Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs NY

LA Galaxy defeat NY Red Bulls 2-1 (3-1 aggregate) to advance to Western Conference Championship

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Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora/LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 2, New York Red Bulls 1

Western Conference Semifinal Series – Game Two

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Galaxy Win Series 3-1 on aggregate

Scoring Summary:

NY – Luke Rodgers 1 (Thierry Henry 1, Joel Lindpere 1) 4’

LA – Mike Magee 2 (David Beckham 2) 42’

LA – Landon Donovan (Penalty Kick) 75’

Misconduct Summary:

NY – Luke Rodgers (Yellow Card) 5’

LA – Landon Donovan (Yellow Card) 47+

NY – Thierry Henry (Yellow Card) 62’

NY – Jan Gunnar Solli (Yellow Card) 81’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan©, David Beckham (Michael Stephens 79’), Chris Birchall, Mike Magee; Chad Barrett (Adam Cristman 82’), Robbie Keane (Paolo Cardozo 89’).

Subs Not Used: Donovan Ricketts, Dasan Robinson, Frankie Hejduk, Jovan Kirovski.

New York Red Bulls: Frank Rost; Jan Gunnar Solli, Stephen Keel, Tim Ream, Roy Miller; Dax McCarty (Juan Agudelo 64’), Teemu Tainio (Stephane Auvray 16’), Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere (Mehdi Ballouchy 87’); Thierry Henry©, Luke Rodgers.

Subs Not Used: Bouna Coundoul, Carlos Mendes, Matt Kassel.

Referee: Hilario Grajeda

Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry and Paul Scott

4th Official: Ramon Hernandez

Notes:

  • With the win, the Galaxy will now advance to the Western Conference Championship, where they will face Real Salt Lake. That game will be played at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, November 6 at 6 p.m.
  • This is the third straight season in which the Galaxy will host the Western Conference Championship and the 11th time in club history that they have reached this stage of the playoffs.
  • The Galaxy also won their Conference Semifinal Series last year 3-1 on aggregate after beating Seattle 1-0 on the road in the first leg and then winning 2-1 at home in the second leg.
  • Since the start of the current postseason format in 2003, the Galaxy are now 4-1-1 in the second game of the Conference Semifinals.
  • Bruce Arena made one change to the team that beat New York 1-0 on Sunday with Chris Birchall coming in for the suspended Juninho. Jovan Kirovski started the game on the bench after not dressing in the first game of the series.
  • New York made two changes to their lineup with Jan Gunnar Solli returning from suspension at right back in place of Carlos Mendes and Dax McCarty starting in central midfield in place of the suspended Rafa Marquez.
  • The Galaxy were once again without Sean Alvarado, Gregg Berhalter, Bryan Jordan and Leonardo who all missed the game through injury.
  • Juninho missed the game, just his sixth in all competitions, after collecting a red card on Sunday.
  • The Red Bulls took a 1-0 lead in just the fourth minute, evening the aggregate score at 1-1. Luke Rodgers scored the first playoff goal of his career off a pass from Thierry Henry.
  • In both home games against the Red Bulls this season, the Galaxy allowed a goal inside the opening five minutes, with Thierry Henry giving his team a 1-0 lead back on May 7. That game ended 1-1.
  • That goal was the first-ever allowed by Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders in 149 minutes of postseason play.
  • Mike Magee equalized for the Galaxy just before halftime, heading in a David Beckham corner kick in the 42nd minute.
  • The goal was the second of the postseason for Magee with Beckham assisting on each.
  • Magee is now tied for the MLS lead in postseason goals, along with Salt Lake’s Alvaro Saborio and Kansas City’s Teal Bunbury, each of whom have scored twice.
  • Magee’s four postseason goals since the start of the 2009 season are the second most on the team, one less than Landon Donovan.
  • Beckham’s two assists are tied with Houston’s Brad Davis for the most in the postseason so far this year. Davis and Beckham finished 1-2 respectively in the regular season in assists.
  • Landon Donovan gave the Galaxy a 2-1 lead in the game and a 3-1 lead in the series with a 75th minute penalty kick. That was the 18th goal of his postseason career, extending his MLS all-time record.
  • The goal was Donovan’s first in the postseason since the 2009 Western Conference Championship against Houston when he scored a penalty late in the second half of extra time. He had not scored in five straight postseason games before that goal, the longest streak scoreless drought of his playoff career.
  • The penalty was called after Roy Miller fouled David Beckham in the penalty area.
  • Beckham exited the game in the 79th minute and was replaced by Michael Stephens, who made his postseason debut.
  • Ten minutes later, Paolo Cardozo made his postseason debut, coming on for Robbie Keane.
  • Josh Saunders finished the game with two saves for his second consecutive postseason win.
  • This was the first time in five postseason games against New York that the Galaxy did not have a player sent off.
  • David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez and Mike Magee continued their streak of starting every playoff game that the Galaxy have played since the start of the 2009 season, appearing in all nine postseason games for the club in that time.
  • The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 20,000 at The Home Depot Center. The stadium capacity was limited because of the class schedule at Cal Sate Dominguez Hills.

