LA Galaxy 2, Monarcas Morelia 1
CONCACAF Champions League – Week 5
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
LA – Mike Magee 1 (Todd Dunivant 1) 21’
MOR – Rafael Marquez Lugo 3 (Unassisted) 60’
LA – Juninho 1 (Chad Barrett 1) 91+
MOR – Diego Jimenez (Yellow Card) 55’
LA – A.J. DeLaGarza (Yellow Card) 67’
LA – Paolo Cardozo (Yellow Card) 70’
LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Frankie Hejduk (Hector Jimenez 72’), A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant; Juninho, Michael Stephens, Landon Donovan©, Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 46’); Paolo Cardozo, Adam Cristman (Chad Barrett 68’).
Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Jovan Kirovski, Dan Keat, Miguel Lopez.
Monarcas Morelia: Federico Vilar©; Enrique Perez, Diego Jimenez, Felipe Ayala (Aldo Ramirez 64’), Marvin Cabrera; Yasser Corona, Luis Miguel Noriega (Adrian Aldrete 53’), Manuel Perez, Damian Manso; Angel Sepulveda, Rafael Marquez Lugo (Miguel Sabah 63’).
Subs Not Used: Felipe Rodriguez, Joel Huiqui, Luis Alonso Sandoval, Edgar Lugo.
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Referee’s Assistants: William Torres (SLV) and Octavio Jara (CRC)
4th Official: Ruben Medrano (SLV)
- With the win, the Galaxy are now 3-2-0 in Group A, leaving them tied with Morelia and Alajuelense for first place with nine points. The Galaxy and Morelia have each played five games, while Alajuelense have played four with another game awaiting them on Thursday at home against Motagua.
- In order to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals, the Galaxy will need to finish in the top two of the group, a result that they can guarantee with a win in their final game of group play, in Honduras against Motagua on October 20.
- The Galaxy finish group play with a perfect 3-0-0 record at home, having previously beaten Motagua and Alajuelense by identical 2-0 scorelines last month.
- In all competitions this year, the Galaxy are 14-0-5 at home.
- This was the Galaxy’s first-ever win over a Mexican team in the Champions League and their first over a Mexican team in CONCACAF play since they beat Santos Laguna 4-1 in the North Zone Playoff of the CONCACAF Champions Cup on July 30, 1997.
- The Galaxy had last beaten a Mexican team at The Home Depot Center in their opening game of the inaugural SuperLiga in 2007 when they beat Pachuca 2-1 behind goals from Alan Gordon and Landon Donovan.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Alajuelense in Costa Rica last week in their last Champions League game. Frankie Hejduk replaced Bryan Jordan at right back, Michael Stephens replaced David Beckham in central midfield and the forward pairing of Paolo Cardozo and Adam Cristman replaced Chad Barrett and Robbie Keane. Barrett and Jordan each started the game on the bench before coming on in the second half while Beckham was suspended for yellow card accumulation and Keane missed the game with tightness in his right gluteus muscle.
- In addition to Beckham and Keane, the Galaxy were also without Sean Alvarado, Gregg Berhalter, Chris Birchall, Sean Franklin, Leonardo and Donovan Ricketts who each missed the game through injury.
- Of the 11 players that started tonight, eight started in LA’s last league game, a 1-0 win in Columbus last Saturday. Only Landon Donovan and Mike Magee, who each came on as second half substitutes, and Todd Dunivant started tonight after not starting in the win over the Crew.
- Mike Magee gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute with the first Champions League goal of his career.
- Todd Dunivant was credited with the assist on Magee’s goal for his first assist of the tournament.
- The Galaxy have now scored first in four of their five Champions League games, going 3-1-0 in those matches. They scored first in all three of their home games during the group stage and went on to win all three games.
- However, Magee was forced to leave the game at halftime with tightness in his right hamstring. He was replaced by Bryan Jordan.
- Morelia equalized on the hour mark when Rafael Marquez Lugo poked the ball past Josh Saunders from the center of the box to level the score at 1-1.
- That goal was the first allowed by the Galaxy at home in the Champions League this year.
- Damian Manso nearly scored a second for Morelia in the 80th minute, only to see his shot hit the crossbar.
