Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Puerto Rico Islanders
LA Galaxy 4, Puerto Rico Islanders 0
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
CONCACAF Champions League – Group 5 – Week 3
LA – Tommy Meyer 1 7’
LA – Jose Villarreal 1 46’
LA – Jack McBean 1 80’
LA – Michael Stephens 1 82’
LA Galaxy: Brian Perk; Hector Jimenez, Tommy Meyer, Andrew Boyens, Bryan Gaul; Michael Stephens, Kenney Walker, Rafael Garcia, Pat Noonan© (Edson Buddle 71’); Jose Villarreal (Sean Franklin 52’), Jack McBean (Marcelo Sarvas 82’).
Subs Not Used: Brian Rowe, A.J. DeLaGarza, David Beckham, Mike Magee.
Puerto Rico Islanders: Richard Martin; Edson Edward (Christian Ibeagha 65’), Anthony Vasquez, Richard Martinez, Paraskevas Pantazopoulos; Justin Fojo, Osei Teleford, Noah Delgado© (Yaw Danso 81’), Christopher Nurse, Gregory Richardson (Hector Ramos 69’); Nicolas Addlery.
Subs Not Used: Cody Laurendi, Marco Velez, Alexis Rivera, Tyler Wilson.
Referee: Rolando Vidal (PAN)
Referee’s Assistants: Jaime Smith (PAN) and Benigno Paneso (PAN)
4th Official: Jafeth Perea (PAN)
- With the win, the Galaxy are now alone in first place in Group 5 with six points from a 2-0-0 record. LA have a +7 goal differential from those two wins.
- The Galaxy are now three points ahead of Metapan, who are 1-1-0 (-1 goal difference) and six points ahead of Puerto Rico, who are 0-2-0 (-6 goal differential).
- This was LA’s second and final home game in the Group Stage of the 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League. LA are now a perfect 5-0-0 all-time at home in the Champions League Group Stage.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made 11 changes to the team that beat FC Dallas 2-0 on Sunday.
- Only Pat Noonan, Michael Stephens and Jose Villarreal started tonight’s game after coming on as second half substitutes against Dallas.
- Rafael Garcia, Bryan Gaul, Jack McBean, Brian Perk and Kenney Walker all made their CONCACAF Champions League debuts in the game.
- With those five making their CCL debuts, Kyle Nakazawa and Brian Rowe are now the only two players on the Galaxy roster that have not played in the tournament for the Galaxy.
- Forward Edson Buddle was included in the 18-man squad for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in early June. He came on for Pat Noonan in the 71st minute.
- The Galaxy were once again without Landon Donovan, Leonardo, David Junior Lopes and Kyle Nakazawa, who all missed the game with injuries.
- Tommy Meyer gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute, heading home a Kenney Walker corner kick. That goal was the first of his professional career.
- Meyer is the 10th different player to score for LA in CONCACAF Champions League history.
- Jose Villarreal doubled the Galaxy lead inside the first minute of the second half, finishing off a Jack McBean header.
- That was his first-ever goal at The Home Depot Center and the second goal of his professional career.
- McBean then scored his first goal of the season in all competitions in the 80th minute, finishing the rebound of his own shot that was blocked, making the score 3-0. Michael Stephens helped to set up the goal.
- The goal was his second since joining the Galaxy last season, having also tallied in the regular season finale at Houston last year.
- Michael Stephens rounded out the scoring in the 82nd with his first goal of the year in all competitions.
- That was just the second goal of his Galaxy career, with the first coming in May 2010.
- All four Galaxy players who scored in the game scored their first-ever goal in the competition.
- Of the four goal scorers, only Villarreal had scored in an MLS game this season.
- Prior to the start of the 2012/13 Champions League, the Galaxy had not scored more than two goals in a single game. They have now scored a total of nine goals in their two games this year and have at least two goals in three of their four halves of play.
- LA’s four goal margin of victory was their biggest-ever in the competition and in all CONCACAF matches.
