Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers

Win snaps LA’s seven-game winless streak; Galaxy move up to 7th in Western Conference

dunivant_beckham_portland

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria / LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 1, Portland Timbers 0
Sunday, June 17, 2012
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Todd Dunivant 1 (David Beckham 5) 62’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Todd Dunivant (Yellow Card) 33’
POR – Mike Chabala (Yellow Card 40’
POR – Troy Perkins (Yellow Card) 61’
POR – Diego Chara (Yellow Card) 71’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, David Junior Lopes, Todd Dunivant; Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, David Beckham; Bryan Jordan (Kyle Nakazawa 80’), Landon Donovan©, Chad Barrett (Jack McBean 82’).

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Bryan Gaul, Tommy Meyer, Rafael Garcia, Kenney Walker.

Portland Timbers: Troy Perkins; Jack Jewsbury©, Hayner Mosquera, David Horst, Mike Chabala; Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan (Eric Alexander 79’), Franck Songo’o (Sal Zizzo 65’), Darlington Nagbe; Danny Mwanga, Kris Boyd (Mike Fucito 73’).

Subs Not Used: Joseph Bendik, Mamadou Danso, Lovel Palmer, Brent Richards.

Referee: Geoff Gamble
Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson and Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

Notes:

  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 4-8-2 on the season for 14 points. They have now leapfrogged FC Dallas and Portland and are in seventh place in the Western Conference, one point behind Chivas USA in sixth pace.
  • The win snaps LA’s seven-game winless streak. They had been 0-5-2 in their previous seven games before today’s game.
  • This was LA’s fourth win on the season and second over the Timbers. LA is now 3-0-0 all-time at home against Portland.
  • The Galaxy had not played an MLS regular season game since May 26 when they lost 2-1 in Houston. There were exactly three weeks of time in between the two matches.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made five changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Houston in their last regular season game on May 26. Josh Saunders, David Junior Lopes, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas and Landon Donovan all returned to the starting lineup. They replaced Brian Perk, Bryan Gaul, Kenney Walker, Mike Magee and Edson Buddle. Perk, Gaul and Walker all started the game on the bench and did not play while Magee was suspended and Buddle was injured.
  • In addition to Magee, Hector Jimenez and Michael Stephens also missed today’s game while serving suspensions that they were given by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. All three are eligible to return on Wednesday.
  • In addition to those three, the Galaxy were also without Andrew Boyens, Adam Cristman, Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo, who are all on the Disabled List with various injuries, as well as Edson Buddle and Dan Keat, who recently had knee surgery, and Pat Noonan, who suffered a right quad strain in training on Friday.
  • Robbie Keane was also unavailable while on international duty, meaning that 11 players were not available for selection this afternoon.
  • Rafael Garcia and Jack McBean were each in the 18-man squad for the first time this season.
  • With the changes, the Galaxy have now made at least one change to their starting lineup in every game that they have played this season. In only one of those games did LA make fewer than two changes.
  • Josh Saunders was back in the lineup for the first time since April 21 at Colorado after completing the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program.
  • Magee had been the only player on the club to play in each of the club’s first 16 games in all competitions, a streak that was broken today with his suspension.
  • Todd Dunivant gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead with a 61st minute goal. That was his first goal of the season and first in the regular season since May 8, 2010 when he scored in the second half of a 4-0 win at Seattle.
  • That was Dunivant’s first regular season goal at The Home Depot Center since June 2009 in a 1-0 win over Houston.
  • Dunivant now has six goals in his MLS career, with three of them coming in a Galaxy uniform.
  • He is the 10th different player to score for LA this season.
  • David Beckham was credited with the lone assist on the goal, providing the corner kick for Dunivant to head past Troy Perkins. Beckham now has five assists on the season and is tied for third in MLS.
  • He has recorded an assist in each of his last three games.
  • Before today’s game, the Galaxy had not scored directly from a corner this season.
  • This was LA’s first shutout of the season, ending a streak of 13 regular season games and 16 games in all competitions without a clean sheet.
  • Josh Saunders finished the game with four saves, including three in the first half. During his absence, no Galaxy goalkeeper had registered more than four saves in a game.
  • With the shutout, the 12th of his MLS career, Saunders lowered his goals against average on the season from 1.67 to 1.43.
  • LA have now scored first in their last four games in all competitions, though this was the first time they were able to maintain that lead.
  • Todd Dunivant was the only Galaxy player to be shown a yellow card on the day, it was his first of the season in all competitions.
  • Mike Chabala, Troy Perkins and Diego Chara were each booked for the visitors.
  • With David Beckham not being shown a yellow card he is now one more clean game away from having a card removed from his record. Beckham, who has a team-high four yellow cards on the year, will have one removed from his record if he is not booked in his next game.
  • Jack McBean came on in the 82nd minute, replacing Chad Barrett. This was his first appearance of the season and his first-ever regular season appearance at The Home Depot Center.
  • Sean Franklin once again played the full 90 minutes for the Galaxy. He is the only player on the club to have played every minute of the club’s 14 regular season games.
  • With Jack McBean coming on as a second half substitute, only Rafael Garcia, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo and Jose Villarreal have not started or appeared in a game during the regular season.
  • This was LA’s first 1-0 win of the season. Last year they won nine regular season games, one CONCACAF Champions League game and two MLS Cup Playoff games by that score.
  • The attendance for today’s game was 20,611.
  • The Galaxy will be back in action on Wednesday, June 20 when they travel to Utah to face Real Salt Lake. That game will kick off at 6 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on KDOC in English and KWHY in Spanish.
  • They will be back at The Home Depot Center on Saturday, June 23 when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center. That game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.

