LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On the team’s performance:
It was a good win. I thought our team played very well tonight, although we played a little bit sloppy in the second half, and maybe made it a little bit more difficult than it needed to be. It was a great effort by the team. I think our forwards, in the first half, did a great a job. Our central midfield was excellent. Defensively, we were real good, but we obviously got a little sloppy in the defensive end of the field in the second half. I think overall it was a good performance, against a team that needed to go on the road and get some points. I think we played well. We could have been a little bit better with some of our chances. We played well, but there are some warning signs there when we got a little bit sloppy during the second half, so we have to improve on that.
On Landon Donovan's health:
He’s injury is fatigue. It’s not a hamstring. He’s a little run down, and it showed tonight. If Landon was going to play his first game back from the World Cup, it was going to be in Los Angeles. If he needs some time off, we are going to give him some time off. It may be a decision we make this week. He may not be going to New England.
On Donovan’s and Edson Buddle’s return:
I thought they played well. Early in the game, you could see that Landon’s legs were a little heavy. He hasn’t quite, obviously, recovered from the games, travel, all of that. Certainly to Landon’s credit, his desire to be here, to be on the field and try to make us successful. Overall, I give him high grades on his performance tonight, as I do for Edson.
On Juninho’s goal:
I thought he was outstanding tonight. We’ve seen this over the past month. He’s a very good player. He caught up to the speed of the game and the way we play in MLS. With all players, it’s a transition period. I think he’s done very well. You can see him begin to emerge. I think he’s an outstanding player. I’m so happy for his goal. We see those goals in training. It was a fabulous goal. He had a great game tonight.
Galaxy captain Landon Donovan
On being back with the club:
“I’m tired. There was a lot of energy and emotion in the beginning of the game with the big crowd. We put a lot of energy into the first half and then got tired, but I’m really happy to be back and I’m really happy to be a part of this team again.”
On why it was important for him to play tonight:
“It’s a Fourth of July game, it’s a chance to get back here and be with my teammates and like I’ve said many times, it does no good to live in the past. This is what the present is now and so it’s my job to be here, to play and to help this team win.”
On the play of Edson Buddle:
“He was great. He’s right back where he left off. I know he was a little bit disappointed not to play more in South Africa but it says a lot about him that he was able to come back, put it all behind him and just get on with it.”
On how the team has changed since he left in May:
“We seem a little more mature and I think we’re starting to pass better, we’re starting to move better. The guys in midfield, Birchall, Juninho and Mikey Stephens looked great and I think we’re just more confident as the season goes on.”
On getting the early lead after having to chase games at the World Cup:
“To have a lead? It was nice. It was just good to be back a part of a team that I’m also comfortable with. The way we started the game was really encouraging. It was fun, really fun to play in that first half and be a part of that.”
On Juninho’s goal:
“I would say Goal of the Year candidate. Unbelievable strike. When he hit it, you’re not sure where it’s going, but it was an unbelievable goal. I’m happy for him. We’ve seen him do it in practice a lot of times so when he gets a chance in there we want him to shoot. Even if he doesn’t put it there, even if he just puts it on goal, it’s dangerous for the goalkeeper and it’s difficult, especially with that ball, to deal with. He had a really good game otherwise and I was happy to see him get the goal.”
LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle
On returning to LA:
“You hear talk that people were happy we were back and, like I said, we wanted to play well and get a win at home. Being that it was a sold out crowd, you want to impress the crowd so that fans come back on nights besides the Fourth.”
On scoring his 10th goal of the season:
“I wanted to get a goal especially coming back. First I wanted to play well but if a goal came I would take it and I’m happy with the result.”
On Bob Bradley being present at the game:
“It’s always good to do well in front of Bob. To get a goal, in my first game back, and for him to be in stands is a good thing.”
On maintaining possession:
“We had the ball for a lot of minutes in the first half, which caught me by surprise, I know that since I got back to practice they have been moving the ball very well but to actually do it in the game I was very impressed. It was a good thing to see.”
On tonight’s crowd:
“I definitely felt that (extra excitement in the crowd). There were cheers when we came out of the tunnel and I saw signs of “welcome back”, I did take notice of that.”
