HIGHLIGHTS: LA Galaxy at Columbus Crew | June 13, 2015

Postgame Quote Sheet
LA Galaxy 1, Columbus Crew SC 1
Saturday, June 13, 2015 – 4:30 p.m. PT
MLS Regular Season
MAPFRE Stadium - Columbus, Ohio

On LA Galaxy’s performance tonight:

“It was a good result. Our team played well tonight. Not an easy game, another game on the road, with a weather delay and that’s hard on the players. We lost a couple players with some muscle injuries due to the delay and all of that. So it wasn’t easy, I give our guys a lot of credit. They played hard and to get a point on the road is always good.”

On LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget’s performance:

“He played very well tonight. It was a very impressive showing on his part. He did a good job, held the ball up, his passing was good, get out of tight spaces. He did a good job.”

On the change in energy levels between the two halves:

“Our team did a good job on the night. Never easy, difficult conditions, difficult with the delay. It makes the game difficult to play teams for sure, but certainly as the visiting team it is not easy.”

On how the weather delay affected the players:

“You don’t know when you’re starting, you don’t know. We scrambled around and in the last second we figured out a starting time and the players had fifteen minutes to get ready. That’s about it. We thought the game might have been postponed, actually.”

On keeping a tight defensive structure against Columbus Crew SC:

“It’s important in any game. Defensively, we did a pretty good job. Give [Crew SC] credit, they scored a good goal.”

On his first Galaxy start:

“I was very excited. It was not where I wanted to be just yet, but I’m getting there. I’ve been working so hard, so I was prepared.”

On the goal he scored:

“To be honest, I don’t know how the ball got there, I just know that I turned and I finished. It just happened so quick. I know that is funny to say, but ail I know is that I turned and I finished it.”

On if this was an opportunity to show other MLS teams what he can do:

“Yeah, definitely. I’ve been ready for this chance and I’m always grateful for this club, and especially Bruce [Arena], for giving me this chance. Hopefully, I can keep starting and working with my teammates to get goals.”

On returning from international duty in such a short period of time:

“It was different being in different time zones – the later it is the worse. But I was glad I was able to come on the field for thirty or twenty-five minutes. It was wonderful to be back on the field with my team.”

On a quality scoring chance late in the second half:

“I took on a defender and I tried to find [Stefan] Ishizaki running far post. I just try to link up with my teammates as much as possible and I try to be as effective as possible. Those guys, they play their hearts out, my teammates, and I know that they were pretty tired at the end of the game.”

On his overall physical status:

“We have Open Cup this Wednesday and I want to do as best I can to prepare. I really want to win Open Cup, it’s a personal goal of mine. I want to sleep as much as I can and try to get acclimated to the time.”

On the difference in play in the second half

“Movement. It was movement. I want to start by saying I’m proud of the guys. I think that you don’t come into the game very well and you’re sitting around all night and you still find a way to claw back into the game, and then in the meantime, play some decent football. I’m talking about the second half. First half we weren’t in rhythm and it wasn’t quick enough movement. They were pressing us; they were doing a good job. But, we can be better than that, we know that. We deserved to go 1-0 down.”

On how the team responded after the weather delay

“In general, like I said, I’m proud of the guys. After a sluggish start, we came back into the game. They showed character. It’s not easy when you’re not having the best night, it’s not easy to keep going and improve and get better. You can make an excuse, you can mail it in, you can say it’s not my day and we didn’t do that. Guys hung in there, they kept wanting to get the ball and they kept pushing and we got the goal. I’m proud of them for that.”

On the change on the right side with Finlay

“What I would say, if you look at [Baggio] Husidic, [Robbie] Rogers, and then Leonardo, the left centerback, they did a good job of solving that problem. We were too slow to react to it, we were too slow to move the ball into those spaces that could really hurt them. The second half, we moved it a lot faster, the timing of the runs were better, the space was more open and we got a couple of really nice moves down that flank.”

