Bruce Arena Tijuana

On tonight's 4-2 loss:

“It wasn’t our intention to make this game entertaining but it certainly became an entertaining game. Our first half play was awful right from the start. We understood the conditions, the field was going to make the game hectic, make the ball bounce around and spin and all that. Right from the start we conceded a goal in the first minute, very disappointing, and it took our team 30 minutes to get into the game and we positioned ourselves in the second half to advance. We got another goal and conceded the fourth. The game was 90 minutes but certainly the first 45 minutes put us in a hole.”

On both teams’ overall performance:

“I think they were good. The way we played, they couldn’t beat that. We didn’t win a tackle, our backline was very poor. Let’s be fair, we weren’t good. How good they were I don’t know. They were certainly better than we were.”

On Rob Friend’s performance in the second half after coming on for Samuel:

“We had to be more direct, no question about it. He gave us that and he was the presence and engaged Landon [Donovan] and Robbie [Keane] a little bit more with his presence there. And I thought Samuel had a very good first half.”      

On whether the team was shell shocked:

“It’s hard to explain. I don’t know what happened to be honest. We seemed ready, we seemed prepared and we spoke about how we wanted to approach the game, but then one ball bounce around in the box and we weren’t alert, then the next thing you know, we were down a goal. Then we didn’t pay well and we’re okay for a minutes, but they got the second goal and it became more and more difficult. It took us till halftime to recuperate and get ourselves going again. We gave it a good effort, but it wasn’t enough.”

On team fighting back in the second half:

“When you start a game like that then you don’t deserve it. We lost the game in the first 25 minutes, we know that. It’s disappointing because we know what we’re capable of, we showed what we’re capable of, but unfortunately for us, we were a little naïve and it showed.”

On the play of Rob Friend:

“I thought that this would be a game where Rob would be effective in. It was good for him to get on the field at halftime, it gave us an outlet and we needed an outlet with the pressure that they were going to put on us, and it proved to be true. He did a great job of causing foul, getting some knock down and getting some chances.”

On Tijuana throwing numbers in midfield:

“They played four guys centrally and made it very difficult, plus then when Benedetto comes centrally as well, it makes it difficult. It took us too long to figure that out tactically. We did a better job in the second half, but it was a little too late.”

On whether the occasion was too great for the Galaxy players:

“I think that you see the difference in the leagues in nights like tonight. We’ve got about eight who are mature and know how these games are while they’ve got 20 guys who know how these games go. That’s the difference in the payrolls and that’s where it is going to be difficult to make that next step until we get on equal terms where we can have the type of players that know how to play in these games.”

On tonight's 4-2 loss:

“Obviously going down three nothing in the first half was a big hole to get out of but I think we showed a bit of character trying to fight back there and we were a goal away from advancing. I think that after being down we can have our heads up high with the second half’s performance. We can’t let up goals as easily as we did today. We need to learn from some of the mistakes we made and move on.”

On what was talked about in the locker room at half time:

"We had to dig dip, we had to show some character. You are never down and especially when you are away like this, all we had to do was get two goals and we were back in the game and we would have advanced. I think that last goal kind of killed us but we still showed and I think that if we would have played ten more minutes in that game we could have got a result. I think Tijuana was happy that the game ended when it did because we were pressuring them and I don’t think they could have handled us at the end there."

On the team giving up two goals in the first ten minutes:

"The game plan wasn’t to let two goals in the first ten minutes, so it’s a different game plan after that. I give credit to them, they came out flying, and they know how to play on their pitch. With the artificial grass there playing balls in behind us and the ball was sticking and they were getting to it first. We came out sleeping a little bit but I think that what’s positive is that we showed some character in the second half.”

On the artificial turf:

"I think that we weren’t expecting it. They knew exactly how to play on their turf today. They were playing in behind us and the ball stuck perfectly and they were getting to every ball in behind us and I think that going in to that, knowing how they played we could have had a different game plan. But that being said, it was always going to be a tough game but we had some positives in the second half."

On the team’s performance in the second half::

"Playing against them we had to use our advantage and putting me up front, playing more direct, getting fouls, getting a little bit dirty, we had to play that way. Sometimes you need to play a little bit ugly and more direct and if you get a result, and I think if we played another ten more minutes that way we would have scored another goal and advanced."

On his performance during the second half:

“Personally it is nice to get a half into my belt, it’s been a while. There was a lot of positives I think, and we can move on to the next game, learn from our mistakes and learn  from our positives in the second half.”

On the team’s poor first half:

“The game was over in the first 10 minutes. It’s as simple as that. We started off slow and when you concede a goal in the space of 57 seconds; you can’t start away from home like that especially in a game like this and go on and expect that everything is going to be okay.”

On the team fighting back:

“We only really got back into the game in the last 10 minutes of the first half then in the second half, we dominated. Then we conceded the fourth goal and it was an uphill task to get another two. We showed a lot of character in the second half which is a positive. But certainly, the goals that we conceded and the mistakes that we made cost us. We can’t come to Mexico and expect an easy ride because all the games are going to be difficult.”

On tonight’s game:

“In the start of the game we were 1-0, we scored the second goal soon after and after that we kept the series on our side. We saw a team that played well in the first half. Today we were able to score easily. It was a series that we eventually were able to turn in our favor. What we saw in Los Angeles last week is not what really happened on the field. The level and category the Galaxy players have is beyond doubt. In the second half they scored a goal that gave them hope. However Xolos had stability. They were not focused at some point but knowing that Galaxy were not going to play this weekend and with the experience of their players and coaches, we knew we had to make important decisions in order to advance in this competition. That is why we decided to play an alternative lineup in Mexico City against Cruz Azul over the weekend.”

On the four goals:

“The goals were a huge for us. We had talked about the plays and in the first minutes the players were infected from the fan’s joy and excitement. The team is learning how to defend well, even beyond the goals that were scored against us. Xolos showed they are a great collective team throughout the 180 minutes of play but it’s clear that we still have things to work on and we will focus on that.”          

On the play of Jaimen Ayovi and Dario Benedetto:

“It seems like they are giving us results. They have showed that they are compatible and know how to play together and hopefully we will be able to continue to grow and develop their goal scoring capabilities.”

On the possible semifinal opponent:

“It doesn’t matter. We will take who ever we get. It’s going to be quality competition, we are excited for this. I think we have done something special tonight. At the start of the game there weren’t too many people in the stands and eventually there were a lot of people. It was exciting to see so many people are behind us.”

On the rivalry between LA Galaxy and Club Tijuana:

“Let’s be honest, you guys want it to be a rivalry, the owners want it to be a rivalry. We are two games in but I had just posted on my social media; It’s the start of something special and it will be very fun and special in years to come.”

On the team’s performance:

“I think they thought it was going to be an easier game for them and it was good for us to come out with all that energy in the first half and I think that’s what gave us the win.”