Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA vs NY

LA Galaxy 1, New York Red Bulls 0

Western Conference Semifinal Series – First Leg
Galaxy Lead Series 1-0 on aggregate

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, N.J.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Mike Magee 1 (David Beckham 1) 15’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Sean Franklin (Yellow Card) 40’
NY – Thierry Henry (Yellow Card) 44’
NY – Rafa Marquez (Red Card) 95+
LA – Juninho (Red Card) 95+


LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan(c), David Beckham, Juninho, Mike Magee; Chad Barrett (Adam Cristman 67’), Robbie Keane (Chris Birchall 83’).

Subs Not Used: Donovan Ricketts, Dasan Robinson, Frankie Hejduk, Michael Stephens, Paolo Cardozo.

New York Red Bulls: Frank Rost; Carlos Mendes, Stephen Keel, Tim Ream, Roy Miller; Rafa Marquez, Teemu Tainio, Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere; Thierry Henry(c), Luke Rodgers (Mehdi Ballouchy 80’).

Subs Not Used: Bouna Coundoul, Stephane Auvray, Dax McCarty, Juan Agudelo.

Referee: Alex Prus
Referee’s Assistants: George Gansner and Eric Boria
4th Official: Mark Kadlecik


  • With the win, the Galaxy will now advance to the Western Conference Championship with a win or a draw in the second leg against New York.
  • The two sides will meet at The Home Depot Center in the second leg of the aggregate goal series on Thursday, November 3. That game is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. and will be shown live on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and
  • Since the start of the current postseason format in 2003, the Galaxy are now 4-1-1 in the first game of the Conference Semifinals.
  • LA are undefeated in their last five road playoff games dating back to the 2005 postseason. They have gone 3-0-2 in those matches, beating Colorado, Seattle and New York while tying San Jose and Chivas USA.
  • Bruce Arena made 10 changes to the team that lost 3-1 to Houston in the final game of the regular season on October 23. A.J. DeLaGarza was the only player to start each of those games while Chad Barrett started after coming off the bench in that game.
  • The Galaxy were without Sean Alvarado, Gregg Berhalter, Bryan Jordan and Leonardo who all missed the game through injury.
  • Robbie Keane made his MLS Cup Playoffs debut in the game, starting and playing 83 minutes up front for the Galaxy.
  • Josh Saunders made his first-ever postseason start in the game, playing in goal and making five saves for LA. His only other postseason appearance came as a second half substitute in MLS Cup 2009.
  • Keane nearly gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, only to see his right-footed shot carom off of the right post.
  • Mike Magee gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead four minutes later, hitting a left-footed shot past Frank Rost to make the score 1-0.
  • The goal was the third of Magee’s postseason career and his first against his former club.
  • Magee now has eight goals in all competitions, scoring five times in MLS, once in the Champions League, once in the Open Cup and now once in the playoffs. He also scored in the friendly against Manchester City in July.
  • David Beckham was credited with the assist on the goal. That was the fourth postseason assist of his career and third in his last three playoff games.
  • Adam Cristman made his Galaxy postseason debut, coming on in the 67th minute for Chad Barrett. He had not played in the postseason since 2007 when he was a rookie with the New England Revolution.
  • LA were outshot 17-9 in the game while New York also had a 5-3 advantage on shots on goal.
  • Sean Franklin was the only Galaxy player to be shown a yellow card. If he gets one on Thursday against the Red Bulls he will be suspended for the Western Conference Championship should the Galaxy advance.
  • Juninho was sent off following an altercation at midfield that was initiated by New York’s Rafa Marquez, who was also sent off.
  • Juninho is the first Galaxy player to be sent off in a playoff game for LA since Danny Califf was in the second half of LA’s win over New York in Game 3 of their MLS Quarterfinal series in 2001.
  • In four all-time postseason games between the Galaxy and Red Bulls, the Galaxy have been shown four red cards.
  • Sunday’s win was the Galaxy’s first-ever road win over New York in the playoffs.
  • The attendance for today’s game was 22,663.



On Mike Magee:
He is intelligent, technically good and just has a real good feel for the game. He is a real good player. I would have to say the majority of his career has been as a forward. He has always been a player that I felt was very good in the penalty area. As he has matured as a person; physically and tactically with the game, he has been able to accept a variety of roles. He has played now, first a goalkeeper this year, a defender, midfielder and forward. He is a very versatile and smart player.

On the play of David Beckham:
I thought David had a really good first half. His passing was pretty good and I just think as the game wore on, the pressure was on them to get a goal and on us to score again. We started the (second) half poorly, I think it put us back on our heels a bit and I think it gave them some confidence. And then we had a couple of plays where if we had played a little bit better, we could have gotten the second goal and relaxed a little bit. I give them credit; they came at us hard. Henry was a force all day. They have become a pretty direct team. And they are dangerous with Henry and Rodgers up top, they just put us on our heels. The field conditions weren’t great for passing the ball or tracking and competing. I think they took advantage of that and put us under a lot of pressure.

