Only Bruce Arena could say if there was a little something more behind his frustrated comments late last minutes to long after after watching his team unravel in 10 awful minutes against a Monterrey side that was there for the taking.
The Galaxy led by a goal but conceded twice in the final 10 minutes, and now find themselves dragging a heavy weight, a 2-1 deficit they will carry into Mexico for next week’s second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series.
What Arena said:
A little bit more experience, a little bit more quality, we win this game by a couple goals. But we end up losing.
“There are clear lessons for our team: the kind of concentration you need, the experience, the tactical understanding. So what if we don’t get the second goal? You win the game 1-0. That’s so obvious, and we didn’t do the job we needed to do. If we don’t concede, we walk away with a win tonight and position ourselves better to go into Monterrey. Now going into Monterrey is obviously going to be very difficult.”
You wonder if Arena was frustrated just because. Or …
Was he frustrated because the team is still essentially missing two of its money men? The team has yet to replace David Beckham on the roster, whether that is Frank Lampard or someone else? This was always the danger as the club elected to wait until the summer transfer window (when there will surely be more movement and therefore greater options) to identify a willing third DP.
And then there’s Landon Donovan.
Donovan did come in after 63 minutes Tuesday. But he wasn’t around when the Galaxy had its first chances to go up 2-0.
Donovan admitted that Arena wasn’t exactly thrilled by his choice to go on four-month sabbatical. No sabbatical, and Donovan surely would have started and been far more a factor Tuesday.