Postgame Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Galaxy advance to Western Conference Semifinals with 2-1 win vs Whitecaps

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

Overall thoughts on the game:
“Well, we got to show patience. It’s the kind of game we expected, we thought we’d have a lot of the ball and Vancouver was going to get numbers behind the ball and make it difficult. We really put ourselves in a difficult position by conceding a goal in the early minutes of the game. We showed a lot of character to scrap and fight and get back in that game and ultimately win it, so it’s a great result for our team.”

Thoughts on Mike Magee’s goal:
“Scored a goal, obviously an important goal and we’re real pleased with the result. Not an easy game.”

On the change to bring on Marcelo Sarvas:
“Just bringing in a good player onto the field, that game, for the most part, Vancouver was playing with one or two forwards up high, we didn’t need to by playing with four defenders thrown, and then another player and then a player of Marcelo’s quality, I thought, would help us and I think it did.”

On Sean Franklin not in the lineup:
“Sean was tight from the game Sunday. We actually expect him to be back and we thought if he played tonight we could miss him for the rest of the year in playoffs, so we just made that decision.”

On the play of Robbie Keane:
“Robbie was excellent tonight, was involved in a bunch of attacking opportunities and he continues to be a very good player for us. No question about that.”

On giving up the first goal:
“That happens. Certainly, if I was writing the script for the game it would not be Vancouver that gets the goal in the third or fourth minute. It is what happened, you know, the first three minutes of the game we actually look comfortable. You got to give number 16 [Matt Watson] credit, did a good job getting around Hector [Jimenez] on our right side. To their credit, they got a good goal.”

On changes to the lineup for the upcoming game:
“Don’t know at this point. I would expect changes in our lineup. I can’t tell you, obviously, right now.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan

On the team’s performance:

“I think patience was the key tonight. Certainly not the way we wanted to start the game. Kind of one play broke us down and then we were behind the eight-ball, but our determination was good. We kept putting them under pressure and we kind of just got the sense that if we were patient, and kept going, that they were going to wear out and sure enough, in the second half they started opening up a little, they couldn’t keep defending the way they did in the first half and we were finally able to pick them apart a little bit.”

On Mike Magee and his playoff scoring:

“Mike made a fantastic play to score an unbelievable goal and that really set us on our way. He’s the type of player that shines in moments like this and there’s something special about players like that. A lot of guys do it when the games don’t matter or they’ll score the third goal in a 3-0 win, goals that don’t matter, Mike scores goals that matter and he’s done it consistently since he’s been here.”

On coming back to win and the team’s urgency:

“We’re passionate man, we don’t want to lose. We said at halftime, ‘let’s stay positive’ because it is frustrating when you work that hard and the goal doesn’t come. We’ve got a number of guys that have the experience and know how to play in games like this even if you’re down a goal and I thought our attitude was a lot better in the second half. Determination and just our drive to win the game was real impressive.”

On recovering with a quick turnaround to the next game:

“We put in a lot of work tonight, but I think we’re really fit right now. The key is going to be recovering quickly. We’re fortunate to have a really good staff here, really good support staff that helps take care of us and will get us ready for Sunday. We need guys that are fresh and ready to go; like I’ve said all year, this team’s got 25-28 players that can step in and do a good job so if Bruce needs to make changes he’s got no problem doing that.”

On what he expects from the series against San Jose:

“My guess is it’s going to be pretty exciting. It’s a team we played really well this year actually. We were up two goals in the first two games and ended up losing; we’re up a goal twice in the third game and ended up tying. That was a little bit the story of their season and if we can play them well again and learn from those lessons and use our experience then we feel we have a chance in this series.”

On whether he enjoys rivalry games even more than others:

“Sure. This time of the year is more fun, the games are more fun and this is as good as it gets in this league. I’m sure this is what everyone wants to see and it’s certainly what we want.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Mike Magee

On what he was thinking before his goal:

“I was thinking don’t do what I did on the one before, put it in the 20th row. My eyes got big.”

