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LA-Columbus: Postgame Notes & Quotes

LOS ANGELES HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On his team’s victory:
“Good win. They obviously pressed the game pretty hard at us in the second half. I think the exhibition we played Sunday killed us with having to be in Dallas on Thursday and playing Sunday. Obviously, we’re going to see more of that in the summer as we move on to [CONCACAF] Champions League games. It was a challenge for us physically with a thin roster and everything else, but we’re going to take the win. We spilt two real good goals tonight.”

On the physical nature of the match:
“You take whatever the game gives you and we played through a lot of issues at the end. They’re a team that’s about challenging you and to conceive 15 corners is very good and to not give up a goal is very good. They’re really physical and the fact that they had four fouls for the night is very remarkable to me… the physicality that Columbus brings is something that’s really challenging and in seconds of the game tonight they overpowered us.”

On the Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference:
“I think there are a lot of games left to play. Right now the West has a little bit of an edge, but at the end of the day, it tends to balance out. The teams in the West have gotten off to a good start, but so has Columbus. Columbus has been great this year. We’ll see as things get closer to September and we’ll see which teams are really good and which conference is better.”

On his team’s play on offense:
“Our passing was poor. We couldn’t hold the ball and we didn’t do a good job in that regard. We had to defend so much our passing wasn’t good. We knew we weren’t going to win a lot of headers and that’s were Columbus has dominated. We did a good job with our second goals tonight.”

On the Crew’s advantage statistically:

“When you have an advantage on the road and the other team doesn’t score you have a chance to win. At the end of the day that’s what it’s about. We came here to win. The only thing we were worried about was the score. We didn’t concern ourselves a whole lot at the end of the game with who had the most corner kicks or shots or fouls or all that other stuff… Our roster is a little weakened tonight; our roster is not as strong as it will be during the year. I’m not really going to scratch my head on those statistics. I’ll take the three points and I’m out of town. I’m not going to worry about all that other stuff.”

LOS ANGELES FORWARD TRISTAN BOWEN
His overall thoughts on the match:

“I thought the team was great. We worked hard for 90 minutes, which is becoming a common theme for us, and we played great road football. We sat back and we waited for our opportunities and I think the team did well.”

On scoring his first career MLS goal:
“It was good. Bruce [Arena] said to go out there and work for 90 minutes and my chances would come and whenever it comes, to actually take the opportunities, so I’m really excited about it. It’s a great step forward and it was obviously a good boost to our team and gave us some more cushion to sit on the lead.”

LOS ANGELES DEFENDER GREGG BERHALTER
On Los Angeles’ mentality in the match:
“It’s one of our best wins all year. They came out with a lot of energy and our mentality was to just absorb what they were giving us and hopefully retaliate, and we did that. Give them credit, they played with an incredible work rate and they really took the game to us.”

On his team’s defensive effort:
“It was a game that we had to dig deep tonight. There were a lot of set pieces to defend. They have probably one of the biggest teams in the league and they just kept throwing balls, throwing men forward and it was a good battle. I think as a team, collectively, we played well defensively.”

LOS ANGELES MIDFIELDER MICHAEL STEPHENS
His overall thoughts on the match:

“It was a huge win, coming here on the road against a team that’s obviously good, it shows in their record; they’re undefeated, we’re undefeated. It’s a huge result on the road and we’ve very pleased with that.”

COLUMBUS HEAD COACH ROBERT WARZYCHA
On the Crew’s advantage statistically:

“We can win the game on a stat sheet, but obviously you have to finish your chances. We played very well today and created chances, but like I’ve said in previous games, you have to defend well. They were organized and you can’t break the defense. They had luck on their side. I think we had enough chances to win the game and we created two in the second half. We were 15 to zero in corner kicks against the best team in MLS so we have to be proud.”

On numerous corner kick opportunities:
“When you have 15 corners sometimes the luck is not on your side. We had a handle on probably 50 percent of the corners and we created traffic in front of [Donovan] Ricketts, but the ball didn’t get inside the net.”

On the play of Steven Lenhart:
“The chance that he had in the first half was five yards in front of the goal. He should finish that one, maybe go with his head, but as a forward you have to finish that one. In the second half we had some momentum and I put Jason Garey in for Steven and thought maybe he’d be lucky today.”

On the Crew’s possession tonight:
“We played at home and everybody felt good. The momentum of the ball was good and there weren’t too many missed passes. When we lost the ball we were able to recover it quickly. We were able to play with high tempo and make them tired and I think that worked. They are a good possessing team and we were trying to make sure they were not staying on top of the ball as much as they wished to.”

