LA Galaxy 4, Houston Dynamo 1
Friday, April 15, 2016
2016 MLS Regular Season
BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas

On the play of Giovani dos Santos:

“Obviously he played well. The first goal was a big goal. Got us back in at after conceding an early goal. Never a good way to start on the road. To get that goal back early was important. It settled our team down a little bit. Certainly the rest of the half I think we did a good job.”

On the play of A.J. DeLaGarza returning from injury:

“It’s good to get him back. Obviously we’ve been patching our lineup all year. A.J. [DeLaGarza] has been in and out. It’s nice to get him back on the field after being out two-three weeks. He did a solid job. It’s good to have him back. As we know, as we’ve already experienced, we have so many injuries during a season. Especially now, to get experienced players back on the field is important.”

On what they saw from the Dynamo’s defense:

“The way we started the game, we didn’t look like we knew anything about the Dynamo. Certainly a couple of our goals came on counter attacks and we got at them quickly. I thought our pressure in the midfield was good today. To their credit they were dangerous throughout. They had some chances. We certainly had a couple at the end of the half to maybe even get the fourth goal, and really could have put the game away but never did. The Dynamo have a good team. Tonight wasn’t their night. As we know they are going to be a good team, and a team that’s going to be fighting all season for a playoff spot.”

On the play of Steven Gerrard:

“I thought Gerrard had a really good game. I think he’s been out three weeks. Certainly there was some questions about whether we could get 90 minutes out of him tonight. It’s great to see he played 90. We also got a little bit of a break with the weather. This is like playing in the winter here, to have a night like tonight which was probably 75-80 degrees with a little humidity. I think that was a real plus for us. The field was in great shape, so the conditions were there for us to be able to play, and play well.”

On if he thinks Giovani dos Santos is at his best right now:

“No, but he’s getting there. He’s missed a fair amount of the early part of the season. He played 45 minutes in our opening game, and didn’t play again until last week. So it’s going to take some time, but he’s working hard. I think if we can get him some consistent games over the next month or two he’s going to get himself into good form.”

On how things are coming together for LA on the road so far:

“We’ve lost one game this year, and it was in the 95th minute of a 92-93 minute game. Given the circumstances I think the season’s gone okay at this point. We know we can get better. We can get ourselves a little healthier. We’re a little bit thin in a few positions right now. I think the signs are there that we’re going to be bringing a few players back in the next couple weeks, so hopefully we’ll get better. You know how it is in this league; every game is a tough game. We’ve had six games so far, three at home and three on the road. It’s never easy, but I’m please we’ve kept our heads above water. We haven’t disappeared and we have a chance to have a good season.”

On the impact of the Dynamo’s substitutes in the second half:

“That’s actually a pretty good move. It’s 4-1 at that point. Things aren’t going well. You roll the dice, which Owen did. I think they brought some energy to the team. I thought [Erick] Torres played well in his 30 minutes. I know that 33 [Leonel Miranda], and I can’t remember the other player, but I think they all did well and added a little pace to the game. They created some chances for Houston. It was actually a clever move by the manager. They almost got a goal. If it got to 4-2, maybe everyone gets a little bit nervous and it gets crazy toward the end of the game.”

On the play of Ashley Cole:

“He could get forward a little bit more, but Ashley [Cole] had a good night tonight. Ashley’s still getting his legs under him a little bit. He’s been idle for a bit. So to get his first five games, he missed the game in Colorado, he’s starting to get in pretty good form. You’re going to see as the season goes that he’s going to contribute to the attack. We’re real pleased with him. He’s an excellent player.”

On this being one of his best games in some time:

“I’m happy because the win of the team, I’m happy for me personally, because of the two goals, I worked hard today for the team and I will keep working to get better.”

On if his best is still to come:

“I feel very confident after that performance, I’ve been injured for a while so to come back and play 90 minutes and I scored two goals, so I think this is great for me.”

On playing with Gyasi Zardes but without Robbie Keane:

“Gyasi’s a great player and so it was a pleasure for me to play with him. He’s moving all over and he’s always dangerous and he always looks for me and I think we made it a great game today.”

On coming back from injury and the team’s performance:

“I think most importantly it’s about the team. We haven’t won on the road for a long time, and I said before the game we need to make that right tonight, I think we deserved three points tonight on the road. It was a great team performance, but I have to give special mention to Gio [Dos Santos], he’s been working his socks off all week and you could see the signs that it was tough for him, so coming back. Gio deserves all the credit tonight.”

On what he feels they did tonight that they hadn’t yet this season:

“Well, you know it’s very early in the season. You’re still fighting to get your match sharpness and your match fitness, I got an unfortunate injury at a bad time which was a bit of a set-back, but while I’ve been out I’ve worked so hard to maintain a certain level of fitness and I’m really happy with how I looked tonight.”

On winning away from home and a change in away-game mindset:

“That was one area that this team needed to improve, we won in Dallas away, so we proved that we can do it but it just wasn’t consistent. This year we want to prove to everyone that we’re not only a strong team, but out of StubHub Center we’re capable of showing character and fight and desire on the road, I think you’ve seen that in abundance tonight.”