On if he practices finishing like that in training:

“Not often. I don’t practice [finishing like that] often, so I’ll take it.”

On coming back and the team’s performance:

“It’s huge. If they could have written up the perfect game for them, it would have been scoring in the third or fourth minute. Hats off to them because they made it so difficult, I think if that would have gone in extra time, we had tired legs. Hats off to them, but it shows how good our team is.”

On moving on to the Conference Semifinals:

“We’re in a good spot. I think we were asking for San Jose. Obviously that’s been a nice rivalry and we wanted them and now we’ve got them.”

On the rivalry with San Jose:

“They’re a team that in the past couple years have kind of given us fits. They’ve always seemed to play their best against us while we were top of the table and now that the roles are reversed we don’t like them very much either.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

Thoughts on making it to the next round:
“Happy. Happy to be in the position we are because we didn’t start the game well, going 1-0 down. We spoke about it during the week that they were going to get all their players behind the ball and if they got a goal, it would be tough. They got a goal in the first three minutes but we were creating chances. I think if we obviously continue to do that over the 90 minutes, I think we would have been really unlucky not to score. We need to be patient and continue to play the soccer that we’ve been playing.”

Thoughts on Mike Magee’s goal:
“It’s what Mike does, he gets into positions. He’s a clever player, you know, he’s a really intelligent player. We were putting a lot of goals in the six-yard box and I saw Juni [Juninho] for the short corner and obviously [Juni] put it in a position just under the penalty spot and Mike was there.”

On what was said at halftime:
“I think we just said to just keep going and be patient because we started to open ourselves up. It was 1-0 down and we’re pushing to get the goal and that’s where their other chance came from. We were pushing a little bit too much and they opened us up. But I think there’s always going to be a chance. Once we got that first goal the momentum would have taken us and got the second and we knew that.”

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

On the team’s performance against the Vancouver defense:

“We knew it was going to be a tough game, we focused on that yesterday. They’re a good team, we knew they’d come here and sit back and, especially when they got the first goal in the first three minutes, it was obviously that they were going to do it even more so that was the case. But full credit to the lads, we showed a lot of patience, we didn’t change the way we played, we kept the ball moving quite quickly. At times it was tough but we didn’t give up and we never looked like we were running out of ideas so full credit to us, we showed a lot of character and we’re through to the next round.”

On coming from behind for the victory:

“I think we knew that once we got the first goal we looked like we were going to go on to win it to be honest with you. That was obviously the case where we were in control of most of the game, they made it difficult, had the two midfielders literally just sitting in front of the back four, didn’t move for the whole game. We knew their intentions were to sit back and they certainly did that, especially when they got the first goal they were obviously going to do it even more.”

On Mike Magee’s playoff scoring:

“Hopefully he can continue that. Hopefully that will be the case, we’ve got another tough game awaiting Sunday. It’s important now that we prepare ourselves properly and we look forward to it.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Martin Rennie

On the team's performance:

“Well, I thought the performance was good in the beginning of the game. We didn't open up and get caught too many times. Balls coming into box, not too may of those opportunities were dangerous. Obviously, we scored a good goal early on and we had a few other chances on the break, especially breaking down the left hand side. And, then in the second half - we were doing the same, doing fine, had a great chance to make it 2-0. They scored a good goal and the game was even going into the 70th minute, which I think was fine for us. If it was 0-0, we would have been happy with that. Then there was a huge decision that changed the game. There wasn't a way back for us from there. That was the most disappointing moment of the game.”

On the game:

“The most disheartening thing is that the season's over. We really believed we could win tonight. We really believed we could cause an upset. I think we were a long way towards doing that, so that's the most disheartening, disappointing thing we wanted to take a playoff game back to BC Place to play San Jose, and we believed we did well enough to be very close to doing that tonight. Obviously, the penalty was a big moment, but also it was a big moment when we could have gotten 2-0 ahead. Those two moments are turning points in the game, but the overall performance by our players - the effect, the belief, the determination was top class.”

