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Postgame Notes & Quotes: Galaxy @ Union

Postgame Quotes

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On the game in general:
"Well it was a good win for us.  We didn’t play particularly well but a short week and travel across the country having played Sunday night made for a tough week.  Give our guys a lot of credit.  I think Donovan Ricketts had a really good game for us, I think two pretty big saves in the second half.  And I think Knighton had a great save on Donovan to keep them in the game late.  Overall, obviously not a great game by any means.  I think both teams probably struggled in the passing game tonight, but both teams have played hard, were well organized.  One of those games where we certainly know on the road we’re going to try to get off the field 1-0 if we can and we got that accomplished. 

At this point in the season where points are important for us it was a big win on the road for us.  We’re in good position with two games to go.  We’d certainly like to finish on top of the West and win the Supporters’ Shield so we have control of those things at this point.”

On the defense:
"They played well, and a couple of the good looks they had I thought Donovan Ricketts came up big for us.  I think it was one of those games where it’s just going to be one play.  Our defense played well.  I think AJ did a wonderful job in the center with Omar, Dunivant, and Franklin, and like I said Donovan Ricketts did a real good job in goal.  It was a very good defensive effort.  You know, we didn’t produce a lot going forward, but again we did enough to get the goal and keep them on their heels a bit at times.  One of those games where we’re going to take the three points on the road."

On the atmosphere:
"It was good. I’m very impressed with the stadium, I think it was well done.  It’s a great setting, I love the bridge in the background and all, but I think just a wonderful stadium.  I love the way it was designed with the suites in the one endzone and the supporters in the other endzone.  I think very well done.  And very impressed with the professionalism of the organization here in Philadelphia.  Everything was first class, they did a real good job."

On AJ DeLaGarza’s ability to play centerback: 
"I’m still concerned about his height (laughs).  He’s as smart a player as you can have.  His lack of height he makes up for with intelligence at his position. If he was playing basketball, I’d be concerned.  But you know, there are a number of very good centerbacks in the world that were his size.  Cannavaro was probably 5’8, 5’9.  Robert Ayala, the Argentine center, you know ideally if we could draw it up we’d like him to be about 6’3, 6’4 but it ain’t gonna happen.  But I think he’s invaluable to us in the fact that he can play any position in the back, and he’s pretty solid.  Obviously a game where there’s two big strong forwards, we’d probably be at a little bit of a disadvantage, but A.J. understands being good at spots and how to deal with that."

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham
On the good finish in the season:
“We finished the season really well, we then had a dry patch of results and now we are just coming out the last two weeks. We are happy tonight because we knew it would be a tough game to come to Philly and win. But we stuck together, we knew it would be tough tonight, but once we got playing we put them away.”

On today’s corner kick assist:
“I had my chance on the corner and I knew if I put it in position, it would go in. I knew that if I put it in the right area we would score.”

On your recovering in the injury thus far:
“Personally I think that I am always going to be fighting. To me, I am still going through pre-season. I am trying to get my fitness and then having certain aches and pains during games during the week.”

On the new stadium:
“It’s a great stadium and a great atmosphere. You know the way the fans are and they way people are in Philly about sports and how passionate they are. It’s been a good trip for us.”

On attending the Phillies game the night before:
“It was amazing. I have been to a couple of baseball games before but I will say that was my first baseball game that I saw a passion with the people. I was told about it and that’s why I wanted to go down and experience it. We had a team dinner at 7pm so I went down at the start of the game then for dinner and then I knew I could come back and get a couple more innings in. It was certainly a special night making history.”

LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan
On today’s outcome and thinking about a championship:
“We are playing pretty well, we need to be a little better with the ball and a little better with our chances. Overall I think we are happy especially when we are on the road.”

On the team’s strong defense thus far:
“From the day Bruce got here he set the standard high defensively and brought in a lot of guys. Our team has been very good defensively. We know every game we are going to get the chances we have been if we stay organized defensively, we are going to be tough to beat.”

On the Philadelphia team:
“It’s a fantastic sports city and when we came over we knew the team and this franchise would be a success. They are a little better on the field and headed in a good direction.”

LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle
On the goal today:
“We made several runs like that one during the game and this time we put it in.”

On the first time playing at this stadium:
“It’s great to see soccer developing in this country and to be a part of that. I have enjoyed it and the fans have been great.”

Philadelphia Union Head Coach Peter Nowak
On Fred’s status:
He got stitches.  We tried to keep him on the field but the message from the doctor’s as soon as he got off the field and it was too much time to take care of the stuff.  So it was very disappointing for Fred.  He wanted to stay in the game, but you never know what will happen.  He doesn’t have any the headaches, but its pretty deep and so he needed to come off and the doctors took care of him.  We’ll see how this is going to go, I hope he isn’t going to get any trouble with the headaches and concussions.

