Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Philadelphia Union

Gonzalez makes 2012 MLS debut; Barrett scores first goal of the year

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Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora/LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 1, Philadelphia Union 2
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
PHI – Jack McInerney 3 (Michael Farfan 2) 46+
LA – Chad Barrett 1 (Robbie Keane 3, Todd Dunivant 2) 73’
PHI – Michael Farfan 1 (Lionard Pajoy 2) 95+

Misconduct Summary:
PHI – Carlos Valdes (Yellow Card) 14’
PHI – Amobi Okugo (Yellow Card) 70’
PHI – Zac MacMath (Yellow Card) 78’
LA – A.J. DeLaGarza (Yellow Card) 97+

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez (Sean Franklin 46’), David Junior Lopes, Todd Dunivant; Hector Jimenez (Chad Barrett 60’), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Mike Magee; Landon Donovan©, Robbie Keane.

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Bryan Gaul, Tommy Meyer, Bryan Jordan, Michael Stephens.

Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath; Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes©, Gabriel Farfan; Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud (Gabriel Gomez 61’), Michael Farfan; Keon Daniel (Lionard Pajoy 75’), Jack McInerney, Freddy Adu (Antoine Hoppenot 71’).

Subs Not Used: Chris Konopka, Chris Albright, Raymond Gaddis, Roger Torres.

Referee: Armando Villarreal

Referee’s Assistants: George Gansner and Mike Rottersman

4th Official: Baldomero Toledo

Notes:

  • With the loss, the Galaxy are now 6-10-2 on the season for 20 points. They remain in sixth place in the Western Conference, two points behind fifth place Colorado, who lost 1-0 at home to Vancouver.
  • After winning three straight games to open the month of June, the Galaxy have now lost each of their last two matches.
  • This is was LA’s first loss to Philadelphia in club history. Prior to tonight, the Galaxy were 3-0-1 against the Union, including 2-0-0 at The Home Depot Center.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that lost 4-3 at San Jose on Saturday with Omar Gonzalez making his first start of the season after being activated from the Disabled List on Tuesday. He replaced Sean Franklin, who started the game on the bench. Marcelo Sarvas returned to the starting lineup in place of the suspended David Beckham.
  • Beckham was suspended for yellow card accumulation after collecting his team-high sixth caution of the year last weekend against San Jose.
  • In addition to Beckham, the Galaxy were also without Andrew Boyens, Edson Buddle, Dan Keat, Leonardo, Kyle Nakazawa and Pat Noonan, who all missed the game because of injuries.
  • Omar Gonzalez, who had been unable to play with the first team since undergoing knee surgery in January, was activated from the Disabled List on Tuesday and played 45 minutes before being subbed for Sean Franklin at halftime.
  • Philadelphia opened the scoring in stoppage time of the first half when Jack McInerney’s back heeled shot rolled past Josh Saunders, off the far post and in. Michael Farfan got the assist after making the low cross into the box.
  • For the second game in a row, LA conceded a goal within the last two minutes of the first half.
  • This was the first goal that the Galaxy had allowed this season in first half stoppage time.
  • Chad Barrett equalized for LA, beating Zac MacMath from close range for his first goal of the season.
  • Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane were each credited with assists on that goal. For Dunivant it was his first assist since the 3-1 win over D.C. United on March 18, while Keane got his third assist of the season and his first since April 21 and his third of the season.
  • The Union scored the eventual game-winning goal late in second half stoppage time with Michael Farfan scoring his first of the season in second half stoppage time.
  • That goal, which was assisted by Lionard Pajoy, was scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time, making it the latest goal allowed by LA this season.
  • Prior to tonight, the Galaxy had only allowed one goal in second half stoppage time this year with that being Alan Gordon’s game-winner in the 94th minute of the 3-2 home loss to San Jose on May 23.
  • Farfan’s goal was the 29th allowed by LA this season, coming in their 18th game of the year. In 2011, the Galaxy allowed just 28 goals in 34 regular season games.
  • Todd Dunivant made the 145th start of his Galaxy career in the game.
  • Josh Saunders made a pair of second half saves, but lost his second straight game after winning five straight, a streak that was broken last weekend in San Jose.
  • Juninho was not booked for LA, meaning that if he is not booked in either of his next two games, he will have one card removed from his record. If he is shown a yellow card in either of those contests, he will earn a one-game ban.
  • The attendance for today’s game was a sellout 27,000. This was the club’s third home sellout of the season and their first sellout since the 1-0 loss to New York on May 5.
  • LA are now 0-3-0 in home games played in front of a sellout crowd.
  • This was the Galaxy’s first game in July. They are now 1-4-0 in their first game of a month.
  • This was the first time that referee Armando Villarreal had officiated a Galaxy game.
  • The Galaxy’s next three games will be on the road, starting on Sunday, July 8 against Chicago Fire. That game kicks off at noon (PT) and can be seen live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. After that they play on the road in Portland and Vancouver.
  • They will return to The Home Depot Center on Saturday, July 21 when the club hosts the SuperClasico rivalry game against Chivas USA. That game kicks off at 7:00 p.m.

