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Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs Dallas

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena:

On the result:

“It was a great win. We had to show up tonight. We played as good a team as there is in the league, and to my surprise, they came out with all of their guns. We had to earn it tonight. We had to come from behind; we had to play against an excellent team and a tough demanding game. I think we needed this game. We haven’t been in a game where we have been forced to win, forced to show up and play hard and fight and scrap for everything we could get and we did that tonight, so I am really please and that is the kind of game that should give our team and players a lot of confidence as we go into a difficult series against Seattle.”

On how the team is currently playing:

“We made a lot of progress tonight. We got a lot closer tonight. I think our performance was very good in a lot of areas. We created some good chances. We had to defend and keep our concentration for 90 minutes. I think tonight was a step forward. We want to believe that we have four games left in the MLS season. It’s not going to be easy, but I am confident that our team will be prepared for what will certainly be a great challenge. It is a great accomplishment for this team to win the Supporters’ Shield which hasn’t happened around here in a while, and an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Champions League, so there are a lot of positives. I am happy that we have been able to accomplish this. Now, we are going to put it behind us and start preparing our team for the playoffs.”

On the physical play tonight:

“I think maybe the frustration is not about the contact, but perhaps, the inconsistency. The contact and the physicality is going to be there. We like to see it called the same way every call, every game, every week during the season. That’s the part that we have to get a little bit better in the league.”

On Gregg Berhalter not playing:

“Gregg we played last week to see where he was at. We know he is not completely match fit. We thought that since today we were going to start A.J. that Gregg would be better off working hard before the game, which he did. He had a really hard workout. We thought that if we are going to move him forward and have him ready for the playoffs, today’s an important day for him, so he got a lot of work in the gym.”

On Real Salt Lake’s win last night:

“We knew what were doing during the week. However, we didn’t expect to have the Supporters’ Shield wrapped up on Saturday night. What we did today is what we had planned all along. Although, I felt there was a one in a hundred chance that today’s game wouldn’t matter. We really never felt that that was going to be the case.”

On coming back to win the game:

“I don’t think that is a criticism of this team or of any team. Soccer is a low scoring sport and I would imagine that a large majority of the time, the team that scores the first goal wins, even though you could probably dispute that at some point. There have not been too many times this year where we fell behind a goal and won. I think the game was great for our team. We played a quality team. We fell behind a goal and had to fight for our lives basically. We raised our level of play, our competitiveness, our mentality, and that is something we are going have to have right for the playoffs if we have any interest of getting back to MLS Cup.”

On Landon Donovan’s assist:

“It was a terrific individual effort. We really think that those are the kind of plays we need to see more of out of Landon. He is a very experienced player. He has the ability to make a lot of great plays. He has to mentally and physically ready to make those kinds of plays. Tonight, his concentration was terrific. We all know that Landon can do that, so to see him have that kind of effort on that play, and throughout the game, is fantastic.”

On the playoff series against Seattle:

“Seattle is not going to be easy. It never is, but none of the choices were really good. I wouldn’t want to be going into Dallas either. I prefer going to Seattle than going to altitude. There was always a chance that we could go to Colorado or Salt Lake and the altitude is an issue. We have assured ourselves that we are not going to be playing in altitude. It is a lot easier for the players to adjust to an artificial field than it is to the altitude, so I think that is a positive.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the win:

“It feels great. I was a little surprised to see how much Dallas put into this game considering they had nothing to win, but it was great for us because it really pushed us and tested us. I was really proud with how we responded and we played a very good game tonight.”

On his assist:

“He was a little nonchalant letting the ball go, and I wanted to at least put him under pressure. When I won the ball, my first thought was to play it across the goal, but there was nothing there. David was calling for it and it was a fantastic finish by him.”

On playing Seattle in the playoffs:

“It’s going to be tough. We knew any of the teams we played would be good teams. The West is a lot better than the East this year. It is a little bizarre the way the league is set up to get punished for finishing first, and in Salt Lake’s case, finishing second and playing the third best team. I’m not sure how that is acceptable, but that’s the way it is. We are going to have a tough trip to Seattle and we have to get something out of that game.”

On previous results against Seattle:

“We have played well against them, but they are a different team than they were earlier in the year. We won both games by 7-1 total goals, we will confident going in there, but they are very good there, their crowd will be lively and I am looking forward to it. I can’t wait.”

On his work to set up David Beckham’s goal:

“If I am taking plays off, then it is a bad example. The last five or six games, I have had a few games where I haven’t put that effort in, and not played well because of it. Those are plays I need to make and I am going to make.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham:

On his goal:

“Landon won the ball back, and he is a player that knows how to set other players up. His ball to me was perfect and I knew if I hit the target, there was a chance it would go in, obviously.”

On having to tie or win tonight for the Supporters’ Shield:

“In a way, I am glad the result went the way it did last night because if we had come into today with [the Supporters’ Shield] already wrapped up, then we wouldn’t have had the same performance. We needed a performance like this tonight. Last week was disappointing, and everyone was looking at our character after that game, so it was important that we had a game like this tonight.”