QUOTES

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On Josh Saunders’ return:

“He’s a very likable person, obviously he dealt with some difficult personal experiences, but the team supported him all the way. He was really happy to get back. Having an experienced goalkeeper in the goal, definitely helps. A couple saves in the first half that were big. Just having his experience helps the entire group. We were fighting numbers today; we were very limited with who we had available. We just had to gut it out. Our guys did a terrific job given the numbers we had available and the conditions today. It was pretty warm on the field for the players. We knew a goal could hold up today. We are pleased with that because there were a number of games this season that should have ended like that and didn’t. To be able to get the three points tonight was great and build some confidence going into a difficult week ahead.”

On the first shutout of the season:

“It’s good. I guess it’s been a little rare this year. But, when you get a shutout, it’s not just your goalkeeper; it’s the players in front of him. I think they did a pretty good job for the most part. And, again lets be fair—we had a couple of good chances to start the game. They had a good chance or two at the end of the first half. A timely save is critical. We had one in the first half.”

On building off the win:

“Hopefully it is. We played real well when against San Jose, we played very well for 75 minutes. We made a few mistakes and it cost us. The Houston game—I don’t even count. That was a horrible situation for players on either team. The last time we played at home—we played very well. And then the guys that went on the road for the Open Cup game had a pretty solid form. The reserve games have been good. They are moving forward. These are things to build off of and today as well. We are making progress, but we aren’t going to be with a full team for a while. That’s what it is—with the injuries and suspensions. Hopefully, we’ll be a little bit better for it.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan

On Josh Saunders return:

“Josh was great. His attitude since he’s been back has been great. He looks like he has some clarity in life. He looks humble, he looks calm and I thought he was excellent tonight.”

On the team’s performance:

“We got back to doing things that made a difference. It wasn’t pretty, but we made a lot of real good plays on both side of the ball that made a difference. I can’t look at any one guy and say that he didn’t that he didn’t perform well and he didn’t give everything he had. It’s a good building block. Let’s not get carried away—it’s one win, but it’s a good win. Everyone feels good about it. To get a shutout against a real good offensive team is a real plus.”

On the club’s shift in formation:

“I thought that Chad (Barrett) did a great job. It’s hard when you’re up there by yourself as a forward. We wanted to get those three (Beckham, Juninho and Sarvas) in the middle together on the field and I thought they were all fantastic. We didn’t have a ton of options, we have some injuries, so that’s kind of the way it worked out, but I thought that everyone, regardless of the formation, just put in a real effort and helped to get a win.”

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Josh Saunders

On getting the win:

“It felt good. We battled through the game. We just kept believing that we were going to start winning some games and we showed it on the field. We battled and had some struggles early on, but we were able to pull through it. I can’t say enough about what the guys did on the field.”

On making a save with his face:

“Do what it takes. Sometimes that gets you back into the game, and it was timely.”

On making his return to the first team:

“It was good. I was fortunate to get that time off where we had the two reserve games and those helped a lot. Winning those games, it gave me confidence and even the guys who came on the field late and played in those games it helped them too.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On Josh Saunders’ returning and his performance:

“Obviously, it was a big lift. He made some good saves in the first half, which keeps you in the game. It’s great to see him back. I think overall the team played better. It wasn’t pretty at times, but we are happy with the three points and to get back in winning ways. We’ve got a tough six or seven days now and it was important to a good result today.”

On the shutout:

“It’s something you always look in a game. We haven’t had any season, so it was important.”

On the importance of the win:

“We just have to build on it, it’s as simple as that. Last season we played a lot of games like this where we won 1-0 and we kept the other team shutout. We need more performances like this and we’re capable of it. Hopefully this will be our springboard.”

LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant

On scoring the goal:

“David [Beckham] obviously serves an incredible set piece and he put the ball in the back post. We kind of talked about it at half time that we had a few in the front post and I said to try the back post and found a little space back there and I was able to net it home.”

