loyola Marymount. Arena's team will be lead in part by midfielder Roberto Alterio, who trained with the Galaxy during their three sessions on campus this week.
As he looks to return the Golden Panthers back to the prominence that they enjoyed two decades ago, Arena is optimistic that they'll have success in 2013.
"We’ll have significant improvement, but the game is not played on paper. We still have a lot of work to do. There’s still over half the team that I haven’t been able to work with," said Arena. "College soccer is a bit funky because we only have two weeks of preseason, I haven’t worked with half the team, and we’ve got two weeks of preseason before our first game. I know that I’ve got to be patient and bring the group along in the right way and that’s always going to be the case in college. You’re going to have a lot of turnover every year and I’ll just have to handle that."