LA Galaxy 1, Colorado Rapids 0
Friday, September 9, 2011
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
LA – Landon Donovan 12 (Sean Franklin 3, Chad Barrett 4) 36’
COL – Brian Mullan (Yellow Card) 67’
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; Bryan Jordan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant; Sean Franklin, David Beckham, Juninho (Michael Stephens 74’), Landon Donovan©; Paolo Cardozo (Mike Magee 67’), Chad Barrett (Robbie Keane 60’).
Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, Frankie Hejduk, Jovan Kirovski, Miguel Lopez.
Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura (Omar Cummings 69’), Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Danny Earls; Brian Mullan, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni©, Wells Thompson; Caleb Folan, Macoumba Kandji (Sanna Nyassi 39’).
Subs Not Used: Steward Ceus, Mike Holody, Scott Palguta, Joseph Nane, Ross LaBauex.
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Mike Rottersman and Anthony Vasoli
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
- With the win, the Galaxy are now 15-3-10 on the season, giving them a league-best 55 points. They remain in first place in the Western Conference and are now seven points ahead of second place Seattle and nine points ahead of FC Dallas in third place. Seattle host fourth place Real Salt Lake on Saturday while FC Dallas travel to New England.
- As a result of the win, the Galaxy have become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs.
- The Galaxy remain undefeated at home with an 9-0-5 record. They are the only team without a loss at home this season in MLS.
- With tonight’s win, the Galaxy have swept the season series against Colorado. They won 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on June 18.
- The win also gave the Galaxy their first home win over the Rapids since 2008. Colorado was the only team to beat the Galaxy at home in each of the last two years.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Sporting Kansas City on Monday. Donovan Ricketts returned in goal in place of Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan started at right back in place of Frankie Hejduk, Landon Donovan started on the left side of midfield in place of Mike Magee and Paolo Cardozo started up front in place of Adam Cristman. Saunders, Hejduk and Magee all started the game on the bench while Cristman did not dress.
- Ricketts was making his first start since breaking his left forearm in San Jose on June 25. He missed the last eight league games, as well as two Open Cup games, two Champions League games and two games in the World Football Challenge. The Galaxy were 5-1-2 in the eight league games that he missed.
- Paolo Cardozo was making his third start of the season while Bryan Jordan was making just his second. Neither player had started a game since the 2-1 win over Chicago on July 9.
- The Galaxy were once again without Sean Alvarado and Leonardo who each missed the game through injury.
- Landon Donovan scored his 12th goal of the season in the 36th minute, giving the Galaxy a 1-0 lead. He is now tied with Thierry Henry for the MLS lead in goals.
- Donovan now has 12 or more goals in five of his seven seasons with the Galaxy.
- Sean Franklin and Chad Barrett were each credited with assists on the goal. For Barrett, it was his fourth of the season leaving him second on the team along with Todd Dunivant, while it was Franklin’s third.
- Prior to tonight, Barrett’s last assist was on May 14 when he had a career-high two assists in a 4-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.
- After not tallying any goals or assists in his first 20 games of the year, Franklin now has four goals and three assists in his last seven games.
- Wells Thompson appeared to equalize for Colorado in the 57th minute, only for the goal to be called out for offside. This was the second consecutive game that LA’s opponent had a goal called back for offside.
- Robbie Keane made his second league appearance for the club, replacing Chad Barrett in the 60th minute.
- Michael Stephens entered the game in the 74th minute for Juninho, who was forced to leave with a left hamstring injury. He will be evaluated over the weekend.
- Donovan Ricketts only had to make two saves to keep his seventh shutout of the year.
- The shutout was the Galaxy’s 14th of the season, furthering their club record for shutouts in a season. Prior to this year, the Galaxy had never had more than 12 shutouts in a season.
- In addition to Ricketts’ seven shutouts, Josh Saunders has five, Brian Perk has one and Ricketts, Saunders and Mike Magee combined for another in San Jose on June 25.
- With the win, Ricketts now has 35 career regular season wins in 68 games. In his MLS career, Ricketts is now 35-13-18 with a 0.87 goals against average and 27 shutouts.
- Todd Dunivant once again played the full 90 minutes at left back for the Galaxy. He is the only player on the club to start all 28 regular season games while also play the full 90 minutes in each.
- David Beckham made the 70th regular season appearance of his MLS career in the game. Though he saw his streak of five straight games in all competitions with an assist come to an end, Beckham still leads the Galaxy with 12 MLS assists this year and two in the Champions League.
