Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs Chivas USA

Galaxy Claim Third Straight SuperClasico with 2-1 Win Over Chivas USA

Buddle, Beckham goal celebration

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On the result:

“These games are always fiercely competitive and tonight was no different. I give Chivas a lot of credit. They played really hard. I think it’s a great win for our team. We had to overcome some questionable officiating and hang in there and play hard. No question about that, and we got the three points. Obviously, we played well in the first half, The second half, I think Chivas did a really good job of getting direct in their attack, playing some dangerous balls in the box, and when the linesman can’t call offsides, they are even more dangerous. I don’t know if they can take back a red card, but I believe a player that is jumping to get out of the way of a dangerous tackle, standing out of bounds, can’t be responsible for getting out of the way of the player that is fouling him. I think that’s a questionable card, for sure, But it is what it is, and we had to play with ten players. We played really hard and did what we had to do to get the three points.”
 
On David Beckham and Edson Buddle’s goals:

“I think the Beckham free kick, when you see the wall, there are a number of players in the wall and I think the goalkeeper is definitely not able to see the ball there, and Beckham hit the open spot. From that position the spot to put the ball is to the goalkeepers left and we said at the bench if he beats the keeper to the left, it is going to be a goal, and it was. It was a great free kick. I think Buddle had a terrific finish, as well. Stephens hit a great ball. He had a couple of chances earlier, especially when Beckham played him through and he hit the crossbar."

On Alan Gordon’s goal:
"Ricketts at our end had to make some big saves. I think he would tell you that on the goal they were offsides on, that he should have been better and probably tipped that ball over the crossbar. Needless to say, the linesman has to put his flag up there. That is such an obvious offsides. I’m disappointed with the level of officiating in this game tonight. You have to get that call right. Obviously, there is a lot of emotion, which there always is. But we are moving forward, getting some of our players back. It’s going to take some time, but that is part of the plan in the last month of the season. We are 27 weeks in and it hasn’t been perfect, but we have been in first place for 27 weeks.”

On the play of AJ DeLaGarza:
“I though AJ played well. Chivas attempted to make sure they had a mismatch on the back post with AJ at times. AJ’s positioning was pretty good. We have enough confidence in AJ; he is a smart player and can deal with the mismatch. In all fairness, I think Alan [Gordon] had a couple of good headers.”

On the Galaxy’s dominance over Chivas in the last three years:
“It’s great, but Chivas will win their share of games in this rivalry. Hopefully, I’m in a nursing home at that point. They are rebuilding their team. They have a plan. You can see that they are making progress, and sometimes it’s not as obvious in the table, but I think they are moving forward in trying to get their kind of players and their kind of style. They are going to win some games before the end of the year and they are going to have their moments in this rivalry, as well."

On the play of Michael Stephens:
“I thought he played well. He gave us a lot of energy in the midfield. If I am not mistaken, that was his ball to Buddle on the first goal. It was and excellent ball. He did well. He showed a lot of energy.”

On the play of David Beckham:
“David Beckham was sick this week. He was a question mark until yesterday, and he hung in there, but he was a little bit under the weather. I think David did a really fine job given the circumstances.”

On playing Landon Donovan at forward:
“That has been the plan for a while, but we had to wait to see if we could get David back, get him some more minutes and get him right before we did that. Landon will play both positions, forward and midfield, but I would think that we are going to see a little bit more of Edson and Landon together as we finish up the season.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan:
On tonight’s result:

“Obviously, they have had a bad year. It has been a good year for us. It is always difficult to play them, but I think we showed that we still wanted it just as badly, and tonight was a really good win for us.”

On the importance of winning tonight:
“We had real pressure on us. Salt Lake won, so we were in second [place]. Winning the Supporters Shield is really important to us. This was a big game for us. It is always going to be difficult against Chivas, whether they have 20 points or they have 50 points. It is always a hard game. We are still happy we won.”

On the two Galaxy goals:

“We were a little unlucky not to score earlier. They had some decent chances too early, but Edson was unlucky hitting the crossbar, and then a fantastic finish. It was a great ball from [Michael Stephens] and absolutely a world class finish. That is a goal anywhere. And then on David’s, we did a good job of blinding Zach [Thornton] and David hit it perfect. There are not many goalies that are going to save that.”
 
On the importance of scoring first:
“It is pretty obvious now. We have to score first. That is going to be a big emphasis going forward and into the playoffs.”

On Eddie Lewis’ red card:
“It is hard to know what Eddie’s intent was coming down. It looked pretty innocuous to me. I am still trying to figure out how the other guy didn’t get a red card for a tackle like that.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle:
On his goal:

“It was a good ball from Michael Stephens. Chivas had a high line and left a lot of space behind. I made eye contact with Stephens and he played the right weighted pass. It bounced perfectly, that’s why I was able to hit it first time and I got it on target to the back post. It was all about the bounce. Maybe if it would have skipped, I would have had to take a touch to get a good angle to shoot, but it bounced perfectly.”

