Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA at CHI
Los Angeles Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On walking away with a point today:
“I think we aren’t going to complain when we put ourselves down in the 88th minute and we get out of here with a goal-I’m going to take it. It was a day where obviously that if we were a little bit better, we’d get the three points today. But I think where we positioned ourselves at the end; we’d be insane to walk out of here complaining about the point.”
On pushing hard to get a goal after the Fire red card:
“When they went down a player, you know that you’re dealing with a solid block of seven or eight players for the rest of the game. And they did. They kept everything in front of them; they did what they were supposed to do. Their goalkeeper made a couple of good saves there. Obviously the penalty kick was a big play in the game. Both positive and negative for Chicago and the Galaxy. The games at this time of year are low scoring, hard fought and with all those little plays, it’s a question of who makes the play and who doesn’t. Today I think the young keeper came out ahead. He had another marvel performance against the Galaxy. I thought in Los Angeles he played well and I told him I’d be happy to not to see him for the rest of the year. Although we wish the Fire the best in their quest for the playoffs.”
On evaluating the team’s play over the past month:
“We’ve played with more intensity today, it was a better performance. Our last two to four weeks the performance wasn’t good. Our performance today was much better than it’s been. “
Los Angeles Galaxy Forward and Captain Landon Donovan
On battling back to tie the game late in the match:
“Our focus this week was on competing better. The last two weeks before this week we were very poor as far as just being competitive and today we were a lot better. We dealt with some difficult circumstances with nearly the whole team behind the ball but we did a good job creating chances. Clearly, we probably deserved more but then to go down a goal late and then get it back, I am real proud of our guys.”
On dealing with a crowded playoff bracket:
“It usually happens this time of year in MLS. Teams that get out fast have a tendency to get complacent and then everyone else is fighting for playoff spots. It’s going to keep getting tighter and tighter and that’s what happens when everyone else has the same salary to spend and it’s normal but we expect it every year. This year is no different.”
On dealing with the frustration of not scoring a goal on the penalty kick:
“Personally, it was frustrating because I am relied on to score goals, especially penalty kicks so that was frustrating. In those moments you have to be kind of Zen about it and let it go and keep going. We deserved to score a goal at some point. But it was a little frustrating not to score. But we kept going. I think most teams in this league would have lost that game, but we kept fighting and we got a point out of it.”
Los Angeles Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez
On equalizing late in the match:
“We had a tough game because they went down a man really early so we should have been winning 2-0 with the PK and the other chance but that’s not the way the game went. The whole game they went a man down and we dominated the whole game and they got one chance and put it in. It just hurts. You’re really just bummed the whole time. I think we did well to bounce back really quickly and get a goal for that.”
On dealing with a bunkered down Fire:
“They just put everyone behind the ball and did really well to shut us down and kudos to them for scoring again so I am happy that we just got the tie and getting a point here is great for us coming off a two-game losing streak so hopefully we can go home and get a win.”
Los Angeles Galaxy Midfielder Dema Kovalenko
On the game:
“I feel okay today. I think we shouldn’t be satisfied with a tie. We played 70-some minutes a man up on the road so that is good. But it’s a big point. But you know, we have to get better. I am happy to be back playing. It’s been awhile since I’ve played 90 minutes again. The more and more I play, the better and fitter I get. But a point is a point and we’ll take whatever we can get. “
On dealing with a new four-man midfield formation:
“It was okay. I know Jovan-it doesn’t matter who we put there, there is not 11 guys on the team, there are 24 guys on a team. If one guy gets suspended, you have to step in and do a good job. I think I did all right today but like I say, we shouldn’t be satisfied, we should be a lot better.
Chicago Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos
On the match:
“It was a difficult game. It got complicated early in the game when we got a red card, but the team knew how to handle the situation. We were generally solid in defense but, again, we made the same mistakes. It’s a shame because the players gave a lot on the field, and the game was tough, and this was a game they should have won which makes the result even harder.”
“Unfortunately, we are not learning from our mistakes. And if we don’t learn from our mistakes we won’t improve. We are a team that usually plays very balanced against other teams, and these types of details, these mistakes, are what cost us the game. We gave two points away which were very precious for our fight for the playoffs, and now we have to look forward to Wednesday’s game against Toronto.”
On Gonzalo Segares’ 21st minute red card…
“Honestly, I don’t know. I talked to Gonzalo [Segares] and they just told me that he [Segares] went at the other player, Leonardo. At the end, I have to double check the re-play, but as of now, I can’t say anything.”
On the breakdown on Omar Gonzalez’s stoppage time equalizer…
“It’s because there are players who don’t know how to mark in the area, and 85% of the goals scored in the world are scored in the box. We just need to get ourselves able to match up one on one in the area.”
On Nery Castillo’s play…
“Today he had a good participation on the field, but because of the red card, we had to move him to a position where he was not as comfortable. So it’s unfair to judge him in a game where outside forces force us to change the team’s shape on the field.”
