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Galaxy Toughening Up For 2009

The general consensus on the L.A. Galaxy is that last season is best forgotten. But Coach Bruce Arena is still drawing lessons from the poor showing of a team he took over too late to rescue, pinpointing its brittle defense as the core of its problems.

"We got pushed around a little bit too much last season," Arena said Wednesday as the team opened its training camp in Carson. "I think forwards pushed us around. We were poor in the box on crosses. We needed some bigger guys in the back, and I think we've done that a little bit. Hopefully, we'll improve there. We have a goalkeeper coming in with some size, so maybe we'll be better in that area."

That goalkeeping size comes in the form of Jamaican national team stopper Donovan Ricketts (6-foot-4), being joined by defenders Omar Gonzalez (6-5), and, on tryout, Leo Bautista at 6-3 and Tony Sanneh at 6-2. Sanneh said that Arena "looks for competitive guys, he looks for winners, he looks for guys who aren't going to quit on him. In this league, with the special players you have on this team already, if you get a good corps of guys that are honest players and don't quit, you're in every game."

Read the whole story at L.A. Times »

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