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Postgame Notes & Quotes: KC vs LA

LA Galaxy 0, Sporting Kansas City 1
Saturday, April 7, 2012

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park – Kansas City, Mo.

Scoring Summary:

SKC – Kei Kamara 3 (Bobby Convey 1) 40’

Misconduct Summary:

LA – Landon Donovan (Yellow Card) 89’


LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan©, Juninho (Kyle Nakazawa 72’), Michael Stephens (Marcelo Sarvas 77’), Mike Magee; Robbie Keane, Edson Buddle (Chad Barrett 56’).

Subs Not Used: Bill Gaudette, Andrew Boyens, Bryan Jordan, Pat Noonan.

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers; Julio Cesar (Paulo Nagamura 78’), Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi; Kei Kamara, Bobby Convey (Jacob Peterson 69’), C.J. Sapong (Teal Bunbury 87’).

Subs Not Used: Jon Kempin, Luke Sassano, Lawrence Olum, Michael Harrington.

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez

Referee’s Assistants: Adam Wienckowski and Brian Poeschel

4th Official: Michael Kennedy



  • With the loss, the Galaxy are now 1-3-0 on the season for three points. They remain tied for eighth place in the Western Conference standings.
  • Only the Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC have fewer points in MLS this season than the Galaxy.
  • This was the Galaxy’s first road game of the 2012 MLS season and the first time since 2008 that they lost their first road game of the year.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that lost 3-1 to New England last weekend at The Home Depot Center. Tommy Meyer returned to the starting lineup in place of Andrew Boyens in central defense while Landon Donovan, Mike Magee and Michael Stephens all started in the midfield in place of David Beckham, Paolo Cardozo and Marcelo Sarvas. Boyens and Sarvas were named among LA’s seven substitutes while neither Beckham nor Cardozo dressed for the game.
  • Stephens was making his first start of the season.
  • This was the first game all season that David Beckham, who did not travel to Kansas City because of back spasms, missed.
  • In addition to Beckham, the Galaxy were once again forced to play without Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo and Brian Perk, who all missed out because of injury.
  • Bryan Jordan and Kyle Nakazawa were each in the 18-man squad for the first time this season.
  • With Landon Donovan returning to the lineup, he once again wore the captain’s armband.
  • The Galaxy conceded the game’s first goal for the second straight game as Kei Kamara gave Sporting a 1-0 lead late in the first half.
  • Chad Barrett came on for Edson Buddle in the 56th minute. He has appeared in all six games that LA have played with five of those appearances coming as a substitute.
  • Kyle Nakazawa made his Galaxy debut coming on for Juninho in the 72nd minute.
  • Mike Magee had three of LA’s four shots in the game while Chad Barrett had the team’s only other attempt on goal. However, none of the four were on goal.
  • LA entered the game averaging 17 shots and 5.33 shots on goal per game.
  • Landon Donovan was booked late in the game for a foul on Kei Kamara. That is his second yellow card of the year and just LA’s third in four games.
  • A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Robbie Keane and Josh Saunders all played the full 90 minutes once again. Those five have been on the field for all 360 minutes that the club has played during the regular season.
  • With three points through their first four games of the season, the Galaxy are stuck in the second worst start to a season in club history. The only time that LA, who also had three points through their first four games in 2003 and 2009, had fewer points through their first four games was in 1999 when the club opened the year with a 2-2 record, though both wins game via the shootout, giving them just two points. The Galaxy would go on to reach MLS Cup in both 1999 and 2009.
  • The Galaxy have now lost two straight games for just the fourth time under Bruce Arena. The club has not lost three straight games since he was named head coach in August 2008.
  • LA were shutout for the first time this season. They were shutout just six times in 34 regular season games last year.
  • This was the first of LA’s games this season that did not finish 3-1.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout crowd of 20,323 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
  • The Galaxy will be back in action on Saturday, April 14 when they host the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center. That game, which is presented by Barry’s Tickets, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen live on KDOC in England and KWHY in Spanish.


LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena

On playing more direct as the game went on…

At the end of the game, that’s what you have to do. Nobody cares about making short passes in the midfield when you’re chasing the game with then minutes left. They have to be pretty direct to get the goal and I still don’t think we did a good job with that.

On the performance of Landon Donovan, coming back from injury…

I thought Landon had a solid game today. He’s been out for a few weeks, usually first game back isn’t easy. 

On his team’s morale after another loss…

Well obviously I’m pretty sure they’re not popping champagne in there. We have to work and get better. That’s all. 

On dealing with injuries…

We have two centerbacks that we’re trying to get back in Leonardo and [Omar] Gonzalez. The League is not setup where you can just be bringing in players left and right on your senior roster. You have to deal with injuries that are long term and if they’re rostered players there’s nothing you can do about it. We’re going to wait to get our players back and keep working with the young kid that played today and he’ll get better with more games.  

On Sporting Kansas City’s performance…

I think their backline, their centerbacks played very well in the box. They did a good job. 

LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee

On the difficulties playing against undefeated Sporting Kansas City…

They’re extremely hard to play against in this stadium. They pressure you and they’re hungry to win. The atmosphere is also amazing. The fans are right on top of you, so that makes it tough for the road team.

