Postgame Notes & Quotes: Columbus Crew vs LA Galaxy

Galaxy move into third in Western Conference standings following 1-1 draw in Columbus

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Columbus Crew 1, LA Galaxy 1
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Columbus
Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio

Scoring Summary:
CLB – Jairo Arrieta 3 (Unassisted) 47’
LA – Robbie Keane 11 (Sean Franklin 3, Michael Stephens 1) 64’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Marcelo Sarvas (Yellow Card) 87’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Hector Jimenez (Bryan Gaul 61’), Juninho (Bryan Jordan 83’), Marcelo Sarvas, Michael Stephens; Mike Magee (Jose Villarreal 76’), Robbie Keane©.

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Tommy Meyer, Kenney Walker, Pat Noonan.

Columbus Crew: Andy Gruenebaum; Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall©, Carlos Mendes, Josh Williams; Dilly Duka (Justin Meram 74’), Cole Grossman (Emilio Renteria 70’), Chris Birchall (Danny O’Rourke 86’), Eddie Gaven; Milovan Mirosevic, Jairo Arrieta.

Subs Not Used: Matt Lampson, Julius James, Tony Tchani, Ethan Finlay.

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: James Conlee and Brian Dunn
4th Official: Sorin Stoica

NOTES:

  • With the draw, the Galaxy are now 11-11-4 on the season for 37 points. They are now tied with Seattle and Vancouver for third place in the Western Conference.
  • The Galaxy own the tiebreaker on each of those sides having scored 44 goals compared to 32 for the Sounders and 28 for the Whitecaps.
  • The draw snapped LA’s four game winning streak over the Crew, but they are now unbeaten against them in their last five games dating back to the start of the 2010 season.
  • After going 1-6-4 in their first 11 games at Crew Stadium, the Galaxy are now 2-0-1 there in their last three.
  • Tonight’s game was LA’s fifth and final road game of the year against a team from the Eastern Conference. They finished the year with a 1-2-2 record in those games, winning at Chicago while drawing Montreal and Columbus and losing to Houston and Sporting Kansas City.
  • They are 2-5-2 overall against the East this season with just a home game against Toronto FC remaining on the schedule.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made just one change to the side beat Chivas USA 4-0 on Sunday. Michael Stephens returned to the starting lineup, playing on the left side of midfield with Mike Magee getting the start up front alongside Robbie Keane. Stephens replaced Landon Donovan, who was unavailable for the game because of National Team duty.
  • Donovan was in action with the U.S. National Team for their friendly against Mexico in Mexico City. He started up front for the U.S. and played 45 minutes in that game as the U.S. won 1-0. Donovan now has 144 caps in his international career.
  • In addition to Donovan, the Galaxy were also without Edson Buddle, Leonardo, David Junior Lopes and Kyle Nakazawa, who all missed the game with injuries. David Beckham was also unavailable for selection after returning to Southern California earlier in the week upon the completion of his Olympic commitments in London.
  • The Crew outshot LA 14-3 in the first half but they were only able to put three of those shots on target, compared to one for LA.
  • Despite that shot advantage, the game was tied 0-0 until early in the second half when Jairo Arrieta scored to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. That goal was his third of the season and third in his last three games.
  • The Galaxy have now fallen behind 1-0 in four of their last five road games, though they have come back to earn at least a point in two of those four games.
  • The Columbus lead lasted just over 15 minutes as Robbie Keane equalized for LA in the 64th minute with his team-best 11th goal of the season.
  • Keane now has a goal or an assist in all four of the games that he has served as the club’s captain.
  • He now has a goal or an assist in four of his last five games, scoring three times in that span and setting up two other goals. Since returning from the European Championships, he has a goal or an assist in nine of the 11 games that he has played, tallying eight goals and four assists in that time.
  • The goal was Keane’s first-ever against the Crew, coming in his first-ever game against Columbus. He has now scored in his first game against seven of the 16 MLS teams that he has played against.
  • Sean Franklin and Michael Stephens were each credited with assists on the goal with Franklin collecting his third of the season and Stephens his first.
  • The assist was Franklin’s first since the 5-3 win at Portland on July 14 when he had two assists while Stephens last had an assist in the final regular season game of 2011 at Houston.
  • For Stephens, it was the 10th assist of his MLS career.
  • Todd Dunivant made the 150th start of his Galaxy career in the game, playing the full 90 minutes at left back.
  • A.J. DeLaGarza started the 90th game of his MLS career.
  • Josh Saunders finished the game with three saves to improve his record to 11-6-2 on the season. He was making the 45th start of his MLS career in the game.
  • Marcelo Sarvas was booked late in the second half of the game. That was his third yellow card of the season, leaving him two shy of an automatic one-game suspension.
  • LA are now 3-8-4 on the season when conceding the game’s opening goal.
  • Of LA’s four draws on the season, three have come on the road.
  • The Galaxy now have just two regular season road games remaining on their schedule compared to six home games. The only road games that are yet to be played are at Colorado on September 30 and at San Jose on October 21.
  • Three of the Galaxy’s four draws this season have finished 1-1 with their opponent scoring first in each of them.
  • The attendance for today’s game was 17,019 at Crew Stadium.
  • The Galaxy will return to Southern California on Thursday for a few days off before returning to training at the start of next week ahead of their first game of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League against Isidro Metapan of El Salvador. That game, which will be played at The Home Depot Center, will kickoff at 7 p.m. and will be shown live on FOX Soccer. CCL SCHEDULE | $10 TICKETS
  • The club will return to league play on Sunday, August 26 when they host FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center in a game that kicks off at 4 p.m. and will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network. TICKETS

QUOTES

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

General impressions of the game:

“We played okay. We’re a bit of a tired team. This has been a challenging trip. Obviously, the Crew played with a lot of emotion tonight. This is one of those games where a draw is a fair result for both teams.”

