Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs Colorado
LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On the result:
“I didn’t think we played a bad game tonight, but we were certainly punished for our mistakes. Their first goal got them back into the game a little bit, and gave them a swing of momentum. I thought we played quite well up until that point. The second goal we have two defenders who don’t make the play. Give Conor credit. The third goal was a good goal. I thought, on the night, at times we moved the ball well, we created some decent chances. Our final pass, our cross in the second half wasn’t there when we needed it. The couple of chances we had when we had a good look at the goal, we didn’t take well. We got punished for our mistakes tonight, but I thought our guys played hard and at times played well. Give Colorado credit. They played well.”
On the play of Gregg Berhalter:
“He was obviously a little bit rusty. He got tired. I thought at times in the first half he played well and had the team organized, but it’s natural that he isn’t going to have the kind of match fitness we want him to have at this point. His layoff was pretty long.”
On Chris Birchall’s injury:
“It was a bad tackle. I don’t know exactly what the injury is, but he is a tough guy and he had to come off. I don’t know if it is just a contusion or a nerve or a muscle. I don’t know.”
On the play of David Beckham:
“He’s getting better. He was pretty sharp at times throughout the night. Obviously his fitness needs a little bit more work, but he is getting better each week.”
LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan
On the result:
“The result was bad. The performance actually wasn’t bad. Until they scored, I thought we played really well. The second half, we dominated aside from a couple of plays. We certainly didn’t get any help from the officiating. We are bummed out, but we still control our own destiny and next week means everything.”
On what the team needs to improve on ahead of next week’s game against FC Dallas:
“We need to clean up some things during the week and use next weekend as an opportunity to continue to get better.”
On their second goal:
“We talked all week about marking them in front of the goal, and on the second goal, we did a poor job, but to be fair to us, they got a lucky goal that turned the game. I think we, on a few plays, weren’t good enough on both ends of the field.”
On the play of Colorado:
“They didn’t play very well tonight, but they were good with their chances. I don’t know how many blocks, saves, deflections they had that helped them, but they made all the little plays that make a big difference.”
On failing to win the Supporters’ Shield tonight:
“We wanted to celebrate tonight. We wanted to have next week to relax a little bit. But maybe it will keep us sharp, keeping us going and we don’t have the ability to rest and relax, we have to keep going.”
On adjusting to having David Beckham back:
“I think getting David back in has been a little difficult. We have to adjust, and I think tonight, performance wise, is the best we have played together. It is still going to take time. Soccer at any level comes down to making plays and tonight they made the plays and we didn’t. In the playoffs, you have to do that.”
On the play of David Beckham:
“David looked good tonight. He looked more active, like he is getting his legs back. I don’t think he is at 100 percent yet, but he played well tonight.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder Chris Birchall
On next week’s game:
“With Salt Lake winning tonight, it put Dallas out of winning the whole thing, but they will still be coming here with confidence. They want to win the last game before the playoffs, but we know if we win the last game, we win the Supporters’ Shield. We just have to go out and be confident and try to win the game.”
On tonight’s result:
“We expected to win the game tonight, but it doesn’t really happen the way you expect things to go. We played well at parts, but after they were 2-1 up and especially after they got the third goal, it was difficult and they sat back and it is hard to get back in the game when you are playing a team with 11 men behind the ball. Hopefully, we can get a good result on Sunday.”
LA Galaxy Defender Sean Franklin:
On the own goal:
“I tried to clear it. I got a foot to it and it hit Edson in the shoulder and that’s just unlucky for us. It was just unlucky. We know that’s not a goal that they earned. It’s not a play that they beat us on. It is a mistake that happens, but we knew it wasn’t going to cost us the game.”
On the play of Colorado:
“They capitalized on our mistakes. We had bad turnovers in certain spots of the field and they finished off their chances. We had a chance to win the Shield tonight and we didn’t do that. We have to come out next week against Dallas and get three points.”
LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
On winning the Supporters’ Shield:
“It would be nice to win the Supporters’ Shield, but if we win the Supporters’ Shield and lose MLS Cup, I wouldn’t like that.”
LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez
On the loss:
“It is a terrible feeling to lose at home. We came into the game expecting to win the game and the Supporters’ Shield, but it didn’t happen tonight. Colorado came out strong tonight, they came out with a lot of heart. I thought we started the first half pretty good. We scored first and then we started getting unlucky, the own goal. I thought their two forwards did well to connect well for the second goal. Then, they scored a third and we got a bunch of chances and were unlucky to not score on one of those. I thought we fought hard the whole way through.”
