Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA @ SEA

Postgame reaction from the playoff win in Seattle

Donovan - playoffs vs SEA

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Bruce Arena - Galaxy Head Coach

(On the game...)
"Tough game, tough conditions. This field wasn't easy to play on for
either team. Pretty classic playoff game where you go on the road and
defend and try to get out of here. We were playing to win. It certainly
keeps the series really tight and there's everything to play for in the
next game. "

(On the goal...) "That's a turf ball. There were a
lot of turf plays -- balls bouncing around, off of shins, up in the air,
out of bounds. We don't want to make too many copies of this game and
distribute it around."

(On LA's defense...) "It was good. Their
top four guys are good. [Blaise] Nkufo, [Fredy] Montero, [Steve] Zakuani
and [Sanna] Nyassi are dangerous players and you have to be able to
concentrate the whole time. They're a handful."

(On the
conditions...) "We weren't quite sure what the field was going to be
like. I guess they watered it down before the game so it was slick. When
it's this cool, it's going to stay wet and fast the whole time. Once we
got here we could see that the field was playing faster than it did
(Saturday) when we were training in the pouring rain. This kind of
played like the MLS final last year - a real slick surface and the field
is a little bit hard. It's a tough field to play on."

(On
Donovan Ricketts' saves...) "I remember two great saves. In succession
we had to tip it over. It was off a corner kick. The ball kind of
squirted loose and [Fredy] Montero got away from [A.J.] DeLaGarza so
Ricketts had to tip it over. But it was the save before that was big. A
couple of the others were a little bit more routine. He had to stretch
out on [Nathan] Sturgis' free kick. But he did good."

David Beckham - Galaxy Midfielder

(On
the match...) "I thought it was a professional performance by us. We
set our lineup early and we played some good football on the night. Our
togetherness is what won the game and put us in a good position. We're
happy with tonight and now we have to go do a job at home."

(On
the field...) "We kind of knew it was going to be like that because we
trained on it yesterday. We just had to do the job that we worked on all
week because we knew they had fast players and that they'd get chances,
but we also knew that if we passed the ball around well and played our
game, then we'd do well."

(On his Achilles...) "It's very sore,
I'm not going to lie. It felt sore in the first half and it was just a
case of getting through it. I've got a good week now to relax and get it
back to what it should be."
(On how the atmosphere in Seattle
compares with Europe...) "For the MLS, it's like playing in front of a
European crowd. The noise, the atmosphere, the excitement ... and it's
great to play in. It's always great to play in front of a crowd like
that."

(On the goal...) "Tonight and also next weekend, it's
going to take something like that to win this game because we're two
good teams with good players. It's going to take something special to
win and get through these games. Tonight, that goal ... everyone is
going to say did he mean it? Of course he meant it. He turned on the
ball and there was no one else near him. It was good for us."

Donovan Ricketts - Galaxy Goalkeeper

(On
the game...) "All the credit to my defense. They smothered the Seattle
attack and whatever I had to do, I did, to keep my team in the game.
Sometimes I have to work for my paycheck and tonight was a night I had
to work for my paycheck."

(On the goal...) "It was a beautiful goal. I don't think I could've saved that either."

Edson Buddle - Galaxy Forward

(On
silencing the crowd with the goal...) You think about those things
coming in, but you focus on team and structure first. To get a go-ahead
goal, it felt good."

(On the physical play...) "A playoff game
and you expect it to be scrappy. Both teams are trying to win. There's a
lot at stake."

(On the goal...) "Omar (Gonzalez) got a good
clearance on the ball and I saw that developing so I was able to get a
turn on the ball. It bounced perfect and I took a shot. The way the ball
bounced is why I shot it. I got a volley on it and it hit perfect for
me. When I shoot, I hope to score. The way I wanted it to go, it went.
Usually it's not the case. I got good contact and the ball dipped just
the way I wanted it to."

(On the field surface...) "I don't like turf at all. I've always said that. I'm sure the players here would prefer grass."

Landon Donovan - Galaxy Midfielder

(On
the game...) "Our defense was terrific. Our back four was great.
Donovan (Ricketts) was good when he needed to be. Our midfield, I think,
completely controlled the game. We knew that their strength is wide and
we wanted to make sure that we did a good job of getting around those
guys and I thought we did."

(On Seattle targeting Eddie Lewis...)
"Eddie has been around awhile and knows how to play. That's the beauty
of having a team that's this deep. There's not many teams that would
substitute a guy like that and have a game like that - a meaningful game
like that. We're confident with whoever we put in there and I thought
he did a great job."

(On that being the goal of the year...)
"Yeah, it was pretty unbelievable. That's your MVP and if you guys
didn't vote for him, you should be ashamed."

(On playing on the
turf...) "It's the same for both teams. They have an advantage because
they're used to it, but it makes the game difficult. It doesn't make the
game pretty, but we didn't really want a pretty game tonight so it's
fine. Maybe it gave them a little advantage, but I thought we did fine
with it."

