Postgame Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Galaxy defeat Whitecaps 2-1 with goals from Villarreal and Zardes

MLS Postgame Quote Sheet
LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Saturday, July 20, 2013
StubHub Center

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

Overall thoughts on result:

“Well, I wouldn’t say it was dominant, because you know we obviously conceded a goal in the first twenty minutes and didn’t make it easy on ourselves, however we hung in there. I thought the goal that they allowed for us was an excellent decision by the officiating crew. We thought Gyasi didn’t touch the ball and to be able to communicate that and get it right was obviously a big play in the game. Second half of outstanding individual effort by Gyasi for the second goal, but I thought the team played pretty solid throughout the night. Not exactly where we need to be, but I think we have learned our lesson hopefully from previous games, because we’ve really given away a lot of points at the end of games this year. I’m happy we could hang on tonight and that’s good for the players’ confidence. So, it’s an important win, I think we got a very good effort out of our back line again. Carlo made a big save I think on Miller towards the end of the game, which was important, and our two young players up top did a good job.  I thought Jimenez played well, our midfield did well, the players that came in at the end did a good job. So, an important three points for our team tonight, so I’m pleased.” 

On seeing out the final15 minutes:

“I mean everybody knows what you’re supposed to do at the end of the game, you just gotta do it. It wasn’t perfect and still a better performance is getting a third goal and really placing Vancouver in a difficult position, but we let them hang around a little bit. So, that’s a lesson to be learned as well. I thought for the most part our guys played well and certainly in the last 15 minutes keeping, Vancouver from scoring bought us two points.  I’m very pleased.”

On Vancouver’s goal:

“The ball got deflected and those things happen. A.J. fell off the line, which is a tactical mistake. The finish was excellent what can you say that was probably the first shot of the half when they scored, not that that means anything, but I think it was a little bit of a fluke play. However, you know Camilo did a remarkable job taking the ball down and getting it in the back of the net.  So, what more can you say giving him credit.” 

On the successful defensive performance:

“We’ve been like that for most of the year. Last week in Portland, we were better defensively.  Portland had very few chances in the game, however we concede the goal at the end of the game and concede the goal off a freekick in the first half. We probably played better defensively last Saturday and then as we backtrack over the last five or six games, I think we’ve been excellent in the defensive end of the field.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER OMAR GONZALEZ:

On tonight’s defensive effort:

“We have four guys that have played together for close to five years, so I think we know each other very well. This whole season we have been solid on defense; it’s just those late goals that you could say we’ve done poorly on; which we have. Those goals aside, we play very well throughout the game, and I think tonight from top to bottom everyone played good defense. From that good defense, chances were created; we won the ball back and just transitioned to offense right away. We really put a lot of pressure on Vancouver.”

On the play of young forwards Gyasi Zardes, and Jose Villarreal:

I think Gyasi [Zardes] and Jose [Villarreal] did a fantastic job putting a lot of pressure on their defenders, making it hard for them to play it out of the back, also holding up balls, turning and going at guys. Gyasi’s goal was great, he really did well to calm down, take the guy on, beat him, and then slap that ball near post, or however he did it.”

On Jose’s goal initially being overturned:

“I think that was pretty great for us. I wasn't sure what was going on, and didn't know they could overturn a call like that back for us. But since they did I’m really happy, and even if they did call it back, I think we were creating enough chances to get the tying goal and then hopefully would have gotten the winning goal. I think on the night we were just doing very well.”

On the honor of wearing the captain’s armband tonight:

“I never thought I’d be wearing the captain armband, since we have such great veterans on this team in Todd [Dunivant] and Pablo [Mastroeni]. Bruce thought that I deserved it, which is definitely an honor, considering the people that have worn it before me on this team. I was just really happy to wear it.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD JOSE VILLARREAL:

On his reaction after his goal had been initially overturned:

“I just put it behind me right away. I honestly didn’t think I was offside, but when they called it I was just like ‘ok offside just play on’. Then I saw the center referee going to the linesman and it was this big controversial play. I’m just happy that we got the goal.”

On the play of teammate Gyasi Zardes:

“Gyasi is a good player, and he showed tonight with the finish what he can do. He’s been struggling recently trying to put it in the back of the net, so I’m happy that he was able to get it done tonight.”

On filling in for the missing Robbie Keane:

“I’m not trying to compare myself to Robbie [Keane], I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team. If it means doing a lot more defensive work, then that's what I have to do, and that's what I have to improve on.”

