LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena talks Portland Timbers, turf fields, and more

CARSON, Calif. – Following the LA Galaxy’s final training session at StubHub Center before departing for Saturday’s match against the Portland Timbers, LA head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the team’s opponents and a host of other topics.

Arena touches on Portland’s turf field, the continued improvement of Robbie Rogers, and a number of other issues.

His quotes are below…

(On facing the Portland Timbers…)

ARENA: “Good team. They've had a good year to date.”

(On what the Timbers do best…)

ARENA: “They've got the best goalkeeper in the league. [Donovan Ricketts] makes big saves and keeps them in games. He’s probably responsible for half their wins this year. They don’t win many games. They've got seven wins and nine ties. I think that Ricketts is responsible for half of those results.”

(On Portland missing several key players this week…)

ARENA: “Does anybody playing a violin when we're missing players? Who cares? You have to get out there & play."

(On how hard it is to play on JELD-WEN’s Turf Field…)

ARENA: “This is the best one available. The other ones in the league are really atrocious and they shouldn't be allowed. This is a good field. The fields in Seattle, Vancouver, and New England are not good fields, this is a good field…It is the best. It’s a good field. Technically, I don’t know where that field comes from, but it has been the best one. It’s a good field. They've made it a little bit bigger as well, so no excuses there.”

(On how LA’s winning streak has helped the team’s morale…)

ARENA: “We'll see as we train tomorrow and continue to go.”

(On the play of Robbie Rogers…) 

ARENA: “It’s been improving. It’s been a little slow, but over the last couple of weeks, we've seen him make some good progress. We're hopeful that it continues.”

(On the hoopla when he joined and whether it was a factor…)

ARENA: “It’s never been an issue with us. That’s why he’s here. The issue is whether he can help us on the field.”

(On what Rogers still needs to do to improve…)

ARENA: “Just get fitter, get his touch better, and everything. He’s now in position where he’s coming out of preseason so he has to catch up to the rest of the group. We've seen that even with a player like [Landon Donovan], it took Landon a long period of time to get up to speed with the rest of the team, and that’s been the case for Robbie as well.”

(On whether Rogers is at 75 percent…)

ARENA: “I never know how you do that with the numbers and all. Like scales of whatever, I never quite get it. I think that he’s a little bit away from where he needs to be, but he’s getting closer.”