Bruce Arena and Robbie Keane reflect on Sir Alex Ferguson's time with Manchester United

CARSON, Calif. –The news that legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was stepping down from his post after 26 years at Old Trafford shook the soccer community and it is no surprise that there were plenty of thoughts about his departure at LA Galaxy training on Thursday.

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and captain Robbie Keane each had their run-ins with the Manchester United head coach, albeit in considerably different contexts.

Arena was familiar with Ferguson having managed against him in the 2011 MLS All-Star Game while making trips to Manchester United to visit the United boss during his time at the helm of the U.S. National Team.  

“Certainly, we’d all be fortunate to coach as long as he has. Arguably the best manager of all-time with a legendary career. I actually sent him a note today, I don’t know if he’ll get it, but I congratulated him on his career, his retirement and everything that he’s done, and offered him the opportunity to visit L.A. any time that he wanted,” Arena said. “I think that he had a remarkable career and I’m kind of happy to see him go out as a winner winning the Premiership in his last year. That’s great. He certainly put the time in and he deserves a break.”

Meanwhile, Keane often dueled with Ferguson’s United sides during his lengthy career in the English Premier League.  

“What can I say that hasn’t been said? To be honest with you, he’s a true legend and I’ve had the pleasure of playing against him over the years and he always goes out of his way to say hello. He’s one of the greats, but probably the greatest manager there’s ever been in English football or in the world,” said Keane, who was quick to mention that Ferguson’s departure will hardly be the end of United’s dominance in England. “He’s going to be a big loss to the game, I’m sure in Manchester everyone will miss him. I’m sure the Premiership, it’s the same thing because they’re such respect from every coach, every player around the world. We wish him well for whatever he does after this and he’s going to be known as the greatest manager of all time.”