Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs Vancouver

Galaxy move into third place in Western Conference with 2-0 win over Whitecaps FC

juninho_dunivant_goal_van

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria / LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 2, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif,

Scoring Summary:
LA – Juninho 5 (Robbie Keane 8, Hector Jimenez 2) 40’
LA – David Beckham 7 (Unassisted) 80’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Omar Gonzalez (Yellow Card) 21’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Hector Jimenez (Jose Villarreal 71’), Juninho, David Beckham (Edson Buddle 85’), Marcelo Sarvas; Mike Magee (Michael Stephens 79’), Robbie Keane©.

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Tommy Meyer, Bryan Gaul, Pat Noonan.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Brad Knighton; John Thorrington, Martin Bonjour, Jay DeMerit©, Jordan Harvey; Matt Watson, Jun Davidson (Camilo Sanvezzo 85’), Dane Richards (Michael Nanchoff 71’), Barry Robson, Russell Teibert (Etienne Barbara 87’); Kenny Miller.

Subs Not Used: Joe Cannon, Alain Rochat, Carlyle Mitchell, Atiba Harris.

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson and Fabio Tovar

4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

Notes:

  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 13-11-4 on the season for 43 points. They are now in third place in the Western Conference, tied with Seattle but ahead of them on goals scored. The Sounders however have three games in hand on LA and are in action on Sunday night in Dallas.
  • LA remain three points behind second place Real Salt Lake, who beat D.C. United 1-0, and are now six points ahead of Vancouver, who are in fifth place with 37 points.
  • The Galaxy took seven of a possible nine points from their three-game series with Vancouver this year, winning the first matchup 3-0 at home and drawing 2-2 in Vancouver before tonight’s win.
  • The Galaxy are now a perfect 3-0-0 all-time at home against Vancouver, winning those three games by a combined score of 8-0.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena used the same starting lineup that beat FC Dallas 2-0 last Sunday at The Home Depot Center in his team’s last regular season game. There was only one change to the entire 18-man squad with Edson Buddle taking a spot on the bench in place of Kenney Walker.
  • This was the first time that Buddle has been in the squad since May 26th when he started and scored the opening goal in Houston. Buddle injured his meniscus in that game, underwent surgery on June 4 and has been sidelined since.
  • Buddle came on in the 85th minute, replacing David Beckham, for the 100th appearance of his Galaxy career. He became the 19th player in club history to play in that many games for LA.
  • The Galaxy were once again without, Landon Donovan, Leonardo, David Junior Lopes and Kyle Nakazawa, who all missed the game with injuries.
  • Juninho put the Galaxy in front late in the first half, striking from long distance to make the score 1-0.
  • That goal was his fifth of the season in MLS and seventh in all competitions, setting a new career-high in each category.
  • He has scored six of those seven goals in his last five games dating back to August 12 in a 4-0 win over Chivas USA.
  • Juninho’s first half strike ended up being the game-winning goal, meaning that of his 11 career MLS goals, eight of them have been game-winners.
  • Robbie Keane and Hector Jimenez were both credited with assists on the opening goal.
  • Keane now has eight assists this season and continues his streak of games with a goal or assist to five in all competitions.
  • Keane also now has a goal or an assist in all seven games in which he has started as the club’s captain, tallying five goals and three assists in that time.
  • Since returning from the European Championships in late June, Keane has eight goals and six assists in 13 regular season games.
  • Jimenez now has two assists on the season, with his only other one coming on Landon Donovan’s goal at San Jose on June 30.
  • David Beckham added to the Galaxy’s lead when he curled in an 80th minute freekick to give LA a 2-0 lead.
  • The goal was Beckham’s seventh of the season and his first since the 2-2 draw at Vancouver on July 18.
  • The seven goals in MLS and eight in all competitions are highs for Beckham since joining the Galaxy in 2007.
  • Of Beckham’s seven regular season goals, four have been scored directly from a freekick.
  • The Galaxy started the back four of (from left to right) Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Sean Franklin in front of goalkeeper Josh Saunders for the fourth straight game. In those four matches, LA have three shutouts and have allowed just one goal.
  • Josh Saunders did not have to make a save to earn his seventh clean sheet of the season. He is now 10-3-2 since re-joining the squad in June.
  • This is the first time this season that LA have recorded consecutive clean sheets.
  • The Whitecaps finished the game with two shots, though neither was on target.
  • Omar Gonzalez was shown his second yellow card of the season in the first half. He has now been booked in each of his last two games.
  • Marcelo Sarvas was not booked in the win, meaning that he remains on five yellow cards.
  • Tonight’s game was the fourth and final game in a stretch of four home games in 10 days for the Galaxy that started back on August 23. LA went a perfect 4-0-0 in those games, winning by a combined score of 13-2.
  • LA’s 13 wins are tied with New York for the fourth most in MLS this season
  • The attendance for today’s game was 20,168 at The Home Depot Center.
  • The Galaxy will not return to MLS action until Friday, September 14 when they host the Colorado Rapids in a game that kicks off at 8 p.m. and will be shown live on KDOC and Univision Deportes.
  • That game was originally scheduled for Sunday, September 16, but was moved forward two days earlier in the year because of the club’s CONCACAF Champions League schedule.
  • Before that game, the Galaxy will play a pair of Reserve League games, travelling to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes on Tuesday, September 4 and then hosting Portland on Monday, September 10.

