Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs PHI

LA Galaxy 1, Philadelphia Union 0

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Home Depot Center– Carson, Calif.


Scoring Summary:

LA – Leonardo 1 (David Beckham 2) 33’

Misconduct Summary:

LA – Miguel Lopez (Yellow Card) 51’

LA – Chris Birchall (Red Card) 53’

PHI – Carlos Ruiz (Yellow Card) 53’

LA – Donovan Ricketts (Yellow Card) 60’

PHI – Sheanon Williams (Yellow Card) 64’

PHI – Jordan Harvey (Yellow Card) 78’

PHI – Danny Califf (Yellow Card) 88’

LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 90’

LA – Landon Donovan (Yellow Card) 92+

PHI – Jack McInerney (Red Card) 94+


LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant; Juninho, Chris Birchall (Sent Off 53’), David Beckham (Jovan Kirovski 91+), Landon Donovan ©; Juan Pablo Angel (Chad Barrett 94+), Miguel Lopez (Bryan Jordan 57’). 

Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, A.J. DeLaGarza, Frankie Hejduk, Mike Magee.

Philadelphia Union: Faryd Mondragon ©; Jordan Harvey, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Sheanon Williams (Jack McInerney 73’); Brian Carroll, Stefani Miglioranzi, Sebastian Le Toux, Kyle Nakazawa (Roger Torres 62’); Danny Mwanga (Keon Daniel 46’), Carlos Ruiz.

Subs Not Used: Thorne Holder, Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan, Chris Agorsor.


  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 2-1-1 on the season, giving them seven points. The Galaxy are now one point ahead of Colorado and Real Salt Lake, neither of whom was in action tonight, for first place in the Western Conference.
  • The Galaxy are the first team in MLS this season to reach seven points.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to his team that lost 4-1 at Real Salt Lake last weekend. Donovan Ricketts, Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan and Miguel Lopez were each added to the starting lineup in place of Josh Saunders, A.J. DeLaGarza, Michael Stephens and Chad Barrett. Saunders, DeLaGarza and Barrett were all available on the bench, while Stephens did not dress.
  • Ricketts and Gonzalez each made their first starts of the season after missing the first three games with hamstring and shoulder injuries respectively.
  • Lopez was making the first start of his MLS career after making his MLS debut last weekend as a halftime substitute.
  • Donovan was back with the Galaxy and wearing the captain’s armband after playing a pair of games with the U.S. National Team. He played 90 minutes last Saturday against Argentina and then 90 minutes again on Tuesday against Paraguay before returning to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
  • The Galaxy were without Gregg Berhalter, Adam Cristman and Hector Jimenez, who all missed the game through injury.
  • Leonardo gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute, heading home a David Beckham freekick.
  • That goal was the first of Leonardo’s Galaxy career, coming in his 14th game for the club.
  • The goal was also the first allowed by the Union this season.
  • This was the first time this season that the Galaxy led at halftime. They were tied at the half of two of their three games this season and behind in the other.
  • The Galaxy were reduced to 10-men in the 53rd minute when Chris Birchall was sent of for an incident with the Union’s Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz was shown a yellow card by referee Paul Ward.
  • This was the first red card for a Galaxy player this season and the first of Birchall’s MLS career.
  • Donovan Ricketts did not need to make a save to keep his first clean sheet of the season. The Galaxy now have two shutouts in their four games this season.
  • Donovan Ricketts has now kept a clean sheet in his first start of the year in each of his three seasons in MLS.
  • Tonight’s game was the Galaxy’s first home shutout in the league since May 15, 2010. They had allowed at least one goal in their last 11 home regular season league games.
  • Referee Paul Ward showed a total of eight yellow cards, four to each team, in the game, in addition to his red cards to Birchall and McInerney.
  • The Galaxy are now a perfect 3-0-0 all-time against Philadelphia, including 2-0-0 at The Home Depot Center after winning 3-1 in this game last season.
  • The Union were the fourth straight team that the Galaxy
  • The attendance for today’s game was 24,998.
  • The Galaxy are back in action next Saturday, April 9 in the first game of a three-game road trip when they take on D.C. United at RFK Stadium. That game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. and can be seen live on FOX Sports West starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 4 p.m.

