Extra chatter from former Fire head coach Dave Sarachan
If you ever have had a chance to chat with Dave Sarachan before, the man loves to talk! So there were a bunch of comments from Tuesday's conversation that I could not fit in to the above story featuring himself and Bruce Arena. Here are several leftover remarks from the former Chicago Fire head coach:
• First impression of Blanco: "When I was coaching the Fire and it was the off-season, we were asked to put together a short list of DP-type players. So you had Zidane, and Henrik Larsson ... on that particular initial list, with me (Cuauhtemoc) Blanco was down. And unfairly so, only because I was coming from the national team. We never liked Mexico. Blanco was a controversial guy. But now that you fast forward a little bit, his name is more toward the top of the list for a lot of reasons - public relations reasons, would he draw fans, would he still help you on the field. And so I wasn't sure about it, if it would be a train wreck, until I met with him. ... Myself, and (John) Guppy and Denis (Hamlett), we went to Mexico to have dinner with him. At that point, I spent about an hour with him. I left there thinking it's going to be OK. He's a winner. If you can take away the bunny hop and all that stuff, you could tell that this guy was competitive. He reminded me of Marco Etcheverry as far as that kind of mentality. I think he's turned out to be very good."
• Revamping the Galaxy: "You've got Landon, David, the locker room, the record, the franchise, and a lot of things that we had to sit back and piece together and just assess where it is and where we wanted to go. And I think when you fast forward to where we are right now, we feel comfortable that there's progress. If you go through the check marks, we think we've gotten stronger in the locker room, stronger with senior leadership, stronger with personnel. By no means do we feel we're at an end point. But we think there's progress going forward. The external stuff, when we first came in, was pretty crazy."
• First moments within David Beckham-mania: "Every time I got off the bus and I heard, 'David!' I thought they were talking about me."
• More Beckham moments: "When we went on our tour at the end of the season in New Zealand, they had a day where all the school kids didn't have to go to school and watched us train. So there were probably 7,000 or 8,000 kids there. It was like traveling with the Beatles. It was less about the game of soccer and more about an icon. These kids were screaming like it was Paul (McCartney), like it was the Beatles. I said to David, 'Are there days where you want to stay in bed?'"
• Experience working with U.S. Soccer Development Academy: "It was different. It was very different from what I was used to with the more recent stuff, being the head coach of a team. That is also a great addition of U.S. Soccer. And that was Year 1. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the youth component. It was something a little bit different for me. But the potential I see in the academy structure is quite good. So the time between the Fire and L.A., it was a good period of time. I enjoyed it."