Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA @ KC

Galaxy, Sporting KC battle to 2-2 draw

juninho_SKC

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

LA Galaxy 2, Sporting Kansas City 2
Monday, September 5, 2011
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park – Kansas City, Kan.

Scoring Summary:

LA – Sean Franklin 3 (Omar Gonzalez 2) 25’

KC – Julio Cesar (Unassisted) 72’

LA – Sean Franklin 4 (David Beckham) 74’

KC – Omar Bravo (penalty kick) 92

Misconduct Summary:

KC – Roger Espinoza (Yellow Card) 2’

LA – Frankie Hejduk (Yellow Card) 65’

KC – Graham Zusi (Yellow Card) 67’

KC – Aurelien Collin (Yellow Card) 73’

LA – Landon Donovan (Yellow Card) 74’

LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 92

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Frankie Hejduk, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant; Sean Franklin, David Beckham©, Juninho, Mike Magee (Michael Stephens 78’); Chad Barrett (Landon Donovan 59’), Adam Cristman (Jovan Kirovski 88’).

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Bryan Jordan, Paolo Cardozo, Miguel Lopez.

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielson; Aurelien Collin, Julio Cesar, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Roger Espinoza (Davy Arnaud 64’), Jeferson (Sonny Saad 80’), Graham Zusi; Omar Bravo, C.J. Sapong, Chance Myers.

Subs Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Milos Stojcev, Kevin Ellis, Michael Harrington.

Referee: Ricardo Salazar

Referee’s Assistants: Brian Poeschel, Peter Manikowski

4th Official: Daniel Fitzgerald

Notes:

  • With the tie, the Galaxy are now 14-3-10 on the season, giving them a league-best 52 points. They remain in first place in the Western Conference and are now four points ahead of second place Seattle, who did not play over the holiday weekend. Dallas are now in third place, six points behind the Galaxy with all three teams having played 27 games this year.
  • In addition, the Galaxy are remain undefeated with a 7-0-8 record against the Eastern Conference, including 2-0-4 record on the road.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that beat San Jose 2-0 in their last league game. A.J. DeLaGarza returns to the center back, replacing Gregg Berhalter while Mike Magee stepped in for Landon Donovan, who returned from U.S. National Team duty and was on the bench. Chad Barrett returns to the forward line, starting up front in place of Robbie Keane who is on international duty with Ireland.
  • Barrett got the start up front alongside Adam Cristman who was making his third straight start in the league and fourth in all competition.
  • The Galaxy were once again without Sean Alvarado, Gregg Berhalter, Leonardo and Donovan Ricketts, who all missed the game through injury.
  • Frankie Hejduk made his third appearance and third start of the year at right back, playing the full 90 minutes. Hejduk made his Galaxy debut in the 2-1 win in Chicago on April 17.
  • Sean Franklin scored his third goal of the season, tapping in a bouncing header from Omar Gonzalez following a Kansas City attempted clearance.
  • The assist marked Gonzalez’s second of the season and a new career high as he previously recorded one assist in 2009.
  • Franklin scored his second goal of the game with David Beckham setting up the goal. He recorded his first multi-goal game of his career and is the second player to do so this season joining Landon Donovan.
  • The four goals are the most of Franklin’s MLS career. 
  • David Beckham was credited with the assist on the goal, giving him 12 on the season.
  • Beckham’s 12 assists are the most he has ever recorded in an MLS season, eclipsing the previous mark of 10, which he set in 2008.
  • Despite his assist tonight, Beckham remains in second place in assists in MLS, one behind Houston’s Brad Davis, who has 13 assists on the season.
  • In the Galaxy’s first 21 games of the year, which Franklin played 20 of, he had no goals and no assists. In the last six games, he has three goals and two assists.
  • Frankie Hejduk, Landon Donovan and David Beckham were the only Galaxy players to be booked tonight.
  • Todd Dunivant once again played the full 90 minutes at left back for the Galaxy. He is the only player on the club to start all 27 regular season games while also playing the full 90 minutes in each.
  • This was the Galaxy’s first ever game at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, which is the 37th different stadium that the Galaxy have played a regular season game in. They are now 16-15-6 their first time playing in a new building.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout crowd of 20,512 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
  • The Galaxy return to MLS action on Friday, September 9 when they host to the defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 8 p.m. (PT) and will be shown live on FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes.