On the New York Red Bulls being direct in their style of play:
They have been pretty much like that over the past four to five weeks.  They have taken a different approach. There are reasons for it, I don’t want to tell you, but there are reasons why they play like that now. And it obviously is a result of them getting in the playoffs and obviously getting results in the month of October and a little bit in September too.

On going into Thursday’s second leg with a win:
Well, the game on Thursday is going to be a hard game. When you go on the road, you want to be in this position; to go home with three points. It’s a good position to be in, but this series is far from over. I would rather be the team going home with the three points. It’s a great position to be in, but I still think the game will be difficult on Thursday.

On Landon Donovan’s role on the field:
That’s what he has been doing for the past couple years. I think he had a good chance, obviously with a good pass by Todd Dunivant. I think both teams had great chances throughout the game. It’s a fine line and we were the one who got the goal today.


On his goal:
I know the ball got laid to David and he played a brilliant ball through that Robbie did well not to continue his run because I think he was off.  The ball was a perfect weight and I just had to put it on goal.

On being off-side:
One-hundred percent I was not offside.  Even if I was, he didn’t call it so I wasn’t.

On the game:
It was great to get three points, but I don’t think we were too happy with the way we played.  I don’t think we played the way we’ve been playing all year.  We took our foot off the gas and we stopped passing.  We didn’t put away that second one which would have been huge.  Even though we won, it’s a weird feeling because we didn’t play the way we’re used to.

On returning to play against the New York Red Bulls:
It’s a different stadium.  There’s only a couple guys that were here when I was here.  There’s only two players, and maybe one kit guy and nobody from the front office so it’s not like I’m seeing a ton of familiar faces.  I enjoy the city a lot so it’s not weird at all.


On the game:
I was a little surprised that they played that way at home in a playoff game.  They basically sat everybody in their defensive half and tried to counter.  I thought we did a pretty good job of dictating the tempo and the pace and were a little unlucky not to be up two or three goals.  Second half, obviously they had to push forward and they did a good job putting us under pressure, but our back line and our goalkeeper were great once again and it was a good win for us.

On David Beckham:
I thought he was great.  I know the game here a few weeks ago they did a good job of getting around him and getting physical, but I think he took the challenge tonight to impose himself on the game and I thought he was fantastic.

On the shots on goal:
That’s important.  That’s going to happen during stretches of the playoffs especially when you’re winning and especially as the away team.  I think we were a little unlucky that Robbie [Keane] hit the inside of the post, I had a really good chance to score, and we had some other good chances.  We’d like to be out of two, three, or 4-0, but we’ll take 1-0.

On the team’s mindset on the day:
Once we score the goal, we know we’re good enough that if we put our mind to it it’s going to be real hard to score a goal against us.  We were happy with that.  Another day things go a little differently and we get the second, but I think all in all it was a really good performance.


On playing in New York:
It’s always difficult, but we got the goal. But it’s far from over.  We can beat them here and they can beat us in our stadium.  It’s half the job done, but still a lot of work to be done.

On the game this Thursday:
It’s another tough game.  This fight is far from over.  They’re a good team, they’ve got good players and they’re going to create a lot of chances.  It’s up to us to defend well and obviously attack well.  It’s far from over.

On being pleased with the way he played:
Yeah, I think personally and as a team we dug in when we needed to and then we stuck together as a team.  It was a good performance.  Like I said, it’s not easy to come to New York and get a result so we’re happy.

On the goal:
Mike (Magee) knows where to run and he knows how to play the game.  Usually we just knock the ball in, but we played it short and then I saw Mike run in and it was a great finish.  It was a good assist, but it was about the finish.  We’re thankful that went in.  We’re also disappointed that we didn’t get a second goal because I think we had a few good chances, but no complaints.  We came here, we played our game, and we got our result.  We need to rest up and be ready for Thursday.

On the difference between the regular season game three weeks ago and tonight:
We had a full squad with us.  I think we were ready for this game.  I think the last game we’d had 9 games in 8 weeks, maybe less than that. Definitely less than that.  And we had the travel.  I think we prepared a lot better for this game.  We were aware how important it is not to concede a goal here.  We went into the game knowing it was going to be difficult, and it was difficult.  We’re happy with the three points.


On the match:
It was a great performance, one of our absolutely better games by far, for a couple of months. We totally controlled the game, dictated the game. We had four huge chances to tie the game. To me, this is totally wide open. If we can perform like this on Thursday, we have won before in L.A. and we can do it again.

On if he thinks the Red Bulls can break down L.A.’s defense on Thursday:
Yeah, definitely. I think if you see the team (L.A.) after perhaps 15, 20 minutes, I don’t know if they on purpose sat back or if we forced them to sit back. Still, creating four or five good chances in the second half, three in the first two minutes. So as I said, if we stay on this level we will win the game.