Quotes:

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the win:

“Certainly a difficult game tonight. It was very physical, obviously, spotting—it’s not the right word, they earned it— falling behind a goal and the series literally being even three minutes in at our place. To show the kind of character they did to get back in the game in the first half and having a pretty good second half.  Perfect. Henry was spectacular, Rodgers dangerous getting behind us and he got behind us 3, 4 times tonight. I thought the second half we played well and Beckham earned a penalty kick. It’s pretty good stuff. Obviously a good win and now we focus on getting our team ready for Sunday.”

On the play of midfielder Chris Birchall:

“Birchall I thought after the initial minutes was really very good tonight. I thought he did really very good tonight. Passed the ball well, won some big tackles, great work rate. I was really pleased with Chris’ contributions.”

On quick turnaround for Real Salt Lake:

“This is maybe the 10th time this year we’ve done this. We know how to recover from it. It’s never easy, but we'll get our team recovered.”

On Beckham playing three games in a week:

“If anyone can do it, it’s David. If he’s ready to go, he’s obviously going to go. We have a couple weeks off after Sunday’s game, one way or another, so our guys will be ready to play Sunday.”

On Mike Magee’s goal:

“Obviously that goal was big. I thought he started the game slow, and he got into it as the half went on and had a good second half as well. But he’s obviously scored some timely goals and important goals.”

On the play of David Beckham:

“His effort was great tonight. He’s a player with an unbelievable desire to win and compete. I thought when we got down a goal, I thought David helped pick up the team. His energy in the second half and earning that penalty kick, it was all David. And David I thought was an inspiration to our team tonight.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan

On the turning point of the game:

“I think that we figured out how to deal with them. Henry came back into the midfield and made it difficult. He was finding little spots and we were kind of pulled apart. I think once we figured that out and once we were better with the ball we started picking them apart and creating chances. They’re a team that likes to have the ball and dictate the tempo but conversely, when another team controls the pace and the tempo they struggle. I think that as the half went on we did a better job of that and we got a goal that we deserved.

On the effort of David Beckham:

“He’s gotten beat up both games but I thought he was terrific again. I thought that he and Birchall did a great job, obviously initially with the first goal we are all at fault for being a little out of position, but after that I thought they were terrific in midfield. David’s service once again was great and the effort by him was fantastic. I’ve seen that guy go through a lot and I think they would have had to carry him off the field, I don’t think he was coming off and that shows a lot about his character.”

On the form of Mike Magee:

“He’s been fantastic. A lot of our guys have said this throughout the year, he might be our best finisher in front of goal. He’s just so calm and he’s clinical when he gets a chance and we’ve seen that in both games, he’s scored two great goals.

Galaxy Midfielder Mike Magee

On his goal:

“Any time [David] has the ball, especially on corners, you just have to put yourself in a good spot because you know that he is going to put it there.”

On scoring in both legs of the series against New York:

“It does [feel good.] But there’s no time to celebrate just yet. Obviously scoring and advancing to the next round is huge.”

On the feeling of knocking out the Red Bulls:

“A little bit, yeah. Once the whistle blew it was nice that New York was gone and I was continuing on. But we have a goal to win MLS Cup and that outweighs that as of now.”

On the play of Chris Birchall:

“Chris Birchall was an absolute beast. I think it took him and all of us in the midfield about 10 minutes to get our bearings, but as you can see he had (Thierry) Henry and about four other guys buzzing around in the middle of the field. He did an amazing job doing it by himself. You can’t say enough good things about what Birchy did tonight.”

On playing at home tonight and again on Sunday:

“It’s big. We’ve established ourselves as a very good home team and our fans as you could tell tonight were amazing, pushing us when guys were tired. It’s definitely a lot better playing here than in Salt Lake.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On playing on such short rest:

“Obviously, we knew that the game was going to be shortly after this game. Obviously, it is not ideal but we are happy to be in this position and happy to have this problem. But ideally, I am sure Salt Lake would be the same and prefer a few days more rest but it is what it is. We are happy to be in the position we are in.”

