Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC

LA defeat Vancouver 3-0 and move into fifth place in Western Conference

keane_van

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria / LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Mike Magee 3 (Unassisted) 16’
LA – Robbie Keane 4 (Landon Donovan 4) 30’
LA – Landon Donovan 5 (Penalty Kick) 41’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 10’
VAN – Darren Mattocks (Yellow Card) 24’
VAN – Jun Marques Davidson (Yellow Card) 61’
LA – Sean Franklin (Yellow Card) 69’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, David Junior Lopes, Todd Dunivant; Hector Jimenez (Michael Stephens 65’), Juninho, David Beckham, Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 75’); Landon Donovan© (Chad Barrett 90’), Robbie Keane.

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Bryan Gaul, Tommy Meyer, Marcelo Sarvas.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Joe Cannon; Lee Young-Pyo, Martin Bonjour, Jay DeMerit©, Alain Rochat; Jun Marques Davidson (Eric Hassli 66’), John Thorrington (Camilo 49’), Gershon Koffie; Sebastien Le Toux (Michael Nanchoff 84’), Darren Mattocks, Davide Chiumiento.

Subs Not Used: Brad Knighton, Jordan Harvey, Carlyle Mitchell, Floyd Franks.

Referee: Allen Chapman

Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson and Jeremy Hanson

4th Official: Leszek Stalmach

Notes:

  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 6-8-2 on the season for 20 points. They have now leapfrogged Colorado and Chivas USA and are in fifth place in the Western Conference.
  • The Galaxy have now won three straight games for their longest winning streak of the season. They have collected nine points in the last three games after gaining just 11 points through the first 13 games.
  • LA are now a perfect 3-0-0 against the Whitecaps and have outscored them 10-0 in those three games, including a pair of 3-0 wins at The Home Depot Center.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that won 3-2 at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday with Robbie Keane and Hector Jimenez each returning to the starting lineup. They replaced Bryan Jordan and Marcelo Sarvas, who each started the game on the bench.
  • Keane returned to the Galaxy lineup after missing the past five MLS contests. The forward, who last played for LA on May 12 at Montreal, captained Ireland in the European Championships taking place in Poland and Ukraine.  Ireland were knocked out from the tournament after finishing 0-3-0 in group play, losing to Croatia, Spain and Italy.
  • Hector Jimenez returned to the LA midfield after missing the past three games. Jimenez was given a two-match ban by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for a dangerous tackle in LA’s May 23rd game against San Jose. He then missed Wednesday’s game against Real Salt Lake with a left quad hematoma.
  • While those two each returned to the lineup, LA were once again without eight players because of injuries. Andrew Boyens, Adam Cristman, Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo, who are all on the Disabled List with various injuries, while Edson Buddle and Dan Keat each recently had knee surgery. They were joined in the stands by Pat Noonan, who has missed the last three games with a right quad strain and Kyle Nakazawa, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
  • 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 two of those games did LA make fewer than two changes.
  • Mike Magee scored the first goal of the game in the 16th minute to give LA a 1-0 lead. The unassisted goal came on a rebound at the back post after LA had a pair of chances blocked from close range.
  • The goal was Magee’s second in as many games since returning from a one-match disciplinary suspension. The last time Magee scored in back to back games was in August 2011 when he scored in a 3-1 win over FC Dallas on August 6 and then scored again against San Jose on August 20 in a 2-0 win.
  • The Galaxy are now 17-2-7 in all competitions when Magee has a goal or an assist.
  • Robbie Keane scored in the 30th minute to double LA’s lead.  The goal, which was Keane’s fourth of the season, was assisted by Landon Donovan, who collected his fourth assist of the season.
  • After the goal, the Irish international ran to the sidelines and displayed a jersey that read “R.I.P. James Nolan” across the back. The message was a reference to a 21-year-old Irish fan who drowned this past week while in Poland supporting the Irish National Team at the European Championships.
  • The goal was Keane’s first for the Galaxy since March 31 and briefly tied him for the team-lead in goals with Landon Donovan.
  • Donovan retook the team lead in goals with his fifth of the season, converting a penalty kick in the 41st minute. That was one of Donovan game-high five shots, four of which came in the first half, including one that struck the post.
  • Donovan’s goal was the first successfully converted penalty of the season for LA. The attempt was only the second of the year for the Galaxy. LA’s only other attempt from the penalty spot came on April 28 against FC Dallas when Robbie Keane missed wide right.
  • The goal was Donovan’s 25th successful penalty kick in a Galaxy uniform. The club’s all-time leader in goals for the Galaxy, he is also the club’s all-time leader is scoring from the penalty spot.
  • He now has 120 regular season goals in his MLS career.
  • Donovan’s goal came on the day marking exactly two years since he scored the dramatic goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup.
  • Josh Saunders collected his second sixth win of the season in the game and is now perfect in his last five starts, going 5-0-0 in those games.
  • He finished the game with two saves for his second shutout of the season. Prior to Sunday’s 1-0 win over Portland, the Galaxy did not have any shutouts this season.
  • Saunders has been in goal for all three of LA’s wins over Vancouver.
  • The back four of (from right to left) Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant once again played the full 90 minutes in defense. This was the first time this season that the Galaxy had used the same back four in three straight league games.
  • Franklin is the only Galaxy player to play every minute of all 16 regular season games that the club has played this year.
  • David Beckham was shown his fifth yellow card of the season in the 10th minute for challenge of Gershon Koffie. He is now one booking away from a suspension after having one card expunged from his record following the win at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. One more card will result in a single game suspension for card accumulation.
  • Sean Franklin was also booked, collecting a 68th minute yellow card.
  • Landon Donovan was replaced in the 90th minute. It was the first time this season that he had been substituted.
  • He made the 250th start of his MLS career in the game.
  • A.J. DeLaGarza made the 80th start of his Galaxy career in the game
  • Juninho played in his 70th regular season game for the Galaxy.
  • Mike Magee made his 60th start in a Galaxy uniform while Michael Stephens made his 60th appearance, coming on as a second half substitute.
  • The attendance for today’s game was 21,529.
  • The Galaxy will be back in action on Saturday, June 30 when they travel north to face the San Jose Earthquakes, who currently have the best record in MLS. That game, which will be played at Stanford Stadium, kicks off at 7 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. A capacity crowd of more than 50,000 is expected for the game.
  • They will be back at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday, July 4 when the club hosts their annual fireworks extravaganza against the Philadelphia Union. That game, which is presented by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by one of the biggest fireworks displays in all of Southern California.

