Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs D.C.

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena:

On the result:
“I thought we played hard tonight and D.C. United played incredibly hard. Getting the first goal didn’t make it easy for us. We had to fight and scrap, and that’s one of the few times this year we’ve been in that kind of position and come out with three points. That in itself is very pleasing and there is a lot of credit to our team for getting three point tonight. I though our players in the second half that came in, Beckham and Lewis and Bowen, they did their jobs. We just had to fight hard. I think the story tonight for us is that we didn’t deliver the last pass well. We had a bunch of opportunities tonight during this game when we got behind them in good spots in the final third of the field and we really didn’t deliver a good pass. Obviously at the end, we managed to do that. I think at times we moved the ball and got behind them and created some potentially good goal scoring opportunities, but didn’t deliver the right ball at the right time. That obviously kept us off the scoreboard for a lot of minutes in this game. Overall, we are leaving here with three points and at this time of year those are critical points. Give our team a lot of credit. My hat is off to D.C. United. That was a fabulous effort on the part of their players and their coaches did a great job of getting their team ready to play.”

On the play of Yohance Marshall:
“I think he did very well. He played with a lot of confidence to start the game which was good to see. He is obviously confident from getting a number of games under his belt this year at Austin, and he played with us earlier this year against Boca and we could see that he was a player with a lot more confidence. We needed him tonight and he did a really good job.”

On the play of David Beckham:
“I think he did well. Again, we need to appreciate that this is a player who six months ago tore his Achilles tendon. To be back this quickly and to be able to contribute what he has in the last two games, I think it is very impressive. He is ahead of schedule, and again, out goal is to get him completely match fit by playoff time. I think we are ahead of the curve. We are about four week away from the playoffs and if everything goes well and there are no setbacks, he should be on schedule.”

On the play of Tristan Bowen:
“He is a young kid and he has worked real hard in the last couple of weeks to have a little bit of a better tactical understanding of how to play that position and be dangerous and deliver some balls. He was active tonight and he did some things that we haven’t seen yet. He is a very promising player, still a young player. He hasn’t played a lot of games at a high level and to see him come in a react the way he did tonight is a real positive. I am pleased for Tristan.”

On the season so far:
“We have seven points in our last three games. This is week 25 of the season, and we have been in first place for 25 weeks. It hasn’t been that bad. We didn’t expect the season to be perfect. We managed to play 23 of our games without David Beckham, and we’ve dealt with our issues. To date, I am pleased with our team. I know if we don’t get better, we’re not going to have a chance to win MLS Cup. I understand that completely. We certainly realize that we need to get better. It is part of sport, and the character of teams and athletes comes out in these situations. It is the part of sport that is challenging. There are five difficult games ahead of us, and we probably need to win four to win the Supporters Shield and home field advantage. It’s not going to be easy.”

On next week’s match against the New York Red Bulls:
“It will be a good game. I think when the envisioned this league, they probably wanted to have something like this. Two big cities, getting after each other a little bit. Give New York a lot of credit. That has been a fabulous ownership group to really get that situation right. They have one of the finest soccer stadiums in the country. They have invested deeply in that team and have done a great job. The acquisitions of Henry and Marquez, along with Angel and others, they have the star power for sure. It is a great game for the league. I am happy we are at this point in the season with the league and have this kind of opportunity. This league is moving forward at the right pace and I think next Friday will mean a lot to both teams. It is going an evening to celebrate where this league has come. I think it will be a fabulous night for MLS. Our team has to play at its very best to win the game.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the game:
“We didn’t play well tonight. I don’t know what the deal was. I don’t know why. I wish I had an answer for it. We didn’t compete like we have the last few weeks. We didn’t pass the ball well, our final decision in front of the goal was poor, and we had a bunch of really not good performances. We were fortunate to get something out of the game.”

On the play of D.C. United:
“D.C. played well. You have to give them a lot of credit. Not only did they played loose and relaxed and aggressively, but they actually played well, they passed the ball well, they moved well. But that doesn’t matter. We need to be a lot better. We can’t have that many poor performances around the field. At the end of the day, there weren’t many places where we can say we won the match up. We were pretty fortunate to get out of it with a win.”

On finding a way to win:
“Our effort was ok. Our quality was just not good. Everything could have been sharper and better. That being said, good teams find ways to win. You are not always going to play well. You have to find a way to win. Before the game this week, I was thinking a lot about wanting to finish at the top of the league, and I want to be MVP again. I wanted to make a statement tonight.”

