Postgame Notes & Quotes: Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy

Saunders: "It’s nice to be able to come up big for your team in a time in need."

saunders_colorado

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

LA Galaxy 2, Colorado Rapids 1
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colo.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Own Goal (Marvell Wynne) 21’
LA – Landon Donovan 2 (Robbie Keane 2) 39’
COL – Omar Cummings 3(Unassisted) 63’

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Jeff Larentowicz (Yellow Card) 23’
COL – Kosuke Kimura (Yellow Card) 43’
LA – Juninho (Yellow Card) 66’
COL – Omar Cummings (Yellow Card) 83’
LA – David Junior Lopes (Yellow Card) 91+

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan (c), Juninho (Michael Stephens 89’), David Beckham, Mike Magee (Pat Noonan 81’); Robbie Keane, Edson Buddle (Chad Barrett 72’).

Subs Not Used: Bill Gaudette, Tommy Meyer, Bryan Jordan, Marcelo Sarvas.

Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens; Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor (c), Luis Zapata; Jeff Larentowicz, Kamani Hill (Wells Thompson 78’), Jaime Castrillon; Brian Mullan (Andre Akpan 88’), Tony Cascio, Omar Cummings.

Subs Not Used: Steward Ceus, Hunter Freeman, Tyrone Marshall, Joseph Nane, Kohei Yamada.

Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell and Jason Cullum
4th Official: Jasen Anno

Notes:

  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 3-3-0 on the season for nine points. They are now tied with Chivas USA and Colorado for fifth place in the Western Conference.
  • The Galaxy have now won two straight regular season games for the first time since September 24 and October 1 last season.
  • After losing their first three visits to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Galaxy are now unbeaten in their last four trips to the venue, going 3-0-1 in that time, including wins in each of their last three visits.
  • This was LA’s first road win of the 2012 season.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that beat Portland 3-1 at The Home Depot Center last weekend. Edson Buddle and A.J. DeLaGarza each returned to the starting lineup with Chad Barrett and Tommy Meyer taking spots on the Galaxy bench.
  • DeLaGarza missed the win over Portland with tightness in his right adductor but returned to training this week and reclaimed his starting spot in central defense alongside David Junior Lopes.
  • This was the first time this season that the Galaxy were able to make fewer than three changes from the previous game’s starting lineup.
  • After missing the win over Portland with a right ankle sprain, Michael Stephens returned to the 18-man squad, beginning the game on the bench. He eventually came on for Juninho in the 89th minute.
  • The Galaxy were once again without Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo and Brian Perk, who all missed the game through injury.
  • Gonzalez and Leonardo are each on the club’s Disabled List but are now eligible to be added to the active roster after sitting out the mandatory six regular season games.
  • The Galaxy took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute from an own goal by Colorado’s Marvell Wynne.
  • This was the earliest goal scored for LA this season and the first time that they had led 1-0 since March 18 against D.C. United in the second game of the year.
  • The own goal was the first scored for the Galaxy this season and the second straight year that they took a 1-0 lead at Colorado thanks to an own goal.
  • Wynne’s own goal was the first scored for LA since Jamison Olave scored an own goal in LA’s 2-1 home win over Real Salt Lake on October 1, 2011.
  • Landon Donovan doubled LA’s lead in the 39th minute with a left footed shot from 12 yards out that made the score 2-0.
  • The goal was Donovan’s second of the season and second in as many games for the Galaxy after failing to scored in each of the first three games that he played in during the season.
  • Donovan now has 85 regular season goals in his Galaxy career.
  • He is also tied with Robbie Keane for the team lead with three goals in all competitions this season.
  • Robbie Keane provided the assist on Donovan’s goal for his second of the season and second in as many games.
  • Both of Keane’s assists have set up Donovan goals.
  • Keane was playing the 10th regular season game of his Galaxy career tonight. He has either a goal or an assist in six of those 10 games.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, the Galaxy had scored just two first half goals all season long.
  • The Rapids cut the Galaxy lead in half in the 63rd minute when Omar Cummings scored his third goal of the year. That was his first goal against LA since October 2010.
  • With Cummings’ goal, the Galaxy still do not have a shutout this season and do not have one in their last seven regular season games. Last year LA never went more than four games without keeping a clean sheet.
  • Josh Saunders preserved LA’s lead with a penalty save off of Omar Cummings in the third minute of second half stoppage time. That was his first career penalty save in an MLS regular season game.
  • That was the fifth penalty that Saunders had faced since making his Galaxy debut in 2008.
  • Prior to that penalty save, the last time the Galaxy saved a penalty was on July 4, 2011 when Brian Perk stopped a Fredy Montero penalty in a 0-0 home draw with Seattle.
  • Saunders finished the game with three saves for his third win of the season.
  • Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Robbie Keane and Josh Saunders all played the full 90 minutes for the Galaxy. They have now played all 540 minutes that LA have played in the regular season.
  • Of that group, Dunivant, Keane and Saunders have played every minute that the Galaxy have played in all competitions.
  • Juninho and David Junior Lopes were each booked on the night for LA. Juninho was shown his first booking of the year for a foul on Jeff Larentowicz in the 66th minute while Lopes was booked for a foul in the first minute of second half stoppage time.
  • This was LA’s first win this season that did not finish with a 3-1 final scoreline.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout crowd of 19,152 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The Galaxy will be back in action on Saturday, April 28 when they host FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center. That game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on KDOC in English and KWHY in Spanish.
  • The team will return to Southern California on Sunday before heading back to training on Monday ahead of the game against Dallas.
  • For more about tonight’s game, please check out all the news on www.lagalaxy.com.

