Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Toronto FC

keane_celebration

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria/LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 4, Toronto FC 2
Saturday, September 22, 2012
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Juninho 6 (Unassisted) 11’
LA – Juninho 7 (Sean Franklin 4) 33’
LA – Robbie Keane 13 (Mike Magee 4, Landon Donovan 11) 36’
TFC – Terry Dunfield 3 (Luis Silva 4) 38’
TFC – Luis Silva 5 (Eric Avila 3) 86’
LA – Robbie Keane 14 (Landon Donovan 12) 92+

Misconduct Summary:
TFC – Ryan Johnson (Yellow Card) 30’
TFC – Darren O’Dea (Yellow Card) 79’
TFC – Ashtone Morgan (Yellow Card) 84’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Christian Wilhelmsson (Edson Buddle 68’), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Mike Magee (Michael Stephens 78’); Landon Donovan©, Robbie Keane.

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Tommy Meyer, Bryan Gaul, Hector Jimenez, Jose Villarreal.

Toronto FC: Freddy Hall, Jeremy Hall, Richard Eckersley (Quincy Amarikwa 46’), Darren O’Dea©, Logan Emory (Reggie Lambe 68’); Terry Dunfield, Aaron Maund, Andrew Wiedeman (Eric Avila 60’), Luis Silva, Ashtone Morgan, Ryan Johnson.

Subs Not Used: Quillan Roberts, Dicoy Williams, Doneil Henry, Adrian Cann.

Referee: Yader Reyes

Referee’s Assistants: Craig Lowry and George Gansner

4th Official: Jesus Cisneros

NOTES:

