Postgame Quotes: LA Galaxy play to a 0-0 draw with Portland Timbers at StubHub Center

Bruce Arena and the players react to Wednesday night's draw

MLS Postgame Quote Sheet
LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
StubHub Center

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On the result:
“There are some things we can certainly do better, but I am not sure Portland had a whole lot of chances tonight. At the other end of the field, I thought their center backs played well. Obviously, Ricketts is not easy to beat; this is going to be a game where we had to jump on any kind of opportunity we got.  We were half a step off most of the night and you know Portland’s posture is pretty obvious when they go on the road they try to get a point. They were certainly pleased getting a point.”

On the play of Robbie Rogers:
“He’s making progress. He has a long way to go. But, that’s the only way he can get good is getting him in the games. I thought his first 15 or 20 minutes were very tentative, he got better and got into a rhythm the last part of the first half and the little bit better in the second half.  It’s going to take some time.”

On Rafael Garcia in his first start:
“I thought Rafa did well, he had a good game.  I thought he played well.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN
On the game:
“It was a good game, it was a fast game, a good game; between two good teams. It’s not a fluke what they are doing, they are a good team. They weren’t all that dangerous but you can tell they have the makings of making a very good team.”

On the defense keeping a clean sheet:
“Given the last few weeks, most certainly happy to get a shutout, but we weren’t all that sharp going forward.  That being said, we had a couple really good chances, a little unlucky and then some good saves from Donovan [Ricketts], but all-in-all pretty good performance and we have to turn it around and win on Sunday.”

On the play of Portland’s central defenders:
“They played well. Those two are big and physical and athletic.  They did a good job of containing us. I think and on a different night when, we are a little sharper, we score a goal or two.”

On the return of Robbie Keane:
“Getting Robbie (Keane) back helps, he is a big part of what we do.  We had a number of good opportunities where generally we do a little bit better and make a real chance or two out of those opportunities, but that failed us tonight. But we can live with that. The performance, defensively we were better and I think we are getting back to our ways.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER ROBBIE ROGERS
On his performance:
“It felt good to have a proper start to get back out there and be out there from the beginning.  So, I think I have a long ways to go, but there were flashes where I felt I was getting my legs back and I thought I was moving quite well at times. That’s good to see, you know, after putting in a lot hard work that things are slowly coming back.

On if he was nervous about getting the start:
“Surprisingly, more just eager.  I was just really excited and eager to get here today. I was more nervous, I think, for my first game.”

On if it was a dream come true to start for the Galaxy:
“If we would have won, yes.  [Portland] are a great team, I thought they played really well.  I thought we defended pretty well at times, and at times a little flashes where it just wasn’t quite there at the end.  I found a ball or just a little one-twos where I thought I was a little off. I’m excited to play with these guys.”

On how long it will take to get back in shape:
“I think I probably need two more games. You know to just be flying around and not being worrying about my fitness. I actually felt quite well in the second half, I felt pretty good in the second half.  I actually thought I could have played a little longer, which surprised me. Just because, for the longest I have played minus that reserve match was for 67 minutes.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD ROBBIE KEANE
On the result:
“I think it was a defensive game in that both teams defended very well. Neither team had many chances, really. I think all in all a draw was a fair result.”

On the Portland center backs making it difficult:
“I don't think we played as well as we could have. Possession wise I think they were the better team. They handled the ball better than we did and we didn't create any chances for each other. It’s just one of those games I guess. Two good teams defended very well; two teams didn't have any chances; so it’s just one of those games.”

On his partnership with Landon Donovan:
“No not really, we’ve clicked in the previous games. Obviously this is our fourth game back together after a good few weeks away. It’s been different this year, Landon’s been playing on the right, and on the left, and so it’s been kind of an inconsistent lineup with both of us playing up front. Last year in the second half of the season the two of us played nearly every game together so we’ll start to see that.”

On the team’s consistency:
“We definitely need consistency because we aren’t getting any results. Getting results brings consistency, and coming off a game like this is when you start to see results. These are the games that you could quite easily lose. We’ve got another quick game on Sunday and hopefully we can get the three points there.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER A.J. DELAGARZA
On shutting down the Portland attack:
“I don’t remember anything that really troubled Carlo [Cudicini]. We all were in our positions and made the plays when we needed to, [the plays] that we didn’t make the past two weekends.”

On what was different tonight:
“Just winning tackles. In New England we were missing tackles, guys were just slipping through, and again missing our marks in the box in Salt Lake, and here we were pretty solid.”

On having Todd Dunivant back:
“He’s a big part of our back four, a veteran, a guy who can get up on the attack and get some good balls, and just a leader in general.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER TODD DUNIVANT

On tonight’s defensive performance:
“We needed that. That was our number one priority tonight, to get a shutout, and to have a good defensive performance.  We were happy that we accomplished that but disappointed not to get the win, not to get a goal, but we’ll take the shutout.”

On not giving up a goal at the end:
“That was a big thing too, a big difference tonight. I think everyone was tuned in and keeping each other in check.”