(On sending a message with this game...) "We don't need
to send a message. We've been the best team for two years plus so
there's no message to send. We know that we're good and we've got to
keep playing like this if we're going to get to the final."

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(General
comments...) "We're disappointed in the result. When you weigh the
whole game, I thought we created more chances than they created. You
take a goal where, hats offs to Edson [Buddle], but he just turns and
hits the ball in the direction of the goal and it could go anywhere, but
it went in. At the end of the day, right now, we're down at halftime
1-0 and have a second half to play in LA and everything is still
possible for us."

(On Fredy Montero...) "Not really, a lot of
times forwards are a bit streaky. I thought he had a couple decent looks
tonight. Thought he got in good positions. Sometimes I think he's
trying a little too hard a little bit and that's something we'll talk
about this week. He is taking an extra touch when needs to give it a go.
That's a case of him wanting to help the team. Not him trying to hurt
the team."

(On LA in first half...) "I thought they did a good
job on [Steve] Zakuani. Steve has to bring more. They pinched our
midfield pretty deep. [Landon] Donovan spent more in their half of the
field than he has in a long time. That was their game plan and when you
get a fortunate goal, that stands up and the game plan looks really
good."

(On referees...) "No comment. The referees are the referees."

(On
knowing if Jeff Parke will be able to play in second leg...) "Not at
this stage, we'll see. He rolled his ankle, so we'll see."

(On LA
defensive scheme...) "It's what we said to our guys. Donovan [Ricketts]
came up with a couple big saves in the first half and in the second
half, I think we squandered a couple chances. The shot that [Steve]
Zakuani had and certainly [Nate] Jaqua's chance there at the end. If we
finish better or if Donovan doesn't have the game that he has we may
come off this field 2 or 3-1 winners. We weren't worried at halftime
going down 1-0 and were confident that we'd come back, but it wasn't
meant to be."

(On chances...) "Encouraged that we created
chances. If not creating chances, then really have to worry. I thought
we created chances. I'm disappointed in our inability to finish. A
couple were great saves and you take your hat off to them on those, but
some that we should have finished."

(On not scoring being
mentally worried...) "Guys don't go into the game thinking that we
haven't scored a goal in so many minutes in the playoffs. It doesn't
enter our mind and isn't something we talk about. It hasn't bounced our
way, but that can change in the next game."

Kasey Keller - Sounders FC Goalkeeper

(On
Edson Buddle's goal . . .) "Just one of those things that guys try
one-hundred times in their career and never make it happen. And the one
time he got it to go in a big game. Great goals change games and that's
part of it. I thought our response in the second half was great. I was
very happy with the way we played. We created good chances. We had more
than enough opportunities to win the game. We got a little lucky there I
think at the end. They had a good chance to maybe get a second but he
pushed it wide. For the most part, I think a draw might have been fair.
We feel very confident with the results we have gotten on the road that
we can go down there and get through this tie. It's a long ways from
being over. And that's what I'm probably happy about. If you're going to
lose, this is the way to lose. You lose 1-0 on a ridiculous goal and
you have all confidence to go down there and if it's 1-0 and penalties,
it's 1-0 and penalties. If it's 2-1, whatever it takes we will make it
happen. We will do our best to make it happen."

(On Sounders FC
offense . . .) "They really pack it. They really get two big banks of
four. They make it really difficult for you to play through midfield. I
thought we were successful. I thought Sanna [Nyassi] and Steve [Zakuani]
had opportunities to get the ball in the box and we had chances to
score goals. No question about it. I thought the free kicks were great.
We had opportunities to score goals off of free kicks as well. Sometimes
you have to take what the team gives you. You can't necessarily just go
out, maybe Brazil can, but few teams can dictate their style. You see
what's open and you make that happen. I thought for the most part that
we did very well."

Fredy Montero - Sounders FC Forward (via Translator)

(On
the match . . .) "The keeper [Donovan Ricketts] played well, had a good
afternoon. We played good football but we didn't convert the
opportunities."

(On not scoring a goal . . .) "I feel the team is
still playing the same style. If someone outside feels that the team is
playing differently, I don't think that's the case. We are still
playing with the same mentality."

(On getting a result in second
leg . . .) "We really have nothing to lose. We have lost the first half.
Unfortunately it was played at home. So there [The Home Depot Center]
we can revert and maybe if they play a little more offensively we can
score some goals."

Steve Zakuani - Sounders FC Midfielder

(On
the match . . .) "It was frustrating. For whatever reason today we
didn't play the way we have been playing, which is building from the
back through the midfield and getting to the forwards, who were bypassed
in the midfield. The game has to be made by [Nathan] Sturgis and
[Osvaldo] Alonso, it has to. You look at football today, the game is
made through the center mid. We were skipping them a lot today. It
could've been L.A.'s pressure or something like that but it was just a
bad first half. It was really scrappy. We didn't get much going. What we
did was on set pieces. Unfortunately their keeper made some pretty good
saves. We never had our game going. In saying that, we still had a lot
of chances. I think we could've walked away with two or three goal
possibly. It's frustrating and we have got to get ready for next week."