Quotes:

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the win:

“I thought maybe we were a little sluggish in the first half. I think you got to give Vancouver a lot of credit, they really threw a lot into the first half and closed us down, especially in the middle third. [They] kicked us a little bit, made it difficult for us, so I think the Juninho goal was huge. In the second half I thought you could see the energy that Vancouver put into the first half fatigued them because they kind of looked to me like they hit the wall a little bit. I thought we had a fairly dominant second half and could have scored a few more goals.”

On the play of Robbie Keane:

“He’s dangerous, probably had three or four chances. The concerns you have with these strikers is if he’s not getting chances and Robbie got a good number tonight, and you know he’s going to finish his share but, Robbie’s a handful. I think, you know, when we get Landon [Donovan] back with him it’s going to be even better. I think Robbie [is] probably a little frustrated he didn’t get a goal tonight, but I thought he played well and was pretty dangerous.”

On the recent play of Juninho:

“Huge goal. I think he’s had, what is it, five goals now in about a three-week stretch? And [David] Beckham’s getting us goals this year in the midfield. You know, [Mike] Magee in the midfield has gotten goals, so we have some pretty good balance. You know, hopefully we’ll get Landon back in the mix, good to see Edson [Buddle] back on the field. Jose [Villarreal] is moving a long as a young player so hopefully we can improve our team in the attacking part of the field as we move into this stretch at the end of the season.”

Overall thoughts on the team’s  performance:

“It was good. It was a solid performance tonight. I think Omar [Gonzalez] and A.J. [DeLaGarza] continue to play well in their partnership in central defense. I think [Sean] Franklin has played very well over the last couple of months. Todd’s [Dunivant] moving a long, Josh [Saunders] looks really comfortable in goal right now, so that group is good. This has been an excellent two weeks for our team because it was pretty challenging going in with the Champions League and having Dallas and Vancouver chasing us, and getting three points in [all] four games and the contribution by the entire team because tonight’s performance wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for our group on Wednesday and the performance they gave against Puerto Rico. It’s been a very good two weeks for us.”

On the teams’ progress over the last three months:

“A month ago we were pretty good too, you got to remember now, in the league we’re 13-11-4 and we were 3-8-2 at one point. If you do the math, that’s pretty good, so we’ve been in real good form over the last couple of months and we’re positioned now to move up the ladder in the conference standing as well as a good position to move through the Champions League. So we’ve got a lot of work to do, we can play better, we know that and hopefully we’ll show that in September, October and November.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On the importance of the win:

“It was something we spoke about before the game that we needed a good performance. We’ve definitely played better this season, but I think it was a big win. We needed to win this game tonight. Obviously they were coming close to us, three points behind us and it was a big one for us. We’re happy with the win. At times we could have played better, but overall we’ve got to be happy with the win.”

On the play of Juninho and his goal:

“Juni’s been doing that a lot recently in training and in games and when he’s got his shooting boots on there’s not many goalkeepers that can stop him. We needed that because we had a lot of the possession and we were creating chances but not putting them in and that’s when Juni stepped up puts one in. Obviously we’re happy he did that and then obviously my goal just brought the pressure back off us.”

