The Galaxy coach said the team's light MLS slate to kick off 2014 was a "terrible schedule" that made it "difficult to get our team moving in the right direction."Always outspoken, Bruce Arena has once again taken his ire to the MLS schedule.
The LA Galaxy coach slammed his club's early-season slate following a 3-0 win at the Seattle Sounders on Monday, saying the "terrible schedule" contributed to the team's slow start.
A combination of built-in bye weeks and CONCACAF Champions League-induced rescheduling saw the Galaxy play just five MLS matches during the first eight weeks of the season. After a 2-3-3 start, the Galaxy have gone 6-1-3 since mid-May and are now second in the Western Conference in points per game.
"The schedule at the beginning of the year helps nobody," Arena told reporters. "It was a terrible schedule and made it very awkward and difficult to get our team moving in the right direction. That's all part of it as well. We're trying to catch up now. We're only 18 games in at this point in the season and we'd like to have a few more."
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Arena previously has criticized MLS for its playoff scheduling and policy of playing through FIFA's international fixture dates.
Sparked by first-half goals from Gyasi Zardes, Landon Donovan and Stefan Ishizaki, LA's win over Seattle saw U.S. national team center back Omar Gonzalez return after an 11-game absence caused by injuries and World Cup obligations.
"We played well," Arena said. "We looked sharp and, you know, it's midyear right now. Everyone is still finding themselves. We're just beginning to get our team on the field. After a half a season of misery, having to deal with the injuries and the absences and all that, hopefully we'll get a little bit more of a solidified unit."
The emphatic win came five days after a makeshift Galaxy side fell 7-0 in a friendly against Manchester United — a result Arena isn't losing any sleep over.
"It has nothing to do with anything," Arena said. "We could've cared less whether we won or lost that game. It's an exhibition. It's good for Manchester United, it's good for the Galaxy. It's good for the fans that came to the game, and that's the most important thing. If you read anything more into exhibitions, then you probably don't know what you're watching.
"Having said that, if we play them 10 times, there's a good chance they'll beat us 10 times. So let's be fair about that."