Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs Kansas City

All three Galaxy Designated Players score as LA defeat KC 4-1

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Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

LA Galaxy 4, Sporting Kansas City 1
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
SKC – Own Goal (Omar Gonzalez) 39’
LA – Landon Donovan 6 (Penalty Kick) 44’
LA – Landon Donovan 7 (Chad Barrett 2) 46’
LA – Juan Pablo Angel 2 (Chad Barrett 3) 64’
LA – David Beckham 1 (Unassisted) 87’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Juninho (Yellow Card) 78’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; David Beckham, Juninho (Michael Stephens 85’), Landon Donovan (C), Mike Magee; Chad Barrett (Chris Birchall 81’), Miguel Lopez (Juan Pablo Angel 61’).

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Frankie Hejduk, Gregg Berhalter, Paolo Cardozo.

Sporting Kansas City: Eric Kronberg; Michael Harrington, Julio Cesar, Aurelien Collin, Roger Espinoza (Chance Myers 57’); Stephane Auvray, Milos Stojcev (Ryan Smith 65’), Davy Arnaud (C); Kei Kamara (C.J. Sapong 67’), Teal Bunbury, Graham Zusi.

Subs Not Used: Jimmy Nielsen, Matt Besler, Kevin Ellis, Craig Rocastle.

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson and Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

NOTES:

  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 5-2-5 on the season, leaving them with a league-best 20 points. LA remain in first place in the Western Conference and stretched their lead over second place Real Salt Lake to four points with RSL playing to a 0-0 draw in Houston earlier tonight.
  • The Galaxy are now 3-0-2 in their five home games, with four of those coming against Eastern Conference opposition.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Philadelphia at PPL Park on Wednesday. Chad Barrett, David Beckham, Mike Magee and Josh Saunders all returned to the starting lineup in place of Juan Pablo Angel, Chris Birchall, Donovan Ricketts and Michael Stephens. Angel, Birchall and Stephens all began the game on the bench while Ricketts missed the game after coming down with an illness pregame.
  • In addition to Ricketts, the Galaxy were without Sean Alvarado and Leonardo who each recently underwent knee surgery as well as Adam Cristman.
  • The Galaxy fell behind in the 39th minute when Omar Gonzalez scored an own goal, deflecting a low cross past Josh Saunders. That was Gonzalez’s first career own goal and the first by a Galaxy player since Edson Buddle scored one on October 16, 2010 in a 3-1 home loss to Colorado.
  • That was the 13th own goal by the Galaxy in the club’s history. They have had 15 own goals scored for them.
  • The Galaxy have now fallen behind 1-0 in the first half of three of their five home games this season, but have come back to equalize before halftime in each.
  • Landon Donovan equalized for LA in the 41st minute, scoring from the penalty spot to make the score 1-1. That was his second penalty of the season, with each coming at home in the North end of The Home Depot Center.
  • That was Donovan’s sixth consecutive goal for the club dating back to April 23, when he scored his first goal of the year at home against Portland.
  • Just after halftime, Donovan scored his second goal of the game and his MLS-best seventh of the year.
  • That goal came just 30 seconds into the second half and equaled his total from the 2010 season.
  • Donovan is the first Galaxy player to score seven consecutive goals for the club since Edson Buddle scored LA’s first seven goals of the 2010 campaign.
  • Donovan is now one goal ahead of D.C. United’s Charlie Davies for the MLS lead.
  • Juan Pablo Angel entered the game in the 61st minute and scored his second goal of the year three minutes later off a pass from Chad Barrett.
  • The goal was Angel’s first at home as a member of the Galaxy and the 60th regular season goal of his MLS career
  • Chad Barrett assisted on each of LA’s first two goals in the second half, setting a new career-high for assists in a game with two. He had recorded 20 career assists in MLS before tonight, never tallying more than one in a game.
  • David Beckham scored his first goal of the season in the 87th minute, beating Erik Kronberg with a freekick from well outside the area. That was his first goal for the Galaxy since the regular season finale against FC Dallas on October 24, 2010.
  • It was Beckham’s first goal directly from a freekick since he scored against Chivas USA on October 3, 2010. Both of those goals were scored at the South end of The Home Depot Center.
  • The Galaxy are now 3-0-5 against the Eastern Conference this season, including 2-0-2 at home.
  • This was the Galaxy’s first win when trailing 1-0 since the 2010 regular season finale at home against FC Dallas.
  • The four goals scored by LA were their most of the season.
  • Josh Saunders made three saves to record his second win of the season.
  • This was Saunders’ first home win since July 4, 2009, a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution.
  • 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.
  • Chad Barrett and Sean Franklin each started the game as well and have each appeared in all 12 of LA’s games this season.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was a 19,763.
  • The Galaxy are back in action on Saturday, May 21 when they take on Chivas USA in the first leg of the SuperClasico at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy will be the visiting team for that game, which kicks off at 7 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

