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Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA @ COL

LA Galaxy 3, Colorado Rapids 1

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colo.


Scoring Summary:

LA – Own Goal (Drew Moor) 25’

LA – Juninho 3 (Unassisted) 42’

COL – Conor Casey 3 (Unassisted) 64’

LA – Chad Barrett 4 (Todd Dunivant 3) 80’

Misconduct Summary:

COL – Sanna Nyassi (Yellow Card) 36’

COL – Caleb Folan (Red Card) 74’

COL – Pablo Mastroeni (Yellow Card) 81’


LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza (Gregg Berhalter 83’), Todd Dunivant©; Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 81’), Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall, Mike Magee; Miguel Lopez (Chad Barrett 61’), Juan Pablo Angel. 

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Frankie Hejduk, Bryan Jordan, Paolo Cardozo.

Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens; Kosuke Kimura, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Danny Earls; Pablo Mastroeni©, Jeff Larentowicz, Sanna Nyassi (Omar Cummings 46’), Wells Thompson (Quincy Amarikwa 85’); Conor Casey, Caleb Folan.

Subs Not Used: Steward Ceus, Scott Palguta, Anthony Wallace, Ross LaBauex, Andre Akpan.

Referee: Hilario Grajeda

Referee’s Assistants Bill Dittmar and Mike Rottersman

4th Official: Daniel Fitzgerald



  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 9-2-7 on the season, leaving them with a league-best 34 points. LA remain in first place in the Western Conference and are now nine points ahead of second place Seattle, who beat Toronto FC 1-0 earlier today, and FC Dallas, who are away to Chivas USA later tonight.
  • The Galaxy are now unbeaten in their last nine games, going 5-0-4 in those contests for 19 of a possible 27 points.
  • The nine-game unbeaten streak is tied for the longest in MLS this season. The Rapids also had a nine-game unbeaten streak, but that was snapped with tonight’s loss to LA.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Toronto FC last weekend at The Home Depot Center. Juninho and Mike Magee each returned to the starting XI in place of Chad Barrett and David Beckham. Juninho missed the draw with Toronto in order to return to Brazil to be married, while Magee came on as a second half substitute. After starting the last six games, Barrett began the game on the bench while Beckham remained in Los Angeles because of back spasms.
  • In addition to Beckham, the Galaxy were also without Sean Alvarado and Leonardo who are each recovering from knee surgery.
  • With Beckham unavailable and Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts each participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Todd Dunivant wore the captain’s armband for the first time this season and the first time in his Galaxy career.
  • Dunivant is the Galaxy’s fourth different captain this season. The club is now 1-0-0 with Dunivant as captain, 1-0-0 with Ricketts as captain, 0-1-4 with Beckham as captain and 7-1-3 with Donovan as the captain.
  • The Galaxy took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute on an own goal by Drew Moor. Chris Birchall got in behind the Colorado defense on the right wing and sent a low cross in to the box that Moor deflected past Matt Pickens and into the net.
  • The Colorado own goal was the first scored for the Galaxy since July 4, 2010 in a 3-1 home win over Seattle.
  • The last time LA and Colorado met, the Galaxy had an own goal scored on them by Edson Buddle in the Rapids’ 3-1 road win at The Home Depot Center.
  • This was the fifth time in the last six games that the Galaxy took a 1-0 lead. The only time that they did not in that time was the 0-0 draw with D.C. United on June 3.
  • Juninho doubled the LA lead in the 42nd minute with his third goal of the season.
  • That goal was Juninho’s first since LA’s home opener on March 20.
  • All three of Juninho’s goals this season have come from outside the box.
  • Conor Casey cut the lead LA lead to 2-1 in the 64th minute. In two career games against Josh Saunders, Casey has four goals.
  • The Rapids were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when Caleb Folan was sent off for a foul on Juninho. Juninho was able to return to the game but exited seven minutes later.
  • Folan was the third player to be sent off against the Galaxy this season.
  • Chad Barrett scored his fourth goal of the season in the 80th minute, tapping home a Todd Dunivant cross to make the score 3-1. He is now second on the team in goals behind Landon Donovan’s eight.
  • Barrett’s goal was the first that the Galaxy had scored after an opposing player had been sent off. That goal was the first by a Galaxy player that did not start the game since Juan Pablo Angel scored in the second half of the 4-1 home win over Sporting Kansas City on May 14.
  • Dunivant’s assist was his third of the season, the most since his rookie season in 2003.
  • Gregg Berhalter entered the game in the 83rd minute to make his 2011 debut. He had been on the bench for each of the last seven games but had not played.
  • He replaced A.J. DeLaGarza, marking the first substitution of a Galaxy defender since April 17 in Chicago.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, the Galaxy had not scored two goals in the first half of a game since doing so against Portland on April 23.
  • They had not done so in a road game since October 3, 2010 in a 2-1 win over Chivas USA. Edson Buddle and David Beckham had the goals in that game.
  • Josh Saunders made his career-high seventh appearance of the season of the season in the game and improved to 3-1-3.
  • 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.
  • Sean Franklin started the game and Chad Barrett came on in the 61st minute, joining Dunivant as the only three Galaxy players to have each appeared in all 18 of LA’s games this season.
  • After losing each of their first three games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in 2007 and 2008, LA are now undefeated there in the last three, drawing 1-1 in 2009, and winning 1-0 last season.
  • The two goals scored by the Galaxy tonight was the first time that they scored more than once in a regular season game in Colorado since June 25, 2003.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout crowd of 18,277.
  • The Galaxy are back in action on Saturday, June 25 when they travel north to take on the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. That game, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. (PT), can be seen live on FOX Soccer.
  • The Galaxy will return to Reserve League action on Monday, June 20 when they take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on University Field #1 at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 11 a.m. and is open to the public.


Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy Head Coach

On missing Landon Donovan:

It is a team game. If you are missing players, you are missing players it is all a part of it. We have missed Landon Donovan for about seven games this year, if you use that as an excuse, you are not putting yourself in a position to win any games.

On missing David Beckham:

We did not know his situation until Friday. We made a decision on Friday that he was not coming and we left. I know that you guys are upset about not having Beckham here, but we are not happy about it either. We did not even think it was anything that was going to keep him out of the game. We did find out about it until Friday to be honest.

On the first two goals and the red card:

We had Birchall get down the right side a couple of times and he got some dangerous balls in. He got a ball in there and it was difficult for Drew Moor and he put it in his own goal. Sometimes that’s what happens when you put the defense in that position. Juninho’s strike was a special one. A two goal cushion going to the second half and Colorado certainly came out hard. They got their goal and we hung on. The red card certainly helped us as well. It was a good, intelligent performance on our part.

On winning while being short handed:

We were not short-handed today. If we would have lost today our excuse could not have been that we were missing players. They were missing some players as well, but I think that our team played well. It is a team game and we don’t put our heads down when we are missing someone. We got here today and our objective was to win the game.

On the play of the Colorado Rapids:

It was pretty solid. They did a real good job. They got a little bit tired.  Conor Casey and Folan were punishing our centerbacks all game. It is never an easy game.

Chris Birchall, LA Galaxy midfielder

On the game overall:

We got off to not a bad start. Our team tactics were to not concede in the first fifteen minutes. They came out and we held stern. We knew that we could get them on the break and luckily it came down the right and I touched it before it went out. At the time I did not know but I think that I just kept it in. At the time I was more concerned if I was offsides. I looked to get it across goal and luckily for me someone put it in. It was an own goal but they all count.

On Danny Earls’ play:

I was impressed by Earls because I think he is a good player. He is one of those left backs that likes to get forward and tries to make me defend which was hard. It does though give me the opportunity to break on him sometimes and that is what happened. He went forward and then we got the break on him and got the first on him. Once we get the first we are going to get tight and play behind the ball. We did what planned on doing.

Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy defender

On the game overall:

Basically there are two big guys, me and then A.J. DeLaGarza. A.J. is a small guy but if you see him play, you know that he goes up for headers and other plays. Our thing today was to keep with them and drop them a lot early and not let many balls behind us because we knew that they were going to target their big men and knock balls down. I think that we did a great job managing that. Whenever they got to the channels we did great job getting back and clearing balls out. It’s a good job for us.

On Omar Cummings’ play:

It changed things because of Omar Cummings’ speed. So now we had big guys and speed to flick it on too. It was hard because we wanted to stay up but then we had to drop off early. It was tough because there was tons of space behind us. Omar Cummings is just lightning fast so he has that pace to get behind you and I think we still did a pretty good job and once they got that first goal we just settled down and got our minds right and the red card helped us out as well.

Gary Smith, Colorado Rapids Head Coach

On Chris Birchall’s goal:

Birchall does really well.  He’s aggressive, he tries to keep it in play and he does all he can with a lot of energy, but it was out of play. And from that point on we shouldn’t even be talking. The next call is the penalty, which [should have been] a penalty. Anyone that goes to the ground inside the box and doesn’t play the ball is a penalty. They’re both moving at pace, and I just would like an explanation as to with all three of the decisions, where and how they’ve come about. 

