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Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA @ NE

LA Galaxy 1, New England Revolution 0

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.

Scoring Summary:

LA – Miguel Lopez 1 (David Beckham 7) 69’

Misconduct Summary:

LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 67’


LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; David Beckham (Michael Stephens 79’), Juninho, Landon Donovan©, Mike Magee (Chris Birchall 73’); Chad Barrett (Paolo Cardozo 62’), Miguel Lopez.

Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, Frankie Hejduk, Gregg Berhalter, Bryan Jordan.

New England Revolution: Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes; Stephen McCarthy (Zack Schilawski 74’), Shalrie Joseph©, Benny Feilhaber, Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 67’), Chris Tierney; Rajko Lekic.

Subs Not Used: Bobby Shuttlesworth, Franco Coria, Didier Domi, Pat Phelan, Alan Koger.

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez

Assistant Referees: James Conlee and Jeff Hosking

4th Official: John McCloskey


  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 8-2-5 on the season, leaving them with a league-best 29 points. LA remain in first place in the Western Conference and are now seven points ahead of second place FC Dallas, who drew 2-2 at Houston tonight.
  • The Galaxy have now won four consecutive games and are unbeaten in their last six, going 4-0-2 in those games for 14 of a possible 18 points. They are outscoring opponents 9-1 in those games.
  • Each of the Galaxy’s last three wins have been by identical 1-0 scorelines.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that beat Houston 1-0 at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday night. David Beckham, Miguel Lopez and Mike Magee all returned to the lineup, replacing Juan Pablo Angel, Chris Birchall and Michael Stephens. Birchall and Stephens began the game on the bench, while Angel was rested for the game and remained in Los Angeles.
  • In addition to Angel, the Galaxy were also without Sean Alvarado, Adam Cristman and Leonardo who are all recovering from knee surgery.
  • Miguel Lopez scored the first goal of his MLS career in the 69th minute, giving LA a 1-0 lead.
  • Lopez is the ninth different player to score for the Galaxy this season.
  • David Beckham tallied his MLS-best seventh assist on the goal. That was the second of his seven assists to come from open play. They other five came on set pieces.
  • Beckham collected his sixth yellow card of the season in the 67th minute, This was his first booking since April 13 in Toronto.
  • The Galaxy now have 20 goals on the season, with half coming from set pieces.
  • The Galaxy had 10 corner kicks in the game while not conceding any.
  • After tallying a season-high 17 shots in the 1-0 win over Houston on Wednesday, LA had 15 tonight, their second most on the year.
  • Donovan Ricketts made three saves and had two shots cleared off the line to earn his sixth clean sheet of the season and his third straight. Ricketts now has the most shutouts in MLS this season.
  • Ricketts has kept a clean sheet in six of the 11 games that he has played this year.
  • Todd Dunivant once again started and played the full 90 minutes at left back. He is the only Galaxy player to start every game this season and is the only one to play the full 90 minutes in each as well.
  • Chad Barrett and Sean Franklin each started the game as well and join Dunivant as the only three Galaxy players to have each appeared in all 15 of LA’s games this season.
  • This was the Galaxy’s seventh shutout of the season. They are now 6-0-1 when keeping a clean sheet and 7-1-3 when not allowing a first half goal.
  • With the win, the Galaxy remain unbeaten against Eastern Conference teams. They are now 5-0-5 against the East and have faced every team except for the Columbus Crew at least once.
  • This was the second and final game regular season game between LA and New England this year. The Galaxy took four points from the series with a 1-0-1 record.
  • After losing their first game in May, LA are now unbeaten in their last six, going 4-0-2 to finish the month with a 4-1-2 record.
  • Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts each played their final game with the Galaxy before joining their respective national teams for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was 21,793, which was the Revolution’s biggest crowd of the season so far.
  • The Galaxy are back in action on Friday night when they host D.C. United at The Home Depot Center. That game, which kicks off at 8 p.m. (PT), can be seen live on FOX Soccer starting with the Soccer Night in America pregame show at 7:30 p.m.

Postgame Quotes:

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena

This has been hard. It hasn’t been as hard for me as it has been on the players. It’s been difficult and to manage to pull nine points out of three games is remarkable and it’s all the credit to the players. They’ve been fabulous. We could see tonight we had a tired team and weren’t as sharp going forward but, their concentration was great and their desire to compete and win were great. (Miguel) Lopez got us a good goal and for the most part we controlled that game and give New England credit for their little surge at the end almost getting a goal back.

Well obviously we’re only losing two players right now in (Donovan) Ricketts and (Landon) Donovan and certainly (Josh) Saunders is going to get the call in the goal. With Landon, we have a combination of players we can use so we’ll make due the best we can. We’re 15 games in now. We only have four games in June, two home and two away. For us, that’s like being on vacation compared to what we’ve been through. We’ve had three weeks of three games in a week so that’s been difficult but hopefully some guys will step up and step in for Landon Donovan and Saunders is going to have the responsibility in Ricketts’ position.