On the team not letting up a late goal tonight:

“I think it was Omar who said that if the games were 80 minutes, we’d be in first place in the league. It’s good that we were able to get it done tonight. And for 90 plus minutes kept the concentration up at a high level and got the three points.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD GYASI ZARDES:

On his game-winning goal in tonight’s game:

“I saw the ball get played in, and just tried to stay composed while I was in the box. I tried to juke the defender and he slipped, and just worked on technique, like my coaches, Dave [Sarachan] and Curt[Onalfo] tell me, and then just struck the ball and it went in. I always hear the fans saying, ‘Score one with your feet, score one with your feet’ and finally I’ve done it and it feels good.”

On partnering up front with Jose Villarreal:

“It’s wonderful partnering up with Jose. I know we’re both young, but we’ve learned a lot from Robbie [Keane] and Landon [Donovan]. It’s just great to be a part of this team with a young guy that I grew up with.”

On what tonight’s goal means for his game:

“It really means a lot, and it means that what I’m doing after training, working on shooting and finishing, is really paying off. I’m just going to keep working because I can always get better. This is definitely a confidence booster, but at the end of the day I’m always telling myself that I have to get better.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC HEAD COACH MARTIN RENNIE

On tonight’s performance:
“I thought that LA started the game quite well, created some good chances and then we scored the next on goal from Camilo and were in a good position. It looked like we lost a goal then it looked like it was given offside, in the end it was given a goal. But it gave some impetus to LA at that point. In the second half I thought it was a pretty even game, fairly flat from both teams and I thought that the goal we gave up was a poor goal from our standpoint. We were a little bit disjointed and open when we didn’t need to be. So it’s disappointing the fact that we lost. It’s disappointing we didn’t keep our unbeaten run going. We’ve been on a good run, we’ve been playing very well and now we need to get ourselves back to doing that next week. We’ve got a home game against Philadelphia and we need to get on another run. We’ve had a lot of tough games and we’ve done pretty well in them but tonight wasn’t as high a standard as we’re used to and it’s disappointing.”

On the momentum shift following LA’s opening goal:

“It was big because goals are the most important part of the game and if you’re in doubt, you usually don’t get the goal. Obviously there was some doubt but the referee’s do their best and generally they do a good job and I think this season they’ve done a much better job than I’ve seen before so there’s a lot of improvement there, so we’re not blaming the referee. We have to make sure that we’re good enough to overcome that and we have been in a lot of other games but tonight we weren’t so we’ve got a lot we can improve on.”

On the team’s morale following the loss:

“I think the expectations on our team are really, really high and I think that we understand that so every time we don’t win we’re disappointed and we feel that pain of that. But I think tonight was more that we didn’t play quite to the quality that we would have liked to, we also missed some good chances and could have at least equalized the game. You’re going to lose sometimes and it’s how you react to that and you must react positively and get looking forward to the next home game against Philadelphia. We need more energy, we need to do a better job of imposing our game on the opposition and tonight I thought to be fair, LA played well in passages, I thought they kept good possession and they’ve been doing quite well recently and the only person that was missing from those recent games was Robbie Keane. Ironically enough the player that came in, Villarreal, scored the first goal and that’s sometimes the way it goes.”

On his team looking forward:
“I think the real next discussion for us is winning against Philadelphia. We can’t look beyond that. I think we need to play one game at a time and we have to have small, small goals for this team and if you keep doing well in those small goals then you can open up that discussion but that’s not a discussion that’s relevant for this point in time.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC GOALKEEPER BRAD KNIGHTON

On Vancouver’s defensive performance:
“I think we played well, with the amount of opportunities they had I felt like we were able to stay in the game and it was nice for us to get a lead at the beginning and I don’t think we played as well in the second half as we would have liked to. I felt like we were too open at times and against the likes of LA, they’re going to take advantage of that and they sure did. But I thought Brad [Rusin] was fantastic again tonight, throwing himself in front of shots and being a big wall back there. But credit to everyone, our backline has been very good these last five or six games.”

On if the absence of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane had any impact for the Galaxy:
“No, Bruce’s system is the same whether Landon’s playing or Robbie’s playing. The guys they bring in, Zardes scores and Villarreal scores, so it’s just about us, it’s about what we do and that’s being sound defensively and not giving away too many chances and capitalizing on the ones that we get. We just didn’t capitalize enough tonight.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC FORWARD KENNY MILLER

On the Galaxy’s opening goal:
“It’s disappointing but we’re told it was the right decision. We were probably the better team tonight so we’ll have to take this one on the chin and move on to next week.”

On the team’s recent success heading into tonight’s game:
“Things have been going well for the team. Tonight we were bitterly disappointed in the result but I think it’s a hard place to come and play away. They’re a very good team, so yeah, we’ll have to take this one on the chin and move on to next week.”

On what Vancouver has been doing differently during their recent run:

“This team is playing a more attacking style and it’s given us more opportunities to score goals. The team is playing with some very, very good players in the midfield and Koffie and Nigel have been good players for us in the middle. They provide us with really good service by getting the ball into the right areas and we take advantage of that.”