Postgame Notes & Quotes: Western Conference Final, LA vs Dallas

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the game overall:

“We had no excuses. We were outplayed. We were certainly in position in the first half to get a lead and maybe take control of the game, but we failed on that. Maybe a couple of calls didn’t go our way, but that is part of it. If you play in this league, the officiating sometimes doesn’t go your way. There are no excuses. We were outplayed. We were beat on most matchups on the field, and we were outcoached. Dallas deserved the victory. I give them a lot of credit and wish them the very best in the Cup Final.”

On FC Dallas’ goals:

“I haven’t seen it, but there was that play on the sideline where Eddie Lewis got fouled and play went on and I am not certain what happened between DeLaGarza and Gonzalez on that. The third goal looked to me offside, and I can’t tell you what led to the second goal. When you look back on the game, Hartman made a couple of outstanding saves in the first half. The one on Landon was unbelievable and the one on Beckham’s free kick. Those little plays make a difference, and we had a chance to have the first goal in the game and didn’t get it. I guess you have to give Hartman an awful lot of credit. He made plays to keep his team in the game, and ultimately it won his team in the game”

On the fouls suffered by Edson Buddle:

“Buddle was fouled an awful lot. He got kicked in the head, got cut in the box, he was clotheslined on one play. I think he got frustrated certainly. That’s how it has been all year. I think Edson Buddle was the most fouled player in the league this year, and very rarely got a call in his favor. Did it make a difference in the game, I don’t think so.”

On FC Dallas’ first goal:

“It is against the run of play, but what can you say. Give them credit. I think [Ferreira] was obviously outstanding tonight. He and Hartman obviously were the difference in that first half.”

On David Beckham’s injury:

“David played well. He was hurt. David showed a lot of character playing for 90 minutes. We saw 15 minutes in that he had a problem. He hung in there, and we talked to him at halftime and there was a chance we were going to take him off but he stayed in. If we have all of our players with his kind of character and commitment, we would continue to do well. He did well given the circumstances. It wasn’t easy for him to play with that injury and he hung in there.”

On not having another serious scoring threat besides Edson Buddle:

“We won the most games in the league by a large number. We scored probably the second most goals in the league. Would it be nice to have another forward that can score 17 or 18 goals. Of course, but I don’t think that’s the reason why we weren’t successful tonight. Landon played up there for 40 minutes and didn’t really get any chances. We weren’t sharp tonight. Our passing wasn’t good. I look at this game, we got outplayed in most of the matchups on the field. When that happens the chances of winning are not good. I think, in all fairness, that’s how I summarize the game. We were outplayed man for man.”

On what he said to the team after the game:

“I spoke to them briefly. I thanked them for the season. I think especially after losing a game like this, there is going to be a lot of disappointment, but you can’t forget about the fact that they had a pretty good season. They had the third most points in the history of the league. For the most part, it was a good year. We certainly wanted to win the championship, but when you fall short I don’t think it is fair to ignore everything else that happened previous to that. On the night, we were beat. There is no excuse, but we got beat. We had everything positioned for us to win this game tonight, and we didn’t win it. You don’t look anywhere else but inside our locker room and we all take responsibility for it, the coaches and the players. We are going to move on from here and respect the fact that we had a good year and under a lot of odd circumstances and issues. Am I disappointed in the way it has ended. Of course, but I not going to ignore the fact that we are starting to move forward with this team and franchise.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the result:

“We’re disappointed obviously, just in the result. I think the effort was fine. I think our willingness to put everything into was good. I think at the end of the day it was pretty simple, they made the plays they needed. They had five shots on goal and scored three. We had a bunch more and didn’t score. Their goalie played out of his mind. In soccer, a goalie can be a great equalizer and he certainly was tonight.”

On Dallas’ defense:

“They defended really well. I give them a lot of credit. Early on we broke them down quite a few times and we were unlucky or Hartman made a good save. Their defending as a group was good. For the most part, we were pretty solid. A few plays broke down and they made us pay. They didn’t waste their chances.”

On the officiating:

“The problem is when things don’t get called and they lead to goals—it’s frustrating. I think the first goal, Eddie gets pushed in the back and fell and they continue on and score. I think overall the official did an OK job. If there were a few missed calls, it certainly didn’t excuse losing 3-0.”

On the physical play against Edson Buddle:

“It’s happened all year to him. It’s kind, not quite the same analogy, but like Shaq when he plays, he’s so strong and physically and gets fouled almost every play and the refs don’t call it. That’s happened to Edson a lot, and it’s happened all year.