I thought David (Beckham) played well. He was a little fatigued from his travel. He managed to find 90-plus minutes in a testimonial game - which shouldn’t help matters - but his ankle got tweaked a little bit. But he did a good job passing the ball and obviously a very good ball for (Miguel) Lopez’s goal.

We’ve been good all year with the exception of Salt Lake. And we’ve been a little bit unlucky; a penalty kick against us in extra time I think against D.C. United and gave away, well we didn’t give it away, but a bad play at the end of the Philadelphia game and those two plays resulted in us losing some points on the road, as well as shutouts, so we’ve been very good, I think, over the last 10 games or so defensively. We gave up four in Salt Lake and one the opening game at home with New England so we gave up five goals in our first three games and I think at this point now we’re 10 goals after 15. So, we’ve defended quite well over the last 12 games or so.

Galaxy midfielder David Beckham

No, obviously I received the ball in a good position and I obviously put the ball in a good position and without Miguel running into that front post area. He’s made my ball a good one. I think we deserved it, overall. I think we had a lot of chances, so we’re happy.

I didn’t feel fatigued at all. I’ve rested well since I’ve been back and I was ready to play and I think we proved that. I think we passed the ball around well tonight. We played the best soccer in the 90 minutes and we deserved to win.

Yeah, I had a kick against Chivas and obviously playing 90 minutes in Manchester on Wednesday, yeah I felt it a little bit. But obviously Bruce (Arena) wanted to freshen up and get some fresh legs out there and we finished the night off.

I think the only frustration on the night was probably we felt we should’ve had the game tied up before we scored because I think we created chances, we passed the ball around well and that’s the only frustration. But we knew we’d get a good chance and we’d win the game if we scored a goal. So, you know, the frustration came from that but that’s it.

Obviously a disappointment as a Man United fan, but obviously Barcelona are such a great passing team and they’re so talented. They’ve obviously got great individual players and they work great as a team and they work hard as a team. But, you know, Manchester United just came up against a very good soccer team. Obviously disappointed as a Manchester United fan, but I think as a soccer fan, a lot of people probably enjoyed the game.

No, we just wanted to win the game - simple as that. We felt, obviously, when we played New England at home that we deserved to win the game but that’s soccer, sometimes it doesn’t happen. So tonight the objective was to get the three points and we’ve had a great week. We’ve had nine points in three games so we can’t ask for much more than that.

Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez

I thought the result was great. I thought we played well. I thought we controlled the whole game except for maybe the last five minutes but I thought that we fought hard to keep the clean sheet and it’s just another great performance by our whole team.

I think it just goes to shows how hard this team works and we’re just very committed to getting the proper rest. I mean, this is the third time that we do three games in one week and I think that getting nine points in three games is just incredible for us and moving forward, it’s just a big confidence boost.

I mean, I thought the whole year we’ve done all right except for the Salt Lake game. Just as the year progresses, you’re just going to get better and better.  We keep on playing the same back five people and I think we’re doing a great job. Just the whole team stays committed from the forwards to the keeper and we’ve just been doing a great job. We just need to keep it up and look to get clean sheets because that’s what our job is as defenders and we love getting them.

Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan

It was a great result for us. We had a really challenging week, playing against a team that was rested and waiting for us. I thought our effort was great. I thought we were a little bit better and if (Matt) Reis didn’t have the night he had, maybe we would’ve scored a bit more but we’re happy with it.

It starts with, believe it or not, our forwards and the way they defend and move, our midfielders making play predicable and then our back line making plays. (Our defenders) made some big plays tonight. They hadn’t been as tested as they have in the previous two games but made the plays they needed to play. Our goalkeeping was good. It was a really good team effort.

A lot of guys made a lot of big plays. A.J. (DeLaGarza) made a big play before that. We put ourselves in positions on both sides of the field to make plays. Miguel (Lopez) made a great play to score the goal and other guys made great plays to ensure that we got the result.

(Benny Feilhaber has) been great since he got back. I followed him pretty closely. I’m very happy for him that he’s back here and playing consistently. I think that’s important. It’s going to be fun to be with him again on the national team … I didn’t see what happened to him. He was struggling coming off, so hopefully he’s ok.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol

It was definitely frustrating to come away losing one-nil. First half, I thought we did great. We made some chances but never took them. I think they had a couple of shots from distance. I think the whole game, we had shots from distance – they didn’t really make anything other than the goal. The wee guy took it well. But obviously we want to do better. One slip and we lose the game. Frustrating is definitely the word.