On the play of Andy Najar:
"I'm really impressed with that kid. Really impressed. He's scored twice against us this year. He's competetive, technically he is very good. He plays much more mature than a 17-year-old, and he scores goals. I don't care how good you are, it is not easy to score goals in this league. He has found a way to score quite a few goals this year and I think he is a good player."

On surpassing Cobi Jones as the Galaxy’s all-time leading scorer:
“Cobi’s is the guy I have watched the most throughout my career, not only when I was young, but also since I have been in MLS and especially since I have been with the Galaxy. I have a lot of respect for what he has done and it is nice to join that company.”

LA Galaxy Defender Yohance Marshall

On the backline’s performance:
“They have some pacey guys up top. I think we stayed compact and talked to each other and we did pretty well tonight.”

On being called back to the Galaxy:
“It was a bit sudden, but this is my mother club so I was happy to come back.”

On finding out he was starting:
“Leonardo got a couple of knocks so coach came up to me and said that I was probably going to be going in.”

On pregame nerves:
“I think every player is nervous to play so of course I was a little nervous but it is part of the game so you have to go on with it. Fight the nerves and go out and play to the best of your ability.”

On being out on loan:
“The game is funny. I was just trying to get as much experience as I could. I knew they needed me so I came back and I think I had an alright performance.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On his playing time:
“I spoke about it with Bruce [Arena], about getting more minutes on the field and I think it was just under 40 minutes so it was a good work out for myself. I was puffing a little bit more than I was last week, but it was more minutes on the field and that is what I need.”

On his recovery process:
“I just have to do my work during the week. When match days come I just hope for the best. When you have been out for six months with this kind of injury it is hard to actually do too much work while you are rehabbing it. For four months I probably didn’t do hardly anything, now I am trying to step it up so it’s going to take a while to get my match fitness and tonight helps”.

On coming from behind to win:
“It felt great to be part of that because I know we haven’t done it this season. It is important to do that because we can’t expect to win every game easily. D.C. came here tonight and they played with the freedom that they’ve got this season and they made it a hard night enough for us. We could tell after five minutes that it was going to be frustrating because I don’t think our passing was great. Our final ball wasn’t right and when you do that during games you are going to struggle. We kept it going. The character came through at the end and we have to prove that we got that character. We know it within the locker room but we have to prove it to people.”

On Landon Donovan’s ability to change the game:
“When you have some one like Landon who has the pace to capitalize on the mistakes that teams make, you need that. It was a great help for us tonight of course.”

LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant:

On tonight’s game:
“It was a great game. They came in here and made it really tough on us. They were definitely up for this game. They were coming off a big win against Toronto. They played a great game you really have to tip your hats to them. They made it tough on us. Donovan came in with a huge save on a breakaway when the game was still in doubt and Landon made a couple of great plays.”

On Yohance Marshall:
“He has been out all year. He comes in steps in and does a great job. He didn’t miss a beat. He played simple, played smart, played hard and did his job. It was perfect.”

On injuries to the backline:
“We are thin. Leonardo is close and A.J. [De La Garza] is close. We are going to need some center backs for next week. Omar is going to be gone, but Sean [Franklin] can play center back. We are going to have to make adjustments. That is what it is all about and we are going to get guys healthy.”

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On the game:
“Overall we were pretty good tonight and I’m just gutted for the guys because they put so much effort into it and they want it so bad. At the end of the day, whether it’s a defensive lapse or, let’s face it, we’ve got some chances to kill that game off.  So it’s not just a defensive display, it’s both side of the play. Making sure we’re finishing the game off and making the plays that matter down the stretch.”

On the team’s play over the final weeks of the season:
“I’m not looking for much more than we had out there. Take out a defensive lapse or two and put the ball away. I’m not worried about the way we play or the way we fight, that’s there. We’ve got to figure out that it’s every play that matters.  I’m proud of the guys.  They fought again and they did everything and they are gutted in there.  I’ve got guys in there that are so disappointed right now. They do care.”

On his roster:
“We’ve got talent, we’ve got guys that we believe in. I really like this team, I like the way they’ve responded. But again, it’s not always enough to play hard, we’ve got to be smart and we’ve got to be clinical and we’ve got to get cutthroat when we’ve got the chances to do so.”

