Bruce Almighty will be in it for the long haul, it looks like. Bruce Arena, manager of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 2008, signed to a new contract, according to MLSSoccer.com. Specific terms of the new deal were not disclosed, as per league and club policy.
“We are very pleased to sign Bruce Arena to a multi-year contract extension,” said Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of Galaxy owners AEG, in a club statement. “Bruce is one of the finest coaches in the history of soccer in the United States. His commitment to the LA Galaxy, the club’s winning tradition and continued excellence on and off the field is unrivaled. We look forward to the team’s continued success under Bruce’s management.”
Arena has a 82-46-44 record at Los Angeles, which includes a first-place finish in the MLS Western Conference in three of the past five seasons, Supporters Shields in 2010 and 2011 and MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. Overall, Arena has a coaching career record of 159-97-54 and a postseason record of 27-9-4, including a 9-4-2 record with LA.
“I’m honored to remain in this role with the preeminent soccer club in the United States,” Arena said in a statement. “I appreciate the continued support and confidence from Mr. [Phil] Anschutz, Mr. Beckerman, Chris Klein and my staff and players as we head into the 2014 season.”
At age 19, forward Jack McBean is in the prime of his career. Injuries have slowed down his progress, but with a number of championships under his belt, now is the time for McBean to show what he can do. And if the first team isn’t in his future, LA Galaxy II is right around the corner.
“I think it’s awesome,” McBean told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “I’m excited to see what my role on that team is going to be. Obviously they’re going to have a full season, which is cool, and play against good competition. That’s what we need, play in games and score goals.
“I came into preseason I thought pretty fit; I’m doing all right. I’m comfortable with the guys and I have confidence in myself. I just want to be better than last year, get more first-team minutes, score more goals and help the team.”
One of the new faces, Brazilian forward Samuel, is focused on scoring, and scoring often with the G’s. As a member of Fluminense, he scores 15 goals in 72 appearances.
“I feel like I played very well [with Fluminense] and that caught the eye of the Galaxy coaching staff. I’m really happy to be here with a great team like this,” Samuel told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I hope that I can do my best and hopefully, give the Galaxy many championships. Fluminense is in the past now, the Galaxy are my present and my future so I want to do the most that I can for them.
“[The playing style] is a little different. In MLS, it’s faster with a lot of quick touches before going forward while in Brazil, it’s definitely a slower game.
“All of the players have been showing me and helping me around. Little by little, I hope to learn the language so that I can speak to more than just the Brazilians. I’m at home here.”
Finally, in a preseason scrimmage behind closed doors, the Galaxy drew 2-2 with Chivas USA. Juninho scored in the 20th minute and Rob Friend opened the scoring five minutes in.
“It was just another day of practice in all honesty. It was about getting guys in a full field situation,” Arena told Serrano. “The group we played in the first half did a good job of pressuring and creating some chances while the group in the second half was definitely outplayed and it was a sloppy performance.”
LA Galaxy Starting XI First Half: Penedo; Hall, DeLaGarza, Opare, Cochrane; Ishizaki, Husidic, Juninho, Zardes; Friend, Samuel
LA Galaxy Starting XI Second Half: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Jamieson IV, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean
LA Galaxy XI at the Final Whistle: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Mendiola, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean