Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs SEA

Galaxy Advance to second straight Western Conference Championship

Omar Gonzalez goal celebration vs SEA

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER QUOTESHEET
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2010

LA GALAXY 2, SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 1
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL SERIES – GAME 2
GALAXY WIN SERIES 3-1 ON AGGREGATE

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On tonight’s win:
“It’s obviously a very good win for our team. I thought we played very well in the
first half. The second half, we were a little bit sloppy in the last 20
minutes. If we had been a little smarter, a little sharper, perhaps we would
have gotten that third goal and really killed the game. Give Seattle credit, they never quit. They came at
us right until the end. It was a tough battle for 95 minutes.”

On tonight’s performance compared to others this season:
“We played well in the first half. Whether it is the best we have played all season,
I’m not sure. In a game of this magnitude, this time of the year, I am pleased
with it. Whether it is the best we have played, I don’t know, but it was
certainly good enough to carry us through the second half, and push us through
in the series.”

On the injury to Donovan Ricketts:
"No, but obviously, [Fernandez] went in with him and you could see he got cleated. We
were hopeful that it was only a bruise and not a ligament or anything and that
is what it turned out to be. But it took him five or ten minutes to shake it
off.”

On the defensive performance:
“They played well for 70 minutes. I think we got a little tired and Seattle started throwing everyone forward. We
didn’t do a good enough job getting to the ball. We gave it away at times, a little bit too early. All in all, I think they played well. I think this
Montero is a terrific player and to be able to hold him in two games is pretty impressive. They have a good team, and we played well. We are going to need more of that next week against Dallas.”

On starting Eddie Lewis over Todd Dunivant:
“Eddie played well last week. He is pretty rested. Todd didn’t get into practice until
Thursday, so we felt Eddie was a little fitter, and a little bit more prepared
to play in this game.”

On David Beckham’s set pieces:
“Terrific. The second one in particular, that Omar scored on, was a great goal. David is
getting back in form. He had a tough week recovering from the field in Seattle. He started to
come around on Friday. I thought he put in a good effort tonight. His
reputation on set pieces is well-known, well-respected, and well-earned.
Tonight, it was the difference in the game.”

On the defensive effort to keep the ball from Seattle’s wingers:
“It is having a collection of players behind the ball and being in good blocks. Also,
having a good understanding of where their strength is, and their strength is
certainly in Zakuani and Montero, but at times, Nkufo did a decent job of
coming in underneath and getting them possession and letting them advance the
ball. There wasn’t that particular tactic as much as we had to have a good
combined effort in defending which we have gotten in this series, and I think
that is the way we were able to neutralize Seattle’s attack.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan:
On the team’s defensive performance:
“It’s the playoffs. That’s what it takes. We have guys with a lot of experience in how to play in games like this.
Talk about the defense all you want, but we still scored two goals and had some
chance to score more.”

On the wing play of the Sounders:
“I watched a lot of their games at the end of the year, and that was certainly their strength. Zakuani and Nyassi
were playing very well, so we knew if we took that part of their game away, we
would beat them. They didn’t do as well as they had in previous games and I
would attribute that to how well we played."

On the team’s desire to defeat the Sounders
“We heard for a week before we played them how happy they were to play us in this series, and my guess is that
they probably have some different feelings now.”

On the injury to Donovan Ricketts:
“We have seen him go down before. Like all goalies, he puts his body on the line. He is tough and when all is
said and done, he is a tough guy, but also we are ok with it because we have got
a guy behind him (Josh Saunders) who could start on most teams in this league.”

On the two goals:
“Great finishes. Fantastic service from David. This is the best David has played since he has been a Galaxy
player. He is inspiring everyone with the way he is running, the way he is
defending, with the way he is talking on the field and leading. He has been
fantastic.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle
On the fans chanting MVP:
“It feels good. At the end of the day the league makes the decision, but it’s good that
the fans recognize the way I’ve been playing.”

On his first goal:
“I think the ball just went over Omar’s head and when that happened I just continued my
run and got a good head on it and redirected it. In the playoffs things are
going to be tight, so I expected that (Marshall
to be marking tight on the play), but I was still able to get good contact on
it and that’s why I found the net.”

On his confidence:
“This season has been going pretty well, as far as scoring goals. My team is getting
me the ball in the right position and it’s making my job a lot easier.”

On the Galaxy’s experience advantage over Seattle:
“I think last year’s experienced helped with this year. It feels like we’ve been here
before and we’re hungry to get back to the Final and finish the job. I can
definitely feel that in the locker room.”

Overall thoughts on FC Dallas:
“From the last matchup we just played, not too long ago, it’s going to be very physical and they have good
chemistry. It’s going to be tough to get opportunities, especially in a
semifinal game.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez:
On his goal:
“Definitely. I think that I could have gotten at least the two before hand. The one Edson scored on, I was pretty
close too. I was feeling pretty good, and just happy to get one.”

On the set piece that set up his goal:
“It was a foul outside the box, maybe about ten yards outside the box on the right side. I was just trying to
get into that space behind them and I curled my run inside, instead of trying
to go behind them and I just found a ton of space.”

On David Beckham’s free kicks:
“David does wonders with the ball, so it is just great having him on this team. He really showed everyone why he
is here.”

On the defensive performance:
“It is one of the strongest. We still gave up a goal which is kind of a bummer. I would have rather had a
shutout, but you know it happens. We did well enough in the first game and
tonight to be up two goals. I think we did well and we just have to keeping
playing well defensively and go from there.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham:
On if the team’s character this season:
“We had a good opportunity last year. Obviously, we didn’t go all the way and win the whole thing, so we are
happy so far and we are performing well. I think the character is showing
through. We still have two matches, obviously one more to go to get through to
the final, and hopefully we can do that. We can only do that with hard work,
character, and the professionalism that we have shown so far.”

On his drive to succeed:
“It doesn’t make any difference. I am always driven to be successful, and I am always driven to win. Obviously,
having the injury was a disappointment, but my drive has never been an issue. I
have always wanted success. I am 35-years-old now and I still want it as much
as I did when I was 18 and 19.”

On his free kicks:
“Obviously, it is what I have done for many years, but it is important to me to have players to put the ball on
the top of their heads or on their feet. I know that if I put the ball in the
right area, we have brave enough players, we have good enough players to score
goals. It worked tonight. Some other games, it hasn’t worked, but tonight it
worked.”

On regaining full fitness:
“I think obviously it is my kind of
preseason. I’m still trying to get fitness. It helps when I play the full 90
minutes. I’m still getting the aches and the pains of preseason. I felt
physically good tonight. I think if I look after my body like I have done since
I have been back, then hopefully I will continue to progress.”

On recovering from playing on Seattle’s turf:
“It was a tough week recovering. When you play on that kind of surface, especially after the injury that I had,
it is going to take time. It was a good week because I got most days in
training. I think there is only one day that I missed and the rest was good.
Tonight was a good night for us.”

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts:
On the team’s strong defensive performance:
“We are finishing the way we started. Strong defensively. If you want to win a championship, you have to be
strong defensively, so that is good.”

On the possibility of leaving the game due to injury:
"No, I never leave games unless something is broken, so no chance. It was painful initially, but as the game
went on, it got a little bit better.”

On their goal:
“They needed to score. We knew they were going to come hard. Unfortunately, I let a soft goal in and it put us on
our back foot for the remainder of the game, but we came through.”

LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant
On playing 10 minutes:
“It felt good. Didn’t feel anything. It was good to get out there and get back into the
flow and running again. So, yeah, it felt great.”

On the Galaxy’s effort:
“Superb. When you get two goals in the first half and put them on their heels like that
and get a 3-0 advantage, obviously it takes a lot of the pressure off and
really makes the game for you. So that was great, got us to a start and we were
able to defend off of that.”

On the pairing of Gonzalez and DeLaGarza:
“They’ve done great. Every time he’s been asked too, AJ has stepped in and done a good
job for us and he’s done it in the big games in the last little bit. They are
on a good form, they won the National Championship together in Maryland and they are
carrying that same success over to this.”

On if that was the Galaxy’s best game:
“I wouldn’t say that. I thought we could have finished the game a little bit better, we
gave them a few too many chances when the game opened up, so I think there’s
still room for improvement, but when you score two goals off of set pieces like
that and finish your chances that’s doing things right.”

Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid:
On the Sounders performance:
“Basically, we started off the game poorly, put ourselves behind the eight ball. They
scored on two set pieces. I think we showed some character in the second half,
created enough chances, but creating chances alone doesn’t do it. You have to
score goals.”

On the play of the Galaxy in the first half:
“I think we did more things to ourselves in the first half. They really came out with
the same structure, but the game was too big an occasion for a couple of guys
on our team. They just turned over the ball, and turned over the ball in bad
positions.”

On his team’s lack of experience in big games:
“It’s a lack of experience. Obviously when you are playing a 23-year-old midfielder
against a 32-year-old and you have Beckham who has played in a lot of big
games. We have a lot of guys who haven’t been in those big games yet and the
only way you get that experience is by being in those games.”

On the team moving forward:
“We still have to grow up a little bit. What we have done as a franchise, we have been in
five competitions in two years and we have won two championships. I think that
is pretty good. You know, the Galaxy is still looking for its first
championship in these two seasons. Whether you attach importance to the Open
Cup or not, it’s still a competition and you are trying to win. For us though,
it is still a matter of maturing and growing up, getting into those big games
and understanding each other. We are still building the team. There are still
new guys out there. We lost a lot of guys to injury.”

On the performance tonight:
“We still are not there yet. We have to get better. We cannot give up goals on set pieces
like that. We can’t start to play 20 minutes into the game. We have to start to
play sooner.”

On his substitutions:
“We made the changes I felt comfortable with. We brought in Fernandez to give us a
little bit more possession of the ball. On the wings, we went into a 3-5-2
pretty early when we brought in Fucito. He has shown very well in training.
Then we came with Jaqua late and stayed in a 3-5-2. When you look at the
chances we had in the second half, there were four goals in there for us. The
one Jaqua just misses, the one Alonso has, the one Montero has. Zakuani has one
earlier. There were enough chances to bang away goals and to get three was not
impossible.”

Seattle Sounders FC Goalkeeper Kasey Keller
On tonight’s game:
“Obviously we didn’t mark well on set pieces and we paid the
price for it. We put ourselves in a big hole. I was proud of the way the guys
responded in the second half. We didn’t roll over and die. We made it very
difficult. We had chances to really put them in a difficult situation but in
the end over the two legs the better team won and we know what we have to do
next year.”

Seattle Sounders FC Steve Zakuani
On tonight’s game:
“First of all congratulations to LA. Over the two legs it was the better team that took the chances. I felt we put ourselves in a hole
giving away two goals early on coming in already trailing 1-0 so it was going
to be tough. We did the best we could. It wasn’t good enough this year. We have
to go away and live to fight another day next year.”

On the team’s performance:
“We gave up two bad goals. You can’t do that against a team
like LA. They have some world class service from David Beckham. Edson finished
the first one well and Omar [Gonzalez] made the second one but like I said we
put ourselves in a hole. We didn’t play too bad. We had a lot of chances. We
could have scored three or four towards the end but we missed them. In this
kind of game at this stage of the play offs it is about taking your chances.
Over the two legs they did better than we did.”

Seattle Sounders FC Defender Tyrone Marshall
On tonight’s game:
“It was one of those games. We gave up two goals early in
the first half off set plays and it put us behind the eight ball quick. I think
we got into a good rhythm in terms of getting the ball wide and getting them
in. Give it to LA for putting the pressure on us. In the second half I thought
we came out with some more urgency. We got the goal but it was too late. We had
some chances earlier but obviously we were in such a deep hole, it was like
climbing a mountain. I thought in the second half we showed good character, we
fought till the end but it was unfortunate we came up short. Looking back it
was a good season. We made some good strides in terms of our playing and our
personnel. We just have to come back ready again. Bring it again next year and
perhaps go a bit further.”

Seattle Sounders FC Forward Fredy Montero (Translated from
Spanish)

On Zakuani’s goal:
“It was too late. We could have had the tying goal, we had
the chances. In the second half I think it was more about passing, dribbling
and taking chances which led to the scoring opportunities, but that’s how it
is. The goalkeeper had another great game and unfortunately we couldn’t advance.”

