Postgame Quotes: LA grind out a 1-0 victory over Montreal

Coaches, players from both team offer thoughts in the wake of the result

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

Overall thoughts of the game:

“All I told our team was a great win, maybe not a great game, but a great win.”

On the play of Brian Rowe tonight:

“He needs to be active and get off his line. I think with [Marco] Di Vaio on the field, he’s always going to be a player pursuing opportunities in the penalty area. If you don’t come off your line, he’s going to knick one. I thought Brian Rowe’s aggressiveness was a big part of our success today.”

On the goal scored by Kofi Opare:

“Not surprising that the goal came off a bit of a scramble, which was likely expected given the circumstances of the game and all. Give Kofi [Opare] a lot of credit, Robbie [Keane] kept the ball alive. We had a couple of other chances during the game. I think their keeper did well. I think in the first half we were very poor technically, too slow on ball. When we got into the second half, we got a little bit better. But we know we could be better than we were tonight.”

On the play of Robbie Keane:

“I don’t know if you were surprised he didn’t start the game, he played 90 minutes last night in Dublin, I wouldn’t think we could get 90 minutes out of him tonight. I would have liked to have not played him, but we needed to get Robbie on the field and his presence was spectacular. He gave the team confidence, energy, and the technical ability we needed to try and break this team down. He told me he was playing, I have been in touch with him via text messages and he indicated to me from yesterday on that he was going to be ready and I said let’s wait and see. He arrived at three o’clock today and he walked in and said he was ready to go to give us as many minutes as we need.”

LA Galaxy Defender Kofi Opare

On scoring his first goal of his career:

“Broken play off the corner kick, I believe the ball popped out to Jose (Villarreal), who took a shot or a cross, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I just took a touch and placed it into the side corner. It is definitely great to score my first MLS goal, I think more importantly, (getting) three points was crucial for our playoff standing.”

On his goal celebrations:

“One of my good friends (Arif Merani) past away a couple of days ago. So, I said I was going to score and I was going to dedicate it to him. I had a feeling that something was bound to happen today so I’m just glad I was able to get a goal for him and obviously for Galaxy the three points, that’s what we need to make a statement.”

On the play of Goalkeeper Brian Rowe:

“Ten out of 10. His communication skills mean so much, it makes it so easy on me, Sean, Leonardo, and Todd. The communication was top notch. Obviously his positioning was good, he was very aggressive off his line, and very commanding, which was very good. The coaching staff did a fabulous job on the scouting report, told us that Di Vaio and Wenger love to check in, so I think we did pretty well containing those two.”

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Brian Rowe

On the game tonight:

“It felt great, it is great to get a win, especially a shutout, the guys did great tonight. We had a game plan going in, and it is nice when you actually execute and get the results you wanted, a great team win.”

On the increased pressure in the last 10 minutes:

“We knew they were going to put some pressure on, but I didn’t get nervous at all, I actually enjoy those moments where you know they are going to put on pressure. Our back line did a great job tucking in, getting aligned, and making sure we closed it out.”

On coming off the line most of the night:

“We knew coming in, that he (Marco Di Vaio) probably leads the league in offsides, so we knew he sort of wanted to sneak in and try to find those through balls. The back line did a great job staying together and holding their line, dropping when they need too, and I was able to stay off my line a little bit to sniff those out. We knew they were going to try and sit in, and have one or two forwards they were trying to loft the ball up to. Everyone did a great job tucking in. We were able to build out of the back, and swing it around, there wasn’t too much pressure, so we were able to get a good amount of opportunities. It was great that Kofi scored, it was his first goal, and definitely deserved.”

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

On why it was important for him to play tonight:

“Of course, it means a lot to me to play all the time. As I’ve mentioned before, my focus when I’m with the national team is 100 percent and as soon as I finish that is the Galaxy. It’s just a matter of me getting back and convincing Bruce that I wanted to be on the bench and be involve if needed.”

On his conversations with Bruce Arena:

“I just made him aware that I was fairly happy following the game last night in Ireland so I was ready to sit in the bench if I was needed. At 60 minutes there was not much happening and he put me on. This was a massive game for us I think it was very, very important for us to get the three points, that was one of the reasons I wanted to come back because I knew this could put us into playoffs.”

On Kofi Opare’s goal:

“It was a good finish. He was facing the wrong way, spun his body nicely and obviously scored so. I think once he scored that goal we knew we were going to win the game, we were fairly comfortable during the second half… Full credit to the lads. It was a good team performance and a massive, massive three points.”

Montreal Impact Head Coach Marco Schallibaum

On the play of Montreal tonight:

“I was happy, we had a lot of young players that played tonight and we made a good point, maybe not three, but I think some decisions from the referee was against us. It is a pity, because the performance from my team was very good today.”

On the magnitude of the game against Philadelphia on Saturday:

“We only have two (games left), the first match is Saturday and what we need is three points. I think with this attitude today, and this force also from this team, we need this also Saturday to make this back.”

On leaving some starters back in Montreal:

“It was only Alessandro Nesta, the other ones were either injured or suspended, so it was only Nesta.”

Montreal Impact Forward Marco Di Vaio

On how the team played different tonight compared to the last 4-5 matches:

“I don’t know, tonight we played a good match. But like the last five games, we didn’t take a point and it is worse for us. We work a lot during the season and now we find ourselves in this position. But we have one more chance Saturday, and we have to do a very, very good job, for us, for the team, and for everybody, because we need to play together, with each other, for the fans, for the club, and we have one more important chance.”

On the difficulty of scoring goals the last three games:

“I don’t know, maybe it is a moment. We give up just one chance tonight and we took a goal and we had maybe two or three chances in the first half to score and we didn’t score. So it was a very bad moment for us, but we have to move on, we don’t have time to think about this, now is the time to try and find the solution, fast, because Saturday afternoon we need to have our best game of the season.”

Montreal Impact Goalkeeper Evan Bush

On the play of the defense tonight:

“We have a lot of guys, especially on the back line, that haven’t played a lot of minutes lately, so there was a will and a spirit. I thought we had good character throughout the course of the game. We’ve got to turn the corner quickly, we were hoping tonight would be that time that we would get a point of three, but hopefully we can build on the effort we had tonight and push forward for Saturday.”

On the final stretch of the schedule:

“You can’t get tired, there are only two games left. The only reason to play these games is to get to this point, where you are in the fight for the playoffs. Obviously we have stumbled to a point we are in a playoff push now, but at the same time, if you looked at the start of the season and said ‘hey there are two games left, and we are tied for 4th or 6th right now’, you know we will take that, it gives us a shot to get in the playoffs. Saturday is a six point game for sure, Philadelphia is a team that is chasing us and we need to fend them off at home. We need to find our way at home, I think we have lost our last three games at home, we need to find the form we had early at the season at home, feed off the fans and the atmosphere that will be there on Saturday because they know it is a big game and we know it is a big game.”