  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 15-11-4 on the season for 49 points. They are now in second place in the Western Conference, tied with Real Salt Lake on points but ahead of them on goals scored. Seattle began the day in second place but are now in fourth place following their 2-1 home loss to San Jose.
  • The Galaxy have clinched their fourth straight berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs and the 14th in club history.
  • The Galaxy are now unbeaten in their last six regular season games and nine games in all competitions. Each of those streaks are season-highs.
  • LA are now unbeaten in their last seven regular season games against Toronto FC, going 3-0-4 in that time.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena used the same starting lineup from the club’s last game, a 2-0 win over Colorado on September 14. He named the same seven substitutes from that game as well.
  • None of the 11 players that started against Toronto FC started on Wednesday night against the Puerto Rico Islanders in the CONCACF Champions League.
  • The Galaxy were once again without David Beckham, Leonardo, David Junior Lopes and Kyle Nakazawa, who all missed the game through injury.
  • LA took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute when Juninho scored his sixth goal of the season directly from a freekick. That was his first goal of the year from a freekick. WATCH
  • The goal was LA’s fifth of the season directly from a freekick with David Beckham scoring each of the other four.
  • The Galaxy have now scored inside the opening 15 minutes in each of their last two regular season games.
  • Juninho doubled LA’s lead in the 33rd minute with another long range shot for his seventh goal of the season. WATCH
  • Juninho’s seven goals in the league and nine in all competitions are both career-highs. Only Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan have more goals this season for the Galaxy.
  • This was the second time in his career that Juninho scored multiple goals in a game, having also scored twice against Chivas USA on August 12.
  • The Galaxy now have an MLS-best 15 goals from outside the area with Juninho having five of those. Only Beckham has more, scoring six times from outside the penalty area.
  • Sean Franklin was credited with his fourth assist of the season on the goal. This was the first of his four assists to come at home and the first that set up a goal for someone other than Robbie Keane.
  • Keane made the score 3-0 with his 13th goal of the season, chipping Toronto goalkeeper Freddy Hall from close range. WATCH
  • Keane now has a goal or an assist in each of his last six games and 12 of his 15 games since returning from the European Championships, scoring 11 goals and adding six assists in that time.
  • Mike Magee and Landon Donovan each had assists on the goal. For Magee it was his fourth of the season and his first since July 21 against Chivas USA while for Donovan it was his 13th of the season.
  • Prior to tonight, the Galaxy had not scored three goals in a single half of play since August 12 against Chivas USA when they scored three times in the second half of a 4-0 win.
  • Toronto FC cut the Galaxy lead back to two two minutes later when Terry Dunfield scored to make the score 3-1. He headed the ball past Josh Saunders from close range following a deflection off of Marcelo Sarvas.
  • That goal ended LA’s 351 minute streak of not allowing a goal in the league. Prior to the tally, the Galaxy had not allowed a goal in the regular season since August 15 at Columbus.
  • The 351 minutes without conceding a goal is the sixth longest streak in MLS this season and the fifth longest in club history.
  • Dunfield’s goal was the first allowed by LA in all competitions since August 23 against Isidro Metapan in the CONCACAF Champions League, a stretch of 491 minutes.
  • Luis Silva, who was credited with an assist on Dunfield’s goal, made the score 3-2 in the 86th minute with his fifth goal of the regular season.
  • This was the first time that the Galaxy allowed two goals in a regular season game at home since July 4 when they lost 2-1 to Philadelphia.
  • Robbie Keane sealed the win with his second goal of the game in second half stoppage time to make the score 4-2. Keane now has 14 goals on the season, leaving him tied with Kenny Cooper and Alvaro Saborio for second in MLS behind San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski. WATCH
  • This was the second time this season that the Galaxy had multiple players score multiple goals with David Beckham and Robbie Keane each scoring twice in the 5-3 win at Portland on July 14.
  • Keane now has four multi-goal games this season while Juninho has two. Neither had ever registered a multi-goal game in MLS before this season.
  • Landon Donovan collected his 14th assist of the season leaving him tied with Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi for the most in MLS.
  • Donovan has a goal or an assist in nine of his last 11 regular season games, scoring seven goals and 12 assists in that time.
  • This was Donovan’s second multi-assist game of the season and the second time he has done so in his last three games. Donovan has seven assists in his last three games.
  • The Galaxy are now 10-2-0 when leading at the break and 12-3-0 when scoring the first goal of the game.
  • LA finished with 27 shots, tying a club record that was first set on July 18, 1998 in a shootout loss to the Miami Fusion. They outshot TFC 27-5.
  • Keane’s first half goal ended up as the game-winner, giving him six game-winners on the season. Only Chris Wondolowski has more, tallying 10 game-winners.
  • Prior to tonight, the back four of Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant had not conceded more than one goal in a game since August 3, 2011 in a 3-0 loss at Portland.
  • Josh Saunders now has a career-high 15 wins on the season. Only Jimmy Nielsen and Jon Busch have more wins this year, each recording 16 so far this year.
  • No Galaxy players were booked in the game. This was the seventh time in the regular season that no LA players were booked and the first since August 12.
  • With Marcelo Sarvas not being booked, he has had one card removed from his record, meaning that he is no longer on warning and is two cautions away from a one-game suspension.
  • A.J. DeLaGarza now needs to play two consecutive games without being booked in order to have one card removed from his record. If DeLaGarza is cautioned in either of his next two games he will be forced to serve a one-game suspension.
  • The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000 at The Home Depot Center.
  • The Galaxy will be back in action on Sunday, September 30 when they travel to Colorado to take on the Rapids. That game, which will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, kicks off at 4 p.m. (PT) and will be shown live on KDOC and Galavision.
  • This will be LA’s second visit of the season to Colorado and their first road game in the league since the 1-1 draw at Columbus on August 15. LA won 2-1 in Colorado on April 21 with Landon Donovan scoring the game-winning goal for the Galaxy on that day. They are 3-0-1 in their last four visits to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

QUOTES

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the team’s performance:

“In May this would have been an unlikely scenario, so it’s been a terrific run of probably close to 20 games. They’ve done well, and tonight was, in my view, not a complete performance. We were a little bit sloppy but still, I thought Toronto played real hard—came after us for 90 minutes. We’re pleased with the win but we know we can play better. We’re happy where we stand right now. There’s a lot of games left and obviously the next four games are going to say a lot in the West and, you know, we got three teams that are real close to each other. I think it’s safe to say that San Jose has separated themselves from the other three teams, so it’s going to be a battle for two, three and four.”

Thoughts on the game:

“Well, obviously, Robbie [Keane] is here to score goals, and he’s done that. Juninho’s obviously on a terrific run. The free kick was a terrific free kick and the goal on the run of play was awesome—simply outstanding. Robbie continues to get chances. Good to see him finish two tonight. I just think we’re moving forward as a team, you know, we’re playing Landon [Donovan] back to fitness. I thought Landon’s second half was pretty good tonight. He got moving again, he needed that. The team’s getting better. The resurgence has been outstanding; it’s a real character test on the group. Not many teams would have positioned themselves where we are right now. Having said that, I think we all know there’s a lot of soccer left to be played this season and we really got to be determined over the next four games.”

On Christian Wilhelmsson:

“He’s fitting in well. I think you can see, he’s a real experienced player, you know, it’s going to take him a little bit more time to get his fitness. But he’s fit in well with us. He has some qualities, I think, we were missing so hopefully as we continue to move forward over the next couple of months he’s going to be a real plus for the team.”

