Bruce Arena postgame thoughts (11/11)

CARSON, Calif. -- Below are Bruce Arena's postgame thoughts from Sunday night's 3-0 Western Conference Championshp victory over Seattle Sounders FC

ARENA: "We played very well tonight against an excellent team. We're not foolish enough to believe that this thing is over. The game in Seattle on Sunday is going to be a real difficult game. We have to have our team ready to play."

(On Christian Wilhelmsson’s play…)

ARENA: “Christian played very well tonight. The combination play between him and Beckham, Donovan, Keane, and Magee was excellent. They had a good night and they were dangerous, obviously. The goal at the end of the [first] half was certainly huge and made a big difference. Seattle pressed to get a goal, opened things up and gave some talented players a little bit of room to help us get the second and third goals.”

(On Mike Magee and Robbie Keane…)

ARENA: “hey were excellent. As I said I think the whole group tonight, this was one of those nights where every player was on form, and did an outstanding job.”

(On LA’s form over 180 minutes…)

ARENA: “90 minutes, [San Jose] doesn't count. If we could count the last 90 that would really help, but it doesn't. We have another difficult 90 ahead of us. It's going to be challenging. Yes, the 90 in San Jose was good, but tonight was more complete. We were sloppy in the last fifteen minutes in San Jose, tonight was better so that's encouraging.”

(On the secret for LA’s play…)

ARENA: “There's never any secrets, to be honest with you. I'd like to tell you we have a lot of them and we pulled them out for this; but just playing well, scoring goals, and being a lot more solid defensively. Just overall, we're playing better.”

(On not getting a fourth goal…)

ARENA:  “I certainly would have loved to have a fourth. Can't have everything in life, you know. It certainly makes it more challenging for next Sunday.”

 (On the biggest challenge in second leg…)

BA: There won't be any complacency. The challenge is Seattle. They're a very good team, that's going to be our challenge.

 (On getting the first goal…)

ARENA: “It was [crucial]. It was probably the difference in the game. It was huge.”

(On the first leg being at home…)

ARENA: “Sounds like you answered your question. How could you conclude after what you just said that it's not good. When I get fired, I'm definitely going to become a journalist. Sure sounds that way. I'll go back in the lab and try to figure it out, but it sounds pretty good. Without away goals it kind of neutralizes things a little bit, however, certainly the team in the second leg, that gets the extra thirty minutes, it's certainly to their advantage.”

(On comparing 2012 to 2011…)

ARENA: “I have no idea. I can't remember that far back, to be honest with you. I think maybe some of our guys were thinking about that up until June this year. It's a whole different season, it's a different team and a different set of circumstances so I can't compare one to the other. It's not fair and I don't think it makes sense. Every year is different and unique.”

(On Robbie Keane…)

ARENA: “I’ve said it a number of times, I think he's been simply outstanding since his return from the European Championships. One can argue that he's been the best player in the league, and unbelievably important for our team. He's been healthy, and been in just about every game since he returned. He's simply been outstanding. He’s been great.”

(On the circumstances of Wilhelmsson’s start…)

ARENA: “Due to Buddle not being available.”

(On the older players serving as leaders for younger players…)

ARENA: “I think if Keane, Beckham, and Donovan are right, and even Omar in the case of Tommy Meyer, they're outstanding role models for those guys and examples. When they're focused and their minds are right, they're great examples for any of our young players to look at and learn from and help them develop. I would say they're vitally important to the development of the young players.”

(On thinking about hosting Cup?)

ARENA:  “I'm thinking about seeing if we can get past Seattle on Sunday. If we made it to the MLS Cup, I'd be happy to be playing anywhere, whether it’s home or away. I think that would be a great accomplishment. I'm well aware of the fact that it's not going to be easy to get there. We’re going to work hard this week and try to have our team ready for a difficult game on Sunday.”