CCL Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA Galaxy vs LD Alajuelense

Galaxy defeat Alajuelense 2-0 and remain on top in Group A

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Photo Credit: 
German Alegria / LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 2, LD Alajuelense 0

CONCACAF Champions League – Group A – Week 2

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:

LA – Omar Gonzalez 1 (David Beckham 2) 38’

LA – Chad Barrett 1 (Sean Franklin 1) 77’

Misconduct Summary:

LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 31’

LDA – Jhonny Acosta (Yellow Card) 60’

LA – Landon Donovan (Yellow Card) 68’

LA – Mike Magee (Yellow Card) 77’

LA – Juninho (Red Card) 88’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter (Sean Franklin 27’), Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan(c), David Beckham, Juninho, Mike Magee; Adam Cristman (Chad Barrett 71’), Robbie Keane (Chris Birchall 91+).

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Frankie Hejduk, Michael Stephens, Miguel Lopez.

LD Alajuelense: Ivan Garcia; Jose Salvatierra, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Jhonny Acosta, Cristopher Meneses; Kevin Sancho (Cristian Oviedo 84’), Marcelo Sarvas, Juan Guzman (Cristian Lagos 83’), Allen Guevara, Pablo Gabas(c); Alejandro Alpizar (Carlos Clark 75’).

Subs Not Used: Esteban Carrillo, Elias Palma, Jorge Davis, Minor Diaz.

Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX)

Referee’s Assistants Jose Luis Camargo (MEX) and Alberto Morin (MEX)

4th Official: Mauricio Morales (MEX)

Notes:

  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 2-0-0 in Group A for six points. They are now in sole possession of first place in the group, three points ahead of Alajuelense and Morelia, who beat Motagua 4-0 in the other Group A game tonight at home in Mexico.
  • The Galaxy have now won each of their last three games in the CONCACAF Champions League, dating back to their 2-1 win on the road over the Puerto Rico in the second leg of their Preliminary Round series last year. They have scored six goals in that time while allowing just one.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that beat Motagua 2-0 at The Home Depot Center on August 16. Robbie Keane started up front with Landon Donovan moving to the midfield and Sean Franklin starting the game on the bench.
  • Keane was making his Champions League debut after officially being added to the Galaxy roster one day after their win over Motagua.
  • The Galaxy were once again without Sean Alvarado, Jovan Kirovski, Leonardo and Donovan Ricketts, who all missed the game through injury.
  • Chad Barrett started the game on the bench after missing the last seven weeks with a right knee sprain. He last played in an official game on July 4 against Seattle, though he did make a short appearance off the bench against Real Madrid on July 16.
  • Franklin was forced to enter the game in the 27th minute when Gregg Berhalter was forced to leave with a right foot injury.
  • Berhalter will undergo tests this weekend to discover the complete extent of the injury.
  • The Galaxy went in front 11 minutes later when Omar Gonzalez scored the first Champions League goal of his career, heading home a David Beckham corner kick from the center of the box.
  • Beckham was credited with his second assist in as many Champions League games on the goal.
  • In five games in all competitions in the month of August, Beckham had five assists, including at least one in each of the last four games, with LA winning all four of those contests.
  • Chad Barrett entered the game in the 71st minute, replacing Adam Cristman to make his Champions League debut for the Galaxy. He had previously played in the competition for Toronto FC.
  • He was on the scoresheet six minutes after coming on, tapping home a Sean Franklin cross to make the score 2-0.
  • The assist was the first of Franklin’s career in the Champions League and his second in as many games in all competitions after setting up LA’s second goal against San Jose on Saturday night.
  • Since July 20, Franklin has two goals and three assists in all competitions. Prior to July 20 he had not been able to score a goal or record an assist for the club.
  • Neither Barrett nor Gonzalez had ever scored for LA in the Champions League before tonight’s game.
  • The Galaxy were forced to play the final minutes of the game with just 10 men after Juninho was sent off by referee Marco Rodriguez for a foul on Jhonny Acosta.
  • David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Mike Magee were all booked in the game. They join Gregg Berhalter in being one yellow card away from a one-game suspension.
  • Alajuelense outshot the Galaxy 14-6 in the game and had five shots on goal compared to LA’s three.
  • Josh Saunders kept his second straight clean sheet in the Champions League, making five saves.
  • He now has 11 saves in two Champions League games.
  • The Galaxy are one of only two teams that are yet to allow a goal in the Champions League so far this year, joining FC Dallas who has claimed a pair of 1-0 road wins to sit atop Group C.
  • The Galaxy, FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders FC are the only three teams to take all six points from the first two games of the Champions League. They are also the three teams with the best records in MLS.
  • LA and Seattle each have matching +4 goal differentials, which are the best in the tournament.
  • The Galaxy have now won three consecutive games in all competitions by identical 2-0 scorelines and have won their last four games by two goals.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was 9,855 at The Home Depot Center.
  • The Galaxy return to action in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday, September 13 when they travel to Mexico to face Monarcas Morelia. That game will kick off at 5 p.m. (PT) at Estadio Morelos in Morelia. That game will be shown live on FOX Soccer.
  • LA’s scheduled game at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls for Sunday, August 28 was postponed on Thursday because of Hurricane Irene, meaning that the Galaxy will return to action on Monday, September 5 when they travel to face Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. That game, which will be their first-ever visit to that stadium, kicks off at 3 p.m. and will be shown live on FOX Soccer.

