CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's season has come down to one match, win -- by at least two goals or one goal then advancing in penalties -- and their defense of their MLS Cup title will continue, but lose or draw at Buck Shaw Stadium and their season will come to an end.
However, to keep their season alive, the Galaxy must do something that no team has done this season and earn a victory at Buck Shaw Stadium. The San Jose Earthquakes are currently undefeated at Buck Shaw this season going 9-0-6 at their home field. But that isn't the only statistic that works against the Galaxy's favor as LA is winless against San Jose this season with a 0-3-1 record -- the lone draw coming on Oct. 21. at Buck Shaw -- also, just two of the last ten teams that fell in a Conference Semifinal First Leg at home went onto advance to the next round. The last team to come back from that deficit was, in fact, the Earthquakes in 2010, who dropped their home opener to the New York Red Bulls 1-0 before defeating New York 3-1 at Red Bull Arena in the second leg.
And just what do all these numbers mean ahead of Wednesday's Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg? According to Mike Magee, absolutely nothing.
"When you look at the big picture, you realize that it's just one game and we have to win and if we win the game then our season is not over. If you told us that ten games into the season, I think we would have taken it, which is all that really matters," said Magee. "We've played well [at Buck Shaw], we haven't gotten the results that we wanted to, but we've played well there and like I said, all we got to do is win the game, which is something that we're more than capable of doing."
CARSON, Calif. -- On Wednesday, David Beckham will make his first trip to Buck Shaw Stadium and the English midfielder could not have picked a more important match to play in.
After the LA Galaxy fell 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference First Leg, the Galaxy are facing a must-win on Wednesday in the second leg at Buck Shaw.
In 78 minutes of action on Sunday, Beckham shown an ability to create on the left flank against the Earthquakes, but his crosses were unable to find many dangerous areas due to the stingy Earthquakes defense. The fact that the hyper-competitive Beckham was removed after at all, led to surprise for some, but Beckham admitted after the game that his substitution was merely to keep him fresh for Wednesday's decisive second leg. But despite the efforts of Beckham and the Galaxy, a Victor Bernárdez free kick goal in stoppage time gave San Jose the victory heading into the final leg at Buck Shaw.
"It’s always disappointing, especially when you have that much possession, we had quite a few good chances and crosses, especially in the second half, we kind of pushed onto them and were kind of creating chance after chance," said Beckham on Sunday. "If you don’t put one of those away, it can always kill you at the end. I think that them getting their goal was disappointing, but we can take the positives from the chances that we created and the possession that we had."
Beckham admits that LA's frame of mind remains unchanged heading into Wednesday's all-important second leg.
"Our mindset doesn't change going into the game, whether it was nil-nil or, obviously, the result that we got," said Beckham. "We still feel that we'd always have to go to San Jose to win the game. I think that they kind of sat back and in the end, they were going for the draw and accepting that. But obviously, you get a free kick like that then there’s a chance that you're going to score Unfortunately they did, but I think that overall our defending was great throughout the whole game. It’s just tough to concede that late in the game. They've come here and beat us, there’s no reason why we can't go there and beat them. It’s going to be tough."
And what does Beckham think about his first trip to Buck Shaw?
“We'll see,” Beckham said while flashing a smile. “I'll tell you on Wednesday.”
League addresses supporter protocol ahead of Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg at Buck Shaw Stadium
Ahead of what promises to be a heated Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday at Buck Shaw Stadium, the league has issued a statement to LA Galaxy Insider regarding the fan incidents that took place during the last time two clubs met at Buck Shaw on Oct. 21.
The league's comment from Executive Vice President Nelson Rodriguez is below:
“The fan incident at the Oct. 21 Earthquakes-Galaxy game was confined and without injury, but also unwanted and extremely rare. The League has reviewed the facts in detail with local authorities, both clubs’ front offices and supporters group leaders. Together we have prepared an enhanced supporter protocol for the Conference Semifinals so that all fans can enjoy a safe and festive soccer match experience.”