- Juninho scored the game-winning goal in the first minute of stoppage time. That was his first-ever goal in the Champions League.
- Prior to Saturday, the Galaxy had scored just once in second half stoppage time this year. They have now done so in each of their last two games, winning each game thanks to that goal.
- Chad Barrett was credited with the assist on the game-winning goal, heading a Landon Donovan corner kick to Juninho, who volleyed home from eight yards out.
- That assist was Barrett’s first in the Champions League and fifth in all competitions, leaving him second on the team behind David Beckham, who has 16 assists in all matches this year.
- The Galaxy have now scored two goals in each of their three home games in the Champions League, winning all three games. They have scored just once in two road games.
- The Galaxy have scored seven goals in the Champions League this year, with seven different players scoring those goals.
- Dating back to their first involvement in the Champions League last year, the Galaxy have scored 10 goals in the competition. Eight different players have each scored once while the other two came courtesy of own goals.
- The Galaxy also have seven assists in the Champions League this year with six different players tallying those. Only David Beckham has more than one assist in the Champions League for LA this year.
- Of the seven players that have scored a goal in the Champions League, only Chad Barrett and Landon Donovan have both a goal and an assist.
- Hector Jimenez made his Champions League debut in the game, coming on for Frankie Hejduk in the 72nd minute and playing the final 18 minutes on the right side of midfield.
- Paolo Cardozo and A.J. DeLaGarza were each booked for the Galaxy, but neither had been shown a yellow card in the first four games of the tournament. That means that the Galaxy will not have any players suspended for the Group A finale against Motagua on October 20.
- Diego Jimenez was the only Morelia player to be booked. That is his second yellow card of the tournament, meaning that he will be suspended for his team’s group play finale at home against Alajuelense on October 18.
- The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout of 7,500 at The Home Depot Center, which had a reduced capacity on the night.
- The Galaxy will return to Champions League play on Thursday, October 20 when they travel to Honduras to face Motagua. That game will kick off at 7 p.m. and be shown live on FOX Soccer. Motagua are currently in last place in Group A with no points from an 0-4-0 record heading into Thursday night’s game against Alajuelense in Costa Rica.
- The Galaxy are back in action in MLS play on Saturday, October 1, Fan Appreciation Day at The Home Depot Center, against Real Salt Lake. That game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and will be shown on live on FOX Sports West.
- With a win in that game, combined with a Seattle loss or draw against New England earlier in the day, the Galaxy will clinch the Supporters’ Shield for the second consecutive season.
LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On the team’s performance:
“A great win. We obviously gambled a lot over the last 15 minutes of the game and opened ourselves up and were fortunate that Morelia did not close the game out with a second goal. But, I give our guys a lot of credit. They played with a lot of heart. You have to have a little bit of luck, which was bound to come our way after recent weeks. So, I am going to take it and we are going to put the Champions League behind us for about three weeks and concentrate on finishing off the job that needs to be done in the regular season of MLS.”
On the drama of this series with Morelia:
“Well, I will tell you that if you left the stadiums 89 minutes in, in these games you would have missed a lot. It goes down right to the end. Obviously, the intensity of these matches and the fatigue that sets in at the end of a game, things happen. Obviously, it has happened in both games. It has certainly been exciting and both teams have played hard in these two games.”
On his instructions to the team after the Morelia goal:
“If you think for a second that I am giving instructions and saying ‘possession game, this or that’, you are wrong. I think the players have to react to the situations. Obviously by the nature of the substitutions, they know what we have to do. One, one wasn’t going to do us any good. If we lost 4-1, then we lose 4-1. We had to win the game. So, we had to be very aggressive going forward. We had to try to maintain some semblance of defensive shape which at times we did not get right and Morelia had some clear chances to get the second goal. But, we had to be aggressive and the ball had to get in front of the goal. Possession is good and all but we had to go north and get close to that goal. We were fortunate at the end of the game to get some set pieces that were dangerous.”