Quotes:

Los Angeles Galaxy Manager Bruce Arena

Thoughts on closing out the match…

We did not do a good job over the last fifteen minutes of the game.  No excuses on our part.  Our most experienced players are making bad plays and that could have cost us the game.

We are giving away fouls in our defensive third.  We’re loosing the ball in our defensive half of the field.  We’re doing a lousy job on matchups on restarts.

On settling for a point on the road…

What’s the point of getting in to that discussion?  It’s a draw.  It is what it is.  We started the second half well.  We had a chance to make it 2-0 and we didn’t do it.  We got a good second goal and you think at that point we’re just going to say ‘Listen, we’re on the road, it’s one of those nights, don’t give up another goal and get out of here.’  We didn’t get it done.  We made too many individual mistakes to many mental mistakes over the last ten minutes or so.

On playing at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

Great facility, hopefully they can get the field right.  It’s a shame that the field is in the shape it’s in.  Obviously it’s challenging with the climate here.  You have extreme heat at times and some cold.  It is hard to manage the turf the right way and obviously when you do other events on the field, the field takes a beating and hopefully they’ll get that right.  The facility is wonderful.  I think it is absolutely fantastic.

 Galaxy midfielder David Beckham

Thoughts on end of game…

We struggled possessing and gave the ball away too much. We should be more mature and play the ball around. The pitch is partly to blame because it was hard to play soccer today, but we should still finish the game off. I’m just not complaining for our team, it was the same for them as well.

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

The stadium is great; it’s nice to see a soccer stadium like that in this league. It’s what you want to play in, the majority of the fans were good. It’s a great stadium.

On the officiating…

Tonight I don’t think the refereeing was that bad. I’m sure Kansas City fans don’t want to hear it but I think the referee actual got the calls right, I think they were offside. It’s always tough. You don’t always get those calls away from home and it’s good, but there’s still a lot of learning that needs to be done.

On his yellow card…

I told the referee the ball wasn’t on the spot which it wasn’t, it was in front of the spot. Unfortunately, I got another card. When the officiating is done right, there’s no problem, but I don’t think the referee had a bad game today.

On the match…

I think it was just two teams that wanted to win the game, simple as that. There was no aggression out there, there was aggression to win the ball and to win the game, but I don’t think there was any menace in any of the tackles.

Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan

Thoughts on the match…

I think we’re frustrated. All in all, a pretty good performance, but I think we could all be a little better at the end. Certainly our defending on set pieces needs to be better and I think overall just doing a better job of playing the game.

On letting three points slip away…

First, you have to give them credit, they kept going, and they put a lot of numbers forward and tried to get the second goal. I think we were just a little naïve in certain spots, giving away balls and just not defending well on set pieces. That came back to haunt us.

On the game getting rough…

It always happens this time of the year. Teams are fighting for playoff spots. We certainly know that every time we come into an environment like this where a team is fighting for their playoff lives, that’s what it’s going to look like and we did a good job matching that tonight.

Galaxy midfielder Sean Franklin

Thoughts on scoring two goals…

I enjoyed playing in the midfield today. Omar (Gonzalez) played me in with a nice header and David (Beckham) in the second half, obviously played in a good ball. I’m happy that I got two goals, but I wish the team would have gotten three points although it’s nice to still get a point on the road.

We were definitely pressured, we gave up a PK in the 90th minute. The game wasn’t over; we thought we could get another one in. We tried to push, but on the day, we’ll take a point.

On the end of the game…

We have to be focused for the full 90 minutes. The last 15 minutes, we gave up a lot of turnovers , including myself in our defensive half and we can’t do that against a team that’s trying to score and get back in the game. We have to do a better job closing out the game.

On his first goal…

I was more surprised that I was onside, but I saw a replay, it was close and I was on, I just wanted to get it quickly and place it, and I was able to score the goal.

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

It was good, it’s a beautiful stadium. They have a great crowd. They had a pretty awesome crowd behind our goalkeeper in the second half. It was a great turnout and it was fun to play in the stadium.

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Explanation on Collin disallowed goal…

You mean the world class finish that he had? We know one thing.  It’s us against everybody because nothing’s going to go our way and we realize that and that’s why everybody keeps fighting back.  They’ve got unbelievable determination to get back in the game and they’re not going to die and that is a quality that needs to be commended because game after game we fight for everything.  To have a goal like that taken away from you; that is unacceptable.