On Matt Watson's playing:

“I thought he did really well. He exploited [Hector] Jimenez on that side, set up the goal and a couple of other times. After half time, he had another shot, the ball rebounded and we didn't capitalize on that. I thought he had an excellent performance and has grown throughout the season, as have a number of guys, Brad Knighton also. I'm proud of all the guys tonight and this season.”

On scoring early:

“Yeah, that was our game plan. To be in that kind of position where we can catch them on the break, and we did it. We had chances to do it again, and we needed to take one of those chances and we needed a couple of other things to go our way. In a game like that 50-50 decisions have to go your way, especially when we are the underdogs playing against the champions, playing against the big team playing at home - those moments have to go in your favor.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Defender Jay DeMerit

On being disappointed with the loss:

“A little bit yeah. You learn pretty hard lessons in soccer and you see it time and time again. When a chance happens to your team and you have a chance to put away and it doesn't seem to go--it's only a matter of time until the go and score on the other end. Tonight was an example of that. Obviously to get them back in it and then from there - same old story. You can sit here and criticize refs all you want, but either way when he calls it, he calls it, and you have to suffer the consequences. We had to suffer those tonight. There is some disappointed people in the dressing room. We deserved more tonight. And, again to finish your season on that note is frustrating. We are proud of our guys and we are proud of season.”

On if scoring early was part of the game plan:

“That quickly? Yeah. Either way that was the game plan. The game plan was to be solid and to counter when possible, whether that's the first minute or the ninety-first minute, and credit to the guys for doing our jobs and making sure the game plan went as planned. And, also to keep fight to get to 70-odd minutes without giving them a clear cut chance. It was exactly what we were out there to do. I think it was a credit to our guys and now the disappointment is what really hurts because everyone in there believes we deserve more.”

On what he takes away from this season:

“As we move forward as a group and as a club, it’s a great learning experience. To take the champions on in their own place and really give them a good go and feel like you deserve more after that 95 minutes--that's moving in the right direction. And, for us, to be here, it’s definitely something to be said, but everyone in there tonight wanted to win, everyone showed that they wanted to win. That's something we can build on going into year three.”

Vancouver Whitecaps Goalkeeper Goalkeeper Brad Knighton

Overall thoughts on the game:

“It was a game that I think everyone was wanting to see. It was the goal that we got early that kind of turned some heads. It was the game plan for us to nip a goal when we could and it happened to come earlier than we expected. We had a game plan and we executed it perfectly until the end there.”

On scoring early and sitting back defensively:

“Yeah, obviously, that was the game plan. We went a goal up and it gave us a little bit of relief and a bit of belief in our team. I'm sure people watching TV around the world were like, wow, these guys might be able to pull it off, and that's kind of the feeling we had. It's just one of those things. We take that chance - we go two up - it’s a different ball game and I think we are in here celebrating. Two goals and another strike that if there was a Goal of the Week would probably be Goal of the Week, so hats off to them. It's just tough because we put in the effort tonight and the effort was there from us. There are some good things to look forward to next season.”

On keeping Vancouver in the game:

“That's my job - to keep the ball out of the net. I think we did a good job defensively. Like I said, we were going to bunker in and take our chances when we could. We went up a goal early, which alleviated some of the pressure for the backline. We knew that they were going to come full force the entire 90 minutes, so it was just a matter of bunkering in, taking our chances and try to catch them on the counter, which we did. It's just unfortunate we came up a bit short.”

Vancouver Whitecaps Forward Darren Mattocks

Overall thoughts on the game:

“We had a game plan to execute and we did that very well. Matt [Watson] did a good job on the flank, and as a striker I put myself in the box and make checking back run and that's what I do. Really exciting goal to go up 1-0, but unfortunate to lose 2-1. We've come really far as a club and we have to improve to come next season.”