On the fans tonight:
“The fans were terrific tonight. It was a nice setting for both teams tonight. It was nice and exciting. I think that eventually this competition is going to catch on in both countries. Right now, it is still not understood but obviously the job is years down the road to have the competition be at a higher level and be supported more and that will happen.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan
On his emotions throughout the game:
“We went from really happy with the start and the way we played, I thought we should have been up a couple of goals, and then they equalized on a bit of scrappy play and then they started to get better. They had chances to actually win the game, but I’m real proud of our guys given all the games we’ve played the last few weeks. The effort and the intensity in the last 10 minutes was great and then a great goal by Juni.”
On Juninho’s goal:
“I was just excited, man. You know, given what happened in Morelia, I thought it was a little bit unjustified, and the world has a crazy way of working out when you do things the right way. I’m proud of our guys for continuing to put in the effort and have the attitude that we can still get that goal and it paid off.”
On going to Motagua for the final game of Group A:
“We did our job, won all of our games at home now. It’s certainly not an easy task to go down there and win. Our focus will turn to Saturday (Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center), good result tonight with Chicago beating Salt Lake so that helps. If Seattle stumbles and we win we can wrap up the Supporters’ Shield and maybe we can get some rest and focus on October 20th, which is a big game for us.”
LA Galaxy Forward Mike Magee
On giving his team a 1-0 lead:
“Definitely important to get the goal. I thought we were playing well in the first half, and, you know, sometimes, those games the longer they go it favors the road team and the goal becomes a little smaller. It was great to get the goal and Juninho’s was obviously a little bit more great.”
On having to leave the game at halftime:
“My hamstring just tightened up, it was disappointing because I wanted to go on. I thought if I had a good first 25 minutes, but it was the right move.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder Juninho (translated from Spanish)
On scoring the game-winning goal…
“As you know, it’s complicated to score a goal at the end of the game, but I had patience and kept my calm, which was very important, and I give thanks to God that I was able to score that goal.”
On his emotions after the goal…
“My emotions were high and I celebrated by doing capoeira, in Brazil this is done a lot, so I’m very happy. I don’t know what I was thinking about, but I was very happy.”
LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant
On the two games between Galaxy and Morelia:
“It felt like poetic justice. Pretty ironic how it happened. It was essentially the tale of two games, and this time it worked out for us and not for them.”
On Juninho’s goal:
“We just kept battling. We didn’t know what was going to happen, but we just really put everything on the line. We were throwing guys forward at the end, leaving ourselves exposed at the back, but at that time there’s no reason not too. We just believed in it and kept going and good things happen hen you do that.”
On Mike Magee’s goal:
“I heard him. I saw Mike and I just took a chance. I saw the ball getting crossed and I saw that nobody was in the back post, so I took a chance. I had heard Mike, before it even got to me, so I kind of gave a quick peek, took a touch, and defender opened his legs and I put it through right to Mike and great finish.”
LA Galaxy Forward Chad Barrett
On the pressure from Morelia:
“They were doing a good job. We didn’t really have a whole lot of height tonight and they took Adam out and put me in but Omar was still really our only main real threat. Mike Magee is good in the air but he took an injury at halftime that was just a little tough. We knew that scoring on corner kicks was probably going to be a strong point but tonight we were going to try and score more in the run of play. But the fact that we can still get a goal from a corner kick, we have had a lot of success this year off of set pieces. Normally it is Beckham swinging in the great balls, but you know tonight it was Landon spraying in a good ball and Juni with a great finish.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder Bryan Jordan
On the game:
“We played down there and all the emotions that we had carrying into this game. I am glad that we got it done at the end.”
On Morelia’s goal:
“Their goal was a crap shoot. Positionally, we were kind of out of sorts. Then as the ball got slipped in behind I thought that I could just make a play and touch it back. It might have been too light for the keeper to have it. The defense kind of was confusing between Josh and Omar, maybe Overall, it was just an all around bad play by me, could have let it run…It is a tough one no matter how you look at it. I think that I could have done way better on it but that is how it goes and I am thankful that Juni got that one at the end.”
On two straight games with late goals:
“If you look at the team and players that we have been playing, cycling through the whole roster right now. It’s a great team atmosphere. All the guys know that each other can get it done and it is just great that we are pulling it all together and working for each other and getting the job done.”