QUOTES:

LA Galaxy

Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy Head Coach

On the penalty kick:
I saw nothing. There was not a foul. It was a poor call. We survived it though, fortunately.

On the first half:
I think it’s always difficult to get your second wind when you’re playing in altitude. I thought our guys acted tired toward the end of the half, but the second goal was obviously big. I thought the first half we played well and as the game went on and they got the goal, I think around the 63rd minute, great goal by Cummings I give him a lot of credit. They played pretty direct and put us under a lot of pressure in our penalty area.  And Saunders obviously came up big at the end of the game.

On possession and the second half:
I think we could have done a better job with the goal. They forced us to have to defend an awful lot and Colorado came at us and it was challenging and certainly a pretty hectic closing minutes of that game with that call and everything else. Absolutely remarkable, we’re thankful we survived it. But it’s unfortunate that those kind of mistakes occur because that could have cost us dearly. These points at this time of year are important, especially in conference games so we’re thankful we got out of here with three points. We haven’t started real well so it’s important we piece some wins together.

David Beckham, LA Galaxy midfielder

On getting the road result:
Not bad, obviously happy we won. It’s a difficult place to come and win so, yeah, we’re happy.

On the Colorado Rapids:
It’s great to see a full stadium. It’s always nice to travel places and have the stadium be full. It was a nice atmosphere but it’s always nice to come away and win.

On the rough start to the season:
It’s a big win. It’s just a stepping stone to obviously what we want to achieve. We didn’t start the season off well but the last two games have been better, not just because we won the games but because we played as a team and we’ve done well.

On the penalty kick call:
To be honest I’m probably better off not even commenting on it because I’ll get myself in trouble. That’s enough; I’m not even going to say anything. It would have been a travesty if we hadn’t won this game tonight because we were on top for most of the game. They obviously came at us second half but it would have been a travesty if we hadn’t have won it, but we did.

On maintaining control of the game:
I think we did, especially in the first half we controlled it really well. We passed around well. Second half our passing wasn’t as good but we knew that they were obviously going to come onto us and push us to get back in the game. We’re happy that Josh [Saunders] came up with a great save for the penalty, there should never have been one but that’s immaterial now.

On the team morale after the win:
Obviously the locker room’s better now than it was two weeks ago because we’re playing as a team, were playing well, we’re winning games. We just need to continue that. This is not where it ends for us, we need to continue next week and the week after and all the way through the season. So tonight we’re happy.

On the altitude:
It was tough. We all felt it in the warm-up and when you go on a long run or things like that during the game, then you feel it as well. I think we coped with it pretty well especially in the first half. Because we kept the ball and passed the ball around well. It was easy for us. But a bit tougher in the second half. It’s a tough place to come and win and we’re happy tonight.

On scoring first:
I think it’s always important especially when you’re on the road to not concede in the first 10 to 15 minutes. We kept it tight and we felt we were creating good chances and getting that first goal always settles the team down. Settles individuals down, I think it did that. And it quieted the fans down and that’s a big thing to do so we went on from there.