On Seattle’s season:
“I am never happy with what I do. I always want to do
better. But it wasn’t an easy year for us. We know that the first half of the
season was difficult, we weren’t playing well, we weren’t scoring and we
weren’t in a playoff spot. In the second half of the season we made a come
back. We got our act together and we qualified for the playoffs. We are happy
with what we achieved but once again we fall short. We have to learn from this
so we don’t repeat it again next year.”

Notes:
• With the win, the Galaxy advance to the Western Conference
Championship where they will host FC Dallas. FC Dallas advanced past
Real Salt Lake in their Western Conference Semifinal Series, winning 3-2
on aggregate.
• This is the second straight season that the Galaxy
have advance to the Western Conference Championship and the tenth time
in club history that they have reached this round of the postseason. Of
the first nine trips to this round of the postseason, the Galaxy have
advanced to MLS Cup a record six times.
• Under the current playoff
format, which began in 2003, the Galaxy have reached the Western
Conference Championship all four times that they made the postseason,
advancing to MLS Cup in 2005 and 2009 while losing the Conference
Championship at Kansas City in 2004.
• Since MLS adopted the current
playoff format in 2003, the Galaxy are now 3-1-1 all-time in the second
leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series. In the previous five
trips to this round of the playoffs, they have now advanced to the
Conference Championship four times.
• The Galaxy finish the year
4-1-0 against the Sounders in all competitions this season, winning both
regular season games as well as both games of the Western Conference
Semifinal Series, while losing in the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open
Cup.
• Bruce Arena named an unchanged starting XI on the evening,
using the same 11 starters that played in the first leg against Seattle.
The only change in the 18-man squad was the return of Todd Dunivant,
who missed the first leg with a right hamstring strain. He replaced
Chris Klein on the bench.
• While Dunivant returned, the Galaxy were without Leonardo, who did not train this week because of left knee pain.

LA was also without Yohance Marshall, who on international duty with
Trinidad & Tobago, where he played in two of their three Group F
games, helping them finish a top their group and earn a spot in the
tournament’ final group stage at the end of the month in Martinique.

Edson Buddle gave the Galaxy in the 19th minute with his second goal of
the playoffs. He is now tied with San Jose’ Bobby Convey as the top
scorer in the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs.
• Buddle has scored the opening
goal in each of the Galaxy’s two playoff games this year. Buddle scored
LA’s first goal 12 times this season, giving them a 1-0 lead on 11 of
those occasions. The Galaxy were 10-1-0 in those 11 games.
• David
Beckham assisted on the goal, sending a corner from the right wing into
the box for Buddle, who beat Tyrone Marshall to the header. This was
Beckham’s first assist of the postseason and the second of his MLS Cup
Playoff career.
• Beckham then assisted on the Galaxy’s second goal
eight minutes later, sending a freekick into the box for Omar Gonzalez
to head home.
• This was the first postseason goal of Gonzalez’s postseason career.
• Buddle was replaced by Tristan Bowen in the 71st minute. This was Bowen’s postseason debut.

David Beckham was booked for the Galaxy, but Juninho, Jovan Kirovski
and Dema Kovalenko were not, meaning that all are eligible for selection
in the Western Conference Championship against FC Dallas.
• Steve Zakuani’s goal in the 86th minute was the first postseason goal in Seattle history.
• Before that goal, Donovan Ricketts had allowed just one goal in his last 492 minutes of postseason play.
• Ricketts made three saves in the game and improved his postseason record to 4-0-1.

The Galaxy have now allowed a goal in 11 consecutive MLS games at home,
last keeping a clean sheet on May 15 against Toronto FC.
• The
Galaxy are now 22-3-0 all-time in the postseason when scoring two or
more goals, with one of those losses coming via the shootout.
• The Galaxy are now 20-2-1 all-time at home in the postseason.
• Including the regular season, the Galaxy are now 10-4-2 at home this season.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000.

The Galaxy will host the Western Conference Championship against FC
Dallas on Sunday, November 14 at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks
off at 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

The Galaxy face FC Dallas in the Western
Conference Championship on Sunday, November 14 at 6 p.m. at The Home
Depot Center. Tickets are available as low as $20! BUY TICKETS

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