USA Today Sports

Postgame Quotes: Philadelphia Union vs LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the game

"We were a little better tonight, not great. We were unbelievably sloppy in the first half and some sloppy times in the second half, obviously some good goals. We had a little bit better performance, some better concentration in the second 45 minutes and we will take the three points but we certainly realize we have to get this team better."

On Landon getting back into form

"My suspicion is he (Landon Donovan) is a very good player and so it’s just a matter of time where he is going to get his touch back, his confidence, and his fitness on a more consistent basis. We’d like to believe that that is going to start now.  His second half was real good, he got a little tired in the first half which is natural in these second games but I thought his second half was spectacular."

On having Robbie Keane back

"Robbie (Keane) is a great player, what else can you say. He makes us look real good, he was pretty good tonight. I was surprised he got through 90 minutes, I thought we were going to have to take him out around 75 minutes, but we had to keep him on the field and he did a good job towards the end."

On what this win will do to carry them into New York

"Hopefully good energy but we will find out Sunday. It’s good to get the win, but we have a long task ahead of us. We have to get our legs back, make sure the players recover the right way, and hopefully step on the field and give the Red Bulls a good game on Sunday."

Galaxy forward Robbie Keane

On the game

"It was a good performance for everyone. First half we played okay, in the second half that’s the way we know we can play."

On the big difference in the second half

"With the players we have we know we are quite capable of doing that, sometimes it just doesn’t happen, for whatever reason. We just needed to lift it another 10-15 percent and we did that. We spoke about that at halftime and that was the case and you see the result  in the end. If we can play against teams the way we played we can cause problems for everyone."

Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan

On the game

"I thought we were ok on stretches in the first half, we felt like there was a lot of space and we were going to get a lot of chances. We needed to be a little better collectively when we defended and I thought we did a better job in the second half and I think as they got tired we really opened them up and our passing was good and we were a little more clinical and that made a difference."

On his individual performance

"It always feels good to play well and tonight I felt like I was back to my old self. And always a goal is nice but I think just being aggressive and running at people, making a difference that way felt like the old me and it was nice to play that way again.  We did a poor job after our goal, they came with a lot of pressure and for about 20 minutes they put us under a lot of pressure. We with-stood it a little bit but then they got the equalizer… and then I think our second half performance was really good."

On his possible National Team inclusion

"I am just trying to play well, I can’t control what else happens. My job is to play well, I haven’t played well for a few weeks now and I want to use this and continue to play well. That’s all I can control."

On his play with Robbie Keane

"Well you have to remember, he has been off for three weeks and he came right back in and it was seamless. Having Todd (Dunivant) back helped a lot at left back. I think our passing was really good in stints tonight and we were just really clinical when we got our chances. That’s what Robbie (Keane) does, he makes good passes and when he gets a chance to score he scores and that makes it easier on all of us."

Philadelphia Union Team Manager John Hackworth

On playing well on the road and dropping points at PPL Park

"I think our mentality might be a little tougher on the road and we are trying to push things at home. You definitely tend to keep a little tighter on the road. Honestly we played probably the best 40 minutes we have played in that first half.  We had the two-time defending champions on the rope in a big way and we just have to be able to sustain that."

On the play of Zac MacMath

"I don’t want to fault Zac too much for that game. The first goal? should he have done better? Probably, but he has Omar Gonzalez and Bakary Soumare right in front of him. I’ll talk to him, we will look at video and we will see what happened. I don’t think he saw it. Literally I think it comes off his shoulder and his face. Tough to deal with those guys and they are good that way. He kept us in the game with a couple of good saves when it was still 1-1 and that is all you can ask. I don’t fault him for the rest of it. He didn’t deserve to take full credit for sure."

On looking tired in the second half

"I don’t want to use that as an excuse because I don’t think our fitness is a problem. I certainly think that there were some lapses there and I think that we made some glaring errors defensively as a group. You have to correct those. I am going to go back to the tape and try to evaluate all of that."

On the consistent play of Kleberson in his first start

"Jose did a good job in his first start and you see a lot of good qualities there. Good performance by him especially the start. Probably tough for him to play 90, but you got to get those game minutes. At the end of the game we were probably not thinking of playing him the full 90 but your thought is that you keep a guy of that quality in the game."

On what he thought led to the breakdown in the second half

"I think we got stretched then I don’t think we kept possession of the ball the same way we were in the first half. A lot of silly turnovers early in that second half and we never really got our momentum back.  We never really put the game on our terms again and that was problematic in the first 15 minutes. We tried to make a couple subs to see if that would make a difference. It would have been nice to go a little longer. I didn't think that they had done anything in particular that was going to break us down. It was a pretty simple play, it was a great play for them to get the second goal bit I don't think that should happen."