On having to come back from a goal down to win the game:

“I think it does more for our character more than anything. Going 1-0 down and then bringing it back, it shows that the team has character. We need to be ready for this next game because we know it is going to be a difficult game, but today was a good thing for us.”

On Bruce Arena saying it was his best performance this season:

“I felt last game was my best performance, but if Bruce says that, then I will take that. I’m just trying to get my match fitness back, and the last couple of games, I felt really good, so I am happy that the manager thinks that about me. It was a good team performance tonight.”

On Edson Buddle:

“It is always frustrating when you can’t get a player like Edson who is chasing records [a goal], but Edson has time to get as many goals as he wants to because he has been great this season. Him going to the World Cup was great for him, so for us it has been amazing.”

On preparing for Seattle:

“We are confident because we have some very good players, but we know that we need to have a good week of training this week. It is good that we have a full week of training to get ready for this game.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle

On winning the Supporters’ Shield:

“First, I enjoyed the win, getting the Supporters’ Shield as a team. We wanted to continue to lead and finish out strong. I’m very happy with that. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the Golden Boot, you keep the bitter and the sweet. There is a lot more to be accomplished. The final is where my main focus is at.”

On the importance of coming back to from behind…

“A good team like Dallas comes in here and gets the go-ahead goal. For us to come from behind, it’s something we’ve struggled with all season, so it was very important for us going into the playoffs.”

On facing Seattle…

“It’s not going to be easy. The crowd is going to be pumped. They are pumped for regular season games. For the playoffs, it’s going to be crazier. It’s a loud environment. I don’t like playing on turf. I don’t like it. I’m not a big fan. I never was, but I have to deal with that, and have to try to pull out a win.”

On being named the Galaxy’s 2010 MVP

“It’s an honor. I didn’t expect to win that. I know that [the fans] are here every game, cheering us on to win at home. It’s something we took pride of this year, and I’m very honored.

LA Galaxy Defender A.J. DeLaGarza

On the result:

“I thought our team did pretty well. Actually my job was to defend first, and I thought I did that. We didn’t give them too many chances. Obviously, they had a really good goal. I have to take that and look at that.”

On playing with Omar Gonzalez for another championship:

“I think it’s amazing. The success [myself and Omar Gonzalez] had at Maryland, and hopefully we can continue that here at the next level. People kind of wrote me off as being a center back in this league. It would be great to be with him and hopefully win a championship again.”

On facing the Seattle Sounders:

“They are probably one of the hottest teams in the league right now. They just lost to Houston, but they are on a hot streak so it’s going to be tough. It’ll be tough, especially on the turf, in front of 36,000 fans in Seattle.”

LA Galaxy Defender Sean Franklin

On coming back from behind:

“We fought; we tackled…we’ve just got to keep the momentum going into the playoffs. We went down a goal early in the game. Then we got a goal back, it’s just one of those things that builds character. We came back tonight—got the tying goal, got the game winning goal in about 30 seconds into the second half, and it showed the kind of focus we have.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Chris Klein

On his role in the playoffs…

“Eddie [Lewis] and I are both competitive and will help this team anyway we can. I’m here for the team. I’ll support the guys and do whatever I can to help this team win a championship. Whatever that is, we’ll see.”

FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman

On the playoffs:

“We left quite a few of our regulars off today to try and recover. Some of our players have been doing a pretty good job so we wanted to give them a chance to play here. If you look at the first half you can see we have a ways to go. I thought the second half we settled down a little bit even though we gave a way a quick goal. Let’s put a number on it I think we are at 80% where we think we needed to be. I think we were hitting about 90-95% before we were picking up all the injuries. We stepped back a little bit but I think its going to be different once the playoffs start.”

On tonight’s game:

“Fantastic result for the LA Galaxy. The Supporters’ Shield is great for the team, the city, as well as for the players. I am really pleased that the season came down to this last game.”

On the play of Jeff Cunningham:

“Jeff is a very good player. We wanted him also to be shooting for [Jaime] Moreno’s record. I probably told him on Tuesday that he was probably going to start and he was really excited. He has done so much not only for FC Dallas but the league and I wanted to give him those opportunities. It was really hard for him in the first half because we were back on our heels quite a bit especially after we scored. In the second half we were surprised how much of the ball we ended up getting. I was really pleased with Jeff to get the start.”

FC Dallas Midfielder Atiba Harris

On tonight’s game:

“We knew coming into this game that we already secured third place. It was up to us to decide who we wanted to play. If we would have won the game we probably would have played the Galaxy. Now that we lost we have to shift the focus to Salt Lake. The game was intense from the get go, everything throughout the 90 minutes saw both teams trying to attack. I think it was an exciting game for the fans but not so much for us because we came out and made two mistakes and it cost us.”