(On
his production today . . .) "As a team, I just don't think we played
how we have been playing. What we have been doing has been very basic.
We get the ball to the midfielders. We get wide. We spring the wingers
and stuff. And of course, you have got to change it a bit when you are
playing someone like [Sean] Franklin but that's no problem for me at
all. I'm still trying to do the same things I do. I think we didn't play
well in the first half. They scored an unbelievable goal. You can't do
anything about that but we came out in the second half and had a lot of
chances. [. . .] We had some pretty good chances there and we are
disappointed we didn't finish them."

Patrick Ianni - Sounders FC Defender

(On
Edson Buddle's goal . . .) "The ball came into Edson and I tried to
just bump him a little bit. The ball came in and he kind of wrapped me
with his arm and kind of put it to the side of him. When he went to
shoot I thought obviously Kasey [Keller] would have it. But he hit a
wonder strike. Similar to last year with [Brian] Ching had a wonder
goal, too. It was a good goal. There's nothing we can do about it now
and so we go down to L.A. and play the same way that we did and I think
we will have a very good chance of advancing."

(On Sounders FC
offense . . .) "I think we had plenty of good chances and I think we
feel very good as a group with the way we played. The substitutions came
in. We had to make a substitution at the back. When he came in we were
just as strong. We just have to be patient through 90 minutes down there
and we will get out goal."

 

Notes:

  • With the win, the Galaxy go into next weekend’s second and
    final leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series with a 1-0 lead
    on aggregate. If the Galaxy win or draw that game, they will advance to
    the Western Conference Championship. If the Sounders win that game by
    one goal, the Series will go to 30 minutes of extra time and then
    penalties if necessary.
  • Since MLS adopted the current playoff
    format in 2003, the Galaxy are now 3-1-1 all-time in the first leg of
    the Western Conference Semifinal Series. In the previous four trips to
    this round of the playoffs, they have advanced to the Conference
    Championship three times.
  • The Galaxy are now 3-1-0 against the
    Sounders in all competitions this season, winning both regular season
    games as well as today’s match, while losing in the Quarterfinals of the
    U.S. Open Cup
  • Bruce Arena made one change to the team that beat FC
    Dallas 2-1 in the regular season finale on October 24. Todd Dunivant,
    whose 27 regular season games played and started were the third most on
    the team, was not available because of a right hamstring strain. He was
    replaced in the starting lineup by Eddie Lewis.
  • In addition to
    Dunivant, the Galaxy were also without Leonardo and Michael Stephens,
    who each missed the game with left knee pain. Yohance Marshall was also
    not available for selection while on duty with the Trinidad and Tobago
    National Team for the Digicel Caribbean Championships.
  • Lewis was
    making just his fifth start in all competitions and his first in an MLS
    game since the regular season opener against New England on March 27.
  • Juninho was the only member of the Galaxy’s starting XI to be making
    his postseason debut in the game. The other 10 starters were all with
    the club during the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs. Of the seven available
    substitutes, only Tristan Bowen and Alex Cazumba did not play in the
    postseason last year.
  • The Sounders thought that they had scored just 32 seconds into the game, only for Steve Zakuani to be ruled offside.
  •  Edson Buddle gave the Galaxy the lead in the 39th minute with a long
    range volley that beat Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller. The goal was the
    first postseason goal of Buddle’s Galaxy career and his third of his
    postseason career.
  • Buddle’s last postseason goal came in 2004 when
    he was a member of the Columbus Crew against the New England Revolution
    exactly six years ago.
  • Omar Gonzalez was credited with the only assist on the goal, heading the ball into Buddle’s path.
  • Gonzalez did not have an assist during the regular season, though he
    did score two goals, including one at Qwest Field in a 4-0 win over the
    Sounders.
  • The Galaxy’s central midfield duo of Juninho and Dema
    Kovalenko, as well as Jovan Kirovski were each booked in the game. If
    they are also booked in the second leg of this series, they would be
    suspended for the Western Conference Championship were the Galaxy to
    advance.
  • Fredy Montero and Blaise Nkufo were each booked for the Sounders.
  • Donovan Ricketts made eight saves in the game, seven in the first half,
    setting a new postseason career-high, breaking his record of five that
    he set in the 2009 Western Conference Championship against Houston.
  • In the regular season this year, Ricketts never made more than six saves.
  • This was his third shutout in five postseason games.
  • Including the regular season, the Galaxy are now 10-3-3 on the road this season.
  • In those 16 games, the Galaxy have kept a clean sheet 10 times.
  • This was the Galaxy’s final road game of the year. If they advance to
    the Western Conference Championship, they will host either Real Salt
    Lake or FC Dallas while
  • Donovan Ricketts made three saves to earn his 18th win of the season.
  • Two of the Sounders’ three substitutions on the night were former
    Galaxy players. Nathan Sturgis, who started in central midfield, also
    used to play for the Galaxy.
  • The attendance for today’s game was 35,521.

With
the Galaxy ahead 1-0 on the series, LA host Seattle in the second game
of the two-leg, home-and-home Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday,
November 7 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN. BUY TICKETS

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