On where Columbus Crew SC is offensively

“I think obviously there was a step back in this game in terms of production. But, look at their team, they’ve got a National Team defender (Omar Gonzalez), one of the best defenders in MLS, they got, Leonardo’s a very experienced centerback, Robbie Rogers in the National Team, Dan Gargan, a very experienced guy. So, it was a tough defense to break. They were playing conservative in the second half, they were sitting back and it wasn’t easy. I think we created enough chances to get two goals in that game and unfortunately we didn’t.”

On Justin Meram playing a full game after his Thursday international appearance in Japan

“I had a conversation with Justin when he arrived. You guys should know that he arrived around 6:30 last night. His game time was Thursday morning at 7:00 our time. I mean, think about that. We had a conversation, he told me he’s ready to go, and I trusted him. I think that he showed why he was so confident tonight; he was really good. He never gave up; he kept going. You have to applaud a guy like that.”

On Federico Higuain and Ethan Finlay’s performances

“Ethan got into the game. It was something where [his level of play] from the beginning wasn’t there, but he kept going and when you have that much determination, you are going to get a breakthrough and he did. And Federico, we talk a lot about him, you guys know how important he is to our group and we need him to get on the ball, we need him to keep moving and create and he did that tonight.”

On being able to respond to tonight’s one goal deficit

“I don’t know, I think it was determination. I think the guys had it set in their minds that they were going to turn the game around and at halftime, we knew. They were determined, we knew they were going to get back into this game and they did a good job of that. Like I said, it was a strange night for both teams. You go from a full house, plus extra seating, to whatever the fans who stayed around were and it wasn’t easy, but the guys did a good job.”

On if he can point to quicker ball movement as a key for what the team needs to do going forward

“[The team] knows that. That is how we play, they know it. It is just a matter of doing it. It is a matter of having the confidence and the determination to do it. You saw when we moved the ball quickly how nice it can be and we just have to keep going. I really see this as a positive step for this group, because it wasn’t easy.”

On how Crew SC was able to find some success in the second half

“It’s just about moving, it is about movement. When we are static, we are very easy to play against. You saw the first half, particularly the first fifteen minutes, we were very static. As soon as we start moving, it becomes very difficult to play against. I have examples in the second half, where Waylon [Francis] is coming to the side, Federico [Higuain] is going wide, Justin [Meram] is going high and if you watch their defense, what they’re doing, they are all over the place. So I think that it is not easy to play against if there is a lot of movement.”

On the weather delay (pregame on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel)

“[The safety of our fans] is our number one priority. When we prepared for this match earlier in the week, we kept an eye on weather. The early forecast had weather tonight, so we’ve been in preparation mode. When the storm cells began to move very close, we followed MLS protocol. We safely moved our guests into the upper and lower concourses and we waited out the storm.”

On the weather delay’s impact on the match

“It affected both teams. It was a long break. I thought we had the right attitude going out. Their press was pretty successful against us in the first half. We knew that as the game wore on that they would drop off. They couldn’t keep it for the full 90 and that was a result of us trying to move the ball and wearing them down and then things opened up a little bit.”

On what changed after the first 15 minutes of the match

“Just sticking to it, keep moving the ball. We were trying to press them as soon as we lost the ball, making it easier for us in the back. We’ve talked about being patient and sticking to the game plan and I thought we were able to do that tonight, even after going down 1-0.”

On waiting and wondering when the match was going to start

“It impacts it. We didn’t know if we were going to play the game tonight. We were all hanging around, starting to talk about the game tomorrow, and then all of a sudden they say 10 minutes and we’re on the field. It was difficult, but both teams had to deal with it.”

On the weather delay’s impact on the match

“I felt good energy. I thought that we were fine. No one was really affected, I don’t think, by the weather.”

On what changed after the first 15 minutes of the match

“I wish I knew, you know? It was a good battling performance from us. A lot of guys were getting dug in. We’re a tough group. You saw a lot of character today. That’s good from us.”

On Crew SC’s ability to recover from going down 0-1

“We talked about it, we said ‘we’re not getting out of here with no points.’ We have to stop digging ourselves into holes. A lot of that is on me and the way that we defend. It was great for us to come out [of the deficit].”

On the fan support that stuck out through the delay

“It’s amazing, you know? Amazing. That’s all that I can say. When I came out I was blown away. Congrats to them. We feel their support.”