On his first game back:
“I felt great. Physically I felt good, and my fitness is still coming along. The last 20 (minutes) I started getting a little fatigued, but other than that I felt great”

On the result of tonight’s game:
“We’re continuing to get all of our pieces back together and to keep moving forward. Tonight is frustrating not to get the win, but it’s not a bad result either. I think from that standpoint everyone’s kind of excited to get the shutout and get back on track defensively. But also I think we limited their chances very well. They didn't really have any sniffs and that's a testament to everyone.”

On rebounding against Chivas USA on Sunday:
“Chivas is going to be a tough game, they always are. They’re at home and they always try and make it as difficult as possible on us. The games are always heated and they've got a new coach they are trying to impress. It’s definitely going to be a tough game.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER TOMMY MEYER
On the play of the defense:
“I think we did a good job staying connected and talking throughout the whole game, keeping Rafa [Garcia] right in front of us, and Juni at midfield helping us win balls, I think that helped out a lot. We were moving well as a group I thought, for the most part, throughout the game. That gives us the chance to win the ball and get the ball up to our forwards.”

On being conscious of not giving up a late goal:
“At the end of the game and before halftime is when we’ve given up goals the past couple games. It’s something we wanted to eliminate, and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS HEAD COACH CALEB PORTER
On tonight’s result:
“It’s a good result. We came here to get three points but we’ll take a draw and we’ll take a point. [LA’s] a very good team, they’re well coached, well organized, it’s the reason why they’ve won the MLS Cup trophy the last two years. I think for us to come on the road and play this team toe-to-toe and outside of the first 15 minutes I thought we had large periods of the game. I’m pleased with it. Not as pleased as if we had got three points but keeping it all in perspective, it’s a good result.”

On the play of his duo in central defense:
“They were outstanding, and they needed to be. We knew that going into this game that for us to get a good result we needed ‘Drew [Andrew Jean-Baptiste] and[Pa-Modou] Kah and Ryan Miller as well because they’re a part of our back four and I thought the entire back four played outstanding.”

On Kah slowing down Landon Donovan:
“He had a couple of plays that he made coming from behind, slide tackles. Again, he showed his quality and I think you saw why he played seven years in the Dutch league.”

On how well the defense has been playing as of late:
“I think what’s great is that we lead the league in goals and everybody talks about our attacking side but we’re becoming a very good defensive team. I was most pleased with how we looked, how seasoned, how experienced we looked tonight. We look like a team that’s been together for years but the reality is we’ve only been together for six months. This is something we’ll certainly draw on, when we get in difficult situations like tonight we know we can get a result, we know we can buckle down. “

PORTLAND TIMBERS DEFENDER ANDREW JEAN-BAPTISTE
On the defensive unit shutting down Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane:
“It was a lot of communication. We talked about that before the game we had to communicate a lot.  With the way they play and the reason they’re the two best attackers in the league is they’re very unique compared to everybody else. So, we made sure to communicate and step when we need to and close up the gaps.”

On the defense’s aggressive play to slow down the Galaxy attack:
“What we did was something that a lot of center backs in this league haven’t done together. This whole backline is progressively getting better and better every game and we just showed today against the two best attackers in the league that we can handle them.”

On handling LA’s early offensive attack:
“They came to the game tonight. This is a different team from last year and we’re a lot better. So they came with a game plan (of) ‘let’s put them on their toes the first ten minutes’ and we handled it pretty well. After that first 10 minutes when we got back into our vibe and started moving the ball, they stopped the pressure because we got the possession and they couldn’t keep up with it.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS GOALKEEPER DONOVAN RICKETTS
On how Portland kept LA off the score sheet:
“We were solid as a back four and the midfielders helped out because we knew that Landon and Robbie try to play deep then they come late. So we chased the runners with Diego Chara and we kept them in front of Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Kah and the outside backs. “

On the defense’s overall aggressive play against Keane and Donovan:
“You have to be aggressive against good players because if you give them time and space they’ll hurt you. So the plan was be aggressive but clean and that’s what we did.”

On withstanding LA’s early onslaught:
“We knew they’re a good team and they’re at home so we knew they were going to have possession but we didn’t know they were going to come that hard and that early.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS FORWARD RYAN JOHNSON
On adjusting to a midfield role once forward Frederic Piquionne entered the game:
“You have to defend and you have to worry about who’s behind you and the outside backs. It’s different but it’s a mental thing that you got to turn it around and you got to change it and put in that work for the team. The team is the number one goal here and that’s the main goal that we have to think about individually, as players you have to do the little things to help the team out.”

On his feelings of how well the season is going thus far:
“It’s been great. I don’t think we’re overachieving or anything like that at all, I think we’re where we’re supposed to be from the kind of guys that [Porter] brought together. We’re all very mature; we all have a lot of experience in the league so we know how to get results and points away from home. I definitely think we’re where we’re supposed to be and we’re going to keep moving forward and keep getting points when we need to because ultimately we want to be in the playoffs, we want to be the first Timbers team to make it to the playoffs.”