Postgame Quote Sheet: LA Galaxy 2-2 Philadelphia Union | May 11, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
2016 MLS Regular Season
Talen Energy Stadium – Chester, Pennsylvania

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH AND GENERAL MANAGER BRUCE ARENA

On the game’s result:

“We’ll take the point, but you know when we get the second goal early in the second half, I thought we had to close the game down. Obviously, there was a lot of time left, and we didn’t do a good job of that and probably could have done a better job on that second goal. But I thought Philadelphia played well and you can see that they were a little bit more rested than us and that makes a difference. We changed six players from our game on Sunday so I give our guys credit to deal with the travel and getting the point and playing against a rested team. Overall, I think we have to be pleased to leave with a point.”

On this Philly team as opposed to the old one:

“Well, I’ll be honest with you; I haven’t spent any time evaluating the Philly team, so I can’t give you an assessment. I’ll let their coach give you that. Yeah, they are a good team. I’m not spending a whole lot of time analyzing their team, I am a little bit more concerned with ours.”

On if he planned to exploit the flanks and if that led to both Galaxy goals:

“No, just playing soccer, you know. They did a good job holding their team in; I think their back line pushes in so there is a little bit more space out in the flanks in the last third of the field. But just you take what they give you, both teams, as you can see, Philadelphia in the second half; they utilized the flanks quite well also. But nothing really by design, but yeah two good goals.”

On the Giovani sideline situation:

“The defender cleated him and went through his cleat. He was bleeding, said there was blood on his shoe. All these important things, they’re worried about spreading diseases during the game, but there was a little blood on his shoe, so he had to come off.”

On Gyasi Zardes’ performance:

“Gyasi is playing well; I wish we could have kept him up top more in the second half. Obviously, we made a change [in the second half], and he played very well. Gyasi is a team player; he goes wherever he is needed with our team, and he is getting better and better every game.”

On the two goals, the team scored:

“It was a real good goal; it was a great finish by Robbie [Rogers] and I thought [Mike] Magee’s goal was a good one. There was some combination play with Dos Santos and Gerrard, and Mike did well to finish. We scored two pretty good goals.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD GIOVANI DOS SANTOS

On how his foot is:

“It’s part of the game. I feel good, but I think it was a difficult game, we got a point and we are happy that we are undefeated [in eight games].”

On the last 20 minutes:

“It’s always difficult to play on the road you know. It’s difficult, I think our team has to play with the mistakes we made, but we are on the right path and we have to continue like this and look forward to the next game.”

On the goals scored and the offense:

“I think everyone in the team is doing well, and everyone is working hard. As I said last week, we are getting better every single day, and we have now a couple of days to rest. I think we need a little bit of rest and be ready for the next game.”

On being defensive in the second half:

“Well it’s difficult; we never play like they were going to push. We were open and they scored in the first ten minutes. We tried to control the game, but always to play on the road, and we know the teams are always trying to push, and it was a difficult second half.”

On giving up the lead: 

“Well it’s difficult; it’s part of the game. We have to learn from the goals that we are conceding; we have to be stronger in our defensive line, especially on the road. We are going to have chances, and we are going to have to try to not concede many goals."

LA GALAXY DEFENDER ASHLEY COLE

On the overall match:

“I feel it’s always difficult to win away from home, without all of our fans. We are not used to the pitches, but going 2-1 up, you would expect us to go for the game and see it through. But it’s not to be, we lost all three points and we have to look at the positive and take the point.”

On the last half hour:

“I think it kind of seems to be the way so far in our season, in away games, they are trying to press us high. Maybe we should be a little bit more comfortable on the ball, we have good players who can play, so we should try to play out a bit more. Not be too scared to take risks, like I said there are people that can do it. I think they are just putting the pressure on us a little bit too high on the pitch, but we just have to deal with it and maybe change our forward mind, and maybe hitting a few more longer balls, and let the front three chase it down. Like I said, it’s always difficult when you’re away; you know the pressure is going to come. I think maybe they should have scored at the end as well so, we were probably lucky to come away with a point but a point on the road is good. It was a little bit frantic at the end, maybe too much counter attacking, we were a little bit stretched but away from home you know that’s going to happen.”

LA GALAXY GOALKEEPER DAN KENNEDY

On the first goal:

“The first goal was a bit unlucky. We have two guys make the same play which had to be made. The ball squirts out to them in a fortunate position, he tucks it away.”

On the second goal:

“Just hectic off a corner kick, they get the header on frame, and I just could never really get a hold of it, it squirts free, and they get on the end of it. It’s a tough position to be in; nonetheless coming in here and getting a point is a solid result for us. As a goalkeeper you always want to keep clean sheets and do better. That’s the way our position works.”