On his goal:

“The ball was played. They cleared it out and we picked up the second ball. We work on picking up second balls in training all the time. I knew once [Eric] Alexander picked it up he was going to play it back in. I made the run and scored it.”

FC Dallas Forward David Ferreira

On tonight’s game:

“It was a difficult game. We couldn’t get the win tonight. We made mistakes. Now we have to rest and work on correcting the mistakes this week during training because we know that we can’t commit the same mistakes against Real Salt Lake because this upcoming game is important and decisive.”

FC Dallas Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

On returning to The Home Depot Center:

“It has been a lot of time. It is always a real treat to get back and see people who work within the stadium, to see people who work for the Galaxy and just fans and friends who have supported me. I can’t imagine a warmer reception. When ever I go back and visit as an away team, a team I used to play for, I would imagine a more rude, a lot more of “that LA reject” thing but I am pretty fortunate that I don’t get that treatment here. I figured it probably speaks about the history I have with the club and the amount of time I really put in. It is always really rewarding. It is something I try to say out there and show my appreciation.”

• With the win, the Galaxy finish the season in first place in the Western Conference and all of MLS with an 18-7-5 record for 59 points. They finished three points ahead of second place Real Salt Lake, who entered the night level with LA with 56 points apiece, though RSL had a better goal difference.
• As a result, the Galaxy win the 2010 MLS Supporters’ Shield, which is given to the team that finishes the season with the best regular season record in MLS. By winning the Supporters’ Shield, the Galaxy earn home field advantage throughout the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs and earn a spot in Group Play of the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champion League, bypassing the Preliminary Round, the stage at which LA were eliminated from the competition earlier this year.
• The Galaxy won both meetings against Dallas this season, handing them two of their four losses on the season. Dallas are one of seven teams that the Galaxy defeated twice this season.
• Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that lost 3-1 to Colorado last weekend. Todd Dunivant, Dema Kovalenko and Mike Magee all returned to the starting lineup, replacing Gregg Berhalter, Chris Birchall and Michael Stephens, none of whom dressed for the game. Berhalter and Birchall each missed the game through injury, while it was a coaches decision not to dress Stephens.
• Dunivant returned to the lineup after missing last weekend’s game with a right adductor strain, while Kovalenko had missed the last three games with the same injury.
• Chris Klein and Eddie Lewis each played the final regular season game of their MLS careers in the game, with each coming on as second half substitutes.
• David Beckham equalized for the Galaxy in the 33rd minute, scoring his second goal of the season. Beckham finished the season with two goals, matching the number that he scored in 2009.
• Landon Donovan assisted on Beckham’s goal, extending his career-high of 16 assists. His 16 assists were the most in MLS this season, three more than David Ferreira of FC Dallas.
• Donovan became the first Galaxy player in MLS history to lead the league in assists.
• His 16 assists were the most recorded by a Galaxy player in a single season since Mauricio Cienfuegos had a club record 17 assists in 1999.
• Juninho gave the Galaxy a 2-1 lead in the 46th minute with his second goal of the season.
• That goal was scored just 30 seconds after the start of the second half, making it the fastest goal that the Galaxy scored after halftime this season.
• Edson Buddle did not score in the game, meaning that he finished the season second in the race for the Budweiser Golden Boot. His 17 goals were one less than Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes, who had four goals in two games this week.
• Buddle’s best chance to score came in the 67th minute when his header off a David Beckham corner kick was saved by Dario Sala, diving to his left.
• This was the second time this season that the Galaxy came back to win after allowing the game’s opening goal. LA finished the season 2-6-2 when falling behind 1-0. They also beat D.C. United 2-1 on September 18 after trailing 1-0.
• Donovan Ricketts made three saves to earn his 18th win of the season.
• Ricketts finished the season with a 0.90 goals against average, which is the lowest single season GAA in Galaxy history, breaking Kevin Hartman’s former club record of 0.91, which was set in 1999. His 0.90 GAA was the third lowest in MLS this season.
• The Galaxy set a new club record by allowing just 26 goals in 30 games this season, breaking the former club record of 29 goals allowed during the 1999 season.
• By allowing Atiba Harris’ first half goal, the Galaxy have now allowed at least one goal in 10 consecutive regular season home games, dating back to May 15 against Toronto FC. The Galaxy are 5-4-1 in those 10 games and have allowed 18 goals.
• The Galaxy finished the season with a 9-4-2 record at home. LA recorded 29 of their 59 points on the season at home.
• The Galaxy are now 9-4-2 all-time in their regular season finales and 11-2-2 in their final regular season home game. This was the fourth time that LA ended their season against FC Dallas, and are now 3-0-1 in those four games, with all four being played in Southern California.
• The attendance for today’s game was 24,993.
• The Galaxy are back in action on Sunday, October 31 when they take on the Seattle Sounders FC in the First Leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series. That game, which will be shown live on ESPN2, will be played at Qwest Field and kicks off at 5 p.m. (PT). The Galaxy will then host the second and final leg of the Series at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, November 7. That game kicks off at 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN.

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