This protocol was in action on Monday when nearly 200 San Jose Earthquakes fans traveled to The Home Depot Center without incident for Sunday's 1-0 San Jose win over the Galaxy.
Referee Kevin Stott will officiate Wednesday's Western Conference Semifinal First Leg between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Professional Referees Organization announced on Monday.
Stott has officiated five Galaxy games his season -- tied with Jair Marrufo for most of any official -- and one for San Jose. Four of the five games that Stott officiated for the Galaxy were at The Home Depot Center, but his one road game was LA's 3-2 comeback victory over Real Salt Lake on June 20.
Stott's record in matches involving the Galaxy and San Jose is below:
3/10: LA 1 RSL 3 - Fouls: 24 (14 for LA and 10 for RSL ); Cautions: 2 (both to RSL)
5/5: LA 0 NY Red Bulls 1 - Fouls: 24 (11 for LA and 13 for NY); Cautions: 4 (2 for LA and 2 for NY)
6/20: RSL 2 LA 3 - Fouls: 18 (8 for RSL and 10 for LA); Cautions: 4 (3 for RSL and 1 for LA)
8/26: LA 2 FCD 0 - Fouls: 24 (13 for LA and 11 for Dallas); Cautions: 5 (4 for LA and 1 for Dallas)
10/28: LA 1 Seattle 0 - Fouls: 22 (12 for LA and 10 FOR Seattle); Cautions: 3 (2 for LA and 1 for Seattle)
San Jose Earthquakes
7/18: SJ 2 FCD 1 - Fouls: 20 (11 for SJ and 9 for FCD); Cautions: 5 (3 for SJ and 2 for FCD); Penalties: 2 (one each; both missed)
Add another cable company to the list of providers carrying Time Warner Cable Sports Net and Time Warner Cable Deportes.
On Sunday, Time Warner Cable Sports announced in a release that they have reached a deal with Cox Communications to carry the two networks. More details on when the channels will launch on the cable provider are expected shortly. The agreement comes after two weeks after Time Warner Cable Sports reached a deal with Verizon FiOS, Charter Networks, and AT&T U-Verse to carry the two networks.
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy dominated possession and dominated the scoring chances on Sunday, but were unable to earn the win at the final whistle, falling 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference First Leg at The Home Depot Center.
After playing in Thursday’s Knockout Round match on the flank, Donovan returned to the forward spot and was instrumental in creating chances for the Galaxy. Whether it was his pass that led to Robbie Keane’s shot off the cross bar in the 85th or a pass in the 63rd that set up a Marcelo Sarvas chance that sailed wide left, Donovan was active throughout the match.
However, it would prove for not as a Victor Bernárdez free kick goal gave the Earthquakes a 1-0 victory heading into the second leg at Buck Shaw Stadium on Wednesday.
Below are Donovan’s thoughts from Sunday’s match…
DONOVAN: “Yeah, it was never a game you would think that we would lose but, it was kind of one fluke play and we were a little unlucky. We probably weren’t sharp enough in the offensive part of the field, but at worse we thought we’d go up there 0-0 and just have to get a goal. Now it looks like we’ve got to get two. But, it’s not over, we’ve played well there twice this year and there’s no reason why we can’t win there.”
(On whether Sarvas’ foul was a foul…)
DONOVAN: Yeah, I mean during the game we didn’t think it was a foul. I think if you ask Ricardo again, he’d probably say it was a mistake, and he shouldn’t have called it. But we still had a chance to get our wall together and do a better job and those kind of plays happen. Sometimes you don’t get calls for you and you’ve got to do a good job with the resulting free kicks and we didn’t.”
DONOVAN: “Josh will be fine. It took a pretty nasty deflection, and it had a lot of spin on it. None of us field players know what it’s like to have that coming at you. There was some good pace on it too, but I think Josh is going to have a really good game Wednesday and give us a chance to win.”
(On LA’s finishing…)
DONOVAN: “We didn’t have too many great chances, but obviously unlucky with Robbie’s and probably didn’t run hard enough in front of the goal with a lot of the crosses we had. We got a number of decent chances and some good attacking play, and on Wednesday we’ve got to score.”