On Caleb Folan’s red card:

I’m not sure it’s a sending off. Yes he lunges for the ball, it’s a bad touch. Yes he makes contact, but it’s not got any serious malice in it. That is the only decision that’s debatable, the only one. At that point, all of those decisions culminate in being on the wrong side of a tough defeat. The first half was good in general play, but lacked edge and some creativeness. The second goal was a terrific goal for them. And of course we’ll look at it and say it might have been a better clearance or more pressure on the ball but nevertheless, it was a wonderful strike.

On Omar Cummings returning from injury:

Omar gave us a bit of energy. He was positive. He showed all of the qualities that we’ve been missing in the last five or six weeks.  It was great to get on the score sheet, and I thought at that point we had turned the corner. It looked like we were just starting to get a bit of pressure. It looked brighter, certainly the remaining 25 minutes looked like it could be a bit of a barnstorming into the game. And then we get to the call, and it changes the course of events completely. In a game where chances are few and far between, [the Galaxy] made the most of theirs. We should have made more of ours, but all in all we created enough opportunities to get on level terms.

On Jamie Smith’s injury during warmup:

It was a very disappointing start to the evening when he pulled out of the warmup. His hamstrings tightened up on him, and that balance in the midfield, even [with LA] missing guys of the quality of Donovan and Beckham in the outfield, they’re still a good side and you can see why they’re at the top of their division

On Danny Earls’ play:

I thought Danny did okay in the first half. My overriding decision to play Danny [Earls] was that I just thought on this occasion that he’s looked very bright, he’s looked hungry. The rest of the group have given as much as I would expect in the last nine games and been unbeaten. And that choice has been one as long as I can remember. Away from home, Scott [Palguta’s] getting a bit of a nod. Drew [Moor], and Marvell [Wynne] when he’s fit. I don’t feel comfortable at the moment with one person. And that’s taking nothing away from any of those individuals. They all give something different. Scott’s very strong, Anthony [Wallace] is very athletic. I think Danny’s distribution out of all of them might just edge it. And I thought tonight that might be a key. Finding a good cross, picking a little lock with a pass, making a decision to play forward. He had maybe a difficult ten minutes in the second half but all in all I thought he gave an awful lot and in no way was at fault for any of the goals.

Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids Defender

On the game:

We were confident coming into the game. We had a nice road result last weekend on a little unbeaten streak. Galaxy had some key members missing and we wanted to get after them early and get the crowd behind us to put them under pressure right from the start. I thought we had a pretty strict first half. The first goal they scored, the own goal and I just didn’t quite into position quick enough and tried to block the cross. But we came in confident, excited, and unfortunately didn’t get the job done.

On Caleb Folan’s red card:

We had the momentum at that point. We came out in the second half and did exactly what we wanted to do. We put them under pressure, scored an early goal, and Caleb [Folan’s] an important part to us at that point. Red cards, yellow cards, these things happen and unfortunately it was at a tough time tonight.

On the own goal:

Through the run of play, that was the intention I was just trying to get back into a good spot. When I looked up right after the goal and saw the replay it looked over the line. I can’t say whether or not it was, and I think maybe the linesman from his angle, where the guy’s foot was crossing it he couldn’t see it. I wondered if it was offsides. But I had no idea, I was just trying to get back into a good spot, and I knew [Mike] Magee was there and Tyrone [Marshall] and Kosuke [Kimura] were coming back but I tried to just get a foot on it and it happened.

Tyrone Marshall, Colorado Rapids defender

On having Omar Cummings back:

It felt good. Omar came in and gave us a bit of life. He created that goal, so it’s good to have him back up there with that element. He and Conor Casey I can see that they didn’t skip a beat, and it’s a good sign.  It’s unfortunate tonight. We went down a man and they scored in the first half, so we’re always trying to dig our way out of deep holes. So it’s just one of those things that we just have to make sure doesn’t happen, especially at home. We can’t be down like that. The second goal was a great goal. I thought the first goal had gone out [of bounds]. It seems like at home we haven’t been getting a break. We get the break on the road, but not at home for some reason.  But it’s one of those things where you have to make your own luck and I think that’s what we have to do.

On the defensive line’s play:

I thought we were okay. It’s unfortunate that the own goal happened. You just do whatever you can, try to block it with your body and it just went in. Obviously the third goal was when we were down a man and caught us in a bad situation when they played the ball across. I thought we did okay though. It’s not like in run of play they break us down. It’s just one of those things and it happened. And we have positive things to look forward to and we have to make sure we don’t go down two-zero next time and try to get some goals.