- Brian Perk finished the game with two saves for his first-ever win and shutout in the competition.
- LA now have four shutouts all-time in the Champions League with tonight’s the first recorded by a goalkeeper other than Josh Saunders.
- No players from either side were booked in the game.
- The Galaxy are now a perfect 3-0-0 in the first three games of their current homestand that will see them play four games in 10 days. They have scored 11 goals in those games while allowing just two.
- The attendance for tonight’s game was 7,500 at The Home Depot Center, which had a limited capacity for the evening.
- The Galaxy return to MLS action Saturday when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center in a game that kicks off at 7 p.m. and will be shown live on KDOC and KWHY.
- The club will return to CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday, September 19 against the Puerto Rico Islanders. That game, which will be played in Puerto Rico, will kickoff at 5 p.m. (PT) and will be shown live on FOX Soccer and Univision Deportes Dos.
LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena:
On the starting lineup:
“We chose the lineup we thought could win the game and I thought they played extremely well. Real pleased with a bunch of our young players that got the opportunity to play.”
On Edson Buddle’s return:
“It was good. It was probably the first time he’s been on the field in close to three months, so I think getting him back on the field is a good starting point and hopefully we could build on it.”
On the young team’s progress:
“Our team’s come a long way, all these players have, the young ones have really developed well over the year and you can [see] they’re getting confident and can play and hopefully that speaks well for the rest of the season and the future for some of the young players. We’re very confident in these guys and you know, that’s the reason they played tonight, we thought they could beat this team.”
Thoughts on the team’s play:
“They’ve played well in the reserve league and they train everyday against a good group of players. We see it in training, so we know what they’re capable of, and the kind of quality some of our players have, so we’re not surprised by the performance—completely surprised. If you asked me before this game would I expect to win this game 4-0 I would certainly have said ‘no’ but when you get a group of players with confidence who played well with the early goal, I think was important for their confidence. I just thought that they played extremely well for 90 minutes.”
On Jose Villarreal’s injury, Hector Jimenez and Michael Stephens:
“Just a bump on the head—he’s fine. Hector Jimenez did a good job, played the first 50 minutes at rightback and I thought it was a solid effort. I think [Michael] Stephens had an outstanding game tonight, was very active for us with good leadership on the field for the young players in the midfield. I thought he did a good job. Mikey’s played very well for us as of late.”
On the group going forward:
“In the group right now we’re certainly comfortable, but there’s two games remaining. I think for the most part, I don’t think Puerto Rico can finish ahead of us because of goal differential; they can tie us in points. You know, [Isidro] Metapan is still a team we have to beat or at least get a point from. Obviously, if you do the math it’s six, three and zero right now with everyone playing two games. So there’s two remaining, we can get 12, Metapan can get nine, we end up with six, they’re going to end up with 12, so there’s a lot to be said there. Puerto Rico can only end up with six points and has a little big of a goal differential to fight as well.”
On the possibility of using the starting lineup in future games:
“Every game’s different. Every week’s different, the circumstances. We have to see as we go. We make all those decisions from game to game, week to week so I can’t answer that question now. I don’t think in MLS you can play a completely new team.”
Puerto Rico Islanders Head Coach Adrian Whitbread
Overall thoughts on the game:
“I think we showed too much respect to LA Galaxy. You know, even though they changed personnel up, we stood off them too much and conceded goals in peak periods of the game. When we’re in the game, you know, first 15 minutes, if you keep it tight the confidence level goes up and then a minute after half time, I think if you look back on all four goals it wasn’t anything LA created, even though they scored them, I think it was down to our poor defending.”
On what went wrong:
“I don’t think our defending in the final third was quality enough. We had one or two half chances, again, when you come away from home, if you get those opportunities you got to try and score. That first goal is key, or keeping a clean sheet is key away from home, especially in this competition. We haven’t managed to do that in two games now, it’s very disappointing.”