PASADENA, Calif. – Bruce Arena didn't have to look far to find a few positives from the LA Galaxy's 7-0 debacle in Wednesday night's Rose Bowl friendly against Manchester United, even as his players called the result embarrassing.
"I think [it's] a real lesson for a lot of players," Arena said after suffering the worst defeat during his tenure in LA. "You talk a lot [during training and team meetings] about some of the things that happened tonight, but they rarely see it, and tonight, being on the field and getting punished for mistakes and really getting a lesson on speed of play. It was all out there for them.
"I think we can actually use this as a positive. Obviously, there's a lot I wasn't pleased with, but I think it's a good lesson."
Manchester United punished the Galaxy, turning mistakes into a 3-0 lead by halftime, then pouring it on at the end against a makeshift LA lineup featuring a couple of starters, a few reserves and some players from LA Galaxy II, the club's USL PRO-based reserve side.
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The Red Devils were dominant, but 7-0 wasn't a fair summation of what occurred, the Galaxy argued.
"Of course, it's embarrassing ...," said Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, who has spent most of his career in the English Premier League. "It's embarrassing because we're the LA Galaxy, and the scoreline doesn't reflect how good of a team we are. It certainly doesn't.
"The sooner, the quicker we move on from this game, the better."
Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas was asked what the Galaxy got out of the game.
"Nothing," he said. "I think it's beautiful that we had [nearly 86,000] people here, [but] we expect to do much more. I think everyone has self-respect, and everyone is going to judge himself.
"I feel embarrassed. I can’t talk about the others, but I feel like that. Doesn't matter who you're playing, I think this is too much -- seven -- and here in Los Angeles. I think we could do much better."
Landon Donovan, who came on in the 61st minute, said he wasn't ashamed.
"I look at it practically," he said. "The first goal, we give the ball away and they score, the second goal is a hand ball [leading to a penalty kick], the third goes through Tommy [Meyer's] legs and they score, and all of a sudden it's 3-0 in what was maybe a 1-0 type of half. And then second half, we've got two outside midfielders playing outside back, we've got an outside back playing next to a young center back. Against Arizona United, you get away with that. Against Manchester United, you don't get away with that.
"That's all part of it. That's all part of the learning process, and at the end of the day, it certainly doesn't feel good to lose, 7-0, but when you look at it more critically, you understand why."