Postgame Quotes: San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

Galaxy defeat Quakes 3-1 to advance to Western Conference Championship

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Photo Credit: 
German Alegria/LA Galaxy

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

General thoughts on tonight’s game:

“It was certainly a good win for our group. I don’t think it would be right if I didn’t take a minute to congratulate San Jose on their year. They are really the champions in the league. When you go through the entire season, I’m not a great believer in the way they have the Supporters' Shield, but they earned it and are the champions of the league. We are now participating in a different competition called the MLS Cup. So congratulations to them, but I think we have a really good team and we have a chance to prove it in the next series again. It was a great victory for our team tonight. They played pretty well, a little bit sloppy in the second half but I think San Jose deserves credit for the way they hung in there and never quit and attacked us and made things difficult.”

On team coming together right before playoffs:

“We’ve been the best team in this league since July and I’m happy no one has noticed that which is always good. We’ve been able to fly under the radar a little bit. We’ve been really good since July so we were pretty confident we could come in here and win. We really screwed up the other night at home but we played quite well. We felt that it was a good matchup for us.”

On difference between the first leg and the second leg of the series:

“I think it could have gone either way, but to San Jose’s credit it went their way most of the time. The difference tonight was getting three goals in the first half and finishing our chances and being a little more solid defensively. Although, I think in the second half at the end we got a little tired and made some mistakes by not getting the fourth goal they were just handing to us. We were very sloppy in trying to kill the game off over the last 15 minutes but we had a good performance tonight and certainly our guys deserve a lot of credit, but at the same time I want to congratulate San Jose on a great year.”

On Robbie Keane:

“Since he has come back, he has been the best player in the league. He has been great, scores big goals, he’s competitive, he’s bought into the MLS and he likes LA. He is a great leader on this team and when the whistle blows he is ready to play.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER TOMMY MEYER

On going up against Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart:

“[Steven] Lenhart is a big, physical guy who likes to make contact so you have to be prepared. A lot of times I was with Lenhart and I was dropping to cover, but it worked well tonight.”

On confidence level:

“I’ve been confident for a while now. I’ve made some progress over the last few months. I’ve been listening to the coaching staff and having Omar [Gonzalez] and other guys helps me out. Going into the game you have to be confident, and to play the game that the team wants you have to be confident in the center backs.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD ROBBIE KEANE:

On finally beating San Jose:

“This is when it really matters, when it really counts. This year against them we were getting bad results in every game we played, but it’s about winning games when it really matters.”

On LA’s sharpness:

“I thought we were. We knew that if we scored a goal that we would have good chances. That was the case, we got that first goal and they sat back a little bit and let us play the game we like to play. That was the difference tonight.”

On experience of the team:

“You need your experienced players in these kinds of situations because you know they won’t get caught up with the crowd and the referee. It’s a tough game for the referee, giving yellow cards, but I thought he controlled it. You need your experienced players to calm things down and I think we did that.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD DAVID BECKHAM

General thoughts on the game:

“I’m very happy, of course. We were disappointed after the first leg, but I think we knew that we could score against this team and we knew what they could do. We were confident and we recovered really well. I said it yesterday to the guys in LA that we would recover straight away. We felt a lot better tonight about this game then we did about the first game.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN:

On satisfaction of win:

“Obviously when you beat a rival it’s nice, but for us it’s a step on the road that we want to go and we don’t think we are done yet. We think we have three more games and we are excited for Sunday.”

On experience of the team:

“We have guys who are champions on this team and they know how to respond when things go against you. We thought we played okay on Sunday and were a little unlucky. We thought if we did the same tonight that our luck might change a little bit. I thought we were terrific throughout the game and I thought we could have scored a lot of goals tonight. I think that helps us a lot going into Sunday.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH FRANK YALLOP

On Victor Bernardez’s knee injury:

“It was very tough losing him early in the match. I thought the Galaxy played very well offensively tonight, but when you lose arguably your best defender, it’s very tough. When you lose someone of that stature, it doesn’t help.”

On performance of the team:

“We didn’t play particularly well. We had plenty of chances, but we didn’t capitalize. I think Chris [Wondolowski] would like his chance back when the Galaxy were up 1-0. Ike [Opara] had another great chance. In terms of football, we didn’t really start playing well until the last 20 to 25 minutes. It was a weird night. We were surprised that we didn’t play our game. I thought we had plenty of effort, but we didn’t play well.”

Reflecting on the Supporters’ Shield and 2012 season:

“Tomorrow I could give you a better answer but we have had a fantastic season. We just fell short in the end, but hopefully this experience will be good for us next season. It’s a shame that we didn’t go into the playoffs at full strength and playing our better soccer.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER JON BUSCH

On 2012 season: 

“We have a great team and a great group of guys here. We need to be proud of what we did this year. It’s hard to stay unbeaten against the same team five times in the same season. Unfortunately, we lost the one that matters most and that stings. They are the defending champs, they have the experience and they got the better of us tonight. If we want to improve and go deeper into the playoffs next year, we need to learn from tonight and make the necessary adjustments and sacrifices to be the last ones standing.”

On second half adjustments: 

“Once we got that first goal I truly believed we were going to get a second one. We had the looks, but it just wasn’t going in. Everybody knew they were going to come out of the half defensive minded. We kept the pressure high for the entire second half and, watching this team all year, we all believed we could get it into extra-time; we were almost expecting it. It’s a tough loss, but we will get better from this.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI

On scoring chances:

“I legitimately had three scoring chances; I missed them all. In the first half, we were down a goal and [Josh] Saunders was down and I tried to get some lift on the ball, but missed the equalizer. Toward the end, we had our chance to force extra-time, but couldn’t execute. It just wasn’t our night.”

On match:

“It’s a tough loss to swallow. We played great here all year, and we didn’t want to go home like this. I credit this team for staying resilient. After Victor [Bernardez] went out, Ike [Opara] comes in, not playing on a regular basis, and is asked to adjust in the biggest game of his career. I can’t even explain how difficult that is to do. These are the best teammates anybody could ask for, and we will come in here next year more determined than ever to reach our goal of a championship.”