On his performance with his teammates in midfield:

“It’s not just about the midfield tonight. I thought we jelled all over the pitch, I thought defensively we were very solid, especially after our setback in the first minute. We need to stop conceding goals early on in games, that’s one area that we need to improve, but tonight I think for 89 minutes after that we were superb all over the pitch, looked good and worked hard all over, and as I said we deserved the three points.”

On scoring his first goal of the season:

“Yeah, first goal of the season so it’s always nice to break the ice a little bit there. It was a well needed goal after we started as bad as you can possibly start a game, so it was good to bang one in real quick and after that to get that lead was a big motivator for us.”

On his goal specifically:

“The goal, it was coming pretty quick, so once I got it past him I had a few seconds to get to the ball and the ball came down quite nicely and I put it in. I just tried to hit it on target and into the ground, so I’ll take it.”

On the Galaxy’s recent away form:

“Yeah, what was it, August since we last won away from home? Yeah it feels good, it’s always good to perform like this on the road, and I think we surprised Houston a bit with our pressure and Houston had to start adjusting to us and we just looked to play the same way we play at home with a high press.”

On his goal:

“It felt great to score, but I give all the credit to the person who played that ball across. It was an amazing ball. I was just fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

On their away game curse possibly being broken:

“One hundred percent, we’ve been working hard this week and our coaches had a great game plan on how to come out here and execute this team, I feel like it’s the start of a new era.”

On what’s different about their approach to away games:

“We’re working together, if somebody makes a mistake we’re backing each other up, and we’re aggressive from the start, you could tell by minute one, although we suffered a goal, after that we’re pressing every single time and working for each other and when you have that type of energy and chemistry between teammates only positive things can happen.”

On the game:

“We started the game in outstanding fashion, scored a goal off of the set play. I’ve got to be honest. LA thoroughly deserved it. For me, we were a bit of a shadow of ourselves tonight, even with the early goal. I felt the goals we conceded, every one of them, were very avoidable with better pacing defensively. That’s hard to take. If somebody comes and they score good clean, wonderful team goals and they score some special goals from outside the box, then we can accept that. That’s nowhere near good enough, for the standard that we’re looking for, that we set in previous games. And that’s what happens when you perform like that, and really underperform, and that’s the truth of the matter, the other games come back to bite you in the backside because you should have already accumulated points so that when you have a really bad performance, as we had today, then you’re still, with respect of your points tally, you’re still okay. When you don’t, and we’ve given up a couple of points here and there, it can come back to haunt you and that’s what happened tonight. When it’s all said and done, I’m the head coach, I’m the one that sends them out there, I’m the one that’s responsible for that, so I’ll certainly put my hand up and take responsibility for that. Within that, I think it’s fair to say that there will be changes because I’m not accepting that. I don’t think our fans are deserving of that level of performance. And it absolutely bugs me. And I’m asking the players, when they go home tonight, do they care enough to make a difference? Because that’s what it’s got to be. They’ve got to do whatever it takes to get good results and we didn’t do enough tonight and that’s the sad thing.”

On not starting GK Tyler Deric or D Sheanon Williams:

“Obviously, when you come off of a result like that, you look and you analyze every decision. Tyler, you’re right, he’s back in respect to health and he’s done some training sessions. We’ve not been able to get a game under his belt, obviously, since preseason. But he’ll certainly be looking to prove himself, as will Sheanon. It was my decision. We’d actually played well for a long period last week, as you know, and we gave the boys a vote of confidence. I’m the one that’s responsible for that. I take full responsibility. It’s something we’ll look at. As I said earlier, we’re not, as a club, accepting that level of performance. You can lose games, we can all lose games, but it’s more because we’ve given up a couple of leads. But, there will be changes; that goes without saying. There’s other boys that are looking for a chance and we’ll give them a chance.”

On giving up goals and whether it’s the same mistake each time:

“I think it’s slightly different today. I think it was more prevalent because the two late goals. We as a group have to defend better. If we look at each and every goal, you’re probably right in your assertion that there’s been loads of individual mistakes. That’s something that the individual’s got to rectify. Or if he can’t, we’ve got to give someone else an opportunity to do that. We look as though, and we’ve proven that, we can score goals. We’re still capable of producing goals. But you’re right; we’ve got to shut the back door. That’s got to be the platform for winning games. We want to be entertaining, we want to be fun to watch but we want to be winning games. And you cannot be winning games when you’re giving up goals the way that we did tonight. It’s something we have to look at as a group, and look to get better at. We can’t look to score four goals every week to win a game. We’ve shown the standard that we can get to but it’s got to be on a consistent basis. The other games, I’ve come in and defended the players to the hilt because I think they played very well for certain periods of the game but we didn’t today. That falls on me and my staff. And that’s something we’ll look at closely and look to rectify. We need to rectify the issues that’s causing us problems at the back.”