On the change in the team:

“I just think we’re playing better. I think players understand their responsibilities. Maybe you can attribute the poor start to bad coaching and maybe we got them, helped get them turned around. I think we have some excellent leadership on the team, you know, Landon is captain, our experienced players in David [Beckham] and Robbie have helped really turn this thing around but it’s been a group effort to be honest with you, so maybe that’s the answer to the question because we weren’t playing as a team in the early going. Over the last three, four months, it’s certainly been a collective effort and one that’s produced a lot of victories.”

On the upcoming schedule and finding the team’s form during a crucial:

“It’s very important, obviously, and these are all going to be difficult games, you have Colorado, and Colorado’s difficult, Salt Lake and Seattle at home and then San Jose on the road. Those are four very difficult games, so it’s going to be challenging. The only thing we know is we’re likely no worse than four. Even though I haven’t done the math, maybe that’s not correct, but we’re likely going to be two, three or four, so coming into form and having those games, it’s all there, there’s no hiding, you know, we can kind of control our destiny at this point.”’

LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane

On the performance:

“It was good; I think we did well. A bit disappointed with the goals we conceded obviously, but you can’t expect in this league to have a clean sheet every game. You try your best but you’re going to come up sometimes against difficult opposition. And even though we looked in control tonight, when you concede two goals and there’s 10 minutes or 30 minutes left and you’re only winning by one goal, sometimes the nerves can get at you, but thankfully we got the fourth goal and then we knew it was over.”

On the team’s recent form, especially himself and Juninho:

“I think the whole team has been doing well, it’s not just down to individuals. Myself and Juni have been scoring goals lately, which is always nice for the team. I think as a team we’ve been quite solid and now we look like a proper team, doing things together, defending together, attacking together which is very, very important.”

On what it’s like being in such a tight playoff-position race:

“You try to play every game as you want to win it and listen, we know that the start of the season sort of killed us, but that’s the way it goes, it’s just important that if you have such a bad start you bounce back and we certainly did do that. One stage it was looking likely that we weren’t even going to get to the playoffs, so if you look where we came from since then it’s been massive, massive progress and it’s important that we keep that going.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the expectations going forward:

“I think the expectation is that we’re going to make the playoffs at a minimum, so regardless how we started, that’s the expectation, so that’s good, that’s out of the way. But like I said last week, we want to keep climbing as high as we can and obviously first place is out of question but we can keep this going and finish second. That would be a huge boost.”

On thoughts on the teams’ performance:

“I just saw we had 27 shots tonight, which, I can’t remember the last time I saw an MLS game that had 27 shots for a team and I think we’re just really playing well, really clicking well defensively. That’s without one of our most dangerous players on the field in, David. We’re happy with where we are offensively. We’re not happy to give up two goals, but a little fluky and it’s going to happen, but still good to win.”

On Juninho’s play:

“He’s got a lot, man. The first one that was, he just struck it well and there was so many people on the wall the goalie had no chance to see it and the second one, I mean it’s a goal anywhere in the world. I mean, he’s had a lot of them. He does it in training all the time and we’re encouraging him to keep going forward and shooting and when he’s doing that we’re really hard to play against because eventually teams are going to have to step to him and that’s going to open up a lot of space. If they don’t step up to him, he can just keep scoring and we’re happy with that.”

On his partnership with Robbie Keane:

“He’s very easy to play with. He’s very predictable in a lot of ways, the way he moves, so him and I have a really good understanding. I know how he wants the ball, where he wants it, and it’s on me to make sure I give him the right pass, the right way and the right time. He makes it very clear how he wants it done and if I do those things well, he’s going to score goals.”

On the upcoming schedule:

“If we put ourselves in a position to finish well, that’s not good if you don’t play well. For me, to be honest, I think the most important game is going to be the Colorado game because I don’t doubt that we’ll be ready for Salt Lake and Seattle and San Jose. Those are big games and teams we can likely play in the playoffs but the Colorado game is a game we’re playing a team at their home field with nothing to lose, so we got to make sure we’re ready next week to play and try to get three points there.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Juninho

On his streak of goals:

“At training I practice that a lot. I see David do that a lot and I just try to imitate him and it’s just a competition out there.”

On whether his second goal of the night was his best since joining the Galaxyt:

“No. The best one was two years ago against Seattle, the July 4th game.”

Thoughts on playing with Marcelo Sarvas:

“Marcelo’s a good player and without a doubt the communication helps us. Things are going good, things happen.”