(On the lack of rest…)
DONOVAN: “It probably plays into it to some extent. This is a long season in this country and we play a lot of games over a short period of time, over only six months so the end of the year is hard. But we put ourselves in that position by finishing fourth, so we have no excuses; we’ll get ourselves ready physically. Mentally this is already behind us, and we’re going to go forward on Wednesday.”
(On the Galaxy’s mindset for Wednesday…)
DONOVAN: “First and foremost, we can’t concede. We’ve got to be smart with our defending, but we’re in a position now we’re we’ve got nothing to lose. So we’re going to go like we have always, we’re going to go and try to win the game. There’s no reason why the guys in this room can’t go win a game in San Jose.”
(On San Jose’s chaotic play…)
DONOVAN: “That’s sort of, we know how they play. The game settled down a little bit in the second half. We were a lot better, kind of wore them out. Quite a few of their guys were cramping, so maybe that will all come into play a little bit on Wednesday. We did a really good job of moving the ball and making them defend, we just weren’t sharp enough when we had chances to score.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Thoughts from San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop and goal scorer Victor Bernández after LA was defeated 1-0 by the Earthquakes in the Western Conference Semifinal First Leg.
(On his club’s goals in stoppage time..)
YALLOP: “It just shows the spirit of the team. We have scored a lot of late goals. It was strike by Vic. Obviously Josh spills it a little bit, but I thought it was an even g. They had some good chances, obviously Robbie Keane hitting the bar and having a few things scattered across the 6-yard box that were dangerous. I thought for an away performance with a pretty banged up squad, we’re obviously very happy with the result.”
(On whether the foul that led to the free kick was legit…)
YALLOP: I’ll have to look on video. I didn’t think Landon’s was, but if he gives it, he gives it. It’s still 30 yards from goal. It wasn’t a penalty, or right on the edge, so you’ve got to give credit to Victor with a good strike on target and obviously a good goal for us. Again, we just talked in there. It’s halftime. It was an even game, they shaded on chances for sure, but we’re going home now. Hopefully we can lift ourselves and have a good performance, but again, it’s halftime and we’re just going to get rested and get ready for that game.”
(On if he would have been happy to get out 0-0…)
YALLOP: “I didn’t play for nil-nil. We didn’t play for a draw. Simon’s not trained for basically five weeks, and played a game last time against the Galaxy two weeks ago, and he’s still struggling. He’s not really ready. Ramiro has played very well, and I thought he played great today. If you play with two wingers against a team like the Galaxy, especially in this place, with a big field you can get carved up and taken apart. You’ve got to look at the quality on their team, for us to come away with a win is amazing. They have some very, very good players that played well tonight but didn’t quite get the chances to go in for them.”
(On how difficult the second leg will be…)
YALLOP: We’re one-up, It’s halftime, but 90 minutes of football is a long, long time. They’re one-nil down so they’re going to throw everything at us to try to get the equalizer and obviously try to go on and win. We know that. We’ve faced a lot of adversity all year, being the unfashionable, fouling, ugly team. But 72 goals ain’t bad for an ugly team. So I kind of get pissed off when I get my team is coached that it’s ugly and doesn’t play good football. For me, it’s about winning. And we’ve played plenty of good football around the box. Ask our fans, they love it.”
(On his team’s shots on goal…)
YALLOP: I’d say the whole team. Obviously they’re the last line, and Jon too, but if you look at the team defending, I thought it was excellent. I thought our work rate was great, we tired a little bit, and they came onto us, which when you go away from home, it’s just a natural thing. You tend to tire more for some reason, because you’ve traveled. But I thought they pushed on in the second half, a little bit unlucky not to score. But I think in general, to keep them off the shot chart for 60 minutes is pretty good.
(On the goal…)
Bernárdez: “I’m always looking to score when I take a free kick like that from distance, and I was fortunate to have God on my side tonight. We played a strong game and were looking forward to Wednesday night. They have a very good team, and we have to be humble when we play them and respect them, but were looking for a good game Wednesday.”