QUOTES

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On tonight’s game:
“I obviously thought we played well, it was a fabulous result.  I can’t be more proud of our team; it was a challenging week with New York here, Philadelphia and tonight Kansas City. A lot of teams could use that as an excuse but our guys preformed great. It was a week that we could’ve won all three but came out a little short there, but I think we played well and are starting to play better as a team."

On the importance of the penalty kick before halftime: 
“It certainly was important and legitimate. If you saw Beckham’s leg you’d understand why it was a penalty. It was legitimate. He was taken down in the box and kicked pretty good but that was important and obviously the way we came out and started the second half. It was all the difference in the game"

On the message at halftime: 
“We just said that if we passed better we were going to create chances. We continue to grow as a team and our passing is improving. When you play a team like Kansas City that tries to get after you, pressure the ball and turn you over, if your passing is good, once you get through the initial pressure you are going to create some chances.”

On who he would select as his Man of the Match:
"Landon is an obvious name that you throw out there. For a coach, I think Juninho was brilliant tonight. I thought Dunivant and Franklin, were very good. Our whole back line was very good. I don’t think I can single out one player tonight but I thought Juninho had a brilliant game. They were all good tonight.”

On David Beckham’s goal:
“Terrific. What can you say? I don’t know how he managed to do it. It was a great goal. I think he was shooting, right? Great goal. I think we scored some real good goals tonight and created some good chances.”

On Juan Pablo Angel’s goal and performance
“I thought he played a real good 30 minutes. I am real pleased with Juan. I think he’s a really good player and he is going to score goals and that’s why he’s here. I think the transition with switching coasts and being away from his family and adjusting to the Galaxy and California, it’s not easy. I think that he’s starting to get his feet on the ground now and I’m real confident that a lot of good days are ahead for him.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan
On the team’s performance:
“It is always fun to score. It is always fun to play well, pass well, move the ball well. You can either spend the energy defending and chasing or you could spend the energy with the ball it is always more fun with the ball and I think at the end of the night we did that.”

On playing the third of three games in eight days:
“I think there was always going to a little bit of a let down because of the tough week we’ve had. But once we got going, we were a little bit better and the quality came through.”

On Juan Pablo Angel’s goal:

“He is a guy that has made a living off scoring goals so it helps a lot confidence wise. He’s been playing really well the last few games and he has done a good job of getting all his teammates involved, but we’re all happy to see him score.”

On David Beckham’s goal:

“There is about one person in the world that can do that and he did it tonight.”

On being the MLS-leader in goals:

“It feels good to be on top of the league in points as a team and that’s the goal. But it’s always nice to score, it’s always good to hit the net. Like I’ve said a million times, when you put yourself in good spots and are you are aggressive, the chances come. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t, and right now they’re going in so we’ll just keep going.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On the team’s performance:

“I think it was better for us once we got the possession because the guys have been on a road trip. It is tough for them to come into this game with a tough game on Wednesday and traveling on Thursday and not training until Friday and not doing much. It was some great performances tonight all the way from the back four, Josh [Saunders] obviously playing in goal, and I think it was Juninho’s best game of the season. Obviously Landon [Donovan] and Chad [Barrett] and it is great that Juan [Pablo Angel] scored tonight it is important. At first it started off difficult, we started slow. We went in and in the second half we came out we got the ball a lot more and obviously the early goal helped us out and we pushed on from there.” 

On his goal:

“I like to score goals. It is not the biggest thing that I go to games thinking about. My game has always been about getting assists and if can get a goal then great. I always enjoy scoring goals, who doesn’t? I think more importantly tonight the performance of the team, the character of the team especially like I said coming off the road trip and the travel it is a great performance by us tonight.”

On Landon Donovan:

“When Landon said a couple of weeks ago that he is not a goal scorer, I don’t know what he is talking about. His game is about scoring goals and when he scores goals it is exciting and it is good for teams that he is playing on. At the moment Landon is playing really well and coming into this game obviously he is going to be a little bit tired because of the travel. He didn’t look tired once he started, obviously that is good for him scoring goals that is great for our club.”

LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant

On the team’s performance:

“It was exactly what we wanted. We feel like we’ve been robbed in a few games. The Dallas game, obviously, we felt like we played well. Against New York we had a good game and then Philadelphia we felt like we should have won that game. So we’ve been playing well. We kind of said it that this has been building and tonight was a complete performance and we got a big win.”

On the team’s ability to keep possession:

“I think that’s a lot of what you are going to see going forward. We’ve wanted to play a lot more possession style, but that’s a big change because we haven’t been like that the last couple of years. It has taken time. And it’s going to continue to be something that we work on. If we can do that— if we have the ball, keep the ball— it puts them on their heels, get’s their forwards back defending and that means I’m not attacking and that’s good for us.”

LA Galaxy Forward Chad Barrett

On overcoming traveling to Philadelphia midweek:

“I felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of energy in the first half, we were doing a decent job of keeping it. We we’re going forward, we we’re counter-attacking well … but then we went down one and we just showed our character. Landon’s goal in the first half seemed to have sparked us. We came out in the second half and got that goal early from our leader and it just went from there.”

On finishing the game with two assists:

“Scoring goals is great, but I don’t really care. I’m here to win championships. I’m finally at a team were I can do that. We have weapons. Different people are going to score every game, it’s going to be hard to keep us of the score sheet. We haven’t done that as much as we should, so far this year, but hopefully this game sparks us. It’s good to see Juan Pablo score again, Landon Donovan is on a tear right now and it’s good to see Beckham score a free kick.”

LA Galaxy Forward Juan Pablo Angel

On scoring a goal:

“I felt good. I feel happy. I felt good in games against New York and Philadelphia … I knew it was a matter of time. The team has changed its style of play from how it played the last couple of years. We’re now playing a lot more possession ball. I’ve said it from the beginning, we were first working on correcting our defense, which we’ve done very well, and the next step was fixing the offensive part of our game, and that the moment we got some rhythm on our offensive game this team was going to be very dangerous. Tonight we showed it. Against Philadelphia, we played well in certain situations and all that was missing was converting on our opportunities. Tonight was the perfect game. The possession was the same, the way we distributed the ball was good and we converted the scoring opportunities we had.”

On coming off the bench:

“I had played two tough games and with the travel Bruce decided to go with players who were fresh at certain positions. This is going to be a long season, we’re going to have a lot of games, and we have to be ready for when the coach calls on us. Today, I had to come off the bench, and I went in and did well. This is a long season and we all have to be ready.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On the late addition of Josh Saunders to the starting lineup:

"There wasn’t much change. Every single time [Josh] Saunders comes in he has a great game so we have full confidence in bringing him in. The team doesn’t change. Saunders made a couple of great saves late in the game. It is a sign of just how deep we are."

Sporting Kansas City Head Coach Peter Vermes

On tonight’s game:

“I thought in the first half we played really solid. Getting it to 1-0 was good unfortunately we made a critical mistake right before the half and gave a penalty kick but coming in 1-1 was good. The second half is what put the dagger in us and that is the part that gets frustrating.”

On the play of Landon Donovan:

“He is a game changer, there is no doubt. They have some guys on their team, obviously Beckham as well. We talked about both of those players prior to this game knowing full well what they bring and both of them were very good tonight. Credit to them they played a very good game tonight.”

On the team’s performance:

“In the first half I thought we played very good. We are playing away from home we were 1-1 we were actually leading 1-0 but start the second half and not be ready and knowing they would come out that was the frustrating thing because we talked about it.”    

Sporting Kansas City Midfielder Davy Arnaud

On tonight’s game:

“It was not good enough to come out in the second half and let the game go the way it did it is just not good enough.”

On playing all seven of their games on the road:

“We have been talking about the same thing about playing on the road, we have known that. It is not easy but at the same time it is not so difficult that we should turn in a second half performance that we did tonight. It is just not obviously what we wanted and it is very disappointing.”

On the team’s performance:

“First half I thought we did okay we got the goal we were up 1-0 and we give a PK a minute before half time that is a tough one to swallow because we obviously want to come in up at that point 1-0 at the half but still we are even at half time. We gave them a ton of good looks in the first half and we had a few decent chances ourselves. The second half, like I said to come out and give up in the first minute it’s poor, it’s really bad because we knew they were going to come at us for the first 15 minutes and from there it was going to be tough for us and our response was not good.”