Quotes:

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the result:

“We could have gotten more goals, but I don't want to be greedy, at this point. I think we are slowly becoming a good team. And, I think that inside our locker room we understand what it takes to become a good team. It was an important week for us. We are back in playoff contention. And, there are going to be a lot of difficult games ahead. Next week, we play, probably, the best team in the league right now in San Jose. We have a lot ahead. Hopefully, our guys have learned a lot in the first 16 games. We've learned enough to get us through the next 18.”

On the early goal:

“No question about it. One of the characteristics that we've had to start the season is conceding goals early in all our competitions. We've been better about it as of late, although you can certainly say that the Salt Lake game that wasn't the case. But, we've been better to start games. Certainly tonight, we were really good. We've won our last two now. We are finding the right balance inside the group. Tonight, the first half was exceptional.”

On Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan playing together:

“I thought the combination of Robbie and Landon up top was really great the entire game. Landon was excellent this week. I think our team needs our three designated players to play like designated players. And, they sure did tonight. It made a difference. Our backline is improving. I think [David] Lopes had one of his best games of the season. Nice to have Josh [Saunders] there. So, I think we are moving forward, but we have a long way to go.

LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan

On the win:

"A great week, a great end to the week. I think we deserved what we got tonight because we put in a lot of work. It was nice to be rewarded for that."

On what is to come for the team in the next week:

"Unfortunately we're still up against it. We're not in the position to relax and chill out so we got to keep going and we have a few days off to rest and then we have a big game against a really hot team."

On the play of Robbie Keane:

"It was great to have him back. It says a lot about the guy. He flew all over the world to get back here to play three hard games and still wanted to be a part of this and put in a great effort and a great goal."

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On winning three games this week:

"It was an important week for us, because we've come up against Portland, obviously a good team and then Salt Lake in Salt Lake. It's always going to be a hard game. And tonight, Vancouver are a good team. I think our first half performance killed them off completely. So, it's a great week for us."

On the team’s overall improvement:

"The first half today was the best first half of soccer we've played all season. We're happy with that. We've moved forward from where we were four games ago. We're happy with these games."

On the play of Robbie Keane:

"It's great to have a guy like Robbie back. He's been keeping himself fit by playing in the highest level of Euros and it's good to have him back. He's come back looking sharp, straight into the team. To get the goal that he did; him and Landon link up play, it was exceptional. It's good to have him back."

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

On his goal celebration:

“It was for a young fan who went to Poland, 21 years of age, he drowned. It was very, very sad. I called his father today to send my condolences, send my thoughts to him and his family. Irish people are very close and stick to each other through good times and bad times. He was a big soccer fan and it was a shame, it was just a bit of respect really. I may give (the) shirt to his father, if he wants it.”

On scoring his goal:

“There were a lot of bodies around me, and I had some quick feet and was lucky enough to get through and finish it.”

On playing with Landon Donovan and David Beckham:

“It's always good to play with good players who can read other players and keep the ball simple, David and Landon do that very well. I think our combination play today was exceptional, not only them lads, but the whole team was very, very good today (at) keeping the ball with one two touches, making it very difficult for them.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Mike Magee

On scoring his goal:

“A lot happened, I think Beckham sent it a pretty good ball, if my memory serves me correct I think Juninho hit it and I was just kind of being lazy at the back post and was able to get a nice little tap in.”