On Dallas:

“They are a good team. I give them a lot of credit. They made a few really good plays. The first goal was a fantastic goal from David [Ferreira]. It almost came out of nothing. It’s almost hard to remember what happened on the play. The next thing you know, the ball is in the back of your net. They had nothing for nothing for 25 minutes, and then they made the play that changed the game.”

On the season ending: 

“You’re always disappointed when you lose. We put a lot into this year, and anytime you don’t win, it’s disappointing, especially on your home field. It’s just the way it is. This team is used to winning, and it hurts when you lose.”

On the play of David Beckham: 

“He hasn’t been at full strength since he’s been back. He’s got a lot of different things going on. When you come back at that age from an Achilles injury, there are going to be residual effects. My hats off to him—he’s played through a lot of pain, more than you guys know. He’s been struggling the last few weeks with a couple of different things, but he’s a competitor and he wants to keep going.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On his reaction to the loss:

“Obviously it was disappointing to go out like this at home. A game away from the final, so obviously we are disappointed. I think overall it’s been a good season. If you step back and look at the way we’ve played, but it counts for nothing because we are out.”

On Dallas’ goal:

“It hit us hard, I think. I knew when we kept getting the chances, one didn’t go in. It was going to happen. We stepped off the pedal for a moment, and they got their first goal. It seemed to knock us out. We should have kept on playing our football, the way we’ve been playing all season, but I think we panicked a little bit and we couldn’t get back into the game. Like I said, we’re a good team, a good team of young players, and we’ll get over this and push forward for next season.”

On the officiating:

“I don’t want to get myself in trouble with even commenting on that tonight because it puts a sour note on Dallas as well. Full credit to them, they played well tonight. They deserved to win. Yeah, some of the calls weren’t right, but that’s the way it goes.”

On the club’s inability to score in the first half: 

“I think if one of the goals would have gone it, it would have calmed us down. We would have gone on all and played and won the game. But, like I said, full credit to Dallas, they are good team. They’ll be good in the final.”

On Kevin Hartman:

“Funny thing was the manager spoke about him all week because of his injury. He had a great game, and we wish him good luck on the final.”

On his performance:

“At the end of the day, as long as I give 110 percent in every game, like I do, I’ll look at myself in the mirror and know that I’ve done that. It’s just disappointing to go out the way we’ve gone out.”

On judging the season as a whole:

“It’s harder to take when we’ve played the way we’ve played and won the way we’ve won. We’ve worked as a team all season, and not to go all the way and to not win something is very frustrating. We have a lot of young players on this team and a lot of good players on this team, hopefully we can keep a majority of our team and keep that stability because why we’ve had success is because of the stability we’ve had.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle

On the physicality of the game:

“I think they got the refs attention early in the game where they were worried about me throwing elbows and maybe that didn’t work to my advantage and the ref didn’t call some of the fouls on them. I think he let some things go both ways. It was a physical match and with a game like this, there is a lot at stake. It didn’t catch me by surprise. It is something I have been dealing with all year. With that being said, I have to commend them on their win tonight.”

On Dallas’ offensive attack:

“We were pressing after they got that goal. I think we did a good job of pressing them early and Hartman did what he was supposed to do, stop balls from going into the net. After they got that goal, we opened up a little bit and they got the second one and from there, they just kept coming.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On the first goal:

“At that point, it didn’t really deflate us. There was still a lot of game to be played. We still had tons of chances that we didn’t finish. Hartman did well, and their defense did well to stop us. I think that is the way soccer goes sometimes and it just wasn’t our day.”

On the game overall:

“Hartman did a phenomenal job for them. He kept them in the game. We had tons of chances in the first half, but we just couldn’t score. They get one chance in the first half and they finish it. That is just the way things go. We were dominating in the first half and then they scored. In the second half, we just got beat.”

On the Galaxy’s effort:

“We didn’t stop fighting. We were still trying to get a goal at the end. I think we had a great effort, it just didn’t go our way tonight.”

FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman:

On winning tonight:

“I guess the opening statement would be it’s fantastic to be here. Winning a Western Conference Championship for the first time in the history of FC Dallas and defeating a very, very good team. We had to play exceptionally well. Looking across the field, we really didn’t have a player that didn’t have a good game. It took every player having a good game for us to get this result. I couldn’t be any more proud of this team and their performance tonight.”