On his ability to score from distance:

“Every single time there’s space in front of me I’m going to take a shot and today I just got lucky.”

LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee

On clinching a spot in the playoffs with the win:

“First of all, I didn’t know that. Second of all, it’s big. I think a lot of people kind of counted us out a couple months ago so to clinch it with four games to go is making a pretty large statement.”

On playing with Christian Wilhelmsson on the wings of LA’s midfield:

“It’s easy; I think it’s nice to be able to kind of float around and find spots. At times you’re searching for the ball and it’s not coming your way and it’s nice to be able to make a long diagonal run and know that instead of having to run 60 yards to get back, the other guy is going to cover, which is Christian. It’s been great, we’re still getting him fit and we’re still growing accustomed to each other, but it’s been great being able to play with a little bit more freedom.”

On the goal-scoring form of fellow midfielder Juninho:

“I think you all saw the reactions after his second goal. We all got in a little huddle, we sang Bruce [Arena] ‘Happy Birthday’ and then we all just told him to shoot. If he wasn’t already, just whenever he gets it he needs to just shoot. The form he’s in right now is literally like nothing I’ve ever seen, not in practice, not in games, not on TV or anything. Every time he shoots it’s either going in or hitting a post or something.”

On whether tonight’s second was the most impressive of Juninho’s long-range goals:

“They all look the same, right? Every time he scores a goal it’s like déjà vu. So I don’t know which one is better, but it’s literally bizarre, it’s absolutely bizarre the streak he’s on right now.”

Toronto FC Head Coach Paul Mariner

On the game:

“In the first half, I felt we looked a little bit awestruck with Landon [Donovan] and Robbie Keane. I think the movement was excellent. The free kick was a very soft free kick. The second goal looked like a bit of a wordy. I'll have to look at it again, but it looked as if it was almost unstoppable. We didn't close him down. We have to close good players down. Coming out in half time, we were on the back foot, so we changed it and went to 4-4-2. I thought Quincy Amarikwa did very well. And then we got back into the game. We showed a little bit of naivety later on. We played a short free kick instead of pumping it into the box and put them under pressure. Then in the end, 4-2 - is that a fair reflection? I don't think so. We were pushing, and they scored in injury time.”

On coming back with two goals:

“It’s very important. You showed that you have some fight left in you. There is always fight left is us. Again, I lose one of our best players at half time with a what I thought was a questionable call by the referee, so I got one of my best players that is out and you got to regroup and put young players in positions that they aren't familiar with. My heart goes out to the lads coming back, 3-2 to the Galaxy is good. But, at the end of the day we lost.”

Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva

On scoring his first goal:

“Definitely a great feeling to get a goal here in L.A. My first goal (in L.A.) and it obviously feels good. I'm disappointed with the result, but we got to keep our heads up and look forward to the next game.”

On what has said at halftime:

“Coach told us that if we score right away we could put ourselves in this game and we did. Obviously it’s a 90-minute game and we let it slip in the last minute.”

Toronto FC defender Darren O’Dea

On the match:

“I think if you look at the first goal is a freekick, second goal is a great strike from 30 yards. I think we contained them without playing very well. And, we're still 3-0 not long after a half an hour. We got back into the game, I think the last goal you can write it off really. It's disappointing when you look at the goals. Two of them we could have done better with. Robbie [Keane] showed his class. When you give him a chance, he'll score. I think he only had two shots on goal, but that's all he needs. We got punished.”

On whether they can take away anything positive from the performance in the second half:

“No, it’s easy to play when you’re 3-1 down. It’s when it’s nil-all or you’re 1-0 up and it’s on an edge. It’s easy to let the shackles off when you’re 3-1 down. I spoke before about being mentally strong and I think it’s quite clear this squad isn’t mentally strong enough. Everyone can play 3-1 down, there’s nothing to lose; it’s when you’re nil-all that it counts and we weren’t good enough when it was nil-all.”

Toronto FC midfielder Terry Dunfield

On the first half:

“For the first two goals, a lot of credit needs to go to Juninho. They were great strikes. I think on the second one he could have been closed down a bit quicker. In the first half, it was like we just admired their good football. We didn't execute the game plan which was to be solid and make it difficult for them to plan. And, LA really hurt us.”

On Toronto's character:

“For me, we showed a lot of character coming back to 3-2. Unfortunately, we never got that cross into the box to see if we could nick it to 3-3. Of course on the day LA deserved it. They played some fantastic stuff. This is the level we need to aspire to and we need to get to if we are going to be successful in this league. The boys are hurt. We can hold our heads up - we got beat by a very good side.”