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena:
“Well, I think we clearly earned the three points. We had a good goal in the first half and some good chances in the second half. It is very difficult playing with ten players for 35 minutes. I think our team responded pretty well. The three points is big, and I think we are the only team that got three points today, so after four games we have seven points. Not exactly where we want to be, but it is not the worst.”

On the number of cards issued:
“It wasn’t a game that demanded a lot of cards. I don’t think the referee had good judgment tonight in terms of how he issued cards. I don’t think any of the red cards were warranted. This is what we have to deal with. I think maybe Birchall could have responded to the situation better. I really haven’t seen it, but I don’t think the red card was warranted.”

On the play of David Beckham:
“I think David played well tonight. I think we are getting him back in the kind of form he needs to be in, in terms of his fitness. We played him centrally tonight, and he did a good job. He helps our passing, and I was pretty impressed with his effort tonight. It was much improved from the first three games. I think our experienced guys did a good job in the second half, understanding what needed to be done to get the three points. Landon played very well. His experience and David’s, and Juan’s played a factor in this game.

On playing David Beckham in the central midfield:
“I think getting him more involved and giving him more responsibility. He is obviously a player with quality and experience and we should throw him right in the middle of everything, and give him that kind of responsibility which certainly he can deal with. Tonight, he demonstrated that. He has a good game.”

On the play of Miguel Lopez:
“I thought he played well. When we went down to ten players, we had to make a change and we took Miguel out because of that and plus the fact that he had a yellow card. I thought he showed pretty well.”

On the play of Omar Gonzalez and Donovan Ricketts:
“I thought they played well. We like to think we have a deep team, but it is hard to replace your top players. We have been without some of them for a number of games. I think you see a little bit of a difference with Omar and Donovan. I thought tonight, for their first game back, they played well.”

On the defensive effort:
“I think for the night, we played very well. Philadelphia didn’t get many good chances. I thought we had a number of decent chances. I think the defensive effort was good, certainly. It would have been nice to get the second goal. We had the chance in the beginning of the half, and obviously we had the chance with Angel later in the game. Overall, the backline played very well. It was a good game. We just have to deal with those kind of circumstances, and be an experienced team, and get the three points and get out of here.”

On coming back from injury:
I was in no rush. Josh [Saunders] is a good goalkeeper. He did his thing, and I took my time to come back.

On the defense:
They played pretty solid. I didn’t have much to do. They mopped up whatever came through. They were pretty solid. It wasn’t only the back four. We played well in the midfield. It was a team effort. I like nights like this. I just try to talk to the back four, yell at the midfield, so I can keep in touch with the game, so I don’t fall asleep.

On the defense:
We tried to stay packed, tight. We did a good job clearing everything out.

On the way the team bounced back from last weekend’s loss:
It’s still the beginning of the season. Things happen and I’m just happy we were able to respond the right way. Practice was great the whole week to get our mind set to come in and get a win. That’s just what a good team does.

On his shot on goal:
I just opened up free and the ball was great. It was a great cross in from David [Beckham]. I tried to get up as high as I could. I just couldn’t snap down. It was a great chance and it was unlucky that I missed it.

On the team’s performance:
The performance tonight was more important that anything else. We wanted the three points of course, but after the embarrassment of last week our performance was the important thing. We came out in the start of the game better than last week, and we needed that. We needed a good start to the game. We started with a hard tempo and continued that, even when we went down to 10 men. We needed to show even more character, and I think we did that.

On playing in the central midfield:
Bruce just said to me, “Do you want to try something different?” And, we did. I think it worked well tonight. We kept the ball well; we passed the ball well. We created chances. I’ve played that position a number of times before…with Man United, Real Madrid, so I know I can play that position.  

On team’s performance:
When you give up that many goals, something’s wrong. I didn’t watch the game, but I did watch the highlights. Certainly we weren’t good in a lot of aspects. It was a starting point during the week. And then it was down to individual effort. Guys made plays. Guys were tuned in for 90 minutes. We didn’t give up a shot on goal, which was really good.

