When you have done as much as Bruce Arena has in the game, you have earned some measure of security and cushioning … and that allows you to be honest in ways that not all managers are 100 percent comfortable with.
Then again, Arena has always been honest about things, even before he had earned the right in such a way … sometimes even controversially so. Like way, way back when he infamously said Americans were “too stupid know how to fix a draw.”
Yeah, that one was uncomfortable.
His two-time defending MLS champion LA Galaxy is at RFK Stadium today for a match with Eastern Conference also ran D.C. United. It’s a great chance for the Galaxy to pick up three road points.
Ahead of the match, Arena had a sit-down with Washington Post reporter Steven Goff, who goes way back with first coach of D.C. United. So they went around the table on some broader MLS topics, like scheduling through FIFA dates and the potential for a reduced league schedule.
And they talked about artificial turf, which few in the game appreciate. But most don’t bring the big hammer the way Arena feels comfortable in doing. Here’s what he said and the fake grass at four MLS venues:
They are disasters. The only one that is somewhat acceptable is Portland. The others are all terrible. Seattle is bad. Vancouver is probably the worst. And New England isn’t good.”
It’s a good read. He’s got interesting takes on the Clint Dempsey acquisition, on MLS after 18 years and more.