On the play of Kevin Hartman:

“Kevin Hartman has been unbelievable. You know Kevin from the area and when he played for the Galaxy. He just fell into our laps just before preseason. After our third game, he started for us and has been tremendous. He picked up a unique injury and that is why you didn’t see him taking any of the goal kicks. When he is on the field, he organizes so well. What you saw tonight was tremendous saves, one after another, especially in the first half when LA was really putting the heat on us. We scored the first goal, and it changed the game a put us in a situation where they had to chase us. Coming out in the second half, you saw the great save he made there on David Beckham. He could very well be the man of the match. David Ferreira could be, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Daniel Hernandez, but Kevin was exceptional.”

On the play of Dallas’ attack:

“The game had some moments, and those key moments make the whole difference. They hit a couple of shots, one on an open goal when Kevin came out and they missed it. That’s not the same Galaxy team that we have seen all year that would capitalize and put those opportunities away. I think where we caught them by surprise was in going with Atiba Harris in the attack. I don’t think they were ready for Atiba Harris. Atiba had a very good game. We thought that Omar would have a few more problems with Atiba because he is big and strong and physical. I think Atiba really surprised us with how well he held the ball under pressure. Chavez was making those darting runs. I call him the mosquito because he is small and irritable. He irritates defenders. I thought David [Ferreira] was fantastic with the balls that he was sending in there. All in all, I don’t if it was LA having a so-called bad game, I just think that we had an exceptional game.

On the focus coming into this game:

“This week in training, we emphasized two things. The first thing was the diagonal ball that Beckham was going to be sending in and you saw that the whole second half. David [Ferreira] said ‘Coach we are a good team, why are we so concerned with LA’, and I said because I think we are going to see this so many times. I’m not so concerned that we win the diagonal ball, I was more concerned that we win the second ball. The other thing we focused on this week was the counter attack. We are a good team that counterattacks well. We don’t want to think that we are just a good counterattacking team. We keep preaching to our players, think forward, look forward, pass forward and run forward. We keep saying that every game and we want to instill that mentality that when people get the ball we are running forward. I think we caught LA on their back heels. If you remember the first half, we had a couple of great chances that we didn’t get anything out of, but we had three or four people counterattacking.”

On the matchup against Colorado in MLS Cup:

“Good team. Obviously, interesting. I think Bruce [Arena] predicted that a team from the West is going to win MLS Cup. I go along with him on that. Right now, I think Colorado is a good team and they will probably be a little bit more acclimatized to that weather than we are. At the same time, we will be at our best. These games only come so often in one’s lifetime. If it is good enough, then we are going to win the MLS Cup. If it is not good enough, we know we will have given our best.”

FC Dallas Midfielder David Ferreira (translated from Spanish)

On the 2010 season:

“I believe we have gotten here by playing it calm and cool. We have gone from having nothing to having everything and with the same humbleness we are going to Canada, but with respect to Colorado knowing that we are close to making history. Tonight we are going to celebrate this victory and tomorrow we start focusing on the MLS Cup.”

FC Dallas Midfielder Daniel Hernandez

On the team’s performance:

“Tonight was impressive. Coming into LA, at there house, great fans and great atmosphere, we knew it was going to be tough. Even at half time being up 1-0 we knew they were going to come out with everything in the second half. We stepped up played with a lot of heart and a lot of character. This just shows the character of this team that we have shown all year and it was no different today. I thought that in the second half we just completely dominated LA; with all due respect to them I know they’ve had a great year. We came in here with a lot of heart and a goal and that was to get to the MLS Cup.”

FC Dallas Midfielder Dax McCarty

On playing the Colorado Rapids in MLS Cup:

“During the regular season they gave us a tough game both times. They are very dangerous attacking with [Conor] Casey and [Omar] Cummings. We know that they are defending well at the moment but we obviously are going to be very confident getting a great result like we did against LA. We are under no illusions this is going to be a dog fight in Toronto.”

On his performance tonight:

“Playing against LA they do such a great job in the midfield it is tough to get forward they really pressure you high all over the field. Sometimes it wasn’t the prettiest from us in the middle especially from me but I was just trying to work hard and get our outlet passes out to the guys to get them on the counter attack but it was just an overall great team performance by us.”

On the team:

“We don’t have any DP’s and we don’t have any superstars. Obviously David Ferreira in my eyes is the MVP of the league. He has been absolutely quality. He is probably the steal of the past decade in terms of what you get out of him. If the league is just he will get the MVP. We are just a bunch of hard working guys. Schellas [Hyndman] brought in the right players. We play towards our system, we play towards our strengths and we are not afraid of anyone. We are not afraid of LA. I think I said before the game I don’t think we are under dogs and I think we showed that tonight.”