On putting pressure on the Union:
We did a good job, even when we were a man down, of getting out of our half and putting them under some pressure. There were parts of the second half that I felt that they had a lot of the ball, but we felt comfortable and we had some chances. To be honest, we probably should have scored of couple more goals. 

On Scoring:
“I’m very happy tonight.  I scored my first goal which was dedicated to my mom because it’s her birthday and for getting to start tonight.  The most important thing though is the three points we earned.”

On First Start as a Central Defender
“In the past I have been injured on and off and I am happy to be back and playing that position.  Everyone congratulated me after the game but I need to keep improving and not get complacent.  I will keep working and working to improve.”

On the Form of the Team after a Few Games:
“The work in the midfield was excellent but there are things that we need to improve.  We need to keep working to fix some small details because we have a long road ahead of us.  I believe that we have a team that can battle to the end this season.”

On First Start as an LA Galaxy Player:
“I have my first game in the starting 11 under my belt and now I feel more relaxed and I’m really looking forward to the next game.”

On Working to Stay in the Starting 11:
“I need to make progress day by day and continue to improve to be ready for the weekend and play among the starting players.”

Philadelphia Union Head Coach Peter Nowak:
On the match:
“I would say that in close games, you have to be focused for 90 minutes. You are going a certain amount of free kicks coming your way, and you have to be ready for it. We made one mistake and then the game didn’t go the way we wished. Overall, it was a competitive game. I think the level of energy from our side was not as I wished it to be. We had a couple of chances to put the ball through and I think we missed the final pass, which was likely our deficiency. I think we have to work on that. We have a busy week, so it is not the time for us to put our heads down. We will have more of these games in the future, so we have to be ready for them.”

On Philadelphia’s effort:
We still have a couple of guys who aren’t 100 percent fit. If you miss practice here and there, then sometimes the understanding is not as it should be. As I said, we have a busy week, so we need to get those guys back, and the last thing you want after a game like that it to have our heads down. I believe that we have been through this last year when we had a couple of away games that weren’t good for us and the last thing you want to have is pointing fingers. After the last game in Vancouver, having two wins is nice. If you are not going to work the way you did before, and you don’t recognize the level of intensity and physicality of the game, then it is going to be difficult. I think we find a good understanding that in games like that, we have to raise our level of physicality and intensity, and then from this point we can be a good team. It is three weeks in the season, and this is the last thing you want, to believe we are already there because we are not.”

Philadelphia Union Goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon (Translated from Spanish
On the referee:
He made mistakes for each side. I don’t think he influenced the game that much

On David Beckham:
David [Beckham] is a player who can kick the ball very well. He has the ability to shoot the ball to where he wants and is also able to be dangerous on set plays.

On Juan Pablo Angel:
He is trying to get back into shape. Tonight we saw that he is a dangerous player. He had a couple of chances to score tonight and we were fortunate that he didn’t score tonight. He is a player that is always dangerous. 

Philadelphia Union Forward Carlos Ruiz
On the team’s performance:
We didn’t play well in he first half.  In the second half we obviously played better because they played with 10 men but we didn’t find the space to try and score. I think we played too many long balls and that was easy for them because everybody was defending. We lost but we are going to keep going forward.

On playing with a man advantage:
I think we have enough players to play good soccer. In that moment we just tried to go forward. That is why we sent a lot of long balls. I think this was good for us because we can learn from this game and try to avoid making those same mistakes.

Philadelphia Union Defender Danny Califf
On tonight’s game:
I think don’t there was enough rhythm with the play from us. I think from both sides it was a pretty physical match and things got a little chippie. We weren’t sharp and it showed. The Galaxy put in a couple of really good set pieces and got a good goal on a set piece. They defended really well and we couldn’t figure out how to break them down.

On the team’s performance:
We would have liked to, with a man advantage, be a little bit sharper in the final third of the field. I think we were lacking the final pass a lot of the times. I think sometimes our play out of the back was a little too slow so it didn’t allow the guys in the front the time to complete some of the combinations.