On the challenge of fitting players back in from injury…

Lack of rhythm, that’s one.  The other is that they lack 90 minutes of fitness.  That’s why Davy comes in late.  He just doesn’t have that total 90.  But, the experience of someone like Davy shows at the end because he was pumping balls in the box, he was in good spaces.  He’s a winner and that something that we need on the field.  I would also say that Jefferson relieves a lot of pressure.  The way that he play makes and calms the game and can thread the needle so from that point of view very good. 

On having a fully fit Aurelien Collin…
Collin, at the end of the day he’s a psycho and that is good for our team because you need those types of guys inside the white lines and on your team and you want to play with them.  The goal he scores is that never die attitude and that’s the one thing about this group of guys that no matter how the season started or how the games going they’re going to try to find a way to get back in it. 

On the result…
I don’t want to take anything away from Los Angeles.  Los Angeles is a very good team. They are the best team in the league right now.  But, I think at the end we had a lot more than they did and I think we should be rewarded for that.  But again, credit to the guys for getting the point.

On the decision to play Collin at right back…
I didn’t want to just put somebody out there who did the job more defensively.  Chance does a good job of getting down that line and puts guys under pressure with his speed.  He can get around them and Collin has played as a right back before so the idea was to push Chance up there and let him run and be dangerous going forward with Collin covering him a little bit.

On the pace of the game…

It was a very intense game, especially when the minutes were winding down, but we were pumping the ball in the box and we were causing a lot of havoc and that’s where the chances came from.  I thought we were actually pretty good at keeping the ball.  We got some great shots off.  Balls were going over the net but we had some great opportunities tonight especially with Zusi early on.

Sporting Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin

General thoughts on the match…

We showed another time that we are in good shape, mentally. Physically we’re good, but we made a couple of mistakes tactically. Today we show that we deserved to win, but we accept the result and we’re going to keep working and try to win the next game.

On the team’s mental strength…

Mentally, we are very strong. We just have to be careful that everytime we score, we have to get back straight to the game. We can not allow these things to happen when we score and most of the time the other team scores just right after we do so just mentally we have to be careful. But it means mentally we are very good when we are losing we keep our head up and work hard to get back to scoring goals.

On the outlook for the rest of the season…

I’m very confident because today we showed again that we could win against Los Angeles. Honestly, after each game I am more confident with the team. The fans were amazing so if we keep playing like that in a stadium like that and fans like that, I’m sure we are going to do amazing things.

Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler

General thoughts on the match…

It was a good battle out there. I think it’s two teams that are playing well right now, the intensity of the game was like a playoff atmosphere and for us to get a tie out of it I think we battled back pretty well.

On how the two comebacks felt…

I mean we’ve been doing it all year, I have never questioned the character of the team. We’ve shown it multiple times with goals in the last 10 minutes to tie it up or win games, so this is just another example of that.

On the matchup with Houston on Saturday…

To be honest its one game at a time right now, Houston is our biggest game of the season, they’re right under us in the table, we get them at home and will be a good chance to gain some ground on them.

Sporting Kansas City defender Chance Myers

General thoughts on the match…
I thought we did pretty well. We came out ready to play, game was 100 miles an hour for 96 minutes. That was a good battle. I thought we did well to come back from the early goal. It’s a shame, we give up those two simple goals, we have to do better on that on the defensive end, but overall a good fight from the boys.

On coming back twice…

Can’t say enough about the boys fight. We’ve given up goals late, but we took it upon ourselves to get that tie, even though we wanted that win and we feel like we lost a couple points tonight.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi

General thoughts on the match…

I thought we played very well today. I thought we played well enough to get the win as well. We put three goals in. We did well to control the pace of the game and I think we didn’t allow them to really settle in to what they do best and ping the ball around. We put a lot of pressure on their midfield and didn’t allow them to pick out their passes.

On the team’s goals moving forward…
I think we have a pretty solid base. We just need to continue to play well at home and really put pressure on teams. We need to continue to be hard to play against and hard to score against. I think going forward we can grow from this game. I thought we played well but like I said before, we did enough to win the game it was just unfortunate we didn’t.

On exciting matches at home…
There’s always something dramatic at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tonight it was going down twice and coming back, great for the fans and great for us on the pitch.

At the start of the game, everyone was going 100 miles an hour, and that’s to be expected in a game like this. I actually thought that once we settled down a little bit in the first half especially the last 15 minutes we were putting quite a bit of pressure on them, and then once the second half started we kept that pressure on and it helped us battle back and get the goals.