On his own recent goal-scoring form:

“I’m not usually scoring that many, but I’ll take it.”

On his goal:

“I knew if I put it in the corner, the kid wasn’t getting there simple as that. And I hit it well. One of their players kept on going back and forth, back and forth, but I knew once I hit it and I knew I’d caught it well, it was going in.”

On the defensive performance and the play of Omar Gonzalez:

“We defended well tonight, especially in the first half. I think our defense was very strong. Omar is definitely looking a lot fitter and a lot more agile. After coming off an injury like that I think sometimes it takes a while but he’s straight back into it and over the last few weeks he’s definitely been looking a lot fitter and performing the way he’s been playing has been great for us.”

On whether the break comes at a good time:

“Definitely. It’s always good to get a rest. But we’ve been on a roll, so either way it wouldn’t have mattered to us. I think we’ve played well in the last couple of months and we’ve done well and worked hard to get ourselves in a better position in the league, but now we’ll get a rest and we’ll come back and we’ll be fresh.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On the play of the team’s back four of late:

“I think we’ve given up one goal since the back four from last year’s been together, so I’d say we’ve been doing pretty well.”

On the performance of the LA defense:

“I just think we all did really well defensively from our forwards to our midfield to our backline we were just working really well. We knew Miller was good at making runs so we just tried to drop off before he could make that run and keep him in front of us.”

On whether this is the best the team has played since last season:

“I think so, consistently winning games. We haven’t done that really this year until now, so yeah I guess it dates back to last year and we just have to keep it going, keep on playing well and just make a good run.” 

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

Thoughts on the game:

“It was obviously important to keep the run going. It was a tough game against a good team, a physical team. They like to battle, so it’s important we got the first goal when we did.”

Thoughts on his performance:

“I’m not sure it was my best performance [of the season]. It’s important that you keep winning, it was good result, we limited them to varied chances. I don’t think they had many chances. It was obviously going to be a difficult game but lucky we got the first goal—great goal for Juninho, I think once we got the next goal it looked like we were going to win the game.”

Thoughts on Juninho’s play:

“He’s been very, very good the last month or so, scored a lot of goals, he’s been brilliant not only in his goals, but the way he’s been playing. It’s certainly been great, so long may that continue.”

On the team’s recent form:

“I think in the last month or so, couple of months, we’re back to where we were last year. We’re hard to beat, we’re playing hard as a team and scoring goals, winning games. Winning is a habit, the more games you win, the more confidence you get.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Juninho

On his performance:

“I’m very happy to have scored the goal, very important to go up in the table in the standings.”

On what has been key to winning:

“Very important to have a good defense and it give confidence to the forwards to score.”

On his relationship with Marcelo Sarvas:

“The relationship inside and outside the locker room and the field is really nice. I’m very happy to have that relationship.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas

On the success of the Galaxy midfield of late:

“It’s important that we have players with that quality, that can keep the ball, can pass the ball, can create situations. Without the ball we run, we do a hard job, with the ball it’s easy for a team, we can keep the ball, pass and find a good situation.”

On the team’s recent form:

“I think we’re in a good sequence. It wasn’t our best game, but we are becoming better and better. It’s very important to keep going like this because now every game, every point is very important for us.”

On Juninho’s potential:

“He showed it last year, it’s nothing new. I think everybody knows his potential. He showed it last year and this year he’s just becoming better and better.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle

On making his return to the field:

“It was great, I didn’t think I was going to play today, but I was prepared just in case Bruce wanted me. I’m available so I’m supposed to act like I’m going to play. I’m happy to get that game feeling again and it’s good to be back out there.”

On using the international break to his advantage:

“I’m going to use the reserve games coming up to get some fitness in and add some goal scoring to the team.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Martin Rennie

On the game:

“It’s a very frustrating score line and result, but there are a lot of things we can take from that game and from that performance. I thought we showed a lot of energy in the first half and it was a fairly even game. We gave Juninho a lot more space than we should have two or three times and he managed to play balls in behind and then he scored a fantastic goal. So in the first half that was really the difference between the teams. In the second half obviously we were wanting to push a little more, we were frustrated that we didn’t create more chances, that was a disappointment. But again, the goal that cost us the game was an outstanding goal from a very good player, an outstanding player in our league.”