On how he wanted the Galaxy to combat the emotion of the Crew:

“Obviously it was hard to find 11 players that could play. We’re pretty exhausted from Sunday night and the trip across the country as well. It’s a little on the difficult side. We knew that this part of the season was going to be a little bit of an issue, and our guys did alright. We had some fatigue at the end of the first half. The Crew created a bunch of good chances probably between the 35 and 45 minute. At the end of the game, we positioned ourselves to win the game and you can’t ask for much more. It’s always good to get a point on the road, but we would have obviously preferred three.”

On if he can imagine what the Crew is going through:

“I can imagine a little bit. It’s certainly a very difficult situation. We feel for the Urso family and the Crew in this sad time and tragic event. We hope that time helps heal a little bit here. That can’t be an easy situation for the family or the organization. We wish our very best to the Urso family and the Crew. Anything we can do to support them, we would certainly do that.”

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

On getting one point tonight:

“We could have maybe got three, but I think with the whole situation before the game, when they had the tribute for the young lad, I think maybe overall it’s a fair result for both teams.”

On having a longer break after the long stretch of games:

“I haven’t had a break in such a long time. It’ll be nice to have a few days off. Recharge the batteries, relax and spend time with family. I seem to be all on the road lately that I haven’t been able to spend quality time with the family.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Michael Stephens

On the overall impression of the game:

“In the first half, they did a good job pressuring us. We had a hard time playing. As the game wore on, we started to get a little more of the play, but we gave up a pretty unfortunate goal there. We even had chances to win the game at the end.”

On the difficulty of battling the Crew’s emotions:

“To be honest with you, I’ve known Kirk since I was 11-years-old so I was playing with the same emotion that [the Crew were]. I think once you get out there, you kind of forget about everything. Obviously, we had a ceremony before the game…after that everyone was just playing.”

Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha

General thoughts on the match:

“I think that was a difficult game for us to play. After 20 minutes that we were trying to figure out what to do on the field and maybe we were giving up too much space. I think in the first half we should have probably scored a couple of goals. Great saves by their goalie and we hit the post. I was happy with the overlapping, with the commitment and the tackles and with the passing. That was good. In the second half it was a little bit different. We scored a goal early and then they pushed us very hard and to be honest, before we figured out how to act, it was 1-1. They pushed us to the end of the game. It was good defending and it was good to see Sebastian to clear one from the line.”

On The Crew handling the emotion tonight:

“I think if you look at performance, I think they did well. I think that is the right way to do it.”

On the pregame message after the difficult week:

“We talked about focusing on the game and that it will be something we won’t forget. Obviously, the three points were not the most important thing today. I think there was a bigger thing we were playing for.”

Forward Jairo Arrieta

General impressions on the game:

“It was a very difficult game. We had a lot of chances in the first half that we were unable to finish. It was a good game. Luckily, I was able to score a goal in the second half. It wasn’t enough. We need points. Unfortunately, we wanted to win. Now we are going to go to Houston and try to get three points there.”

On if he feels more comfortable up top trying to help the team create chances:

“Yes, I feel more comfortable. Scoring goals gives more confidence. As a forward, you want to be able to help the team and score more goals. Today is mother’s day in Costa Rica and I’d like to dedicate my goal to my mother and my wife.”

Midfielder Chris Birchall

On playing against his old team:

“It was always going to be an emotional game because of Kirk (Urso), but personally, for me, it was one that I was looking forward to. I was just trying to do myself and the team justice by playing well. The first 20 minutes were a struggle really. They were getting on top of us a little bit. Toward the second half of the first half, we really came out and created chances. I was disappointed to not put one away. I had one at the end of the box where I felt like I should have scored, but it was close. We got one at the beginning of the second half, but couldn’t hold on. The Galaxy is always going to create chances and (Robbie) Keane is a great player. That’s his 11th of the season and it’s disappointing not to get the three points.”

Midfielder Cole Grossman

On his play tonight:

“Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about my personal game. I just really wish we could have gotten three points. I think we could have, and probably deserved three points, but there have been a lot of games where we didn’t necessarily deserve three and got the win. That’s how the game works. I think we were just really focused on working as hard as we could to honor Kirk (Urso).”

On how important it was to come out and play hard for Kirk Urso:

“I think it’s easy to say ‘play for Kirk’ and ‘work hard for Kirk’, but it’s a lot harder to do, particularly when it’s still recent. The pain is going to be there forever. When I see his family, I feel so bad. It’s just a really sad situation. I think we are all trying to make the best of it and we will never forget the kind of kid he was.

On the fans’ tributes to Kirk Urso:

“I can’t say enough about what the fans did tonight and have done to honor Kirk Urso. It’s pretty special to look up there and see all the 15’s and KU’s and all the various tributes. At the end of the game, just looking up there almost brought tears to my eyes. The fact that they care so much about one of their own is very special.”