Quotes:

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On Omar Gonzalez’s return:

“I thought he played well... Wasn’t really challenged much in the first half, because of the nature of the half where we really dominated the game.”

On the team’s overall play:

“We gave the game away today. That’s a game we should have walked away comfortably with three points, in my opinion. Too many chances in the first half that were wasted, poor concentration at the end of the first half cost us a goal and just an extremely poor effort at the end of the game to get exposed and to give up the point we worked so hard to get.”

On the frustration from the loss:

“The frustrating part is there’s a bunch of these games we should have won, let alone loose. It’s very frustrating. Let’s face it, the effort was there, our guys played hard, they understood what they needed to do. Each game we get a couple of guys that make a few mental and tactical mistakes that punish us. That’s been disappointing.”

On the overall season:

“We’ve lost a bunch of games by a goal, a bunch of games we should have won. We should be a team sitting on 30 some odd points. This is not about playing poorly for 18 games, this is about playing poorly in a couple of spots in 18 games that have cost us severely and tonight, in my view, there’s a bunch of chances we had to take in the first half to comfortably position ourselves in the game and instead we go to halftime down a goal.”

On moving forward:

“Probably try a couple other players. That’s the only option we have. If you’re not going to take your chances you’re probably wasting your time getting them. You don’t get any bonus points for creating chances. This can be a cruel game, and maybe it was tonight. But this is another game where there is nowhere else to look but inside our locker room. We have people of position to get us results and we didn’t get it done. That’s how we deal with it. We understand that, this is not about the referee, this or that, anything else, this is about us making the plays that count in the game and we didn’t get it done tonight.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the loss:

“It’s frustrating, there’s no doubt about it. It’s hard to be too upset because almost everyone played really well. But I’ve been in this game a long time and I’ve seen a lot of games like this where one team dominates and you don’t score and next thing you know, you’re on the bad end of a result and that’s what happened tonight.”

On moving forward from two-straight losses:

“Reality is we should have five wins in a row right now. And now we find ourselves behind the eight-ball, a little bit, again. It’s difficult to take, but the reality is now it’s over, we can either moan about it or we can wake up tomorrow and get ready for Chicago and that’s what we’re going to do.”

On conceding late goals in both halves:

“It’s just lack of concentration. They were barely in our end in the first half and then, in one play, the guy scores a one in a thousand goal, and that’s it. Sometimes that’s the way this game is. It seems like we’ve been on the end of that too many times this year. Maybe we’ve got to create our own luck a little bit more. I don’t know, it’s frustrating, but sometimes things go that way, it happens.”

On the return of Omar Gonzalez:

“It was great to have him back. You can see, even at less than a hundred percent he still helps us and he’s going to help us a lot going forward. He’s still going to need a lot of time to get going; this doesn’t mean he’s fully there yet, but he made good progress tonight. I thought he played pretty well and we hope to keep moving him forward.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On his first start of the year:

“I felt really good. I was really happy to get out there. I was pretty nervous the whole day, but once the ref blew the whistle I was ready to go and I felt comfortable.”

On being ready to play:

“I had thoughts about it during the day, but you know, I think that just talking to the medical staff again and just talking to Burt and Armando, and everyone that was involved in the whole process and, you know, seeing that they were so confident in me coming back. It just gave me all the confidence in the world to be ready for anything.”

On the possibility of playing more minutes:

“I felt like I could have gone maybe like 10 more minutes but we just decided to stick to the plan. This is a thing where you don’t want to play too many minutes, this is sort of a, kind of, progression. So this game I only got 45 minutes, maybe next game 60 and, you know, go from there.”

On feeling the frustration of the loss:

“Yeah, because I was a part of it. I mean watching it is one thing, and you feel for the guys, but the fact that you had a part of the first half and, you know, we let up a goal late in the first half, and that even though it’s my first game back that’s unacceptable to let in a goal that late. We just gotta learn from that and not give up goals late in the halfs.”

On not being tested in the first game back:

“Yeah, you know, it was kind of nice, they decided to sit back a little bit and just go for the counter attacks. I think that we had everything locked down pretty good we were dropping early whenever they decided to hit long balls and we kept everything in front of us and I thought we did a great job for the 44 minutes.”

