2013 MLS SuperDraft: Bruce Arena on LA Galaxy draft picks

The LA Galaxy made three selections in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, and manager (isn't that easier than saying General Manager and Head Coach?) Bruce Arena is up on all three of them. He said in a conference call that the Galaxy had targeted eight or nine players, and were able to select two of them. With their spot in the draft, and knowing the positions they were looking to draft at, he was able to come up with a couple realistic targets.

"We came into today’s draft wanting to add depth to a number of positions and we feel that we were successful in doing that," Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. "Charlie Rugg is a good attacking player with good pace and size, Kofi Opare is a pure, physical center back and Greg Cochrane is a player that can play out wide in the midfield and defense. We’re very happy with all of our selections and look forward to getting these three players into preseason camp with us."

Bruce Arena called Rugg an athletic player with good speed who had all the DNA to be a center back. It's a position for the Galaxy that could see open competition this pre-season with Robbie Keane's strike partner a bit of an unknown. Last year Landon Donovan filled that role, but youngsters Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, Gyasi Zardes and now Rugg are all going to get serious consideration in February.

The additions today bring the roster to about twenty-six or twenty-seven players according to Bruce Arena, and there's still the Supplemental Draft to go.

"We're still looking to bring in one or two international players. As you get into the Supplemental Draft, if they're local players the help us with needs"

In talking with reporters immediately after the draft, Arena said that he expects in a week or so to have a decision on a potential new third DP target (link). Frank Lampard and Kaka were both mentioned as players the Galaxy have targeted, but an earlier interview at the MLS Combine had Arena say that Kaka was no longer on LA's radar. As far as Donovan is concerned, Arena plans to sit down with him this weekend to, "see how Landon is feeling physically, mentally, and then see what we want to do moving forward"

Another tidbit from the post-draft chat was that David Junior Lopes would not be returning with the team next year. His contract was written by Chivas management and called by Bruce Arena a loan deal. Moving forward he has, "in theory, four center backs. Depth is important." That would be Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, and Tommy Meyer. Kofi Opare was picked to give the Galaxy more depth at the position.

Still, there are no contracts signed yet, and according to Arena "we have time, don't have to finalize roster until March". Look for Arena to bring in some overlooked local players in the Supplemental Draft, and then for signings to be announced all the way through to the beginning of the season.

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