On Galaxy’s away form:

“I think we are doing well on the road so far this season, so let’s just keep grinding and staying focused. We don’t lose any momentum by coming on the road and getting a tie.”

On the goalkeeper competition:

“Brian [Rowe] and I support each other 100 percent; we are going to compete to make this team as good as possible. So I know I’m enjoying being here and being part of that competition. I’m sure if you asked Brian, he would feel the same exact way. I’m proud to work with him and Matt [Reis] and be on this team.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION HEAD COACH JIM CURTIN

Opening statement:

“Great crowd tonight, very impressive the fans really pushed us on. It is safe to say, two very good teams going at it, at a different night maybe we could catch a difference bounce here and there and come away with three points. We don’t believe in marvel victories but at the same time we were playing toe to toe with the top team in the west, former champions. I’m proud of my team I thought they put a lot into the game continued to push, finished the game with three rookies on the field against some pretty darn good players the galaxy have. So a good learning experience, again disappointed we did not take all three points tonight but we are going to be tough to beat in this building and our guys have really laid that foundation and I was happy with the effort.”

What can you say about Keegan’s performance especially late in the game?

“Excellent.  He has played against three legends of the club and has been a doorstop. He’s done great, he’s a young player but at the same time we seen him develop. He’s confidence is growing, he’s very good with the ball he’s comfortable. I’m happy for him to get his first goal, it’s always a good confidence builder. He has a real willingness to play out of the back. He did very good in his 1v1 battles, when you get isolated with dos Santos it’s not an easy task and I think he plays wise beyond his years for sure. Again it’s been the same thing we’ve seen through training and preseason he’s brought that. He has a good mentality and head on his shoulders. One of the young guys playing very well for ourselves.”

Can you put into words the types of experience and games have for the young rookies of your club?

“Yeah it’s a valuable to get games like that. It’s a big boy game. A lot of men on the field, former champions. The tempo was high and the game was fast. There were good plays from us and good plays from them, there were mistakes from both teams. Every time you take the field it’s a great learning experience.”

On going for the win against a team like Galaxy:

“I think we’ve shown that home and away we try to play the same way. We are not a team to sit back and absorb it, we will be aggressive. Yes, that means we will be exposed at times but we believe we have a good defensive team, but a good standard has been set from the front three to the midfield to the backs. Everyone attacks, and everyone defends. We try to make it 90 minutes of hell for the other team. To be brave and to be fearless is what we are about, and it’s part of what we want to instill in our players. We were pushing for goals from minute 1 to minute 90.”

How will you carry over the pressure you put in the last 30 minutes into Saturday’s game against Montreal?

“For the guys, they covered a lot of ground and put a lot of work in. I’m not afraid to go to guys who were not even in the 18 tonight. They were playing that well in training. We are a full team and we will need everybody. Again it’s what we talk about every week. We are deep at each spot and guys will be called upon. We have depth and we will evaluate how to approach Montreal a very good team a top team in the East with some special players. I think our guys will be up for the challenge and we certainly have some confidence from tonight and we will go again.”

Vince got the goal early on, and he was pushing up really far from the No. 8 spot was that designed to get him up there?

“Yeah we wanted to have our midfielders and defensive midfielders press up into the box just because LA with their attacking guys push many of their attacking guys forward and come out aggressive. Again, it’s a bit of a cat-and-mouse but we took some risk and made some deeper runs. We did not capitalize a couple really good opportunities on breaks but at the same time we will look at the tape and learn from it to be better. We created a lot to get another goal, but that’s disappointing and there’s always room for improvement.”

C.J. Sapong did a really good job getting past near post, care to comment on how the movement in the box has evolved?

“First and foremost he takes a beating every week. I don’t know if it’s the way he plays, or the style. He does get calls, but I don’t go crying to the refs but he does take a pounding. Maybe it is just the way he plays is a little un orthodox and it is hard to ref, but he occupies two guys and both center backs. He is committed to run hard across the near post, works his tail off, holds the ball, lets us work as a team, and does a lot of defensive work too. Happy with C.J. he does excellent – yeah he does take a pounding in there and I think he will get some more calls as the season goes on.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION DEFENDER KEEGAN ROSENBERRY

On the one on one with Gio dos Santos late in the game:

“Yeah, it’s one of the challenges of the game, we’ve got a top player, four or five players, and that was our goal tonight, for us to limit their chances, with all the special players they have and all they can do. I think we did a relatively good job with that, obviously they capitalized on a couple of our mistakes and scored a couple goals but I think there was a lot of positives to take away from that.”

On the first career goal:

“Yeah it was thrilling, it wasn’t too much on the finish obviously, but yeah I mean right place right time. It’s just a matter of being aggressive in the box and ball roll in. Thankful for the right place.”