On remaining the leading scorer in MLS:

“The season is not over yet, but guys have had hat tricks the last couple of weeks, so it is still not over yet. As long as we’re winning games, I’m happy.”

On the importance of tonight’s game:
“We have taken some losses from teams that are not so high in the standings. We know in this league, you can lose to the teams that are struggling to get points and fighting for jobs, so it was a game we knew we had to win and we weren’t going to take lightly.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham
On the result:

“It was a big game for us tonight, so another good performance from us.  It was a bit difficult at the end, obviously with 10 men, but it was a big game so it was important that we won.”

On his fitness level:
“My fitness is good. I played 90 minutes last week, 40 minutes the week before, 25 minutes the week before and we’ve got another game on Thursday which is one of the reasons why I came off early today. So, no problems, fitness is feeling good and confidence is good”

On his goal:
“I always say with my free kicks, it’s something I practice week in and week out and if they go in, it proves that when you practice, you get rewards from it.  Tonight was a good night for myself with the goal but it was more important that the team won.  Three points were important.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Michael Stephens
On his assist to set up Edson Buddle’s goal:

“I think that those balls were on all half. In the first half there was a lot of space behind them and I thought when we did hit those balls that we were going to be successful because they were a little bit stretched. I was lucky to fins it over the top and Edson took it first time, so it was a really good finish.”

On being back in the team:
“It was good. I think I needed a little bit of a breather, I was getting a little tired but I feel refreshed now and ready to go through this late push and into the playoffs. I feel good, happy to be back playing.

LA Galaxy Defender A.J. DeLaGarza
On playing in central defense next to Omar Gonzalez:

“Obviously we’ve played there for quite a bit now, earlier in this year, and we know pretty well so it makes it easier on the both of us. I think we’re both comfortable with that and I thought we did well tonight. Whatever I need to do I’m going to be there whether it’s a support player in the middle or on the outside. Whatever they need me, I’ll be there.”

On being a target of the Chivas USA attack:

“Well they targeted me because I’m 5’8” and they have 6’4” guys. It’s their game plan I guess. You just have to put a body on them and not let them get their head on the ball cleanly. Obviously, they got a goal but we’ll look at and see what happened.

LA Galaxy Defender Sean Franklin
On the defensive effort tonight:

“We just wanted to make sure that the outside backs are tucking in if A.J. was going up for a header or Omar is. We knew they were going to try to flick balls on and even though there was a slight [height] disadvantage, A.J. against Gordo or Braun, everyone was in pretty good spots to help out. I think the back line and the whole team did a pretty good job tonight.”

On the Galaxy supporters:
“It was nice, a great turnout. It’s always nice when our fans are cheering for us and it’s nice to bring the cup to our locker room and for the fans, so it was a good night.”

LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant
On the performance of the back four tonight:

“The times when they did get behind us in the first half, it was midfielders running through and our coordination with Juninho and the guys running through wasn’t quite good enough but A.J. and Omar were fantastic. Alan Gordon is a big target up top and they did a good job of managing him, and in then Braun in the second half, but A.J. held his own. We broke up plays and didn’t give up many chances and that’s what it’s all about.”

Chivas USA Head Coach Martín Vásquez
On the match:

“I’m disappointed with the result, but pleased with the second half, the effort especially. The response after being 2-0 down [was] we came out with a lot of energy, we created some chances… All season, they have been relying on Landon [Donovan], [Edson] Buddle and now David [Beckham], and when you allow them space or let them get behind the line of defense, you’re going to be punished.”

On the team moving forward:
“We’re going to take it one game at a time. There’s still a lot to play for, and we’re going to try to finish strong. I think to talk about next year right now it too soon. We have to focus on the next game, and after these last four games we’ve got to sit down, evaluate, and analyze, and talk about next year.”

Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein
On the match:

“In the first half, we dug ourselves into a hole, which we didn’t want to do. We even had some chances before that; it was one of those games where both teams had some stuff going for them in the first half, it was kind of back-and-forth. The second half was way better for us. We were able to control the ball quite a bit. We got down the flanks, we had some success out there, and then got some crosses in and had some good header looks, but we just didn’t put them away. It was a little too little too late in the end, and the final goes 2-1.”

On what the team is playing for after being eliminated from the playoffs:
“I think more than anything, you’re always playing for pride. Obviously, it’s a blow when you know you’re mathematically out of the playoff race – it’s something you shoot the whole year. We are going to try to work on the things [that we] messed up in the rest of the year. More than anything it’s for pride. You just want to go out winning.”