I think the biggest problem we have is we’re naïve. We don’t make the best decisions at time. I think that’s our biggest problem. Between the sync and the final third, we’re just that wee bit out, whether it’s a bad decision or a bad pass or a bad run. We have a real solid team. I don’t think there’s too much between the teams, to be honest, but they won. We’re just a little bit away. But it’s no good being a little bit away and losing games. We need to pick up points.

I don’t think the reasons behind us not winning tonight are any different than they were the last few games, certainly the last home games. When it gets to that critical point, we’re just not getting it done. Tonight, we had three great chances, we just didn’t quite get it done. And that kind of sums of a lot of the stuff we’re doing. Sometimes we look pretty good, but we just don’t get it done. And that’s where we are at the moment. If we could take the good stuff we did tonight and try to add to it, we always think we’ll give anyone a game – home or away. We’re never going to roll over for anybody. But we just need to get that wee bit extra that’s missing and put it right.

I think (Benny Feilhaber) rolled his ankle. It’s too early to tell you how bad or whatever.

Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney

It’s hard to tell (if the ball crossed the line). I’d have to go back and take a look at it. It was too close. I’m not sure you can call it on the fly. It’s just unlucky in the end … Zack (Schilawski) had a chance that (A.J.) DeLaGarza made a good clearance on and then it goes back out to Sainey (Nyassi). Zack hits the underside of the cross bar and Shalrie (Joseph) has a header saved off the line. We definitely had our chances, but they just didn’t go in.

I think we started really well. We had a good chance through (Zak) Boggs to start the game and I think that if we had just snuck that early goal it would have been a different game. Unfortunately, it didn’t fall for us but we created more chances against the best squad in the league than we had all year. I guess we can take that, but it still hurts.

We definitely caused them some problems, but that’s what you’d expect. We’re at home and at the end of the day we have to get the ball in the back of the net.

(David Beckham) drops off almost right on top of their back four. It’s trouble if you press them and you leave gaps, he’s got the quality to pick players out. He’s tough to deal with and there’s a reason he’s played at the highest level in Europe. He’s a great player and you saw what happens when you give him too much space. He whips in the ball and we’re down one-nil.

Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph

We had some individual good performances in our back line, even though we gave up a couple of late chances. We were unlucky tonight both ways. We just couldn’t get that bounce. We just couldn’t get that ball to go in the back of the net. We had one early chance from (Zak) Boggs and I think if that one goes in it makes it a whole different game where they have to chase it instead of us trying to push it to them so much. Mentally, we just fell asleep on that goal. We know we can’t give David (Beckham) all that time to cross balls - he just puts in great balls. He put a ball in a great area and it was a great finish. Other than that, we had a couple of chances and we just didn’t finish. The game was wide open, and it was good for neutral supporters to see the game wide open with a lot of chances in the box. We can take a lot of positives, but at the end of the day, we lose and we didn’t pick up the three points that we vitally need to move on.

I thought (the ball) was in, I swear to God. I was going to celebrate Zack (Schilawsk’s) goal. Sainey (Nyassi) played just a great ball and I thought Zack finished it. It hit the post and I was watching it in the air. I saw the other guy and I was just concentrating a little too much on him instead of the ball. I tried to get my head onto it, and I think they cleared it off the line. We were celebrating - Sainey was celebrating like it went in, but the third official said it didn’t get in. We didn’t get that break that we needed tonight.

I assume it (crossed the line), to be honest. I’m 90 percent hoping it went across the line. It was so close. I saw the net shaking. I don’t know how it was shaking and the ball didn’t hit the net. It just didn’t go in. They had one in off the crossbar that definitely didn’t go in for sure, I know that. I thought mine went in or Zack (Schilawski’s) went in for sure, so we didn’t get that break that we needed.

It’s hard to play from behind, especially for our team. Mentally, we have to stay with it for 90 minutes. When we give up that goal to start the second half and then we start pushing the tempo some more, the game was really wide open and that’s good for the neutral supporters to see such a game so wide open. Tonight we just couldn’t finish our chances. We created some chances here and there. We got a lot of players digging in and working hard. The back line was stellar for us, but we are still missing the goal scorer that we need. We got Rajko (Lekic) some chances early in the game and he was unlucky not to finish them, but we are going to have to take some positives from that and try to be better against Dallas.

If (Zak) Boggs puts that one in and Rajko (Lekic) gets his foot on one of those crosses, it makes a huge difference in the game. We don’t have to chase the game so much or take it to them, especially in the first half. It is good for the way we play at home that we try to take it to people and not sit back and allow them to play. LA is a good team and you have to tip your hat to them. They played well tonight. They got the three points that they needed and we just have to bounce back and be better next week.