On the second half:
We knew they was going to pressure us a little more and come onto us a little bit more but I think overall we defended well and we kept their chances to a minimum and we’re happy tonight.

Josh Saunders, LA Galaxy goalkeeper

On stopping the penalty kick:
It’s nice to be able to come up big for your team in a time in need. We were up two to one, and that would have tied the game, so it gave us a crucial three points. Massive. It’s one of those things, you see how hard they’re working and you want to do something for them.

What do you read during a PK:
Just his body language. You try to intimidate as much as you can, stand tall and go big when you can. Honestly I don’t even know statistically what odds would be. It’s just what you make of it. If you’re confident and ready to go for it, you can make the save.

Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy midfielder

On his goal:
Yea, I should have scored a really easy one early on. But we did a good job of using the ball well and on that play, I started on my right and got it into Robbie [Keane]. Myself, Edson [Buddle] and him took off and Edson did a good job dragging a few defenders away and Robbie got it to me and I just wanted to hit the target hard from there and it went in.

On the missed header opportunity:
I just missed it. It’s one I needed to do a lot better on, no question.

On the Galaxy’s performance overall:
I thought we were pretty good. They put a lot of pressure on us in the second half which was to be expected. But overall I thought our shape was pretty good. I thought we created enough chances in the game to get goals. We were pretty good in front of the goal. And then our goalie made a huge save in the end when we needed him to.

Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids Head Coach Oscar Pareja

On the loss being tough to take:
It’s a hard one. But if I have a team that fights and has that pride that we showed today, I can go to sleep well. All the credit for the players that gave all they had on the field. And I think so far, in the game I can see all the hard work that we have put in the past three months. I’m obviously, it’s a tough one and it hurts because we had PK and we had options and I think the boys deserved much more than that. So we are going to suffer that pain, but at the same time I’m very proud about the effort of the players.

On maintaining a possession, especially in the second half:
We are growing on that part. I thought the possession today that we had was a more positive and we’re getting behind more than the other game. It’s great when you build what you want. It’s great when you see on the field those sequences of what we put on the training ground and you get points; that’s fantastic. But at this moment you’ve got something which is that possession and that start we want to give to the team, but we didn’t get any points and that hurts.

On the change in momentum after the Rapids scored:
I experienced it today with the fans and I know the players; that’s one of the things that hurt them the most. I think the people played the second half. I think the fans played the second half with the players, they get into the game and I felt it. That’s what it is, the game. And the game is being transformed in this country big time, and that moment that you mentioned is one of those. Where you feel like the people are jumping onto the field and making things happen, the players felt it.

On looking to the match against Chivas USA next week:
It will be great if the people who came today to the complex saw the effort and all the good soccer that the players put onto the field and they want to see it again and come and support them. We are going to build on that, because what I saw again, today, was good soccer and a lot of pride for the players and fighting and playing what we want to see. It was more frequent, the sequences that we wanted today were more frequent.

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens

On the Galaxy’s first goal:
We were slow in setting up and they punished us for it. By the time we got our wall set up and we were shifting guys around, we leave our marks trying to get people in the wall, they punished us for it. Just late setting up and it’s happened in a couple games now. It’s something we need to get right in order to move forward.

On whether the team deserved better:
A little bit. I think we battled hard to come back and get back. We at least should’ve gotten a point out of it. Doesn’t happen that way all the time, you’re not guaranteed anything, still got to put the ball in the back of the net, so I’m happy that the guys battled pretty hard. I mean, they worked pretty hard in the second half to get us back into the game, and like you said, it could’ve been a 2-2 game.

Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor

On the performance:
We should’ve won the game…. We were by far the better team. A couple lapses: a set piece again, and through the run of play. When you create so many chances and play so well, it’s just so frustrating. But you have to take the positives from this game. We were by far the better team. Give LA credit, they finished their chances, but we did everything possible to win the game. We’re seven games into the season. It’s just one of those games that you’ll look back at, and you grow from, you learn from. We’re looking forward.

On how the team will grow:
It’s finding a good run of form. Omar scored a fantastic goal tonight. He missed a PK, but you’d put Omar to take a PK 99 times out of 100. The kid is absolutely gutted right now. But we’ve got such good players, we’ve got such a deep squad, we’ve got players coming back from injury; this team’s going to be fine. We’re not worried at all.