On the team’s performance in a 1-0 loss…

We came to compete today, but I don’t remember us connecting five passes in a row. Sporting Kansas City played at a high level today. They’ve got some amazing players, and some good guys coming off the bench.

On Sporting Kansas City’s strengths…

They’re a big, fast, athletic team. They’re getting hungrier and hungrier the more they win. They aren’t a team I’d like to play every day.

LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan

On Sporting Kansas City’s home atmosphere…

They’re a great team, whether they’re playing at home or away. The atmosphere is great. MLS has come a long way, certainly since I was here for the first time in 2001, and this is a prime example of that. They should be very proud of it.

On the challenges of facing undefeated Sporting Kansas City…

Physically they’re strong and extremely fit.  They’re really willing to run and go at you. During the first half in particular, they did a really good job of moving the ball. We unsettled them in the second half, but they did a good job taking advantage of the openings we gave them.

On the prospect of meeting Sporting Kansas City in MLS Cup 2012…

I hope we can play them again, because that means we would have made it to the final. There are some things we did well tonight. Overall we limited their chances. We had a few goal scoring chances ourselves, but lacked the quality to get a point.

On the absence of LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham…

When he isn’t in the lineup that will hurt our ability to create chances. But that was only part of the reason we were lacking offensively.

Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes

General thoughts on the match…

I was pleased with the way we started the game. I thought that there was a short period of time there from about minute five to minute 20, I don’t want to say they had the better of the play but they were in the game and they were causing us a little bit of havoc, we were a little slow to get into different situations and they found a couple opportunities, especially the one with Keane early on. Outside of that, I thought physically we were very impressive all the way until the last second of the game.

On another 1-0 victory…

You have to win games in many different ways. Sometimes you’re down a goal and you have to come back and you have to fight back. Sometimes you get a goal and you have to be able to defend the house and the guys have done that. That’s a good quality to have, to know how to win games scoring one goal and being able to hold the lead.

On the play of the midfielders behind the ball…
Those guys were solid, I have to say. Those guys were very, very solid, especially on the second balls today. I thought there was no doubt, over the course of 90 minutes, we dominated the second balls in the midfield.

On the Galaxy…

Well I’d like to think they were pretty strong. They’re a good team. There’s no doubt that they’re a very good soccer team, they have some big guns. When Landon Donovan comes into the game, he immediately is someone you have to watch in the transition. Robbie Keane, there’s not much I can say other than that the guy is a world class player, excellent around the box

Make no mistake about it, we’ve been in that situation before, like they are right now. Not all is lost, and they’re going to be around because of the guys they have in their lineup and on their roster. 

Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic

On Sporting Kansas City’s fourth shutout in five games

Defensively our strength is not just our back four, but Jimmy behind us and everyone in front of us keeping the ball well. We’ve been able to control the tempo in each game so far.  And it’s not like we’ve been perfect. We can still improve because we are still allowing chances. Luckily they just haven’t led to goals.

On being the first team in 16 years to start 5-0 in MLS…

We’re excited to be off to such a good start, but we have got to stay humble and hungry. There’s no reason to be satisfied this early in the season.

On playing the defending MLS champion LA Galaxy…

We scout every team equally. Obviously LA is a big name team, and we were ready to play today. But our focus is always on mostly ourselves, and if we continue with that mindset, we’ll keep winning games.

On Sporting Kansas City’s recipe for success thus far…

We’re really fit. Our work ethic on the field has really shown through. We’re outlasting teams throughout the game, which makes it really hard for the other team when we score the first goal.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen

General thoughts on the performance…
Shots on target: Zero, in the whole game, again. That’s pretty impressive. The guys in front of me are making my job very easy.  I have to prepare for myself different to the games compared to last year. Last year it was very simple for me to be in the game, this year it’s different.

On if he ever loses concentration while not being asked to make saves…
No, you cannot get bored with that crowd behind you. They are keeping you on your toes the whole game. This is definitely the best place in America to play.

On the current state of Sporting Kansas City…
There is still room for improvement for our team. This is a long season, and we all know that we cannot be too confident and I think we showed it in these five games. We are doing our solid work. We are working from the first to the last minute in every single game. We do the simple things. We pass and we move and we run for each other. 

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Bobby Convey

General thoughts on the match…

Obviously, it was a good game. We thought we did well from the beginning. We played really well together.  We don’t have anyone that is bigger than the team. Everyone plays well together. We have a lot of guys that are hungry, young and want to prove themselves and I think that is why we have started so well.

On preparing for next week’s match against Real Salt Lake…

I think we are going to do the same thing we did this week. We need to recover in the beginning of the week, then watch their videos and see how they have done the last few games. We need to see how they play. Obviously, they are a good team, but we’ve won as well so I think that it will be a very good game.

Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara

On his goal…

I received a perfect ball from Bobby Convey and I’m just happy to be on the back of it.  We’ve been working really hard and it’s paying off. The fact that we can get these wins is showing a lot of people that watch the game that we are playing good soccer. We are just happy to be at the end of it every time.