On the changes he’ll look to make:

“I think it’s fair to say there will be changes but I learned a long time ago, because games are played on Saturdays, that you never pick your team on a Saturday night. Because you’re very emotional, you’re very raw. I’ll be honest, and I’ve said this to the boys, I’m never saying anything here that I haven’t said at halftime. If I had 11 substitutes at halftime, I would have changed them. But we gave them five minutes or so, with the intention of bringing the three boys on straight away. I know there are good players in that locker room but there’s got to be that strength of character, that mentality. We’ve conceded soft goals; nobody’s had to work us really hard for it. There’s been individual error, a mistake here and there and that softness has to be eradicated. There is a lot to be pleased about with respect to the roster that we’ve worked hard, between myself and (GM) Matt (Jordan), to put together; we know there’s good pieces there. But we need to shut the back door and stop conceding bad goals.”

On the reason for the offense’s struggles tonight:

“We still need that zip and that high energy. We had it at different times but not to the sustained level that we’ve had before. Sometimes you have six or seven players that play to that level and the others are below. (MF) Giles (Barnes), my captain, never got to his level, and none of them got to the standard that they’re capable of. And that ultimately hurts you with respect to your attack play, your offensive play, as well as your defensive play.”

On the performance of the subs, F Erick Torres in particular:

“The boys came in, I thought they brought a lot of high energy. Certainly there were some misplaced passes here and there. With Cubo (Torres), a couple times he went down in the box, I thought there actually could have been a penalty but he’s such a lad that you can see that he obviously wants to score and he stayed on his feet. He took the ball in a few times. (MF) Leonel (Miranda) always brings the energy, so does (MF) Boniek (García).  All three are good players. To be honest, the ones that we brought out, we obviously brought out because we needed the fresh change but the bigger problems, we’ve seen through the goals tonight, were from the back. Ultimately, when you’re trying to get yourself back into a game, it’s offensive pieces you change to try and get a better bit of energy going forward.”

On the game:

“We have to take accountability. It’s not good enough; we know that.  (Head coach) Owen (Coyle) said it’s his fault but it’s ours. We’re the ones that are out there. He picks the team but we’re out there. We’re the ones that are out there day in and day out to keep the shirt and with today’s performance, we don’t deserve it. We started off the game really well but we can’t keep allowing ourselves to give away silly goals. The previous results have caught up with us a little bit now but we’ll be back in tomorrow, we’ll be working hard, because we know we’ve got to get this right.”

On playing the majority of the second half:

“I felt good, I was ready to go. I was ready to make my debut here at home. Physically, I feel good. I had some scoring opportunities and unfortunately they didn’t go in. I’m glad that I accumulated more minutes on the field and although the score didn’t go in our favor we put forth a solid effort. We still need to analyze the tape.”

On his desire to play more for the club:

“That’s right. I have to move forward and now focus on the next game. We have to flip the page and look at our next opponent as soon as possible. We can’t let this hold us back, we know we have to win and we can’t lose points at home. We have to be honest, we need to change how we approach games, we have to see games out and use our home field advantage the maximum.”

On playing with MF Leonel Miranda and MF Boniek Garcia:

“They’re players that know what to do with the ball. They are game changers and I understand them well, both with and without the ball. That applies to a lot of players like Chaco (MF Cristian Maidana) and especially with Leonel Miranda and Boniek. It might be because we speak the same language and as a whole we are all adapting and doing our best to help the team succeed.”

On the game:

“Not good enough. I think the fans, the club, everybody deserves better. We need to fix it.”

On the main points that need to be fixed:

“I think we just need to get back to the basics – being loud, having that passion, working hard because in this league nothing is given. And I think it stems back down to that – hard work and grit and determination and then go from there.”

On the team’s reactions to the match:

“I think from here, we just work. We work hard in this upcoming week. We have to review what we did poorly as a group and today was a disaster in all aspects – the passes, the organization [on the field], all 11 players. It wasn’t a good game for us, but we’re in April and we can change this and we can be better for next week.”

On the fan base and how it continues growing:

“I love to play in front of the fans. They’re always cheering, always celebrating when we’re [playing well]. And this is our house, but today I’d want to pay for their tickets to today’s match because there aren’t any more words to further explain. It was a disaster and I want to thank the fans for coming, but I hope they’re with us during the bad times as well as the good times and we’ll working.”

On the game:

“We came out with the right mentality from the get-go, but we let ourselves play ourselves out of the game. I don’t think we managed the game well at all, especially after the first goal. Those were very preventable goals that we [allowed] and I think that a team of our caliber should be able to do a lot better than that. It’s just disappointing all around on a big night against a good team. It’s just sad the way it turned out.”

On how they move forward following this game:

“I think we can’t deny that everyone is working their hardest to fix what’s going on. Everybody is trying their best. At the end of the day, the coach is going to, from what he says, maybe make some changes. We’ve just got to keep working towards making something right. With saying that, everybody is putting one hundred percent in, everybody cares, everybody wants to get better. It’s just a matter of making it work, and that’s what we’re going to work on.”

On what he would say to the fans:

“We’re all in, trying to make it better. Everybody is very conscious on this team, everybody has a caring mentality and everybody wants to get better and all we can do is go back and work and that’s what we’re going to be doing.”