Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

Postgame Quotes: LA vs THFC

LA Galaxy vs. Tottenham Hotspur
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Tuesday, July 21, 2012

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the experience of playing Tottenham:

It was a good experience for our fans, and tonight we had a lot of players get an opportunity to play against a first class team. It was an excellent opportunity for a lot of our young players, it serves as a pretty good training session to get to the end of the week. We were able to save some of our players who had a difficult week last week with the three games, we had the opportunity to build on Omar Gonzalez getting a few more minutes, Jose Villarreal a young kid getting 65 minutes tonight against a good team, our second and third goalkeepers got some good experience so overall it was a really positive experience for our club.

On Omar Gonzalez getting more minutes:

Well he is about six and a half months now from his ACL surgery so he's made incredible progress. We haven't had the opportunity to give him extended minutes, tonight was the most he's played since he's come back and we are obviously going to continue to try and move him forward. Our goal is to get him on the field for a full-time basis, but we need to see how he reacts from week to week. After the July 4th game versus Philadelphia where he played 45 minutes, he didn't come out of that as well as we would have liked and he had been out since. Tonight it will be interesting to see how he feels over the next couple days, he is not only coming back from a serious injury but it essentially pre-season for him and his minutes have to be managed just like any other player in his position.

On the goal by David Junior Lopes:

I think the finish wasn't as hard as the play. Michael Stephens did well to slip the ball to Marcelo Sarvas and Marcelo's pass to Hector Jimenez behind their line was an outstanding ball and Hector played it across to some very good timing by David who obviously slotted it into an open goal. Excellent execution, and I thought Omar and Lopes played well tonight in the first half and we will continue to make progress their and hopefully they will be an important part of our back line as we head into the last part of the season.

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

On how the game went:

“I think it was a good exhibition game, I think it was good for the players who haven’t been playing to get some minutes under their belts. I thought we played well as a team and maybe 1-1 was probably a fair result.”

On playing a former team:

“It’s always good to see ex-teammates, and I’ve got a lot of friends still there. Every player is still there that I’ve played with, and all the staff are still there and it was great to see them. It was a good game for the fans to watch and overall I think everybody had to be happy with it. It’s good to play against players who you’ve played against for such a long time. I think all the players there I’ve played with and know so it was good to see them, and see friends again, and overall I think it was a good exhibition for everybody.”

On how exhibition games help a young player:

“It’s always good for a player’s confidence and certainly for young players to see what level these players are at. This is their first really competitive game so they’re just sort of starting their preseason but it’s still good to play against players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon and people like that. These are world-class players to test themselves against, the best players.”

On whether any of their players are interested in coming to the MLS someday:

“Yeah, I’m sure someday. I’ve been speaking with a lot of players, not just Tottenham players, but players from other teams that play in Europe that are excited to be part of what’s going on over here in the US so hopefully. It’d be nice to have a few of them here. The competition is good, it’s been getting better and better every year. Like I said, you have European players that want to come over here and that says a lot for the league.”

LA Galaxy Defender David Junior Lopes

On his first goal with the LA Galaxy:

“I’m very happy, and more important I’m happy for the team. I’d be a lot happier if it had been in league, but it’s still against a big club from a big league and I’m happy. Overall I’m very happy.”

On his comfort level with the club:

“Today, I’m very glad. Every day I’m talking to my coaches, talking to my teammates, and things are progressing and getting better, and right now (the comfort level) is really good.”

On his feelings on fitting in with the club:

“Galaxy’s definitely my life now. Every day I like to learn more about the club and every day the club gets to know more about me, you know. That’s one of the best things.”

On who he dedicated the goal to:

“I dedicated it my God and my mom.”

LA Galaxy Defender AJ DeLaGarza

On giving up the early goal:

“Last few games we got scored on early and then we kinda settled down and then start playing. But we’ve got to be ready from the start every single game.”

On the improvement of David Junior Lopes:

“He looks a lot better. We’re getting used to him, he’s getting used to us, so it’s kind of a balance. At the beginning of the season it was kind of trying to learn each other out and it wasn’t really clicking, but now it’s getting better between everybody.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas

On his performance:

“I think I did well. When we don’t have David and Juni on the field I think I get more responsibility for creation of the game. So I think in the first half I did very well.”

On being singled out by Tottenham manager Andres Villas-Boas for his performance:

“It’s a pleasure for me. Someone in his position in futbol, someone that understands about futbol, so for me it’s a pleasure to have been excluded. It’s someone that’s recognizing your job and what you’re doing.”

On his form and settling into his first year with the Galaxy:

“Every player needs some time for adaptation. Some players it goes in one week, some take two months. I think my time is coming. I’m doing my things, doing my best. Good things are coming.”

