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Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

LA Galaxy 3, Real Salt Lake 2
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Rio Tinto Stadium – Sandy, Utah

Scoring Summary:
RSL – Kyle Beckerman 4 (Fabian Espindola 2, Chris Wingert 1) 9’
RSL – Alvaro Saborio 7 (Fabian Espindola 3) 24’
LA – Landon Donovan 3 (Unassisted) 29’
LA – Mike Magee (Landon Donovan 3) 50’
LA – Landon Donovan 4 (Mike Magee 2) 68’

Misconduct Summary:
RSL – Jonny Steele (Yellow Card) 53’
LA – A.J. DeLaGarza (Yellow Card) 53’
RSL – Javier Morales (Yellow Card) 66’
RSL – Fabian Espindola (Yellow Card) 80’


LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, David Junior Lopes, Todd Dunivant; Marcelo Sarvas (Michael Stephens 65’), Juninho, David Beckham; Bryan Jordan (Rafael Garcia 85’), Mike Magee (Chad Barrett 88’); Landon Donovan©.

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Bryan Gaul, Tommy Meyer, Jack McBean.

Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave (Luis Gil 64’), Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman©, Ned Grabavoy (Paulo Junior 80’), Will Johnson, Jonny Steele (Javier Morales 60’); Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio. 

Subs Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Yordany Alvarez, Emiliano Bonfigli, Terakazu Tanaka.

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Corey Parker
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger


  • With the win, the Galaxy are now 5-8-2 on the season for 17 points. They remain in seventh place ahead of FC Dallas and Portland, but are now two points behind Colorado, which lost to San Jose today, and one point behind Chivas USA, who came from behind to beat Montreal 2-1, for the fifth and sixth spots in the Western Conference, respectively.
  • The win was the first ever at Rio Tinto Stadium for the Galaxy, who are now 1-2-1 all-time at the stadium.
  • Heading into tonight, the Galaxy had only scored three goals all-time at Rio Tinto Stadium. They’ve now doubled their total to six, three of which have been scored by Landon Donovan.
  • This was just the second time the Galaxy had scored three unanswered goals in a game this season. The first came against Portland on April 14, when the club responded to an early goal from Kris Boyd with goals from Landon Donovan (44th minute), Juninho (83rd minute) and David Beckham (91st minute).
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that beat Portland 1-0 on Sunday. After serving a one-game suspension, Mike Magee returned to the lineup in place of Chad Barrett. In addition to Magee, Michael Stephens also returned from suspension and started the game on the bench. Hector Jimenez, who did not travel with the team to Utah, is also now eligible to play after serving a two-game suspension.
  • The Galaxy were also without Andrew Boyens, Adam Cristman, Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo, who are all on the Disabled List with various injuries, as well as Edson Buddle and Dan Keat, who recently had knee surgery, and Pat Noonan, who suffered a right quad strain in training last week.
  • Robbie Keane was also unavailable following his participation with Ireland in Euro 2012, but he is expected to return to the Galaxy later this week after Ireland was eliminated and could be available for the club this Saturday against Vancouver.
  • With the changes, the Galaxy have now made at least one change to their starting lineup in every game that they have played this season. Of those games, this is only the second time LA made fewer than two changes.
  • LA fell behind in this game in the 9th minute, when Fabian Espindola received the ball out on the near side of the sideline and sent in a cross that found Kyle Beckerman just outside the six-yard box. Beckerman was able to stick his right foot in front of the Galaxy defense to get to the ball first and put the Galaxy in an early 1-0 hole.
  • Beckerman’s goal was his second all-time goal against the Galaxy, his first since April 17, 2010 when LA beat Salt Lake 2-1.
  • Salt Lake quickly doubled their lead 15 minutes later when Espindola, again, took the ball out on the sideline, sent a cross into the box that found Alvaro Saborio, who flicked the ball past Josh Saunders to give Salt Lake a 2-0 lead.
  • The Galaxy pulled one back five minutes later when Landon Donovan jumped in front of a back pass from Tony Beltran to intercept the ball. With only Nick Rimando to beat, Donovan got past the Salt Lake goalkeeper and then slotted the ball into an empty net with his left foot to make it 2-1 in the 29th minute.
  • Landon Donovan’s first-half goal was his second all-time goal at Rio Tinto Stadium, and the fourth goal scored all-time by Galaxy at the stadium. Donovan’s first goal came in a 2-2 draw in 2009 on a penalty kick in the 91st minute.
  • Mike Magee’s equalizer in the 50th minute was his second goal of the season, and his second career goal at Rio Tinto Stadium. His first goal at the stadium was also an equalizer, and it came in the 94th minute of a 2-2 draw on May 6, 2009. Magee started the play when Jamison Olave made a wrong read on a ball and ended up giving away possession. Magee scooped up the ball, gave it up to Donovan and quickly made his run into the box, where he received the ball back and with his left foot short a perfectly placed ball into the back post.
  • Donovan was credited with an assist on Magee’s goal, his third of the season.
  • Donovan and Mike Magee linked up again 18 minutes later for the eventual game-winner. After he received the ball out on the far sidelines, Magee spotted Donovan making a run across the middle of the field and fed him a terrific lob pass that just got behind Nat Borchers. Seeing that his defender was beaten on the play, Rimando came off his line to try to intercept the ball but Donovan got to it first and then got behind Rimando and calmly put the Galaxy up 3-2 with 23 minutes to go.
  • The goal was Donovan’s fourth goal of the season, and his third career goal at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Magee also got an assist on the goal, it was his second on the season.
  • The attendance for today’s game was a sold out 20,382.
  • The Galaxy will be back in action on Saturday, June 23 when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center. That game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.