On scoring his first goal since 2010:

“I don’t like to think of it that way, but I always do and a bunch of guys have been teasing me a little bit about it and it was good, you know. It was good tonight to give us a little boost. And I think most importantly we got the shut out and we can build on that going forward. We’ve done well to limit team’s chances but tonight we did that and also made the little plays and didn’t let ourselves down like we have been in one or two instances throughout the game, which was the difference.”

On moving out of last place:

“I think if you look at it now we’re five points out of the playoffs with 20 games left. For as poorly as we’ve started, if you look at it that way, I think there’s a lot of optimism in the locker room.”

On the difference in the teams’ attitude:

“It felt good. Again, like I said, I think the biggest difference from tonight is we made that extra play at the crucial moment and that’s what has been letting us down. I think we defended pretty well as a team for the most part. But we keep letting ourselves down at the wrong situations at the wrong time maybe once, twice a game and keep getting burnt for it. Tonight we were on point the whole time and that’s a concentration thing and a goalkeeper that bailing you out when you need him to.”

Portland Timbers Head Coach John Spencer

On the goal and the officiating:

“I think Landon comes in as Troy is getting his eyes on the ball, he just kind of barges into him. Obviously Troy feels he’s been impeded there. But there’s a couple calls in the first half where we get our offside from a throw in, which in the laws of the game tell you, you can’t be offside from a throw in, then David Beckham heads a ball back and Kris Boyd chases the ball and the linesman flags him for offside so maybe the linesman didn’t realize that when you barge into the goalkeeper in the six-yard box it’s a foul.”

On the team’s low scoring:

“The good thing about it is we’re creating, the negative is we’re not taking the opportunities. In games like this when you’re on the road especially you’ve got to try to capitalize on the half chances or the few chances you get and at the moment we’re not doing that. And it’s not just the forwards, you look at your wide midfield players, attacking midfield players, they’ve got to get shots on goal and they’ve got to score goals and they’ve got to contribute also.”

On Danny Mwanga’s performance:

“I thought he did well in the first half. I thought he looked a little fatigued in the second half like a couple guys did. He obviously hasn’t been playing regular football for a number of weeks so the quicker we get him up to speed and get his game fitness it will be better for him. I thought his hold up play at times was good, but second half tired a little bit.”

On the club’s standing in the Western Conference:

“The games are ticking down now. You can’t look at games being any bigger than the other. We need to start picking up points, we know that, we’re not dumb. There’s too many games clicking by and saying ‘oh we should have, could have done this, could have gotten a decision.’ I’m sick and tired of hearing the word potential. To be honest, if I hear it one more time I’m probably going to throw up. For me, potential gets you your contract, gets you on the field, then you’ve got to produce. We’ve got too many guys right now not producing to the best of their abilities.”

Portland Timbers Forward Kris Boyd

On playing with recently acquired forward Danny Mwanga:

“I thought we linked up well in stages, but we’ve lost the game so it’s disappointing.”

On the team’s low scoring:

“I think it’s just been bad finishing. I think when you look at the chances we had, we’ve created enough chances to win enough games. We’ve not taken our chances, sometimes these things happen but it’s up to us as strikers, midfielders, defenders to start taking them when they come along.”

On the difference between the first and second halves:

“I think they maybe changed a couple of things but we could have done better ourselves the second half. We struggled to get anything in the final third or to get the chances that we did in the first half and that was lacking in the second half.”

Portland Timbers Goalkeeper Troy Perkins

On the Galaxy goal:

“Every corner kick they had, Landon wasn’t playing the ball at all. He’s starting five yards away from me and running straight into me. It’s just not a fair play. I warned the referee at halftime as well as right before that play that Landon was doing it; it happened again, the referee said he doesn’t see anything. It’s a pick, it’s an NBA pick which is obviously not allowed in this sport.”

On the team’s performance:

“The first 45 went especially well. We had possession, had dominance. I just think in the second half we lost a little bit of the run beyond and the movement off the ball just wasn’t there.”

Portland Timbers Forward Danny Mwanga

On the team’s performance and the result:

“Obviously it kind of hurts. Beginning the game I feel like we came out in the first half I feel like we were definitely the better side. We had more chances scoring goals, we’re just very unlucky not to put those away. I feel like we came in the second half, maybe we didn’t bring the same intensity we brought in the first half and I think they got real lucky on a set piece and they scored one goal and they put the game away. But at the same time you’ve got to look back at this game and try to learn from this and go into the next game.”

On creating chances in the first half:

“Everybody was moving, getting balls out wide, guys were crossing balls in back and we were making runs, we were just very unlucky not to get on the end of it. In the second half I feel like we didn’t do it as much. They had one chance and they put it in the back of the net, so I think that’s really what cost us today.”

On playing with Kris Boyd for the first time:

“It’s only our first game together I think we did pretty well. We had numerous chances in the first 15-20 minutes to score a goal and it was just unlucky not to put that away. I think just looking back, it’s only our first game together I think we did really decent.”