On trying to limit Robbie Kean and Landon Donovan’s chances

"When you give up a goal three minutes into the game your back is against the wall and you have to come out swinging again and I think we certainly did that. They (Keane and Donovan) are two of the best players in this league…world class players.  Both international stars for their countries respectively. We should have done a better job containing them and we didn’t."

On whether or not LA’s surge in the second half had a lot to do with Landon Donovan

"I think LA is a great team. I think there is a reason they have won back-to-back cups. Full credit to Landon and to Robbie but they have a lot of other players that also do a great job. Mike McGee is on fire this year.  Omar Gonazalez is certainly one of the best center backs in this league by far.  Bruce Arena has always won at every level. We had a great challenge tonight and we had a great opportunity. Unfortunately we let it go."

On being down a goal and changing formation

"We didn’t switch to a 4-3-3, we just swapped Antoine Hoppenot to play on the right side for Danny Cruz but we were still playing a 4-4-2. That turned out not to be such a good swap in reality. Not because of Antoine but we probably should have done something a little differently. I will take full responsibility for that one."

Union Goalkeeper Zac MacMath

Thoughts on the game:

"Disappointing. I think the team played pretty well in the first half and unfortunately I don’t know what went wrong."

On playing well on the road but not at home:

"I wish we could. Obviously it’s something we need to look at and figure out but there is no explanation right now."

On the early goal changing momentum:

"It’s tough that we gave up a goal so early like that but obviously I think we responded well to the first goal and obviously got one back and we were really taking it to them in the first half. Unfortunately we were unable to get a second one early and they took over."

On not being able to put anything together on the attack after LA’s second goal:

"Yea I’m not sure why. Obviously it is a big blow giving up a second goal like that. We lost our tempo and they took over and we couldn’t get it back."

Union Midfielder Kléberson

On his first start with the Union:

"It felt very natural. I was really content to start the game, an important game at that. I tried to give my best to the team. The Galaxy have a lot of really quality players so that made it difficult to go against that quality."

On getting the start after such a long wait:

"I was looking forward to getting my first start. Coming here and adjusting to the American game, waiting on the bench, observing it the last few weeks. So to get my first start, it is a big deal to me. So I am glad that John Hackworth had the confidence in me and I reward him for that confidence."

On if he thinks his play will lead to more starts:

"I don’t know. It is up to John [Hackworth] and at the end of the day he makes the decisions that are best for the team and I will follow whatever that is."

Union Midfielder Amobi Okugo

On Kléberson’s influence on the style of play:

"Kléberson came in and did a great job with his through balls and his ability to slow it down and speed it up. Unfortunately he didn’t get a goal, because he was pushing for one. It’s good because he is a different type of player that we are not used to and he made a lasting impact. Hopefully he can start getting minutes."

On the second goal by LA draining the momentum:

"We had them against the ropes and for them to score the second goal the way they did it kinda deflated us but we have to step up as players and know the task at hand. They scored in the first [three] minutes so we came back and did a good job putting on the pressure them. E should have stuck to the game plan, but we didn’t and they punished us."

On what made it a good first half:

"Fluid movement. Off-the-ball movement. Quick one-touches. Good pass sequences. We just need to stick with that and hopefully we can start finishing the chances we get to put teams away early, keeping them in the game, giving them hope."

On the poor play at home:

"It is tough because we try to talk about it make it a home, in front of the Sons of Ben, a fortress. But so far we have only won one in five games. These games are going to come by quick, we need to start picking up wins before the end of the seasons cause then it will be war."

Union Defender Sheanon Williams

On the breakdown that let LA take over:

"I think that we had them for more than 40 minutes. We had a couple opportunities to go up 2-1 on them the difference is they scored and we didn’t. Once they got the second goal we started pushing. We gave up a bad turnover coming out of the back after we just finished defending. At that point you are throwing numbers forward. If you want to take that as a 4-1 game then go for it but it’s not. We threw numbers forward knowing we wanted points at home. What does it matter if we lose 3-1 or 8-1. You have to go for the goals and they punished us for it."

On breaking down a strong pairing, such as Donovan and Keane:

"I thought we did a good job for most the game. If we get a chance to play them again, whenever it is, we just got to play together for 90 minutes. I thought we did a good job on them even though they were slipping underneath picking up balls and turning on us. For the amount of times they did that we didn’t give them too many chances until the end. So I thought we did a good job we just need to finish it out."

On Donovan and Keane making them pay for mistakes:

"We know they are going to be dangerous and you try to limit all of the opportunities. We just didn’t do a good enough job of that."

On the stock given to the fact LA is the defending champs:

"They are the champs for a reason. I thought we played well with them for most the game, just didn’t finish it out."

On having a tough time winning at home:

"We just want to win period. Regardless at home or on the road. We just need to win games. That’s what puts us where we want to be in the end and that what we need to do."