On Thursday’s second leg:
We’ve done it before. Of course we need to win the game. We can score, I’m happy if we score in the 93rd minute to tie it. I don’t care if we win in a penalty shootout after 120 minutes. But there is no idea to force it or play hectic football. It’s a lot of time, 90 minutes.

On Mike Magee’s goal:
It’s a little tricky on the goal. First, (Robbie) Keane was offside, but I think we have seven guys raise their hand and call for an offside, and of course you can’t do it. And then it was either (Mike) Magee or (Todd) Dunivant who scored, came as a late runner. You can’t give away a goal like this, you just have to be more sharp. It’s a frustrating goal to concede.  

On the post-match scuffle:
After the game, I couldn’t really see what happened. I asked the referee about the decision and he told me, so we will see what’s happened here.


On if the team can take positives heading into Thursday’s second leg:
Yes I guess, but we lost, we can always talk about possession, you can talk about the chances we had but we lost. Donovan had a great one, Keane had a great one, we can go back to a lot of chances for them and for us. But at the end of the day, they showed us why they were the best team this year. But we still have 90 minutes and hopefully we can do what they did to us over there.

On the play of LA Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders:
He had one great reflex, other than that he didn’t do much. He saved the ball from Joel Lindpere, after that, I think Dane (Richards) could have done better with his one-against-one. (Saunders) had a good game, but the way they were defending was very good. They were blocking shots, (Landon) Donovan coming back and saving goals sometimes, (David) Beckham and some other players. I think they had a great team performance. But this is the playoffs; hopefully we can do the same at their place. But we know its going to be a difficult task.

On the team having to play without the suspended Rafa Marquez on Thursday:
I mean, it’ going to be a difficult task playing without Rafa. Even if Rafa was with us, it would have been difficult to play against LA at their place. I didn’t see what happened. You have referees talking at the end of the game, I don’t know what they talked about. I’m not going to talk about the referees, they do their job, we’re trying to do our job. It’s not always easy for us or for them so I don’t know what happened.  But what we need to do is regroup and try and concentrate on the game. It’s going to be difficult playing without Rafa but we’re going to have to do it.

On the Galaxy’s goal:
No, I don’t know if you saw it, Robbie Keane was offside, I guess that’s why the line stopped, they thought the ball was going to go to Robbie Keane. But with the new rule, if one guy is off and another guy from a deep position makes a run, then he is on… it had nothing to do with the whistle.


On the match:
We look at it like it’s a 180 minute match and we are at half-time, right down we are down one-nill. Obviously being at home we wanted to get a better result, but it’s one of those things we got to go to LA, once again with our backs against the wall. We got the second-half – 90 minutes and we got to get a win. It’s as simple as that.

On the post-match scuffle:
I’m not too sure exactly, tensions were high; you can see it’s a playoff game. You got two teams battling it out for 90 minutes, you know both teams want to win, at the end there is a little scuffle, nothing major. I think someone comes in to break it up and everything; I just got knocked in the mouth a little bit – nothing major. For it’s not a big deal.

On the red card to Rafa Marquez (Red Bulls) and Juninho (LA Galaxy):
You know that’s for the coaches and the league to decide, for me it’s about focusing on Thursday. I can sit here and tell you what I think should happen but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the league to decide what they want to do, up to the referee, up to the coaching staff to decide what they want to do and what they are going to do.


On today’s match:
It was a typical playoff game – rough, tough, tackles all over. It was unfortunate that we gave up a goal.

On playing the LA Galaxy, who haven't lost at home:
I didn’t even know that. We just have to go and be the first team to beat them… (To turn it around) we have got to score a goal; we have to score a goal to keep ourselves in the tie. We are going to defend well, try to keep a clean sheet and try to get a goal.

On his scoring opportunities:
Rafa played a great ball over the top and I tried to toy with it, but it hit (Josh) Saunders on the way in.


On the LA Galaxy’s goal:
It’s a tough play; they played a short run which we weren’t expecting. Magee was a late runner in - he wasn’t in the original picture. That’s why nobody had picked him up, by the time we tried to recover they had gotten the shot off… We continued to play but we just got there a little bit late, we’ll have to see replays to see if (Magee) was offside, but we can’t do anything about it now.

On the post-game happenings:
(I didn’t see) much. I turned to look back at our goal and by the time I turned back around there was just a big scrum and three guys on the ground. Didn’t see exactly what happened.

On playing the third consecutive game without a key player:
I mean, it puts a little pressure on us. We’ve shown the past couple of games that we are up to the task and guys step in and get the job done. If we are without Rafa (Marquez), you know so be it. It’s just one of those things, we have guys willing to step in and get the job done.