On when he found out he would play: 

“I knew the whole week and, you know, we just took it day by day. So Monday, after the 45 minutes, we’re going to see how I felt the next day and if I felt good I’d get the start.”

LA Galaxy Defender A.J. DeLaGarza

On the overall game:

“In the first half we didn’t finish our chances. In the second half we pushed like most teams do when you’re down a goal down, if you have chances, you finish it off and then we just collapsed in the second goal.”

On Omar Gonzalez’s return:

“It’s good. We didn’t get to test it too much in the first half, we kind of controled the game, but I though he did well, put some good balls forward and did his part defensively.”

On moving forward:

“Our next (three) games are away, so we don’t have time to sulk on this, we have to get points. The second half of the season, our first game of the second half, and we lose at home a game that we probably could have and, probably, should have won.”

On where the team needs to improve:

“It really doesn’t matter because when you get on the field everything happens between the lines, no matter where it is. We got to do better than that. We gave up two late goals in each half and you’re not going to win any games doing that, especially when you are trying to push for a win.”

Philadelphia Union Head Coach John Hackworth

On the club’s first win vs. LA:

“You got to beat them all. My hat goes off the Bruce Arena and the Galaxy. I told him before the game that it was an honor to coach against him. I don't think there are many people in this country or this sport who have done what he has done. I have a lot I owe to him personally, so it was a great honor to coach against him. I think his team was great in the way that they fought and really tried to come back in that game was pretty impressive. Sometimes that is what it comes down to is just a battle like that and fortunately in this one we won.”

On the Galaxy's missed opportunities in the first half:

“Well one of them was about 10 yards offside, I can't believe, I mean I haven't seen a replay, but the one I couldn't believe they let go. You have to get some breaks here and there in a game like this, they might have got a little fortunate by not having a flag put up on them and we got fortunate that we threw the kitchen sink back there to block some shots off the line and defend and you need that sometimes. That was in our favor tonight for sure.”

On how the locker room has changed with a new coach:

“The biggest thing is I am trying to get these guys to believe in themselves. It is a young locker room, I think we are the youngest team in the league, if I am not mistaken, and they can play. We have the ability to fight and battle but we can also play quality soccer and that is what we are trying to do. When we all believe that there is a little bit of confidence that comes with that and then you get a result like this on the road in a crazy tough atmosphere against the defending champions, it is a massive win for us.”

Philadelphia Union Forward Jack McInerney

On the importance of the win:

“It’s a season-changer. We can build off this and maybe with a couple home games we can string a few wins together and we’re right back into the playoff race.”

On what’s different about the last three or four games:

“I think the last three or four games we’ve been playing like this, and I think we’ve been playing well lately. The results haven’t always been there but tonight was all about effort and if you watch the replay you’ll see that every time LA gets a chance people were putting their body in front of the ball and that’s what it’s about.”

On what’s changed with the team:

“I can’t put it on one specific thing, I think there’s been a lot of effort there and I think Coach Hack taking over has been a good change for us. There’s a sense of relief and it’s good for us to get a fresh coach.”

On tonight’s offensive success against the Galaxy:

“We were just clicking as a team. We had a game plan against Houston a couple nights ago and I think we actually could have used that tonight. The left and right backs are making a lot of runs forward and we can play the ball in to Freddy (Adu) or Keon (Daniel) to leave a lot of space in behind. We didn’t always get the ball in the spot but we did a good job of creating space.”

On Philadelphia’s recent offensive resurgence:

“I think we’re finally getting a little luck on our side, we’ve always put ourselves in good positions and created good opportunities but we haven’t had that little bit of luck and I think we’re getting it now.”

Philadelphia Union Midfielder Michael Farfan

On coming into LA and winning:

“It’s a good place to come and play and to come and get three points here is a good sign and shows that our hard work is starting to pay off. It’ll help us going forward with confidence.”

On if the Union are confident heading against Toronto:

“Yeah, but at the same time we can’t get too confident. We know Toronto doesn’t have many points but we know they’re not as bad as their points show so I think we have to be ready to play just like any other game, just like this game.”

On moving up the standings:

“I don’t think that’s a big deal to us. I think whatever game we come into we have to look at it like we have to get the three points, especially at home.”

On Philadelphia beating LA Galaxy for the first time in team history:

“I actually didn’t know that, I wasn’t aware of that until right now. That’s exciting. We’re happy, we got three points here and we got three points against Chivas too so we got six points out of LA.”

On the cause for the recent offensive explosion:

“I think (it’s) just Hack giving us confidence… and letting us know that it’s our job out there to be creative and put ourselves in good situations and make things out of whatever happens. I think he’s doing a very good job and letting us use our imagination out on the field and letting us be creative in our own way.”