On Juninho’s goal:
“It was very impressive. He struck it well and it faded right into the upper corner.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder Juninho:
On his first career goal:
“For the first goal it is very important to show the fans that I am giving my all to them because they have faith in me.”
LA Galaxy Defender Sean Franklin
On the crowd:
“Amazing. I felt it was one of our bigger crowds of the season and they were great tonight in supporting us. And I hope they enjoyed a great fireworks show.”
Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant
On the return of Buddle and Donovan:
“I think that it put them on their heels a little bit more. We were getting in behind their defense and they were sitting back. The first half especially I thought we had them on their heels the entire half and that really set the tone for the entire game. That was good and you attribute that to Edson being able to hold the ball up and Landon making his runs in behind and causing all kinds of problems for them, so they bring two pretty good elements to our team.”
On the play of the club’s defense:
“We got a little sloppy in the last 30 minutes. When it was 2-0 I thought that we took our foot off the gas a little bit and lost a little bit of concentration. We have to do better and I think that we know that. We’ll correct it and move on. It was a good performance”
Seattle Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid
On the match:
LA was better than us. We were lucky to be able to go in half time down only one nothing. I thought they outplayed us in the first half really well. Our second half was better. We played with more energy. Obviously, they started off the second half with a great goal. There were a couple of instances before the goal where we could have pressured the ball and didn’t. I think that was the story of the night for us. We didn’t get enough pressure on to them, defensively, early enough.
On the result:
It’s obviously disappointing. We have to play with energy, and I think we got over run. They were active with moving around in midfield, and we never got tight enough to anybody. If you give a player enough time and space, he will show you how good a player he is. We didn’t even give them anything to deal with at times. There were times guys had ten yards of space when they received the ball. And if you got that much space as a professional, you should be able to connect passes. It was really our defending that set it up. Then offensively, on the occasion we could run the ball, we were so tired from chasing and defending—we didn’t keep it. Then we had to chase and defend more. In the second half, we got tighter and we created some turnovers, and when we got the ball we were able to hold on to it. We weren’t spending as much time chasing it. And you know, we had a couple of chances and then we got the goal. [Mike] Seamon was in with a good chance; [Freddie] Ljungberg was in with a good chance. By that time, it was a too little too late.
On Steve Zakuani’s goal:
It was good. Obviously, we got into the game at 2-1 at that point. They made a mistake in the back and we gave a third one up. It was a good goal. It was a good ball by [Fredy] Montero through to him. And Steve finished it well.
Seattle Sounders FC Midfielder Steve Zakuani
On his goal:
“When you score with fifty minutes to go and you're one down it gives the team belief and I think we've got depth. We got a good chance and [Donovan] Ricketts makes the save and unfortunately we weren’t able to capitalize and they came out and got a third goal and that was the game for us. It definitely came at a good time and I felt like we could have pushed on it and maybe get the equalizer but it wasn’t to be tonight.”
On the Galaxy’s performance:
“I think when you play against the team who is leading the league away from home, they are at home, and they got two guys who are coming from the World Cup who are key players they are going to be pumped up. You can see even the fans were screaming and yelling every time they touched the ball. They came out with energy credit to them. They came out the first forty-five minutes they were playing some great stuff and made some great movements. For us at half time we were one nil down and we actually had some good chances in the first half it could have been one to one. As well as they played, we came out in the second half to stay in the game. I think the second half was more even. Both teams attacked a bit more but the only thing that is important is that we made more mistakes than them. They took their chances and didn't make as many mistakes and that was the difference.”
Seattle Sounders FC Goalkeeper Kasey Keller:
On the game:
“We got beat by a better team simple as that nothing more. That is what we need to strive to do, bring that energy, bring that ability. The only positive thing that we can take out of this game is that somehow we weren’t down five nil and that we didn’t lose this game five nil and that is what I am taking out of it. We found a way to keep the score respectable and now we need to figure out the rest. We are not at the level we need to be at and obviously we need to improve drastically.”
- With the win, the Galaxy are now 11-1-3 on the season, leaving them with 36 points. They remain alone in first place in the Western Conference, nine points ahead of second place Real Salt Lake who defeated New England 5-0 on Friday night and have 27 points from an 8-3-3 record.