Was it a strong performance?
I am very proud of these boys.  Considering we played a very strong 90 minutes with the full pressure.  We never stopped, we never slowed down.  With Edson, with Donovan, and David Beckham you’ve got to consider that something will come up, but the pressure was good and we did a very good job.  I think we performed and in every department we were stronger than the LA Galaxy.  I think it seems to me there are a lot of things to be proud of, and I told them—even though they are very upset about the result, forget about moral victories, but we played very well and I think from ideas, creativity and purpose of the game—because the purpose of the game is to score a goal to win the game, but through the ideas, the movement, and the movement of the ball, every department, even the back was very clean, very sharp, and that’s one of their stronger performances.  I think it was better than Chivas except in the final third they were missing the final touch.  Sometimes you come to the position very easy, and then all of a sudden you take its chances lightly.  Except Donovan Ricketts made a very good save on Seba’s back heel, and I don’t know how he saved it, but he just-ball hit his hand and went away.  I think we played very well and we’re moving forward.  I think for this young group seeing this firsthand, to play against LA Galaxy this way as they did today, there are a lot of things to be proud of. 

• With the win, the Galaxy remain in first place in the Western Conference and all of MLS with a 17-6-5 record for 56 points. They are now five points ahead of Real Salt Lake, who play their 28th game of the season on Saturday at New York.
• Given tonight’s result, the only teams that can still catch the Galaxy in the race for the Supporters Shield are Real Salt Lake (51 points with three games left), FC Dallas (49 points with three games left) and New York (47 points with three games left).
• The 17 wins for the Galaxy set a new club record for most wins in a season since the end of the shootout following the 1999 season.
• The Galaxy remain on pace to become the third team in MLS history to record 60 points in a season. With 56 points through 28 games, the Galaxy need either two wins or a win and a draw over their final two games of the year to reach that mark. Only the 1998 Galaxy and 2005 San Jose Earthquakes recorded 60 points in a season in the history of MLS.
• Bruce Arena used the same starting XI as he had used in the 2-1 win over Chivas USA on Sunday.
• The only changes for the Galaxy came on the bench, where Leonardo returned from a quad injury while Bryan Jordan and Chris Klein returned to the 18-man squad. They replaced Yohance Marshall, who is on international duty with Trinidad & Tobago, Eddie Lewis, who is suspended after being sent off against Chivas USA and Tristan Bowen, who made the trip to Philadelphia, but did not dress.
• The Galaxy were once again without Gregg Berhalter (neck strain) and Dema Kovalenko (right adductor strain) who missed their eighth and second straight game respectively.
• Edson Buddle gave the Galaxy the lead in the 27th minute with his MLS-best 16th goal of the season. That goal sets a new career-high for Buddle, who had never scored more than 15 goals in a season before this year.
• Buddle now has three goals and an assist in two games against the Union this season after scoring two and setting up one in LA’s 3-1 win over the Union at The Home Depot Center on May 1.
• The goal also put Buddle alone in seventh place in MLS history with 89 career goals, including 41 in a Galaxy uniform, good for the fourth most in club history.
• Buddle is now three goals ahead of Juan Pablo Angel, Dwayne DeRosario and Sebastien Le Toux in the race for the MLS Budweiser Golden Boot. All three of those players have 13 goals this season.
• David Beckham assisted on the goal, sending a corner kick into the box for Buddle to head home. The assist was Beckham’s first of the season and first in a Galaxy regular season game since a 2-0 win vs. Toronto FC on September 19, 2009.
• LA now have five goals direct from a corner kick this season, with Buddle scoring three of those. The Galaxy last scored directly from a corner kick on September 4 at Chicago, with Omar Gonzalez heading home a Landon Donovan corner in the first minute of second half stoppage time.
• The Galaxy are now a perfect 16-0-0 when scoring first, making them the only team in MLS not to drop a point when scoring the game’s opening goal.
• Donovan Ricketts made three saves for the win. This was his first clean sheet since a 1-0 win at New York on August 14. Ricketts remains on pace to record the lowest single season goals against average in club history.
• With the clean sheet, Ricketts tied Kevin Hartman’s club record for shutouts in a season with 11.
• This was the Galaxy’s 12th shutout in MLS play this season, tying the club record for most shutouts by the team in a single season, a record that they set in 2009.
• Philadelphia were the 11th different team to be shutout by the Galaxy this season.
• Landon Donovan played the 230th game of his MLS career, with 141 of those coming in a Galaxy uniform.
• Jovan Kirovski entered the game in the 76th minute, replacing David Beckham. This was his 20th appearance of the season and the 160th of his MLS career.
• Juninho was not booked in the game, meaning that he is eligible to play in the Galaxy’s next game at home against Colorado on October 16. He remains one caution away from a mandatory one game suspension for yellow card accumulation.
• Bryan Jordan replaced Juninho in the 86th minute of the game, making his first appearance since the 1-1 draw at Chicago on September 4.
• This was the Galaxy’s final road game of the season. They finish the year with an MLS-best 9-3-3 record on the road for 30 of their 56 points.
• This was also the Galaxy’s final game against an Eastern Conference opposition this season. They finish the year with an 8-4-4 record against the East.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 18,779 at PPL Park, setting a new stadium record.

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Recap: Galaxy @ Union
Highlights: Galaxy 1, Union 0