CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy will be without head coach Bruce Arena for Sunday’s SuperClasico against Chivas USA after the LA boss was suspended by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, but don’t expect that to damage the team’s preparations.
The suspension came down on Friday afternoon after the Disciplinary Committee ruled that the Galaxy head coach had exited the technical area during stoppage time of LA’s 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers last week after Robbie Keane’s equalizer was called back for offside.
Following training on Friday, Arena declined comment on the suspension, choosing to discuss the suspension at a much later date.
“I’m going to save that for my book,” Arena said when for his thoughts on the suspension. ”Really, the best thing is to say no comment at this point. You should look at it yourselves and make your own decisions. There will be a time and place for me to discuss [the suspension] with the right people. My view is that these [suspensions] are never personal. They shouldn't be. It's just a matter of talking it out. Listen, to the letter of the law, who can argue? But we'll leave it at that. ... The story of this game is going to be Galaxy against Chivas, that's where my focus is."
With Arena suspended, the Galaxy will turn to associate head coach Dave Sarachan to lead the squad for the second time in his tenure with the club. The last time that Sarachan, a former head coach with the Chicago Fire, filled in for Arena was back on Aug. 14, 2010, when the Galaxy head coach was stricken with a stomach illness ahead of their eventual 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls.
Even though a different man will be in charge come Sunday afternoon, Sarachan insists that no aspects of LA’s game plan will change as a result of the suspension.
“The work has been done this week. We make a too big a deal out of this stuff sometimes with who is on the sidelines,” said Sarachan. “We’ve had a great week of training and now it’s up to the guys because they’re well prepared. We’ve assessed what we have to do against Chivas and now we’ll preform on Sunday.”
Sarachan’s sentiment is echoed by the Galaxy players that will be tasked with earning three vital points in the all-important SuperClasico.
“Ideally, we’d like to have our leader on the sideline and in a perfect world, he’s there, but people have reasons for making those decisions, but that’s the way it goes and we have to deal with it,” said forward Landon Donovan. “It’s part of the game. We deal with losing players all the time, we deal sometimes with different things, but this team knows how to deal with [adversity]. We’ll be fine.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com