Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA @ Philadelphia
LA Galaxy 1, Philadelphia Union 1
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
PPL Park – Chester, Pa.
LA – Landon Donovan 5 (Unassisted) 24’
PHI – Danny Mwanga 1 (Unassisted) 83’
LA – Chris Birchall (Yellow Card) 31’
PHI – Brian Carroll (Yellow Card) 58’
PHI – Roger Torres (Yellow Card) 76’
LA – Omar Gonzalez (Yellow Card) 79’
PHI – Danny Mwanga (Yellow Card) 84’
LA – A.J. DeLaGarza (Yellow Card) 87’
PHI – Sheanon Williams (Yellow Card) 92+
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Juninho, Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens (Mike Magee 87’), Landon Donovan(c); Juan Pablo Angel (Chad Barrett 90’), Miguel Lopez (Jovan Kirovski 82’).
Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, Frankie Hejduk, Gregg Berhalter, Paolo Cardozo.
Philadelphia Union: Faryd Mondragon(c); Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey (Jack McInerney 80’); Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel (Danny Mwanga 46’), Kyle Nakazawa (Roger Torres 67’), Justin Mapp; Sebastien LeToux, Carlos Ruiz.
Subs Not Used: Zac MacMath, Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan.
Referee: Andrew Chapin
Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey and Matthew Kreitzer
4th Official: Jorge Gonzalez
- With the draw, the Galaxy are now 4-2-5 on the season, leaving them with a league-best 17 points. LA remain in first place in the Western Conference and are now two points of second place Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy are also two points ahead of the New York Red Bulls, who lead the Eastern Conference with 15 points.
- The Galaxy have now played an MLS-high seven road games and are 2-2-3 in those matches.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that drew 1-1 against New York at The Home Depot Center on Saturday. Chris Birchall, Miguel Lopez and Michael Stephens all returned to the starting lineup in place of Chad Barrett, David Beckham and Mike Magee. Barrett and Magee began the game on the bench, while Beckham remained in Los Angeles to rest ahead of Saturday’s game against Sporting Kansas City.
- In addition to Beckham, the Galaxy were without Sean Alvarado and Leonardo who each recently underwent knee surgery.
- Joining Barrett and Magee on the bench for the first time this season is defender Gregg Berhalter. Berhalter had missed each of the first 10 games of the season while recovering from a sprained MCL in his left knee.
- The Galaxy took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute when Landon Donovan scored his team-best fifth goal of the season.
- That was Donovan’s fifth consecutive goal for the Galaxy dating back to the 3-0 win over Portland on April 23.
- Donovan is the first Galaxy player to score five consecutive goals for the club since Edson Buddle scored LA’s first seven goals of the 2010 campaign.
- The goal was just the fourth allowed this season by the Union, with LA scoring two of those.
- It was also the first goal allowed by the Union from open play this year with each of the first three coming via set pieces.
- Danny Mwanga equalized for Philadelphia in the 83rd minute with his first goal of the year.
- That goal was just the second that the Union have scored in four games against LA.
- The 83rd minute goal was the fourth allowed by the Galaxy in the final 10 minutes of games this year. Three of those goals have cost the Galaxy points, with the team dropping two points tonight, two points against D.C. United on April 9 when Charlie Davies scored late to earn United a 1-1 draw and one point against FC Dallas on May 1 when Brek Shea scored the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute to give Dallas a 2-1 win.
- Without those three goals, the Galaxy would have 22 points from a 6-1-4 record.
- Chris Birchall was booked midway through the first half while Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza were each shown second half yellow cards. The card was Birchall’s second of the year and the first for each DeLaGarza and Gonzalez.
- Donovan Ricketts made three saves in the game, with all coming in the second half.
- Todd Dunivant once again started and played the full 90 minutes at left back. He is the only Galaxy player to start every game this season and is the only one to play the full 90 minutes in each as well.
LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On the 1-1 result:
The result is very disappointing. We should have won this game by two or three goals. We missed a bunch of chances, the referee missed the penalty on the goalkeeper, we had plenty of chances to get to 2-0. We made a mistake at the end and it cost us a goal, but having said that, we were certainly in position to score two or three goals. But it is disappointing.