On tonight’s performance by Landon Donovan:

“Fabulous. That’s the kind of player that Landon is, he is certainly capable of doing that. You know there were some great balls on some counter attacks; obviously the first goal was a mistake by Beltran and he had a great pass on Magee’s goal for the second goal and Magee gave him a great pass to push Landon behind for the third goal. It was a great performance by Landon and by the whole team. We hung in there, we were a little unlucky to be behind 2-0 and that had all the makings of a disaster. To get that goal before halftime was big.”

On LA’s composure after falling down 2-0:

“I think that is a good word, we kept our composure and certainly getting a goal back before going into the locker room was important. The second goal early in the second half gave us a chance to get a point and obviously the third goal was huge. Getting three points is fabulous.”

On winning in Rio Tinto Stadium:

“Well, it hasn’t been easy for us to win anywhere this year so…but certainly this has been a venue that has been tough to get a win in so getting three points in a place like this makes the win that much more gratifying.”

On what this win will do for the LA Galaxy:

“We are starting to move up the ladder a little bit. Three games ago we were sitting in a difficult position and now we’ve got six points in two games and we want to get another three on Saturday and that would put us in a decent position as we try to improve in the second half of the season. This week would indicate that things are moving in the right direction.”


On tonight’s match:

“I think Saturday, our game gave us some life again. Actually, even though they scored those two goals, we didn’t feel bad about how we were playing so the energy was still good, the commitment was still there and then obviously you have to get that first goal to get back in the game. It was a little bit of gift but you’ve got to take advantage of them.”

On Real Salt Lake’s performance:

“They are a great team. For probably the last four or five years the road to the championship goes through them and vice versa for us. It's chippy but there is a lot of respect both ways. We play hard and after the game we shake hands.”

On LA Galaxy’s past performance and looking ahead:

“I said it Saturday and I’m going to say it again. We’re not going to get carried away over two wins now. We’ve had a really poor start to the season so we’ve got a lot of ground to make up. We’re real envious of the position Salt Lake is in and that’s where we feel we should be. We need to do our part to keep winning games and worry about everything else later, but we’ve got to keep winning games and keep the momentum going.”

On defending against Real Salt Lake attacks:

“I think our attitude was good. Defending a lot of times is a mentality. Against this team it’s very difficult. I saw we limited them to five shots on goal, which here at Rio Tinto is I think a pretty remarkable accomplishment. I just thought our attitude, our effort and our commitment was great. It wasn’t perfect all of the time, but some guys made some big plays.”


On LA Galaxy’s overall performance:

“It was quite a rough start for us. If we kind of continued the path of what we did early in the season, we would have lost that game five-nothing. We fought hard and we stuck together and showed some signs of 2011.”

On win at Rio Tinto Stadium:

“This is a huge place to get a win. They are such a good team in general and they’ve kind of built a fortress here. I haven’t had too many successful games here or left all that happy being here. It’s a big moment.”

On the excitement of the win:

“When we were walking back in the locker room we had a ton of confidence and then somebody showed us a picture of the standings and we’re still in last place or third to last so we got brought back down to earth real quick.”