On the play of Gregg Berhalter:
“It is always great having Gregg back there. I thought he did well when he was in. His fitness is getting back and we will see how he does next week. I am looking forward to it.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham
On the play of Colorado…
“I think they played well. We knew that they were just going to be a good team. We knew that they were coming in for a win or at least a draw because we knew that’s all they needed. We probably went too early in the game, but then we couldn’t get that second goal. You know, their first goal was a bit of luck. We had many chances to win the game and bring the game back. We were up against a good team.”
On the own goal…
“Obviously, when you start so well it’s disappointing because we were in control of the game, and they get the lucky goal. Not taking anything away from Colorado because they were good team tonight.”
On his fitness…
“Tonight was probably the best game since I’ve come back. Leg felt good, I felt ready so I enjoyed tonight. It’s disappointing. It’s good to get 90 minutes as well. It’s disappointing not to win it. It’s in our own hands. If we win next week, we are top of the [league].”
LA Galaxy Defender Gregg Berhalter
On tonight’s game:
“Obviously I am disappointed with the loss but I felt my fitness was alright and better than expected.”
On the game:
“We were in absolute control of the game, playing very well. Then that fluke goal comes. I think that was the first time that they were actually in our 18 and they scored on an own goal that touched two of our players before going in which rarely ever happens and it changed the game. Our heads went down a bit, we were still dominating and then they get another chance and they score and we are down 2-1 all of a sudden out of nowhere.”
On being in the starting XI:
“It was great. It felt great. It was just the little things: the battle of the game, the running and the competition it felt good.”
LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle
On the Rapids:
“I think Colorado did a good job. I think they sat back and countered pretty well and finished their chances. I think that is what they did to be successful tonight.”
On Omar Cummings:
“He finds the space well early and when they win the ball he finds an open space and credit to the midfield for finding him early. You see a lot of fast players and they really can’t control themselves but he is able to possess the ball at high speed and if all things are going right he finds the back of the net.”
On the own goal:
“I saw Sean try to clear the ball. I was running up the field and the ball hit me and went the other direction.”
Colorado Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith
On the match:
“Well, I am obviously delighted that we clinched a playoff spot. After a very bright start from the Galaxy, I thought we got ourselves back in the game nicely. We settled down and got ourselves a fortuitous goal early on, but from that point on, I thought we created some of the clearer opportunities in the game. I am very pleased with pretty much everybody in the group. It was a very determined and passionate display.”
On the play of Omar Cummings:
“He is such an exciting lad. I think it was the second goal when he delivered a wonderful pass to Conor [Casey]. He is very, very difficult to deal with. I thought he did fabulously for his own goal. He is just such an exciting individual and he is difficult to handle. He takes a lot of emphasis from other players to allow them to perform. Overall, I thought he was terrific.”
On the Galaxy’s own goal:
“I think it makes a big difference. Scoring goals at the right time raises morale and maybe shifts momentum slightly. There is no doubt that the Galaxy started very brightly, and while I thought the goal was fortuitous, it took a nasty deflection off of Drew [Moor], goals make a difference. To get back in the game that quickly gave the guys a much better feel and a bit of confidence and gave them a little more time to settle into the game. Going in at the break up 2-1, we were able to really be positive about the second period. The guys relaxed a little bit more. We had two or three other very good chances. I thought we were worthy winners.”
On coming back to win the game:
“I believe it is the first time in four years that we have come from behind to win a game. I am told that it is 68 games that we have conceded first and not come back to win a game. That is a long time. To be able to do it tonight, here, against a very good side, just wraps up a very nice night for us.”
On winning three straight times against the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center:
“It is a very, very tough place to come and play. Their record shows that they are a very good side, and are in a very good position to win the Supporters’ Shield. On the night, we played well, and goals at the right time make a big difference to the group, and tonight, it made a big difference to us. I can’t give you a reason why we have beat them three times here and got beat by [the Galaxy] at home 1-0. It doesn’t make any sense really, but that is sport and some of our guys must enjoy coming here.”
Colorado Rapids Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni
On the result:
“We’re building on what we’ve done all season and coming on the road and getting the results and going home and finishing off what we started at the beginning of the year. Our mindset is on the game next weekend. We’ll take it one game at a time.”
On securing a playoff spot tonight:
“Anything can happen in the playoffs, Salt Lake proved it last year, they were the eighth seed. You need to be in good form, you need to be playing and you need a lot of luck as well. You need the ball to bounce your way at the right time. More importantly, you have to believe it what you are doing and I think this team has a lot of that.”
On the play of the team this year:
“We just have a group of guys that all believe in the system, believe in what we’re doing and we work hard for each other and that says a lot about an MLS team. That’s pretty much the focus of becoming a good MLS team is the togetherness and fighting for each other and I think that’s what we have in this locker room.”
