LA Galaxy

Photo Gallery: Zlatan Ibrahimovic winner helps LA Galaxy defeat Chicago Fire 2-1


[Translated from Spanish]

On the importance of winning the season opener:

“To be honest, it is a great feeling to have won, and slowly begin to build confidence, the fans, the team, the players, I think that is very good.”

On Efrain Alvarez’s style of play and his similarities to Edwin Cardona:

“I feel that he is a very good player. He has similarities to [Edwin] Cardona, but Cardona is already an experienced player and Efrain [ Alvarez] is only 16 years old. They have similar styles of play in the way they strike the ball, on the evolution of the game itself and the roles they play. In all honesty, it’s very good. Physically, they do have similarities.”

On his plans with Efrain Alvarez:

“The plan, at times, is not easy because many times the team has its needs, and the growth of a player has it’s own. But we are going to work throughout the week and every day to give Efrain [Alvarez] the possibility to grow, give the team a possibility to have a player like Efrain [Alvarez] and for the team not to drawback from having to help Efrain [Alvarez] grow because he is 16 years old, but for it to be a situation where the team, just like Efrain [Alvarez], can benefit from each other.”

On main takeaways from today’s game:

“Today’s win is very good for our confidence. And also if you review the game we did what I like and what we are working towards – creating the plays, building on the attack, creating chances on goal. In other parts of the game that was not the case. I believe that we were okay and maybe we didn’t have the same level of play and intensity for the full 90 minutes but we did on many occasions and maybe the challenge now as we play more games is that we create those situations more during games and that we play on the opposing times half of the field longer.”

On the fans support tonight:

“It was very good. The fans cheered and supported throughout the whole game. It’s a great joy to be able to have these fans every game and I hope that our next home game against [Minnesota] at home we are able to fill the stadium and make it a fortress.”

On Efrain Alvarez’s influence on the game:

“Efra, he had a good game. He’s full of confidence. But, he’s only 16-years-old, you forget his age. I said yesterday when I was talking to the media, I think he’s the best talent in MLS by far. The club, the team, the coach have to take care of him in the right way. He needs to work hard. He needs to focus and don’t lose the focus because of the hype, just continue to work. The [club] can help him a lot just like the team because he’s young, he’s talented and it’s easy to lose focus. He’s a good kid. He works hard and he listens.”

On the new season:

“I think the three points is what we wanted, but it’s the first game. We get a quick injury from Romain and I had something after 10 years I had to work with the whole game. Other players are not 100 percent. This is the season, the season started now. We have to work. Not everything is 100 percent in the beginning, so slowly we will get to where we want, but we worked hard and the three points today is massive.”

On the goal:

“I was unlucky with the situation before, but I chased it. I think the goalkeeper made a good save or I did a bad finish, you judge that but it came afterwards. I think Chris did a fantastic action. I knew he would hit the post and it would bounce straight to me.”

On Giovani dos Santos:

“I think it’s personal matters and I don’t interfere with that. I haven’t spoken to him because he hasn’t been here since it happened. Whatever he thinks, whatever he wants I don’t know. I think he had a good opportunity to stay and help the team to get 100 percent physical and to prove himself. I feel a little sorry about the situation because with him, for example, today we would be a different story. We need all of the quality players we had and we don’t have him. Whatever happened is a personal matter and I don’t know what happened.”

On Przemyslaw Frankowski:

"He was fantastic. I think same as the whole team until we conceded the first goal. I think the performance of the team, the plan worked perfectly. We controlled the game, created bunch of opportunities, clear opportunities. I think if we play like this every game, definitely we have to fix some issues in defense especially in the last minutes of the game when the opponent is also pushing and fighting for their result. If we play like this I think we are going to have a lot of good games and wins and we are going to be successful again. I am very happy with the performance. I want to encourage our players to continue believing in what we are doing because they are actually doing great and be patient. I am sure that we are not only going to play but win game" 

On the team's newcomers:

"I think the newcomers fit in the philosophy, in the spirit that we have and in the way we want to play soccer. I am very happy with our performance I think they bring solidness, they bring maturity, experience but also they bring energy and freshness to our team."

On C.J. Sapong:

"C.J. was also good. I think he didn't participate too much but he helped the team because he was holding two center backs and because of that we had superiority in the midfield and also other things we did. We took control of the game and of the ball, that helped, that is how he helped, obviously with a goal. He was opportunistic there, he was ready, he was smart and he did what every striker does he was hidden in the skin of a sheep and then when he found the ball there in front he converted into a lion which is what he is. I am very happy with his performance too."

On his performance:

"It's good to get on the field for the first time with the guys. This week was just about assimilating with the group and learning everybody's tendencies. I felt good on the field I felt like we had a lot of ways to attack and at the end of the day it just comes down to the final execution. It sucks when you come off the field and have no points but you know there is a good feeling that we are getting ourselves in those positions. It is just about finishing and having that killer instinct in front of the goal."

On scoring a goal tonight:

"It was a gift from the soccer gods, definitely appreciated it. This last week has been very quick, it has been a whirlwind but when I got on the field I felt calm, a little bit at peace and I am very thankful for the guys for helping me out and communicating on a whole other level. I got a goal on my debut but I would like to have three points as well but again more motivation to keep grinding and I do feel I could give more to this team."