D.C. United Midfielder Santino Quaranta

On the result:
“This one hurts a lot and I think that we should have won the game.  I think we put enough into it and we were good enough on a night to win.  Unfortunately, we made a couple of mistakes and we got punished for it.”

On United’s ability to attack the Galaxy:
“We had some good players going forward and that was our plan coming in, to exploit them.  They attack very aggressively on the outsides and I think our counter going forward was pretty good and I think we should have gotten more out of it.”

On what his team can take away from tonight’s game:
“Continue to play like that and we’ll win games.  It’s kind of been a theme all year but they’re the best team in our league and I think we should have won this game tonight.  Our record and our points don’t show what kind of team we are.”

On his team’s play:
“I thought we were better, plain and simple.  I thought we should have won the game. We’ve said this all year but tonight really hurts because for 80 minutes we fight hard and then seven or eight minutes of letdowns and that’s the end of that.”


• With the win, the Galaxy improve to 15-5-5 on the season and remain in sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with 50 points. They remain three points ahead of Real Salt Lake for first place in the Western Conference and the best record in MLS, with five games left in the season.
• LA are now six points ahead of the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew, who lost 4-0 to Seattle earlier today.
• The Galaxy are now unbeaten in their last three games, giving them their first three-game unbeaten streak since opening the year without a loss in their first 12 games. They are 2-0-1 in those games.
• Bruce Arena made one change to the team that defeated Columbus 3-1 at The Home Depot Center last weekend, giving Yohance Marshall his MLS debut in central defense in place of Leonardo, who missed the game because of right quad fatigue.
• In addition to Leonardo, the Galaxy were without defenders Gregg Berhalter and A.J. DeLaGarza, who missed their fifth and second straight game respectively.
• Marshall was recalled from his loan assignment with the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League on Monday. He had been with the Aztex since April, appearing in 24 games for the club, scoring three times and helping them reach the postseason for the first time ever.
• The only other time that Marshall was in the Galaxy’s 18-man squad for a league game this season was on May 20 at FC Dallas, when he was an unused substitute. He did play the final 45 minutes of the 1-0 friendly win over Boca Juniors at The Home Depot Center a few days later on May 23 before returning to Austin.
• Marshall played the full 90 minutes and was booked in the second half.
• Omar Gonzalez was booked in the 39th minute for a foul on Pablo Hernandez. That was his team-high eighth yellow card of the season, earning him a mandatory one-game suspension. Gonzalez will now miss next week’s game against the New York Red Bulls.
• Andy Najar gave D.C. United a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute. He scored in each of the two games this season between the Galaxy and D.C.
• Landon Donovan equalized for the Galaxy in the 81st minute with his sixth goal of the season.
• That goal was Donovan’s 70th as a member of the Galaxy, tying him with Cobi Jones for the most regular season goals in club history.
• He became the club’s all-time leading scorer with his second goal of the game five minutes later, scoring the game winning goal.
• This was his second multi-goal game of the season, with both coming at The Home Depot Center.
• Sean Franklin and Tristan Bowen each assisted on the game-winning goal. For Franklin it was his sixth assist of the season and Bowen’s second.
• Both of Bowen’s assists this season have come on game-winning goals.
• Franklin has assisted on the game-winning goal in each of LA’s last two games.
• LA got the full three points after allowing the game’s first goal for the first time this season, They are now 1-5-2 when allowing the first goal. Prior to tonight, the last time LA won after allowing the opening goal was September 20, 2008 when Landon Donovan had a hat trick in a 5-2 win over D.C. United.
• This was the first time this season that D.C. did not win when scoring the game’s opening goal. They are now 4-0-1 when doing so.
• LA have now come back to earn a point in each of the last two games in which they have allowed the game’s first goal.
• Donovan Ricketts made five saves in the game and allowed just one goal for the third straight game. He claimed his MLS-best 15th win of the season in the game.
• This was the final game of the season between the Galaxy and D.C. United, with LA sweeping the season series after also winning 2-1 at RFK Stadium earlier this year.
• Juninho was not booked in the game, meaning that he is eligible to play in the Galaxy’s next game against New York. He remains one caution away from a mandatory one game suspension for yellow card accumulation.
• As a result of tonight’s win and Chicago’s loss at Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy can become the first team to qualify for this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs with a Chivas USA win over Kansas City on Sunday.
• The attendance for today’s game was 20,094.
• The Galaxy are back in action on Friday, September 24 when they complete their three game homestand against the New York Red Bulls. That game kicks off at 8 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.


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