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With the rumors of Bruce Arena joining the Los Angeles Galaxy growing by the day, the sight of Arena in the Galaxy box at Home Depot Center for Thursday night’s match between the Galaxy and Chivas USA gave the talk even more life, but not nearly as much as comments made by AEG president Tim Leiweke about Arena during the ESPN broadcast of the match.
Leiweke met with Arena on Thursday, clarifying that the meeting was not an interview, but a meeting of friends to discuss how to fix the problems LA is dealing with. If Leiweke’s comments about Arena are any indication, it sounds as if the Galaxy coaching job is Arena’s to accept or turn down.
"No bones about it, if I could convince Bruce to join AEG and join the Galaxy, he’d be the ideal guy to come in here," Leiweke said. "There’s not a better candidate. There’s not a better potential coach. He knows more about the game. I have more respect, Mr. Anschutz has great respect for Bruce, so we’d be honored to have him.
"Whether or not that happens, time will tell."
As for whether Arena is a contender to replace Ruud Gullit as head coach:
"You don’t look at a guy like Bruce as a contender," Leiweke said. "We’d be honored and privileged if Bruce was part of the organization, but the conversation tonight was really geared toward his input toward and his feelings towards what we’ve done right and what we’ve done wrong with this franchise."
Based on Leiweke’s remarks, the right thing for the Galaxy to do would be to offer Arena the head coaching job:
"In my opinion, you have to look at Bruce and believe that this is the best coach that this league has ever had," Leiweke said. "I don’t think he’s lost anything so it would be fantastic for this franchise if we could convince Bruce to join us here, but as I said, we have a ways to go before we’re going to know whether or not that’s the direction we or he are going in."
Leiweke stated that the process to hire a coach should be wrapped up soon.
"This won’t take long," Leiweke said of the search for a new Galaxy coach. "We owe the team and the fans a quick conclusion to this process."
What do you think of Leiweke’s comments? Is it fair to say the Galaxy will all but beg Bruce Arena to take the Galaxy head coaching position? Is Arena ready to come back to the MLS coaching ranks? Do you think Arena can lead LA to the playoffs? Would hiring Arena be a mistake?
Share your thoughts below.