On the result of the match

“To be honest, the way the game flowed and the way we performed, it feels like two lost, just like last week. I think that’s one of the reasons it surprised people, we generated a lot chances, and I thought we were the better team tonight. I guess that might surprise people but I think the fans can tell as well, we had the momentum at the end there, and looked like we were going to score.”

On the start of the second half

“It’s difficult obviously, again with a talented team like that, they have the ability to control the game when you’re tied or your up a goal. But I think we did a good job and created some chances, and that’s how we got that second goal.”

On overall defensive performance:

“Yes and no. Obviously we gave up two, that’s not ideal if you want to win three points and one goal at the most. At the same time like you said, we didn’t give up too many chances and we had to deal with their special players. But again there are positives, but at the same time I think we can improve, and we can score more goals as well. Certainly, from day one of preseason, everybody in the locker room contribute like we have, but at the same time these results, in the way the game flowed, will validate that. This team is on a good way about right now, and the challenge is to maintain the consistent performances in the way we have been performing.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION MIDFIELDER VINCENT NOGUEIRA

Do you feel like you let one go?

“We are happy about the performance, but we are also happy about the result. When you put good pressure on them like that it is frustrating to not get three points, but still it is a good performance. We scored twice and they didn’t have a lot of opportunities, so it was a good game. Unfortunately we have just one point.”

Can you take us through your goal?

“It comes from the left side, I think it is a cross from Fabinho, and it deflects by C.J. [Sapong] I think, I tried to shoot first but I didn’t connect the first time. The second time I shoot again. It is not the most beautiful goal in the world but it is still a goal and it counts, so that is important.”

How much was that an area that you wanted to attack, the space in front of their defenders and behind the holding midfielder?

“They were actually playing with three midfielders, and we were playing with five midfielders, so it was our strength tonight. I think we were pretty good in the midfield and we did pretty well and it was the key, but at the same time they were very good at the counter attack because they stayed with three players in front so it is still a dangerous team anyway.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION MIDFIELDER CHRIS PONTIUS

How does it feel to go at a team like the Galaxy for 90 minutes, what does it mean for the team to have done that?

“It means what we have tried to do, I think only maybe the first (match) we played timid. It is just a new group getting to know each other, but since then I think we have been pretty gung-ho about how we play and pressuring teams, forcing them into bad situations. It was going to be no different with LA tonight, so we wanted to show the rest of the league what we could do. Like I said, they scored two pretty good goals. I thought we had the better of play tonight though.”

How do you get the last 30 minutes of the second half to carry over into Saturday?

“It was pretty good, we had the movement and a lot of chances, and the crowd was into the game too. It was pretty special. Like I said, if we can just put a couple balls away it will go our way. Carrying it into Saturday we just have to prep for a different team, different system, and hopefully get after them the same way. I am sure there will be some changes maybe, but that is up to Jim and the coaching staff.”

How much of a jolt is it to go from the way LA plays to the way Montreal plays?

“You get used to it; it is week in and week out. You have to change to a different team’s system so I don’t think it is that much of a jolt. You have to be able to adapt in every league you play in, so no big change for us.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION FORWARD C.J. SAPONG

What does it mean for this team to go at LA for 90 minutes?

“I think it is just a testament of what we already know about ourselves. I think with games that we have already played this season we felt like we have always could have done better, and always seen where we could have improved. I think today was the first day that we really stay true to our identity, and as a player and teammate, it is good to see how guys are willing to step up in a big game and feel how the fans get behind us as well. It is a feeling that I have not felt in a Union uniform before, so it is a good feeling. We still obviously want more and feel like we could have come away with three points, but it was a great performance, it was a great effort, and it is something to build on.”

What does it say about Jim because some managers in this league would want to sit back against LA’s firepower:

“It shows the belief that he has in us, and he has showed it from day one. It made it kind of easier for us to assimilate into those roles and believe that we can play with any team in this league. I think it is a good thing that in house that we have our mentality, and we kind of separate ourselves from whatever the external factors are, and it starting to show and think we can show even more.”

Is confidence growing, as a group, nine games into the season?

“For sure, I think granted the way we came into preseason everybody kind of being on the same page already. It set up an environment where everybody already was confident. Every game thought I feel like it’s building, and like I said, today the teammates showing that effort and the will to try to get that win against a team like LA speaks volumes to us and it is something that will keep improving on as the season goes on.”

You took a nice beating tonight and you probably will against Montreal, you ready for that?

“Always ready for that man. That is my game and it makes me feel alive on the field. I am looking forward to the next battle, and I will ice up as much as I can till then.”