On tonight’s match:

“Once we found out how to pass the ball around, when we did pass the ball around, we got through the defense. I think even at 2-nil down we had a couple of good chances where we split the defense and we saw that there were gaps. We still felt confident even at 2-0 down. We still felt capable of breaking them down and I think we did that.”

On the confidence the win gave LA:

“It’s a huge confidence boost. Each game that we play, it doesn’t matter who were playing against, it’s a confidence boost when you win. We just need to keep moving forward. A performance like that takes a lot of character from the team and individuals. We had that tonight. We had done well over the weekend, and obviously coming in here is a tough place to come and a tough place to win. We worked hard tonight, I think we deserved it.”


On jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead

“Yeah, that’s my strong feeling that those two goals came so easily that the guys thought this was going to be a cake walk, and because of that, really let their foot off the gas and took a long time to recover from that.”

On what went well in the first 30 minutes of the game…

”I thought we approached the game in the right way.  We were really aggressive with our spirit and aggressive with the ball.  We got the ball in their half of the field, strung some nice passes together, got some nice chances to score and took them.  I’m really, really pleased with how we started the match and then not pleased with a lot of things from there.  However, I will say that I’m pleased the guys never gave up.  They were going after the win until the 95th minute, so there was no quit in them tonight.”

On RSL’s back line:

“Yeah, ultimately, I think that was our demise.  Tony makes a really lax pass to Nick that Landon steals, and then the momentum just shifted completely.  I thought we would recover from that mistake pretty quickly and would have a positive ending to the first half that would put us in a good place going into the locker room, but it wasn’t really there.  I think there were a lot of guys feeling so disappointed about it that we didn’t recover the way we needed to and in the second half, another give away leads to a goal so it’s disappointing.  I’d like to make LA make their own goals, not necessarily give them to them.”

On the Olave substitution:

“It’s injury related.  He’s carrying an injury and I think everybody can see it’s affecting him.  He also was ill yesterday.  We are very, very thin on the back line.  If we had a healthy Schuler, we probably wouldn’t have played Olave, but at the moment we don’t really have a true center back, so now you’re talking about shifting players all over the place.  And, I was trying to get in a little more attack otherwise I’d put in Tanaka--defender for defender.  But, I was trying to be positive and go for three points at home.”

On RSL pushing for the three points:

“I think the way LA played tonight and their shape made it such that our forwards needed to take some risks.  They were just attempting to counter attack against us, so I think we looked forward to the opportunity to take some risks.  And we’re going for three points no matter what every game.”

On preparing for Saturday’s match against San Jose:

“You can’t do much training between now and then so its mostly getting the guys recuperated and we’ll have a chance to talk about what went wrong for us tonight and what needs to be different come Saturday.  We’ll look to see what kind of reaction we get; I know what reaction I expect, but we’ll see what we get.”

On Morales:

“He’s getting there.  You know I think that come Saturday we take a real strong look on whether or not he can start and at least give us 45-60 and build him towards 90.”


On the change of momentum after Real Salt Lake was up 2-0

“Yeah, they stuck in it. They had a good game plan; you’ve got to give credit to LA. They sat back, played good defense and wanted to counterattack. Tonight they countered on our mistakes.”

On what changed in the game after the first 30 minutes:

“I have no idea. We gave them all of their goals. So, I don’t think they created a lot. When we made our mistakes they capitalized.”

On whether the mistakes tonight were frustrating:

“No, not at all. They were mistakes, not everyone’s perfect. Not every team is perfect. You go out with the mindset of playing the perfect game, but it’s never going to happen. Today those mistakes all came in this game and hopefully there aren’t going to be too many more going forward.”


On what happened to get to the end result of 3-2:

“It’s pretty bewildering I think to be up 2-0 and lose the game 3-2. I think we made some mistakes and I think we all know we made some bad mistakes in terms of our possession and they made us pay. Let’s give them some credit.”

On whether or not the team got down after giving up the first goal

“You go into the locker room 2-1 up at halftime and we think that we’re still in control, we are still in the driver’s seat, but we gave up that second goal. Then we tried to push to go for the win, because that’s what we do when we’re at home, we’re always going to try to win.”


On what happened after going up 2-0:

“We had innocent, stupid mistakes. After that we just lost the game.”

On his feelings on the game:

“I don’t feel anything right now cause we lost. It doesn’t help when you lose in front of all those people. It just hurts.”

On what lessons can be learned from the loss

“Can’t give up a goal so easily. You got to play every game like it’s the last game of your life.”