On the team’s performance tonight:

“Two great goals against us tonight, that’s very disappointing, but a lot of good performances and a lot of things to build on as we go into the next phase of the season. What we’ve got to make sure of is that we build on the things that were positive and fix the few things that obviously have to get better. We must be creating more chances in the game, we maybe need to look at a couple things within our system because we’re not creating enough chances. But there’s a lot of things to take from it in a positive light against a good team.”

On losing a team record four straight games:

“It’s tough. Unfortunately we’re in the middle of that right now but that’s something we’ll have to fight through. The games become very big for us now, fortunately because we’ve done fairly well up until this point we’re still in a good position, but we must now find our form and now’s the time to find it, because if you’re going to do anything in the season you’re going to have to be at your best at the end. So we must find a way to get into form very quickly.”

On moving on to next week’s matchup against Dallas:

“It’s a huge game, both teams are very close in the standings, and then of course we go on a run of games where almost every game is at home until the end of the season. So that’s a positive thing. The game against Dallas will be our ninth game in our last 13 on the road, which is a lot, but we must put together a good performance. We’ve got a few days off now and then we’ll get back at it but we know that’s a massive game with huge implications.”

On reasons behind the recent poor form:

“I think it was mainly based on the fact that we didn’t show enough energy in the last few games and so we need to make adjustments. I thought the guys coming in did make that energy, at least in the first half, but Dallas is a different game and we need to be ready for that when it comes.”

Vancouver Defender Jay DeMerit

On the Galaxy goals:

“I thought in the first half we were unlucky to give away the one, that was a good finish by Juninho, and they didn’t create too many chances and I thought we were in it. I thought we played some decent stuff, got the ball and actually started to create our own chances, and then in the second half to give away a couple of set pieces was disappointing because you come in and that’s one of our goals; is to not allow that to happen. And then it does and you give somebody of that class a chance to go and do what he does and he’ll do it.”

On the team performance and the playoff race growing tighter:

“I think it was a better performance than our last two performances, the guys at least showed energy and a bit of fight today, and that’s a positive now that we can take in and something to build on. But we know that every game is now important as we move in, we have no gimmies and we have no games that we can take for granted. Now it’s up to us to get ourselves out of this.”

On the mindset behind lineup changes:

“To give other guys chances. The last couple of games we haven’t played very well and I think the manager’s right in giving other guys a go, and to be fair to the guys that came in tonight I thought they did a good job, I thought Russell [Teibert] showed great energy, I thought he kept the ball for us, I thought he defended well, and for somebody, a young kid, to come in on a big stage like this, it’s a credit to him. We’ll continue to try to work hard for each other and give the manager a hard decision.”

Vancouver Midfielder John Thorrington

On the game and the message at halftime:

“I thought we did a couple of good things in the first half, I thought we kept comfortable possession, and I don’t think they really threatened us too much. Obviously the Galaxy are here, they’re a very strong home team, but you have to hand it to Juninho, and that’s not the first time he’s done it. He hit a great strike and there’s not too much you can do. Obviously we’ll look at how we can prevent him from getting into that spot but when a guy hits a shot like that sometimes you just have to hold your hands up. I think at halftime the message is just to keep going, hopefully just keep going and get some chances and turn the game around. I thought we showed enough in the first half to say that we were hopeful we could do that, it just didn’t end up happening. I still think in the second half we got ourselves into good spots and that final ball was just lacking at times. I think certainly there’s some stuff we can build on there but we’re going to have to dig deep now, it’s character time and we’re going to have to show what we’re about.”

On having lost four straight heading into a break and next week’s matchup with FC Dallas:

“I’d rather play the game tomorrow, to get back, but the benefit of having a little break is that we can search and give ourselves time to search ourselves and see what we all need to do to get better, because it hasn’t been good enough. It’s nowhere near the standard that we set earlier in the year and everybody just needs to go away now and look at what they can do to come back ready to go in training and then get ready for a huge game against Dallas.”

On the Galaxy goals and what Vancouver needs to work on:

“Two great goals for sure, but to give a foul away where we gave it, we know that with their quality of free kicks at the end that can kill us, and I think that goal did kind of stick the fork in us. The first strike, Juninho’s got that ability, sometimes you have to hold your hand up and say great goal, but at that point I think the issue we’re having right now is one goal is winning other teams games and we just need to do better creating more chances and scoring.”