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Evaluating Bruce Arena, One Year In

With an almost endless string of incoming and outgoing players in L.A. over the past four years, whether it be signings as big as Beckham or players such as Ante Jazic and Alecko Eskandarian merely being moved down the hall to HDC roommate Chivas, the Galaxy has hardly been what you'd call a solid "team." But that's the word that's being bandied about the locker room these days, which is seen as an accomplishment in itself as Nick Green evaluates head coach and general manager Bruce Arena's first 50 weeks on the job.

It's no secret that Arena has built the current squad by quickly shedding players who didn't fit his style, unafraid to completely overhaul the team in midseason and keep tinkering until he's got the right guys. As Green points out, "of the 11 starters Arena selected for his first game in charge of the Galaxy on Aug.21, 2008, only four remain with the club" and "of the 26 players on the current roster, only 10 remain from those available for the 2008 regular-season finale."

While "that kind of player turnover is nothing new," according to Green, the most important aspect of all the change is that "the air of desperation that accompanied many of the previous personnel moves under Arena's predecessors now is absent." With acquisitions of key players he once coached at the U.S. national team level, and some promising rookie pick-ups, Arena and the Galaxy are attempting to build toward something significant, now "in a genuine playoff race" for the first time in four years and facing the prospect of a departed Landon Donovan and Beckham in 2010, it's clear that "the future is now."

Read the whole story at Daily Breeze »

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