Quotes:

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the team’s performance:

“I think we played well tonight. Not an easy game, a good opponent different kind of game probably than we are used to. Different qualities, the officiating is certainly different. It’s a good experience for our group for the most part. A number of players haven’t been through a lot of this. I think overall we are real pleased with the win. This is going to be a tough competition until the end.”

On how the postponement of Sunday’s game changed his game plan for tonight:

“It helped us. I would not have probably played Beckham or Gonzalez and it was a plus for us. Then, with the injury to Berhalter, Sunday would have been difficult. This is going to be the story in September and October, to deal with these games sandwiched between MLS games in an important part of this competition as well as MLS so it’s really going to be a challenging month of September for us.”

On the play of Robbie Keane:

“I think he had a good game, he is getting his legs. You got to remember that he has been here for one week now and we have thrown an awful lot at him. New team, different conditions, different football for him and I think he has been outstanding. That run he made in the second goal was fabulous to open up the back half of the goal, it was excellent. He is going to be real good for us. We know that he needs some more games to get his full fitness but he is a good addition to our team.”

On the return of Chad Barrett:

“It’s great for his confidence, excellent contribution. He has been out six or seven weeks with that injury. We knew that were going to get him back this week and it’s great. It’s another player to throw into the mix because we are going to have to play a number of players in the months of September and October.”

LA Galaxy Captain Landon Donovan

On winning their opening two games at home:

“That was the goal. We didn’t play great, probably the last two games, San Jose in the league and (tonight), but we made the plays we needed to win the game and at the end of all of it we have six points from our first two homes games (in Champions League play), which we wanted, and we got a little time to rest. It’s a perfect night for us.”

On Robbie Keane’s second game with the club:

“Getting better and better. More and more comfortable. The guys now understand where he is playing, how he moves on the field and I thought he was excellent tonight. His movement was great. He was a menace consistently in front of the goal and I only think he’s going to get better.”

On LA’s second goal:

“It’s a great goal. Anywhere in the world that’s a great goal. A great ball from David, Sean made a great play, Robbie made a great run across the goal and a good finish (from Chad). We’ll take that goal all day.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On starting the Champions League Group Stage with two wins:

“It was important that we won tonight. We said it at the start of our group, we need to win our home games. Tonight was a tough game. They played well, you know they have some good players, but we put our chances away. It was a good night for us.”

On how this game was affected by the postponement of Sunday’s game in New York:

“It gives us an extra few days rest and we look forward to when it’s rescheduled. But let’s hope everyone is safe on the east coast, that’s the important thing.

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On his goal:

“David was hitting a lot of near post balls from the very beginning and I just thought that I would make a near post run that time and as the ball was coming I went to swing for it and hit the back of my head and it went in. I guess, a goal is a goal and I’ll take it.”

On Gregg Berhalter’s injury:

“We don’t really know what it is right now, but I’m worried because he’s been a solid force back there with me and I like playing with him back there. We’re still in the middle of finding out what it is, and hopefully he’s all right, but if he’s not I’m sure somebody we’ll step up to take his spot.”

On having six points after two games:

“This is exactly where we wanted to be. We wanted to win the first two home games so we could go (to Morelia) with a little bit of breathing room. I think we’ve done really well to get these six points and now we just have to concentrate and take these next few days off and get our bodies back to the way they were and get ready to play some more games.”

LA Galaxy Forward Chad Barrett

On his goal:

“Six minutes into the game and I’m staring into an empty net. It was an easy tap in. We had some good passes. It pretty much started with Beckham, playing that great through ball to Franklin and he gets up great on the right side. So, great run, great through ball and Keane makes a great near post run, took both defenders away from me, and it was just an easy tap in.”

On returning to the field after seven weeks out through injury:

“My knee feels completely normal again. It feels good to get out there and run with the guys. And that’s what you want, you want to tap for a goal in your first game back, it couldn’t have worked out better me. But you know, it was just good to play with the guys again and that’s really what I wanted to do the goal was just the nice cherry on top, it was an insurance goal. It was good.”

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Josh Saunders

On the win:

“The defense has done extremely well. They haven’t really allowed much coming in from behind or shots from distance. It’s been good. I can’t say enough about them. It’s tough to lose a guy like Gregg (Berhalter) but we were able to hold down the game.”

On recording another clean sheet in Champions League:

“Whenever you can get two clean sheets and six points it is obviously a good result and we are excited about that. It will be tough going down to Mexico to get three points but that’s what we are shooting for.”

LA Galaxy Defender Gregg Berhalter

On his injury:

“I just stepped down, no one was near me, I stepped and I felt something pop in my foot so will see. It might not be that bad. Who knows? We will get the information tomorrow and we will go from there.”

On tonight’s win:

“After two phases of the Champions League we have a plus four goal difference and six points so it’s looking positive.”