On the win:

“I think that we started off bad and it wasn’t what we had planned so obviously it was a disappointing start but I think that the way that we adjusted ourselves showed the character of our players and our team.”

What happened when you got hit and had to go down:

“I think that I just headed the ball wrong, that was it. It was my back more than anything, I headed the ball but obviously I have had issues with my back all season and it was just a spasm in my lower back.”

On facing Real Salt Lake, a rematch of 2009 MLS Cup:

“There is no revenge about any games that we play in game. But, of course, we want to beat them. As simple as that. They are a very good team, they have a very good manager, that is passionate about the game, and we know it’s going to be a difficult game. But, the advantage is, we’re at home and we’ll have out fans behind us. But we know we are going to be in a game.”

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

On the game’s intensity:

“It’s a playoff game, it’s what we expected. Obviously we didn’t get off to a very good start, shot ourselves in the foot a little bit in the first five minutes and were a little sloppy with the ball and they scored a good goal. We had to work hard to come back in the game and we showed that in abundance today.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Chris Birchall

On the game’s opening minutes:

“I think that it just took us 10, 15 minutes to settle. I think that we’ll go through tomorrow what we could have done better in the first 10, 15 minutes. They did get chances but after that we got our confidence, started creating chances and after that we were a lot more settled and a solid team.”

On the team’s defensive adjustments:

“In the first 10, 15 minutes we were a bit slow in trying to figure out how they were playing. Thierry was getting in behind, he was dropping off deep in front of our back four and just behind me and David so that is something that after 10 minutes we got sorted. Once you stop Henry getting it and turning you have a better chance of winning. I think we cut their chances down and we starting creating and started playing.”

New York Red Bulls Head Coach Hans Backe

On giving up goals on set pieces:

“I think when Magee scored the first one our guys just missed to mark him, he came from the rebound area, perhaps not that easy to pick up, but I think our guys in the zone positioning should have attacked the ball. But it’s been too many goals from set plays all season.”

On if Tainio’s injury forced Henry into a role in the midfield:

“I think Thierry, when Teemu is not on the pitch with his distribution, I feel Thierry likes to get involved deep as a second striker to get involved in the build up so that’s correct.”

On if the Galaxy made any changes after Rodgers’ goal:

“I don’t think so. They got a little more possession, we dropped a little too deep after getting in front that early and gave them probably too much possession in the first half because when we gave our turnovers or breaks we attacked too quick, it was final passes from the back four and we lost the ball and had to defend for 10, 15, 20 minutes of the first half.”

On Rodgers’ goal:

“We haven’t lost many games with him on the pitch. He’s been a massive player for us, even if he missed the whole preseason he’s been, with his work ethic, work rate, his energy, he definitely also lifts the guys around. I think he will be more consistent with his game (next season). He missed the whole preseason, also four-five weeks during the season with his ankle problem, so I think Luke Rodgers with a preseason will be very consistent and he’s always good for goal.”

New York Red Bulls Forward Luke Rodgers

Overall thoughts on the result:

“Of course it’s disappointing. I won’t say a lot. We’re one-nil off. We need a score. Straight a way we come out, we’re the better team. Score the goal. We’re starting to get all over them. And, once again, we’re conceding from set pieces. I don’t care what team you’re on, if you’re conceding set-piece goals, you’re not going to win many games. If you look at the season, there’s been a pattern and we need to eliminate it next season or we will be in the same position. I thought we had a great start. I thought we really worked hard as a team and it’s just disappointing. It’s hard to swallow.”

On what happened after NY went up 1-0:

“I’m not too sure. I just thought it was one of them games were everybody was going to score a lot of goals. Take nothing away, LA are a great team, we should have won that game tonight. But it’s not meant to be. We will prepare now for next season. Good luck to LA.”

New York Red Bulls Forward Thierry Henry

Overall thoughts on the series:

“They won. They beat us at our place. They beat us at their place. So, at the end of the day, there’s nothing to say about it. We gave it a go.”

Overall thoughts on the game:

“We were 1-0 up, they come back on a corner kick, even had a couple of chances before that, and then in the second half they put the score up to 2-1. In the end of the day, it was always going to be difficult to score two against this team. But, at the end of the day, they deserve to win, they beat us twice.”

On what was the difference in the series:

They won at our place and they won at their place. That’s the difference.”

On the loss of Teemu Tainio:

“You kind of don’t think about it when you are playing the game. But we already lost Rafa. I don’t know when exactly he came out, but losing a player like Teemu basically you're losing two players that play in front of the defense usually. Now that I think about it you don’t want to have them out of the field, but we still gave them a good run.”