A couple reporters got a chance to catch up briefly with Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena on Thursday. Here are a few updates heading into Sounders FC’s road game Saturday at the StubHub Center, including injury news on Landon Donovan, who has been dealing with an ankle injury:
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(Clint Dempsey is among a number of top U.S. internationals opting for MLS. What is most significant about that to you in that trend?) “Well, I think of the players in Europe aspire to come back and complete their careers in Major League Soccer, and Clint had this great opportunity and took advantage of it. It certainly coincides with the 2014 World Cup, as well, so I think it’s a well-constructed move, not only by Clint but the league, as well. I think it’s a win-win for everyone.”
(How important is it to have star power in this league, people that catch the attention of the casual fans?) “Yeah, I think it’s great. Any time we have teams or individuals … that get attention, it’s just a positive for the league. We saw it throughout the Beckham years, and Clint coming back is great. Seattle having a very good team and a terrific fan base is great for the league, so all of this stuff is good for the league. I think it’s a very exciting time, and hopefully we can put on a good game, as well.
(What is the status of Landon Donovan?) “We’re planning on him playing. That’s our update.”
(The debut of Robbie Rogers after he had come out was a big story the last time these teams played. How has that gone since? Any encouraging or discouraging moments?) “I think the encouraging part is in been a non-issue. It’s business as usual. I think Robbie is (well-received) by his teammates, fans and everyone around us. I think that’s great for Robbie. It’s great for our sports. It’s great for our society.”