- No Galaxy players were booked in the game. That means that David Beckham and Landon Donovan each remain one yellow card away from suspension.
- Prior to tonight’s win, the Galaxy had won each of their last four home games in all competitions by a two-goal margin, dating back to a 3-1 win over FC Dallas on August 6. Since that game, the Galaxy are 5-0-0 at home, outscoring opponents 10-1.
- The Galaxy are now 21-16-4 all-time against the reigning MLS Cup champion, including 4-2-2 at The Home Depot Center. They last lost at home to the defending champs in September 2007 when they lost 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo.
- The attendance for tonight’s game was 20,068 at The Home Depot Center.
- On Sunday, the Galaxy will travel to Mexico ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League meeting with Monarcas Morelia at Estadio Morelos on Tuesday, September 13. That game will kick off at 5 p.m. (PT) and be shown live on FOX Soccer.
- The Galaxy return to MLS action on Saturday, September 17 when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and will be shown on tape delay on FOX Sports West, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 10 p.m.
- For more about tonight’s game, please check out all the news on www.lagalaxy.com.
LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On tonight’s game:
"This is a very a good game for our team. I thought we played real well for an extended period of time. Never got that second goal, Colorado bent a little bit but they didn’t break. They kept themselves in the game. I thought the 'keeper made some great saves in the first half and in the second half. Colorado really pushed for the last 15-20 minutes and put us under pressure but we withstood that and got off the field with three points, which was obviously critical tonight.”
On the play of Paolo Cardozo:
"He played pretty well. He’s a player that we’ve been bringing along the whole season and in the beginning of the season we adapted to him. We tried to get him a little bit refreshed for the league. Over the past couple of months we forced him to adapt to us and it’s never easy but it’s all part of the development of a young player. He’s responded well and has had such a great attitude over the past couple of months to try and get better and listen to some of the things we’ve talked to him about. Tonight I thought his performance was real good but he hit the wall a little bit tonight and we got him out."
On the return of Donovan Ricketts:
“He wasn’t tested a whole lot but when he had to make important saves, I thought, in the game he looked pretty good. He’s been out I think it’s been nine or 10 weeks now. It’s good to get him back and we’re not going to push him real hard. We’re still going to be using he and Josh [Saunders]. I think it’s a real good problem to have.”
On officially qualifying for the playoffs:
“I think we clinched one awhile ago to be honest with you. That’s probably not close enough to jump through hoops and have parties but that’s part of having a chance to win the MLS Cup you have to be in the playoffs. We are in the playoffs and it would be nice to win the Supporters’ Shield, that’s the next objective for us. Win the Supporters’ Shield and advance out of group play in the CONCACAF Champions League, which is going to be another big challenge for us. We have those objectives in the short term and certainly we want to go after the MLS Cup as well.”
On the play of Robbie Keane off the bench:
“Well Robbie [Keane] is a real warrior. I think he’s not happy with me that he only played 30 minutes. If Robbie had his way he would probably have played 90 minutes. We’ve got to think about the player. We didn’t want to put him in a position where he would get hurt and 30 minutes is difficult, maybe 45 minutes is a little bit better so he gets a chance to warm-up a little bit better and have a little more time to get into the game but I thought our guys played so well in the first half that I wanted to reward them and keep some of them in the game a little bit longer. But Robbie is going to be a real plus for us this year and we’re looking to get him in on a consistent basis since he’s only practiced with us a couple of times. We will have him for the next four weeks or so before he goes.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan
On the buildup to his goal:
“They are a team that does really well of compacting one side of the field and if you pass well, and you get out of pressure, there were a number of times that the guy on the far side of the field had a lot of space. Between Paolo, David and Chad and Sean, they did a great job of combining, and then Sean did a great job to find me. You put yourself in good positions and tonight they found me and it worked out.”
On clinching a playoff spot:
“It’s nice. It’s good to have that out of the way. Every year the first goal at top of the list is to make the playoffs and we can cross that one off. We’ve also put ourselves in a better position now to win the Supporters’ Shield. The beauty of playing on Friday night is now you get to sit back all weekend and watch the other teams beat each other up. We’ll be hoping for some favorable results and maybe we’re a little closer to the Supporters’ Shield by Sunday.”
LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant
On the lineup changes:
“I think you saw tonight that we rotated some guys in and they did a great job. Paolo Cardozo, Michael Stephens, you saw Chad Barrett come back in and really do a good job, BJ (Bryan Jordan) did a great job at (right) back. Those guys stepped up and that’s what we have to have because we have so many games this month that we need to have guys stepped up when they have to.”
LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
On returning from injury:
“It was a nice game to be back. Not too much. So, I can get back into the grove so hopefully I can build on this.”
On any lingering effects of his broken forearm:
“It was good. I didn’t feel any pain so that’s good. Hopefully moving forward it will get even better.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham
On tonight’s win:
“It was big game for us tonight. Obviously Colorado wanted to come in here and give us a hard game so I think it was important that we were on top of our game, and most of the game we were. I think we got a bit sloppy with our passing, but overall I think it was an important three points.”
On Paolo Cardozo’s performance:
“We know Paolo can do that, and given the chance, he does do that, so it was a good performance for him. Good performance from BJ as well. He came in right back. We had a few players who came in tonight that hadn’t played for a while who performed and played well for us.”
Colorado Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith
On the result:
“I thought it might have been our blessing that it was just one at half time. I thought the Galaxy played very well in the first period and deservedly went into the half in front and it could have been more. Second half was much better for us. We started to show more signs the type of team and the type of qualities that we have. Possession was better. I think we were able to disrupt some of the possession that the Galaxy had in the first half. They certainly had better territorial advantage in the first half. We were camped out for good periods. It took a lot of courage and a lot guile to keep it to one. I was hopeful, knowing that we have goals in our group that we would be able to squeeze one and get us back into the game, but it wasn’t to be one. And, this has proved to me a really resourceful and resilient Galaxy team.”
On bringing Sanna Nyassi and Omar Cummings into the game:
“Sanna’s inclusion, I hoped, would give us a slightly better shape and a better opportunity to retain the ball. We saw more of that in the second half because he didn’t get on until the dying moments of the first. And, then of course Omar coming on to give us and added injection of pace as well. I think it unsettles defenders. The difficulty tonight was that Omar had played two games for Jamaica in a short space of time. He did a lot of travel, same with Sanna. He went through an absolute grind coming back from Nairobi. It’s difficult. You saw Bruce rotate Robbie [Keane] into the group as well. These guys are doing a lot away from the team, and we have a lot going on this month—obviously, the Champions League that we play in a week. The pleasing thing for me is that the signs are looking a lot better. There was more confidence in the group in the second half, and hopefully we can take that into the midweek game.”
Colorado Rapids Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni
On the game:
“We started out a bit slow, and Matt [Pickens] really kept us in the game in the first and a couple of good saves in the second as well. If it wasn’t for Matt this game would have been out of control early. I think in the second half we came out with a better attitude and if nothing else kept better possession of the ball and that got us more advanced. We created a few chances. It’s definitely a game that we need to reflect upon and continue work toward the type of form to make a run toward the playoffs. A bit disappointing, albeit a decent second half for us.”
On Matt Pickens’ performance:
“It’s huge. If a second goal goes in in the second half, it’s pretty much a done deal, especially the way they were playing and pressuring us. He made some huge saves—gives the team some confidence, some hope. Like I said, if that goal wasn’t offside, or one of those chances weren’t offside—we find ourselves in a 1-1 game. When really in the first half, it could have been two or three zero them. Pickens played really great for us. Hopefully, the rest of us can pick up our game. If we can do that, we can find good form really quickly.”
Colorado Rapids Goalkeeper Matt Pickens
On his performance:
“We know that coming into here I was going to be busy, that’s what you expect. The home team is going to attack a lot, I didn’t know it was going to be that much, but you have to try and be ready for anything. You just try to keep your team in the game and hopefully we can nick one at the end and we can get a point. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. We put in a good effort here, it just didn’t fall our way.”
On his first half save from Todd Dunivant:
“It was a good ball in, he put it right in the middle of the pack and once the cross is hit you turn your head to where all the people are and watch their movements. I got a good jump on it and made a save.”
Colorado Rapids Defender Tyrone Marshall
On the team’s play in the second half:
“It was a good response to show the character that we’ve had all year. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t come out of the blocks how we did in the second half. We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in here and hat’s off to Matt [Pickens], he kept us in the game and gave us a chance really. We went down a goal in the first half but in the second half we came out and played our brand of football and it was just unfortunate. We were creating chances in the second half, we just couldn’t put chances away. The second half was much better and it’s a good thing to build on going forward.”
On facing his former club:
“It’s one of those things, you always want to get the upper hand playing against your old team. I played here for seven seasons so I always want to come back, do well and win, you want to do that all the time anyway. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get the win tonight but I was proud of the guys in the second half and I’ll take that away, move on and build on that. Hopefully the next time we see them here is in the Final.”