(On whether he was surprised about the goal…)
Bernárdez: “The important thing is it went in. That’s all that really matters. I lined up the free kick to try to get a goal, and that was the result we got.”
CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena’s post game game thoughts from Sunday’s 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes victory over the LA Galaxy…
(On the foul on Simon Dawkins…)
ARENA: "No foul. If that's a foul in this game, then there's a hundred fouls.”
(On his thoughts on the game…)
ARENA: "I thought our team played well tonight. Obviously, we didn't finish off plays technically in and around the penalty area. It cost us the game. We were in position to get a goal or two tonight, for sure. Failed to execute the last pass or shot."
(On the Quakes setting a pace early that LA didn’t like…)
ARENA: "Strongly disagree with that statement. A little bit of a fresher team came at us hard. You saw what they looked like in the second half. They were the ones falling on the ground, taking players out with cramps and all. Maybe the pace wasn't to their liking."
(On any changes going forward…)
ARENA:"We obviously have to see how players come through this game. Obviously it's been a demanding week and make adjustments accordingly. That'll be right up until game time on Wednesday."
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders enjoyed yet another strong game on Sunday making a pair of saves against the San Jose Earthquakes, but an unlucky bounce proved decisive in Sunday's Western Conference Semifinal first leg.
The play began with a questionable foul on Simon Dawkins by midfielder Marcelo Sarvas in the second minute of stoppage time, setting up a free kick chance from more than 30 yards for Victor Bernárdez. The Honduran defender fired his shot under the wall, trickling off Omar Gonzalez and rolling under Saunders, who made the initial stop, only to see the ball squeeze underneath him to give San Jose a 1-0 victory at The Home Depot Center.Below are Saunders thoughts on the match and the goal.
Below Saunders discusses the play and Wednesday's second leg at Buck Shaw Stadium...
(On what he saw on the shot…)
SAUNDERS: “Basically, you’re trying to see through the wall. The ball goes through the wall, deflects, takes a weird spin, and you’re trying to react based on what’s happening in front of you. My play was not acceptable. I'll take the blame for covering the goal, and unfortunately that’s what happened.”
(On whether he did not see the shot…)
SAUNDERS: “It’s not a surprise. You know he’s going to hit it with pace. I mean he hits the ball very well -- he did it earlier in the game. And yeah, it’s just one of those things. It deflects, goes through the all and you’re just trying to react based on what you see.”
(On the result being tough to handle…)
SAUNDERS: “It’s tough, but we have another game, and you’ve got to bounce back from it. It shows true character if you can come back and win this game, especially for myself, to put a good performance on the field.”
(On San Jose’s comebacks…)
SAUNDERS: “They have a will to win and we have to turn around and do that ourselves.”
(On LA having confidence that they can get a result at Buck Shaw…)
SAUNDERS: “Absolutely. We have all the confidence in the world as a team.”
(On whether he stopped the ball and then landed on it…)
SAUNDERS: Yeah, it just kind of caught ... like I said, took a weird spin, got caught underneath me, and it was behind me before I knew it.
(On whether Saunders saw the foul…)
SAUNDERS: “No I didn’t. Ref blew the whistle and you got to take what he sees as a part of the game. And he blew the foul.”
CARSON, Calif. -- A couple of notes from the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes
*Victor Bernardez scored in the third minute of stoppage time from a free kick won by Simon Dawkins.
*The LA Galaxy did not have a shot on goal until a 66th minute effort by Sean Franklin. The second came less than ten minutes later when a Robbie Keane shot was saved by Busch.
*The last four goals that LA have conceded to San Jose have come off set pieces - dating back to Chris Wondolowski's goal off a Marvin Chavez corner kick in the 61st minute of play in San Jose's 4-3 win over LA at Stanford Stadium in June.
*During the match, Time Warner Cable Sports announced that have reached a deal with Cox Cable to air their two sports networks. More on this soon.
*San Jose Earthquakes have nine stoppage time goals this season -- six of which are game winners.
The return leg is at Buck Shaw Stadium at 8 pm PT on ESPN2.