COLUMBUS DEFENDER ANDY IRO
His overall thoughts on the match:
“You can look at it one of two ways. You can be really disappointed and just kind of sit back and feel sorry for yourself, or you can look at the positives and look at how we played, which was one of our best performances of the season. You’ve also got to look at the positives in that we’ve got a game on Wednesday and we’ve got a game on Saturday. We’re good on the road, we won important games last week on the road. So you know what, it happens; throughout the course of a season, it happens.”

COLUMBUS DEFENDER JED ZAYNER
His overall thoughts on the match:

“Sometimes luck’s got to be on your side and that’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. It’s the first game that we’ve pretty much dominated a game full out, with shots, attacking, everything and it’s a bummer that the result didn’t happen.”

On the Galaxy’s opening goal:
“I don’t think it took the wind out of our sails, I just think that was there game plan. We knew that if they got a goal, it was going to be great for them and tougher on us, so it’s a bummer that we let in that goal because then they didn’t have to attack as much.”

 

Notes:
• With the win, the Galaxy are now 9-0-2 on the season, giving them 29 points. They remain alone in first place in the Western Conference and are now 13 points ahead of second place Houston, Real Salt Lake and San Jose who each have 16 points.

• LA is now nine points ahead of the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew, who are 6-1-2 for 20 points this season.

• Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that played to a 1-0 win against FC Dallas on May 20 in Frisco, Texas. Jovan Kirovski and Sean Franklin return to the starting XI while Franklin will earn his first start since April 17 against Real Salt Lake. They replace Chris Klein and Juninho, who missed the game due to a death in the family and is currently in Brazil.

• In addition to Juninho, the Galaxy were without Alan Gordon and Dema Kovalenko, who all missed the game through injury and Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan who are in training camp with the U.S. National Team ahead of next month’s FIFA 2010 World Cup.

• Leonardo was back in the 18-man squad for the first time since the 2-0 win over Houston on April 10 when he suffered a right quad strain. He had missed the last seven games because of the injury.

• Tristan Bowen made the second start of his MLS career in the game. He was the first player in MLS history signed directly from a club’s Youth Academy when he joined the Galaxy late in the 2008 season.

• The Galaxy have now scored first in nine of their 11 games this season, going 9-0-0 in those contests.

• The Galaxy remain the only undefeated teams in MLS with an 9-0-2 record.

• The Galaxy are now unbeaten in their last 14 regular season games, going 11-0-3 in those contests dating back to the end of the 2009 season. This is the second longest unbeaten streak in club history, with only a 15-game streak from September 1997 until May 1998 topping that mark.

• The Galaxy have allowed just two goals during this unbeaten streak and have not trailed at any point during it.

• With the victory, Bruce Arena recorded his 100th MLS victory, improving to 100-62-27 (W-L-T) all-time in the regular season. The only other coaches to reach this milestone in League history are Sigi Schmid (128), Bob Bradley (124) and Steve Nicol (100).

• Michael Stephens scored his first career MLS goal in the 10th minute, adding to his three assist thus far in 2010. The Galaxy’s only draft pick in 2010, Stephens took a single touch before blasting a volley past the Crew’s Hesmer

• Chris Brichall and Jovan Kirovski earned their first assists of the season combining on the goal by Stephens.

• Tristan Bowen scored his first career MLS goal tonight with an assist from Chris Klein in the 87th minute to seal the win.

• Omar Gonzalez and AJ DelaGarza were each booked in the first half for LA. It was DeLaGarza’s second yellow card of the year and Gonzalez’ fourth, which will result in a one-game suspension following his next yellow card.

• In the second half, Chris Birchall and Todd Dunivant each were booked earning them their third and first cautions, respectively.

• Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves for his eigth clean sheet in ten games this season. Ricketts now has an MLS-best 0.20 goals against average, allowing just two goals in 900 minutes of action.

• The shutout was the Galaxy’s fifth straight and ninth in 11 games this season. The Galaxy have not allowed a goal in the last 456 minutes of play dating back to May 1.

• The win was the Galaxy’s first in Columbus since a 2-1 victory on September 30, 2007 when Troy Roberts and Kyle Martino each found the back of the net.

• The attendance for today’s game was 18,139.

• The Galaxy are back in action on Saturday evening when they host the Houston Dynamo at The Home Depot Center. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on Galavision in Spanish and tape delayed at 10 p.m. on FS West in English. Additionally, the game will be available on the radio in English on KTLK 1150 AM and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio KWKW 13300 AM.