On earning nine points this week:

“It's huge. I think during the break we went over a lot of things, especially changing the way we fought for each other. We kind of changed the atmosphere around the locker room and on the training field and it obviously showed.”

On scoring early and applying pressure:

“It's huge. Starting with the win last weekend here at home and getting a Wednesday win obviously helped as well. Then to come out in this game, I mean usually you would have tired legs by the third game in the week. But to come out and get a couple goals kind of set the tone. We believe in each other, we believe in ourselves, and in the first 45 minutes we kind of put on a clinic.”

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Josh Saunders

On the shutout and three-game winning streak:

“It's great, the guys have obviously worked hard. I didn't have much to do tonight, which was awesome. I can't say enough about what these guys are doing on the field. The whole demeanor has changed, our attitude has changed, it is good to see us winning.”

On back to back home shutouts:

“It shows our character. We hope to come out and do more of that. It is a confidence thing. We are getting our confidence back and we are more willing to play out of the back, it is helping us keep possession of the ball and not have to defend so much.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Martin Rennie

On the 3-0 loss and the performance in the first half:

“Obviously we came into this game on a five-game unbeaten run and in pretty good form, so we were hoping to continue that tonight, but I think we met, in the first half, an LA Galaxy team that was in really good form. I think that the movement of their front players was by far the best I’ve seen since I’ve been in the MLS. They caused us a lot of problems and I think that we certainly caused a few of our own mistakes, but I’d also like to give credit to LA because I thought in the first half they played very, very well and made it very difficult for us and punished us.”

On the improvement in the second half:

“In the second half I thought we regrouped reasonably well. We got back to making sure that we were doing the right things in terms of tracking runs and tracking movement, we did that better. But obviously, at three-nil the game is over. But the second half was stronger for us. We just have to accept the disappointment of the defeat, make sure that it hurts and make sure it helps us learn.”

On the LA attack:

“The movement of Keane and Donovan, in my opinion, was like world-class. They’re movement was fantastic. They caused so many problems the way they came out of the back line and then turned in behind, it creates their penetration. Those guys are really good players, but tonight I thought they were really on form. Their midfielders’ passing and movement was very good as well. We found them on a good night I think, and they punished us.”

On moving forward from the defeat:

“We’re coming quite a long way with this team and we’re going to days where we unfortunately get undone. As I’ve always said, it’s important how we react to that and learn from that. In the past we have reacted well and learned well and I’m confident we’ll do that again.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Forward Sebastien Le Toux

On the team’s goals for the season moving forward:

“If we win the MLS Cup it will be successful. It’s what I play for so it’s always disappointing when you lose a game. We lost tonight so it’s disappointing and every time we don’t win a game it’s a bit disappointing. At the end you just want to win. The objective at the end of the year is to win the MLS Cup”

On rebounding from the loss:

“It’s been a long time since we didn’t lose and every time when we lost we had a little break after so most important is we can see everything we can do better each other to play the next game and get a result away.”

On the Galaxy’s attack:

“They were waiting for us to make the mistake and counter attack and that’s what they did. They took our mistake and scored goals. When the game is 3-0 at the half it’s hard to come back, they were just sitting in the back and playing well. They’ve got some talent and at home so it’s just a bad night for us.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Defender Jay DeMerit

On the team’s overall performance:

“First half they got in between us. The forwards were coming off in space and the wingers were going down the sides, so we didn’t seem to pick it up as we should have and that means we got caught in no man’s land and they seem to play around us. The second half was much better, but by then it’s too late. So, we’ll make sure (to play better next time), we play two more times this season. A credit to them though, obviously we watched their games, I think that’s the best they’ve played, especially in that first half. You obviously need to give credit to them but still we need to do better.”

On how the team will move forward:

“I think first off you don’t try to dwell on these types of performances too much, you look at the positives we’ve created this season the goals we’ve created, the clean sheets we’ve had. You take things in phases in these long seasons. I think our first phase has been good and now we just have to build, we have to learn and make sure that performances like tonight don’t happen a lot.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Forward Davide Chiumiento

On the loss and moving forward with the season:

“We know that it’s a really long way to be top and it’s not just after three, four months even. If we did play well and get a lot of points, that doesn’t mean we are the best team in the league. That shows tonight that we have to work a lot. … Tonight we played against a team who is better today, and has a lot of experience and some great players. But sometimes when you lose like that, that’s also good for the players so we know we have to work a lot.”

On the Galaxy attack in the first half:

“They had really good possession. In the first half we never really had a lot of balls because in midfield with Keane, Donovan, Beckham, Juninho they did so many good passes and movements. The first half was just a different level. They played just much better and we have to accept that. What was important was that we come out for the second half and have a reaction and be positive and I think it was important to not let them score more goals. But LA was definitely better tonight.”