LA Galaxy’s Ashley Cole on MLS, Bruce Arena and LA beaches

Ashley Cole - LA Galaxy - Close Up - 6/30/16 recently caught up with LA Galaxy and former England international left back Ashley Cole at the midway point of his first season in MLS: Which opposing MLS team has impressed you the most so far?

Cole: I think Kansas City away was difficult. The way their formation was set up. Both fullbacks were attacking, so it was kind of difficult. We didn’t speak early enough to kind of find our man. Portland, of course, is always difficult. We drew at home with them 1-1.

Other than LA, what are some of your favorite MLS cities to go to and MLS stadiums to play in?

I think my favorite stadium so far was Portland. In Portland, the atmosphere was great. The same with Kansas City. A great atmosphere and the stadiums were full, so I say Portland and Kansas City. 

What would you say is the toughest adjustment about moving to the USA?

I think it’s just the traveling. I never traveled as much. I think the closest away game of course is San Jose — an hour. But the rest is two hours, two and a half hours. So I’d say the traveling is the most difficult part. 

Where do you feel the Galaxy would rank in the English Premier League?

I think it’s difficult to say. I think the way we play and the players we have, I’m not saying we’d be at the top, but I don’t think we would do as bad as probably people think. I think we have good experienced players here with good young players, so we have a good mix. I think we’d fare alright. 

Can you compare Bruce Arena to other managers you’ve had? What’s different about him?

I can say from what I’ve seen and of course my experience with him, he’s a relaxed gaffer. Of course when you’re on the pitch, you have to work hard, but like I said, with me, he understands me. I’m not 21 no more, so he gives me a little break sometimes. Like I said, with my body I can’t play every game so, [Arena is] very understanding.

Bruce Arena is known for his one-liners, do You have a favorite Bruce Arena line?

Not that I can say on tape! But like you said, he’s very funny with his one-liners and the jokes. He’s got a great humor about him and the lads like that kind of stuff. 

Are there any young players or players in the Galaxy Academy that you think we should keep an eye on?

If you look at young players in terms of [Emmanuel Boateng], if he gets good coaching and keeps wanting to work hard for himself, then I think he will be a great asset to the Galaxy and to the MLS as well. 

What is your favorite place and what are your favorite things to do in LA so far?

I like to play golf. When we have off days, I have a rest or play golf with a few of the lads or my mates that live here. It’s good to just unwind and of course enjoy the weather, but do a sport that I love as well.  

Do you have a favorite beach here in LA?

No. I’ve stayed away from the beaches if I’m honest. 

How many more years do you see yourself here with the Galaxy?

I’m not too sure. I think as long as they want me here I’ll be here. I love being here. I still have the passion and desire to still play so I think that’s probably a question for Galaxy to answer. 

Do you want to make the USA your permanent home after you’re done playing?

I’m not too sure. I think I will probably look to go back one day and try to work. I want to work with something to do with Chelsea or scouting or kind of watching the young players develop. In a few years I’ll probably go back to England and try and find a job there. 

Is anything other than the MLS Cup this season a failure for the Galaxy?

With the players we have, we should be fighting for everything. We haven’t all been fit together and not played as kind of the players that the manager brought in. We’ve not all played together at once. I think when everyone gets fit and gets back playing together, then I think for us, we should be winning everything.