FC Dallas Midfielder Brek Shea

On heading to the final

“I am excited. This is the first time this club has ever been to a final and the first time I have ever been to a final, it will probably the most important game of my career so far. I am excited, we can’t wait.”

On playing facing Colorado in the final

“They are a good team. They have very good forwards with Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. You saw Omar’s speed getting behind San Jose. He had a lot of chances last night so we have to prepare for that and hopefully we go out and play the way we know we can play and get a good result.”

On the team:

“Our team is very close. I think there are 29 players including the guys that aren’t here everyone is very close. Everyone hangs out with each other. It is the closest team I have ever been on. Every one is friends with everyone. It is pretty cool how everyone gets along with everyone. There are never any fights. Obviously on the training field people get into it but they help each other. No one is negative. It is incredible.”

FC Dallas Defender Ugo Ihemelu

On tonight's game:

“This game was a prime example of our season, the guys on this team, the character of all the players on this team. We knew it was going to be a tough game coming to LA. They have had a great season, they have a few designated players, guys with real talent, but we came and out worked them and played as a team and that was the result we had tonight.”

Notes:
• With the loss, the Galaxy have been eliminated from the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs.
• With the loss, the Galaxy are now 2-2-0 all-time when reaching the Western Conference Championship under the current playoff format, winning the game in 2005 and 2009 while losing in 2004 and now 2010.
• The Galaxy finish the year 2-1-0 against FC Dallas in all competitions, winning both games in the regular season, but losing tonight.
• Bruce Arena named an unchanged starting XI on the evening, using the same 11 starters that played both legs of the Western Conference Semifinal Series against Seattle. The only change in the 18-man squad was the return of Michael Stephens, who was in the 18-man squad for the first time during the postseason. He replaced Tristan Bowen, who did not dress, on the bench.
• Nine of the 11 players that started for the Galaxy tonight also started in the 2009 Western Conference Championship. The only differences between the two starting lineups were Eddie Lewis and Juninho included in the lineup in place of Gregg Berhalter and Chris Klein.
• David Ferreira scored in the 26th minute to give FC Dallas a 1-0 lead. This was the first time all postseason that the Galaxy trailed in a game.
• The goal was the first goal that the Galaxy had allowed in the first half of a postseason game since the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinal Series against Chivas USA on November 1, 2009.
• The Galaxy went into halftime trailing 1-0. This was the first time that they did not score in the first half of a playoff game this season. During the regular season, LA were 0-5-1 when trailing at halftime.
• The Galaxy went into the half trailing despite outshooting Dallas 8-3 and holding a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal.
• The Galaxy went behind 2-0 in the 54th minute when George John scored his first-ever postseason goal. This was the first time that the Galaxy trailed 2-0 in a postseason game since the 2004 Western Conference Championship at Kansas City, a game that the Wizards won 2-0.
• Shortly after that goal, Alex Cazumba entered the game for Mike Magee, making his MLS Cup Playoff debut.
• Dallas went in front 3-0 in the 73rd minute through Marvin Chavez, who finished off a feed from David Ferreira.
• The 3-0 loss tied the record for the Galaxy’s biggest postseason defeat. The had lost by three goals on four other occasions, including once against Dallas in 1997.
• The Galaxy had not been shutout in 10 straight postseason games before tonight, dating back to their 2-0 loss to Kansas City in the 2004 Western Conference Championship.
• Donovan Ricketts made two saves in the game, but suffered his first-ever postseason loss. He is now 4-1-1 in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He saw his goals against average rise from 0.66 to 0.99 after allowing a postseason career-high three goals.
• Prior to tonight’s game, the Galaxy had not allowed three goals in a postseason game since losing 5-2 in the second leg of the 2003 Western Conference Championship against San Jose.
• This was the Galaxy’s first home postseason loss since 1998, when they lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire. The Galaxy are now 20-3-1 all-time at home in the postseason.
• The Galaxy were 2-6-2 during the regular season when allowing the first goal.
• LA are now 4-11-4 all-time when allowing the first goal in the postseason.
• The Galaxy have now allowed a goal in 12 consecutive MLS games at home, last keeping a clean sheet on May 15 against Toronto FC.
• Including the regular season, the Galaxy finish the year 10-5-2 at home this season.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000. This was the Galaxy’s second consecutive home postseason sellout and their fourth in the last five games at the stadium.