On the Philadelphia opportunities:
They had some chances, but we were well in control.
On playing on Sunday vs. New York and today vs. Philadelphia:
This is a game where we controlled the game and played pretty well, so there was no carry over. It was a game where we should have had three points. Playing New York had nothing to do with the result tonight. This is a game where we had too many chances not to have more to show for it.
On the midfield domination:
I thought they played well. There is no question about that. I think tonight, we had a great group performance.
On playing Philadelphia twice in the early part of the season:
I don’t know how the scheduling goes and everything else why these two games had to be completed in such a short period. It doesn’t really matter. I think in general, if you are going to play an opponent twice this early in the season, it is going to be someone out of conference.
LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovon
Yeah we were at fault for not scoring another goal, obviously mistakes happen, it’s part of the game but we have had too many of those this year where we are giving away points cheaply, I think we disserved better tonight.
On the atmoshpere:
It was good, the crowd was loud, obviously they quieted a little after the goal but towards the end they pushed their team on and they were really loud after their goal, it was fun we enjoyed playing with them.
On his role as a goal scorer:
It's being more assertive and more aggressive but the ball sometimes needs to fall your way, and then when you get your chances you just have to take them. Tonight one popped loose and I took it, but I’m being more aggressive and putting myself in spots where I can be dangerous and our forwards are doing a really good job of occupying defenders and giving me spots to make plays.
On playing two games back to back in the span of four days:
Playing 2 games like this is hard and then when you throw in 6 hours of travel it makes it very difficult. It is one aspect that some people don’t really understand. But our guys did a really good job tonight finding the energy and now we have even shorter rest for Saturday and another flight home so we have to be ready.
LA Galaxy Forward Juan Pablo Angel
On the game tonight:
I think it was a good game, an entertaining game, I would say that we were the better team of the night, but we didn’t didn’t manage to finish up the chances that we had.
Philadelphia Union Coach John Hackworth
On the difference between the first half and the second half:
We didn’t play so well in the first 20/25 minutes. And that was our fault. And at the same time, however, Los Angeles was pretty darn good. They came and they really executed well. For us, we got better in the later part of the first half, and had some really good chances, unfortunate not to pick one up there. I thought that the goal we gave up there was a little unlucky, but I told the guys at halftime that we just have to take care of a couple spaces on the field where we are getting beat and be committed to attack. The guys came out and really pushed the game and were very committed and that’s all that you can ask as a coach.
On Bruce Arena’s claim that Los Angeles should have won the game by two or three goals:
I disagree. For Bruce to say that they controlled the game, I thought that they did for the first 20 minutes. I don’t think that they did for the last 65/70. But they are up 1-0, so they only have to do a certain job at that point. They are one of the best defenses in the league for sure. That we started to mount an attack and put numerous chances on goal and were pretty dangerous is a credit to our guys. The two teams were really battling and there was some really good execution on the field today.
On finding the right pieces for the attack:
Honestly, I think that it is just a matter of execution, it is a matter of time, and the opponent has a lot to do with it as well. The chances that we created and the number of times that we put balls in the box and the number of times we got numbers forward was very good.
On coming away with one point:
I’m disappointed that we didn’t get three, because at the end, I thought that we had them by their heels and that another one was going to come. So it’s a good result in the fact that we were behind to one of the best teams in the league and came back, but at the same time, I am a little disappointed because I felt that here especially, especially with the way that we rebounded after the start, that we could have gotten three.
On Danny Mwanga:
It is hard to try to align Danny, Carlos [Ruiz] and Sebastien Le Toux]. I just told Danny that he had done an excellent job in training this week, I had a good feeling about it, I told him he was going to get one, and he came on and had a lot of confidence. When he is like that, he is as good as anybody in this league.
On shutting down Landon Donovan:
We made a couple of adjustments because we felt that our midfield was lined up a little too deep in the first part of the game so that [LA] could pick up a lot of second balls and we were chasing a little bit, and the adjustment that we made I think took away some of the space that they had. They also put a ton of energy into the first part of the first half. But again, it was a credit to our guys, and the spacing changes on our part really didn’t give them the time and space that they had in the first half.