On Collins John’s 88th minute goal…
“It was very good! I’m very happy with Collins for his goal. This is, surely, going to give him the confidence that he needs. He has had a hard time with his health this season but he’s working very hard to accomplish his goals with the team, which is to play with the Fire.”
On Collins’ overall performance…
“I saw Collins with a great attitude. I’m not only happy because he scored a goal, but also because he contributed to the team, and fought through the very last minute.”
C.J. Brown, Chicago Fire Defender
On playing a man down:
“On the other hand, we need to take away some positives. We were able to hang with L.A. a man down, which is a big positive for us. Then we’re making the same mistake we’ve made all year long in giving up the late goal, which is the negative part of it.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire Goalkeeper:
On stopping Landon Donovan’s penalty kick:
“I’ve seen two penalty kicks earlier this season from him, so I tried to get a good read. I think I did and made the save it to keep us in it for a while.”
On the result:
“We have to take a positive away from the game, we were able to get a draw playing with 10 men, and were even in a position to win it. In the end we need to walk away and be thankful we didn’t give up three points.”
Collins John, Chicago Fire Forward
On his goal:
“To come on and get a goal just before the end is a nice feeling. I spoke to one of the guys yesterday and told them I was really hungry to score a goal and to get three points for Brian (McBride). In the end, even my goal was not enough to secure a win.”
On the result:
“It’s better to get one point than zero points, especially when from the 20th minute we played with only 10 men. We can take it as a result, but we are disappointed to not earn three points especially since we were only three minutes away from getting them.”
On his health:
“I’m going to keep my head down and do my best the rest of the season. Hopefully I can score more goals for the club and help get the team into the playoffs because that’s what we need. With ten games to go hopefully we will get results to make the playoffs.”
- With the draw, the Galaxy are now 13-5-5 on the season and remain in first place in the Western Conference with 44 points. They are now four points ahead of Real Salt Lake for first place in the Western Conference and three points ahead of Columbus for the best record in MLS, with both teams in action tonight.
- Because of the result, the Galaxy will remain in first place in the Western Conference heading into next week’s games. They have been in first place in the Western Conference all season long.
- The draw snapped the Galaxy’s two game losing streak.
- Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that fell 2-0 at home against Kansas City last weekend, with Tristan Bowen, Alex Cazumba, Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko all returning to the starting lineup replacing Chris Birchall, who was suspended for yellow card accumulation, as well as Chris Klein, Mike Magee and Michael Stephens, who all started the game on the bench.
- The Galaxy also played the game without defender Gregg Berhalter, who missed his third straight game because of viral complications and midfielders David Beckham and Juninho. Beckham remains on the Disabled List after undergoing surgery in March to repair a torn Achilles tendon, while Juninho returned to Los Angeles today after dealing with personal matters back in Brazil over the past two weeks. He was last in the lineup on August 21 at San Jose.
- Landon Donovan missed a penalty kick in the 23rd minute, with Sean Johnson saving the shot by diving to his left. That was Donovan’s first missed penalty in an MLS game since September 1, 2007 in a 2-1 home loss to Real Salt Lake. Since then, the Galaxy captain had 12 straight penalties in the regular season, including two against Johnson and the Fire at The Home Depot Center on August 1.
- The three penalty kicks for Donovan against Johnson are the most he has taken against a single goalkeeper in MLS.
- The Fire’s Gonzalo Segares was sent off for a foul on Leonardo that led to the penalty kick attempt. He is the fourth player to be sent off against LA this season, and the third to be sent off in the first half.
- LA is now 2-0-2 when the opposition has a player sent off, winning at Houston and vs. Philadelphia and drawing at home against Toronto FC.
- Omar Gonzalez tied the score for LA in the first minute of stoppage time, heading home a Landon Donovan corner kick.
- That goal was Gonzalez’s second of the season while the assist was Donovan’s MLS-best 12th.
- Gonzalez’s goal in the first minute of stoppage time snapped the Galaxy’s 350 minute scoreless streak dating back to Edson Buddle’s goal in the 10th minute of the 1-0 win at New York on August 14.
- This was the first time since August 14 and just the second time since July 18 that LA did not allow a goal in the opening half of play.
- Omar Gonzalez was booked in the 87th minute for a foul on John Thorrington. That was his seventh yellow card of the season, leaving him one caution shy of a mandatory one game suspension.
- Dema Kovalenko played the 240th game of his MLS career in the game, while Landon Donovan played his 225th and Todd Dunivant played his 180th.
- Michael Stephens did not enter the game for the Galaxy. This was the first time this season that Stephens did not play in a regular season game.
- LA is 0-5-2 now on the season when allowing the game’s opening goal, compared to 13-0-0 when scoring the first goal.
- The attendance for today’s game was 21,068.
- The Galaxy are back in action next Saturday, September 11 when they host the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on Fox Sports West starting with Galaxy Live at 7 p.m.