On the play of the Rapids midfield tonight:
“It was a battle out there. We had a diamond midfield and they had a diamond midfield, so the real play for us was to find Omar peeling off and finding Conor’s feet and playing off of him. Obviously that’s hard when you have Berhalter and Gonzalez back there. Our best chances came from second runs out of the midfield and finding Omar. There’s never an easy day in the midfield, it’s always a battle.”
• Despite the loss, the Galaxy remain in first place in the Western Conference and all of MLS with a 17-7-5 record for 56 points. They are now one point ahead of Real Salt Lake, who defeated FC Dallas 2-0 earlier in the day.
• With those results, the Galaxy now need either a win or a result equal to that of Real Salt Lake in their season finale to win the Supporters’ Shield. RSL play away to Colorado on Saturday, while the Galaxy host FC Dallas on Sunday.
• Even with the loss, the Galaxy are assured of a top two finish in the Western Conference, meaning that they will open the postseason on the road in the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series. The date of that game and LA’s opponent in it have not been determined.
• With the loss, the Galaxy’s quest to become the third team in MLS history to reach 60 points is over. The best LA can now do is 59 points.
• Bruce Arena made one change to the team that beat Philadelphia 1-0 at PPL Park last Thursday. Gregg Berhalter returned to the starting lineup for the first time since August 14, replacing Todd Dunivant, who missed the game because of a right adductor strain. With Berhalter returning, A.J. DeLaGarza moved to left back, with Berhalter occupying a spot in central defense next to Omar Gonzalez.
• Berhalter had missed eight straight games with a virus and a neck strain. He played 76 minutes before being replaced by Alex Cazumba.
• In addition to Dunivant, Dema Kovalenko also missed the game through injury, with Kovalenko missing his third straight game as the result of a right adductor strain. Kovalenko returned to full training this week, was not in the 18-man squad.
• This was the first time this season that the Galaxy scored the game’s opening goal but trailed going into the half.
• This was the first time this season that the Galaxy did not take the full three points when scoring the game’s opening goal. They are now 16-1-0 when scoring first.
• Edson Buddle gave the Galaxy the lead in the 9th minute with his league-best 17th goal of the season.
• Buddle is now three goals ahead of San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski in the race for the 2010 MLS Golden Boot. Wondolowski has 14 goals with two games remaining this season.
• His 17 goals are ten more than his closest competition on the Galaxy, Landon Donovan, who has seven goals this season. The biggest gap between the Galaxy’s two top goalscorers was in 2002, when Carlos Ruiz led the team with 24 goals and Alexi Lalas was second with four.
• Buddle has now scored the game’s opening goal in three straight Galaxy games, opening the scoring against Chivas USA on October 3 and Philadelphia on October 7 as well as tonight.
• The goal was the 90th of Buddle’s MLS career, making him the sixth player in league history to score 90 or more regular season goals. He joins Jeff Cunningham (132), Jaime Moreno (132), Ante Razov (114), Jason Kreis (108), Landon Donovan (103) and Taylor Twellman (101) as the seventh player to achieve the feat.
• Landon Donovan collected his 15th assist of the season on the goal, becoming the first Galaxy player since Mauricio Cienfuegos had a club record 17 assists in 1999 to record 15 or more assists in a season.
• Chris Birchall also assisted on the goal for his second assist of the season and his first since the 10th minute of a 2-0 win at Columbus on May 29.
• The Rapids tied the score on an Edson Buddle own goal in the 18th minute. Buddle joined Chris Albright as the only two players in Galaxy history to score a goal and an own goal in the same game. Albright did so in a 5-2 win at D.C. United on August 26, 2006, scoring a ninth minute own goal before giving LA a 2-1 lead in the 47th minute.
• The Galaxy have now allowed at least one goal in nine consecutive regular season home games, dating back to May 15 against Toronto FC. The Galaxy are 4-4-1 in those nine games and have allowed 17 goals, including two or more five times.
• The three goals allowed by LA tie a season high that was set on August 1 in a 3-2 loss to Chicago.
• This was just the fourth time this season that the Galaxy lost by more than one goal, with three of those coming at home.
• Chris Birchall left the game in the 42nd minute with a left calf contusion. He was replaced by Eddie Lewis.
• Juninho was not booked in the game, meaning that he is eligible to play in the Galaxy’s season finale at home against FC Dallas on October 24. He remains one caution away from a mandatory one game suspension for yellow card accumulation. If he is booked in the season finale, he would not miss LA’s first postseason game, but rather his next regular season game.
• Edson Buddle had two goals, one on either side of halftime, ruled out for being offside.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000. This was the Galaxy’s second consecutive home sellout.
• The Galaxy are back in action on Sunday, October 24 when they host FC Dallas in the regular season finale at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 5 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on FS West starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 4:30 p.m.