On the PPL Crowd:
It’s incredible. These fans are amazing, and it is awesome for them to get rewarded and to see a goal and the celebration is incredible from everybody, and it’s great to play here, and the fans are a huge credit for that.
On Faryd Mondragon:
As of right now, we think that [his injury] is just a strain. I told our trainer that if he went out there, he had to tell him that he had to stay in the game, somehow, someway he’s got to stay in this game. We have another attacker that we have to bring on, we have to get one back here. To Faryd’s credit, he really said that ‘I’m not going to be close to 100%, but my team needs me at this point.”
On Sheanon Williams pushing the ball:
We always use our outside backs as attacking players, and Sheanon did a fantastic job tonight. He does it with his effort, he does it with getting forward, with his tackles. He is a fantastic player and he showed you that he is a catalyst to get us back in that game.
Philadelphia Union Forward Danny Mwanga
How does that goal make you feel coming off the bench?
It is a great feeling. It is my first goal of the season, so it is a great motivation for me and hopefully I will just work harder to get another one for the next game and just keep it up for the rest of the season.
Danny, can you just take me through a sequence of events that lead to the goal?
We were obviously starting to put pressure on them because we wanted a goal. Carlos did a great job pressuring the two center backs who played the ball to the right back who tried to play it back to the goalie. It was very good anticipation by me because I knew he was going to play it there. So I pressured the goalkeeper and I got there before him, so I was able to dribble and just tap it in the goal.
How’d you feel playing a little bit deeper on the right side?
I think that I feel good. One of my abilities is to just get the ball and I have a pretty good vision, so that kind of frees me up a lot. So when I got the ball, I didn’t have anyone really marking me, so that gives me a lot of time to find Carlos and Sebastien, so I think it felt good.
Does this remind you of your rookie year coming off the bench early in the season?
Yeah, sort of. I think it was just about this time last year right now that I had my first goal, so I feel a little bit of that. But at the same time I am trying to do a lot more than I did last year. So it definitely does remind me of last year.
Philadelphia Union Defender Danny Califf
On the crowd:
Yeah it is definitely the 12th man. I think the crowd is amazing and there’s time in the game when you need a little bit of extra energy or oomph to make that last 10 yard sprint or to make that last jump or to dive for the ball or something. And they almost push you or make you do it. And it is awesome.
What’d you guys do differently in the second half?
I think we just got more confident on the ball and I think once we started to keep it more we started to dictate the rhythm of the game. And once we started doing that we were able to pick them apart a little bit. Make them run more on defense. And they are a team who likes to have the ball and not run to chase it, so it is to our advantage.
About pushing up a little bit on offense…
Yeah, it is whatever we can contribute to offensive ende it is always a nice thing. We always feel like we are back there and we are protecting our goal and mistakes happen and they get a goal. But when you get a chance to get forward and be dangerous on the offense of the field, it is always a pleasure.
About the short turnaround…
It is a tough month, but I think we are kind of through the first phase of the season almost. I think were 7 or 8 games in, so we’re almost a 1/3 of the season, so we are progressing and it is one of those points in the season when it is going to be tough and I think it is going to help define our season is how well we can do on the road. And if we can come out of this month with some decent points, I think it will be huge going forward.
Philadelphia Union Defender Sheanon Williams
On coming back from four straight losses against LA and then finally getting a point:
“Especially when you come from behind, I think the guys worked extremely hard. I thought the second half was a lot better and we played with purpose. I think we deserved to get the point.”
Philadelphia Union Midfielder Brain Carroll
On the LA Galaxy coming out with more intensity in the first minutes:
“They certainly came out strong in the first twenty minutes and got their goal. It was good for us to respond and start taking to them at the end of the first half. It was a little bit more open in the second half, then Danny (Mwanga) read the back pass and scored. They started well, but we responded. I’m happy at the way we finished.”
Philadelphia Union Defender Jack McInerney
On Danny Mwanga’s first goal of the season:
“I think that his time will come and it came today.”
On Mondragon’s saves today:
“I was in the locker room when I saw the save against Landon Donavon and it was just fantastic. It will probably be the save of the week.”