- This was the Galaxy’s first-ever win for LA over Seattle at The Home Depot Center.
- The victory completed the regular season sweep of Seattle for the Galaxy. LA won the two games by a combined score of 7-1.
- Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that drew 0-0 in Toronto on June 26, bringing Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan back into the team. They replaced Alex Cazumba and Jovan Kirovski, each of whom started the game on the bench.
- This was the first time since June 5 that the Galaxy did not use the same starting XI. Arena had named an unchanged side in each of the last three games.
- Arena had 22 of the 24 players on the Galaxy roster available to him for tonight’s game. Only Mike Magee, who is on the Disabled List after undergoing bilateral sports hernia surgery late last month, and Yohance Marshall, who is on loan to the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, were not available for selection.
- Buddle and Donovan were each back in the Galaxy lineup for the first time since leaving for the World Cup on May 15. They missed five regular season games, with the Galaxy going 3-1-1 in those five contests. LA also won a friendly against Boca Juniors 1-0 on May 23 and a U.S. Open Cup Third Round game against AC St. Louis 2-0 on June 29 in their absence.
- The Galaxy are now halfway through the MLS season, having played their 15th game of the year tonight. LA’s 33 points at the halfway point of the season are the second most in club history, and their most since 1998.
- Edson Buddle gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute, heading home a Landon Donovan corner kick. The goal was the MLS-best 10th of the season for Buddle. This is the third time in Buddle’s career that he has scored 10 or more goals in a single season, also doing so in 2003 and 2004 with Columbus and in 2008 when he had a career-high 15 goals in his first full season with the Galaxy.
- Buddle is the first player in the league to reach double figures in goals and did so in his 10th game of the season.
- Donovan’s assist was his MLS-best 10th of the season. He has now reached double figures in assists five times in his MLS career, doing so in 2001 and 2004 as a member of the San Jose Earthquakes, as well as in 2005 and 2007 with the Galaxy. He set a career-high with 13 assists in 2007.
- Of Buddle’s 10 goals this season, six have been assisted on by Donovan. Additionally, Buddle assisted on Donovan’s only goal of the season, which came in the 4-0 win at Seattle on May 8.
- In two games against the Sounders this season, Donovan now has a goal and four assists.
- Juninho scored the first goal of his MLS career in the 48th minute, beating Kasey Keller from about 35 yards out. Juninho scored the first goal of his Galaxy career on Tuesday night in the second half of the Galaxy’s Open Cup win over AC St. Louis.
- Juninho is the 12th different Galaxy player to score in an MLS game this season.
- His goal was the game-winner, making it the first game-winning goal scored for the Galaxy by a Brazilian since Welton scored the game-winner in a 6-1 win atColorado on August 5, 1998.
- Micahel Stephens assisted on Juninho’s goal for his seventh assist of the year. He now tied with San Jose’s Bobby Convey for the second most assists in the league, three behind Donovan.
- The Galaxy completed the scoring in the 77th minute when James Riley scored an own goal, deflecting an Alan Gordon cross past Kasey Keller and over the goalline to make the score 3-1. That is the first own goal scored for the Galaxy this season.
- That was the 15th own goal scored for the Galaxy in the club’s history.
- The Galaxy scored the game’s first goal for the 11th time this season. They are now a perfect 11-0-0 in those games. Additionally, LA went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, marking the 10th time this season that the club has led at the half. They are 10-0-0 in those games.
- Donovan Ricketts made three saves for his career-best 11th win of the season. Ricketts had 10 wins in his first season with the Galaxy last year.
- Steve Zakuani’s goal for the Sounders was just the fifth goal allowed by LA this season and the third in the second half.
- The attendance for today’s game was 27,000. This was the Galaxy’s firs sellout of the season.
- The Galaxy are back in action with a pair of games next week, first in the U.S. Open Cup and then in MLS action. On Wednesday, LA travels to Seattle to take on the Sounders once again in an Open Cup Quarterfinal at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., a game that can be heard live in English on lagalaxy.com. The team will then fly directly to Boston for Saturday’s league game against the Revolution at Gillette Stadium. That game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on Fox Sports West.