CARSON, Calif. – A number of reasons were bandied about during the LA Galaxy’s slow start to the 2012 season. But following the club’s 3-1 victory over Chivas USA, head coach Bruce Arena was candid in the role that offseason loan deals played in LA’s struggles at the beginning of the season.
This season, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane each headed off to Europe to ply their trade with Everton, Nuremberg and Aston Villa respectfully. The loan deals caused all three players to miss large stretches of the preseason and in Gonzalez’s case, suffer a torn ACL injury from which he is still recovering.
With his team unbeaten in four matches and seemingly finding their form, Arena openly admitted that the lack of a full preseason hurt the Galaxy.
“We made a big mistake in having players loaned out right until the start of the season,” said Arena. “Although they played together at the end of last year, they still needed time together and we started with a group of players that hadn’t had a pre-season together, which was a major mistake; I accept the responsibility for that. Now we’re building into the second half of the season, they’re much more familiar with each other and they’re playing better.”