Chivas USA midfielder Paulo Nagamura
On the team’s performance:

“I think we were the better team on the field. We dominated most of the game, we created a lot of chances, but we could not put the chances away. Like I said before, they had two or three chances and they scored two goals. It’s very difficult to recover from 2-0 down.”

On the play of the young players on the team:
“They did a pretty good job. I think even Ben [Zemanski] and [Michael] Lahoud did a very good job in the middle of the park. Like I said, we had possession of the ball, we created chances, but we could not put chances away. I’m disappointed with the result, but to be honest, I’m happy with the attitude the guys [showed] tonight. Even we were two down, we fought back and we almost got the tie in the end.”

On the team’s goals going forward:

“We’ve got to keep working. We do not know what’s going to happen next, so we’ve got to take one game at a time, and work game by game. We’ve got to get results, and let’s hope that next week we can get a win here at home against Toronto.”

Notes:
• With the win, the Galaxy move back into first place in the
Western Conference and all of MLS with a 16-6-5 record for 53 points.
They are now two points ahead of Real Salt Lake with each team having
three games remaining on the schedule.
• This was the Galaxy’s first
game this season in which they were not the best team in MLS entering
the game. Real Salt Lake defeated New England 2-1 on Saturday night,
moving them into first place ahead of the Galaxy.
• The win gives
the Galaxy their third consecutive Honda SuperClasico title and their
fifth in the six year history of the competition. The Galaxy swept the
season series against their in-stadium rivals this season, also winning
2-0 as the home team on April 1.
• The Galaxy are now 12-3-5
all-time against Chivas USA in the regular season and are unbeaten in
the last eight meetings between the sides.
• The win for LA also eliminated Chivas USA from postseason contention.

Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that lost 2-0 to the New York
Red Bulls at The Home Depot Center last week. Omar Gonzalez, and A.J.
DeLaGarza returned in central defense, replacing Leonardo and Yohance
Marshall, while Chris Birchall and Michael Stephens were brought back
into the midfield in place of Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko.

Leonardo and Kovalenko each missed the game through injury, as did
central defender Gregg Berhalter, who did not dress for the seventh
straight game because of a neck strain.
• Edson Buddle gave the
Galaxy the lead in the 24th minute with his 15th goal of the season.
That goal tied his career-high for goals in a season, a record that he
set in 2008 as a member of the Galaxy.
• Buddle now has three goals
in the two games against Chivas USA this season and has four goals in
his last five regular season games against them.
• With his goal,
Buddle became the first player in MLS history to score 40 or more goals
for two different teams. He had 42 goals in 106 career regular season
games with the Columbus Crew and now has 40 goals in 84 regular season
games with the Galaxy.
• Michael Stephens collected his eighth
assist of the season on the goal, making him the first Galaxy player
other than David Beckham or Landon Donovan to record eight or more
assists in a season since Cobi Jones did so in 2003.
• Stephens was
making his first appearance for the Galaxy since Auguest 28 vs. Chivas
USA. He has appeared in every game of the season up to that point but
did not play in any of the previous four games before tonight.
• The
Galaxy are now 15-0-0 when scoring first, making them the only team in
MLS not to drop a point when scoring the game’s opening goal.

David Beckham gave the Galaxy a 2-0 lead just before halftime with his
first goal of the season. Prior to that, Beckham last scored in an LA
uniform on September 19, 2009 vs. Toronto FC.
• Beckham has now
scored in each of his last two games against Chivas USA. Both of those
goals turned out to be the game-winners.
• The goal came directly
from a freekick, the first such goal LA has scored this season. The
last time LA scored directly from a freekick was in May 2008 when
Beckham did so against Real Salt Lake.
• Alan Gordon’s goal for
Chivas USA in the 63rd minute was the first goal allowed by the Galaxy
against Chivas USA since the 2008 season, snapping a string of four
consecutive clean sheets for LA against Chivas.
• LA remain one
clean sheet shy of tying the club’s all-time record of 12, which was
set last season, while Donovan Ricketts remains one shutout shy of
tying Kevin Hartman’s record for the most clean sheets by a Galaxy
goalkeeper in a single season.
• Eddie Lewis was sent off in the
76th minute, becoming the first LA player to be shown a red card this
season. Four players have been sent off against LA.
• Ricketts made
four saves in the game and remains on pace to record the lowest single
season goals against average in Galaxy history.
• Juninho was not
booked in the game, meaning that he is eligible to play in the Galaxy’s
next game at Philadelphia on September 7. He remains one caution away
from a mandatory one game suspension for yellow card accumulation.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 24,283.

The Galaxy are back in action on Thursday, October 7 when they play
their final road game of the season at PPL Park against the
Philadelphia Union. That game kicks off at 5 p.m. (PT) and can be seen
live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

 

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