LA Galaxy Forward Jose Villarreal

On what it was like going up against a team like Tottenham Hotspur:

“It was tough, they’re really good players, they’re strong. They’re bigger than me, obviously. But I tried my best, I think I did a pretty good job but I wanted that goal.”

On what he takes away from his first start:

“They’re just fast, faster and stronger. They moved off the ball really well. They play as a team, so, that helps too.”

On his overall play:

“I felt good that Bruce [Arena] gave me a little more time this time. I hope I impressed him pretty good, we’ll see how it goes and see if I play against FC Dallas.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On what the team takes away from this match:

“It’s great for the young guys who haven’t really played these kind of matches just for them to get this sort of experience, and it’s still great for me as well, playing with these guys of this kind of caliber. I’m not getting many minutes right now so it’s great for (me) to start getting minutes.”

On his progression back into the lineup:

“The knee feel’s great right now. There’s no problems with it. It’s just a matter of getting 90-minute fit and I think that every time I step out on the field I get that much more confident with my knee and as more time passes I’m going to get more confident as well, so it’s good.”

Thoughts on going up against Gareth Bale:

“He’s a beast. I mean, first half they were playing balls to him and he was winning every header, and you know, AJ’s [DeLaGarza] great in the air, but Bale’s just a different caliber and he was winning everything. He’s speed is at a different level as well. We just tried to contain him and I think we did a good job with that.”

Tottenham Hotspur Manager Andre Villas-Boas

On the striker situation of Hotspur:              

“I think we created a lot of chances today, particularly in the second half. I think Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane were very much involved and had a couple of chances, they both deserve credit for what they did. On the other front we are always looking for one more striker since it is a position we are looking to strengthen. I think taking three strikers into a premiership season is more than enough, sometimes it is not, but hopefully it is.”

On playing the LA Galaxy:

“Of course the Galaxy were missing two extremely good players in Landon Donovan and David Beckham, who are influential to their team, but they were fantastic. I think they created a lot of problems in their possession and we could have been more aggressive in our pressure as well in the first half, we were a little better in the second half. They were pretty creative in the beginning and Marcelo Sarvas was particularly influential in the first half creating problems for us. I don't have full knowledge of the LA Galaxy but it was pretty impressive.”

On the culture of soccer in the United States:

“They way they have evolved in the past has been quite amazing. If they are able to continue that momentum into the future, it is down to the amount of investment that the US Soccer Federation is willing to compromise and the MLS is willing to compromise with their clubs. It is always a difficult one because you are competing with sports that are number one sport in the US but if in the next 20 years US Soccer does what it did in the last 15 years then I think they will get more talent coming through, which normally arrives in the premier league with great success.”

Tottenham Hotspur Goalkeeper Brad Friedel

On being back in the United States:

“It was good. This was the first time in a long time I’ve been able to tour in the United States with a team I’ve played for in England. I’ve been over there a long time so it’s always nice to come back. For me personally it’s great because I get to see a lot of friends and family.”

On the level of play in the MLS:

“Since the MLS started it’s far superior now. We really have to take our hats off to the financial guys who’ve stayed in, there have been some tough times in the MLS many years ago, and with all the new stadiums, the level of play getting better, it’s a really good test for us when we come over here for preseason games for us as a team. Tonight they were fully fit and we play the Red Bulls in a couple days time as well and they’re gonna be fully fit so it’s a difficult test for us. The MLS is getting better and better and players from all over Europe always ask me about the MLS and a lot of people want to come and play here.”

On American fans

“They’re getting a lot better. The whole league from the first year to now, the strides that they’ve made are incomprehensible. Just the amount of stadiums, the quality of the players, the quality of the coaching, just the overall feeling of the league is much better now. If you look at the northwest pocket with Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle up there, I mean, the crowds that they get and the atmosphere they provide are something. There are so many players over there in Europe that ask me and want to get to the MLS, with David Beckham coming over and Keano and the play of Landon Donovan with how well he’s done over there… Thierry Henry and Juan Pablo Angel and all these players that a lot of us have played against over the years in the premier league, the perception of the MLS is getting stronger and stronger and stronger.”

Tottenham Hotspur Midfielder Tom Huddlestone

On seeing and playing against former teammate Robbie Keane:

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen Keano, and I thought in the first half when he was on the pitch he was excellent. It was if he’d never been away from the Premier League. Speaking to him afterwards, he’s enjoying life out here and he’s enjoying his football again.”

On his fitness:

“I’ve trained as normal this preseason, we’ve still got a month left before the season starts and I’ve got to take it gradually, but yeah I’m fairly happy with the way things have gone in the first two weeks.”