Postgame Quote Sheet: LA Galaxy 2, New York Red Bulls 3 | April 28, 2018

On the changes in formation, specifically Sebastian Lletget and Ola Kamara’s positioning:
“I thought it helped us. I thought we played better soccer. I thought Ola Kamara did a lot of work on the side, showed he could score goals coming from there as well. [Sebastian] Lletget was playing deeper in midfield and did a lot of the two-way playing that sometimes we get from Jonathan [dos Santos] when he plays. I was pleased with the soccer that we played. From the deep positions, you need to get the ball up to the next group of players. I think Lletget helps us do that. He was also aggressive and was strong on the tackle.”
On what he thought of the officiating:
“I think you should interview the officials. I thought it was awful. On the VAR, I see here that they’ve got an assistant video guy, another assistant guy, a replay supervisor, a replay operator, a replay operator assistant, another replay operator assistant, a review assistant…and the guy who’s in charge of it. My understanding of it is that you don’t overturn it unless it’s clear and unequivocal. You watch Ibra’s goal, which would have made it 3-2, and the linesman ends up calling offside. If you watch the replay of the linesman, he almost dropped the flag he was so nervous putting the flag up. If he lets the goal stand, then they don’t overturn it the other way. But because he calls offsides, they feel it’s not clear. But when you watch the replay, he’s clearly onside. And I don’t understand the PK either, but it’s harder to see that on replays. I think they got the first one right where they called [Ola] Kamara off. I’ve always said I’m a fan of VAR, but I don’t know if I am anymore.”

On Zlatan Ibrahimović dropping in the formation towards the end of the game:
“He was looking for the ball. I would have liked to see him stay up, but as he gets fitter he’s willing to do more work. He likes to play whatever you want to call it, a false nine sometimes and drop off into midfield. So he set up the goal coming from there. He’s a good passer of the ball, which all good players are good passers of the ball. We remember all the spectacular dribbling and shooting that they do, but all great players are good passers of the ball. So him coming in there is okay with me as long as we don’t lose the ball. Giovani [dos Santos] did a good job of pushing high when he went there.”
On the performance of Giovani dos Santos:
“I thought Giovani [dos Santos] played well. He played in the hole. As I just said, when Ibra dropped he pushed forward and he was on the spot for the goal. [David] Romney battled and won the header and it bounced to Gio and he did well to finish it quickly. Obviously it’s his first significant minutes coming back from an injury, so it should get better.”
On the Galaxy’s defensive performance:
“You can’t give up goals in the sixth minute and the first minute of the second half. That’s unacceptable. I thought [Michael] Ciani came in and played well. I thought overall our defense was okay. There’s a lot of teams in this league including the Red Bulls, they do a really good job disguising early fouls. How [Aurelien] Collin doesn’t get a yellow card for stopping a counter…If you look back and look at the fouls, we need to be a little more deliberate with our fouling in the early parts of the field to stop attacks. I think a lot of the teams do that. Atlanta does it successfully, both New York teams do it. The top teams are pretty good about making sure that they don’t get countered on and stopping plays. I thought we did a better job of that in the second half. But again, getting scored on that early was the thing that turned the game. If we don’t take that goal early in the second half, then we get on top 2-1 and I was confident that we were going to create offense in the second half and that we could score goals.”
On the performance of Romain Alessandrini:
“I thought his effort was good. He ran a lot and covered a lot of ground. I think as a group, just the final decision making needs to get better. But they need to play together more. This is the first time that this formation played together. It’s the first time Ola Kamara and Romain [Alessandrini] and Ibra and Gio were on the field together. I think it’s the first time Ola, Gio and Romain have been on the field together since the first game, except for a few minutes at the end of the last game. So that just takes…I know it’s sounds like a little bit of a broken record…but that just takes time.”
On tonight’s formation and how it worked:
“I think we know we have very talented Players, so playing in the front with Zlatan [Ibrahimović], Ola [Kamara], Romain Alessandrini], we feel comfortable. I think we did a great job. We kept the ball, we created chances and it’s frustrating to lose three games in a row at home, but I am very confident on this team and we’ll get back.”
On getting back on the scoresheet tonight:
“For me as I always say, I want to win. For me this year hasn’t been about me. It’s all about the team. I want to end this year in the best way, so I’m just trying to help the team. It doesn’t matter if I score or if I don’t score. I only want to win games.”
[Translated from Spanish]
Despite the result, on his positive performance and scoring a goal tonight:
“Sad for the result, but happy to be back. Physically I feel great and I continue to work hard to try and help the team win games.”
On whether he feels he’s in his best form:
“I have worked very hard. I am 100 percent, if not I wouldn’t have played today. I felt good, physically good, and like I’ve said, nothing bothered me so that means the work I did when I was injured was good and I feel good physically.”
On getting subbed off:
“I don’t think any players like to get subbed off, and the game was tied two two. I think that we had a lot of possibilities to come back and win how we were controlling the game, but in the end it is technical decisions that we must respect.”
[Reacciones en español]
A pesar del resultado, sobre su buena actuación y gol esta noche:
“Triste por el resultado, pero bueno contento porque regresé. Físicamente estoy bien y bueno, trabajando lo más fuerte posible para seguir en esta línea y tratar de ayudar al equipo a conseguir victorias.”
Sobre si está a su mejor nivel:
“Digo, eh trabajado fuertísimo. Estoy al cien por cien, si no no hubiese jugado el partido. Me noté muy bien, físicamente bien, y que bueno lo que dije, sin ninguna molestia así que quiere decir que el trabajo que hice cuando estuve lesionado fue bueno y me siento muy bien físicamente.”
Sobre su cambio en el segundo tiempo:
“Yo creo que a ningún jugador le gusta que lo cambien, a parte el partido estaba dos dos. Creo que teníamos muchas posibilidades de darle la vuelta como estábamos controlando el partido, pero al final son decisiones técnicas que hay que respetar.”
On how the team played in the adjusted lineup:

“We looked better the whole game today. I don’t think we allowed them too many chances. We created chances and scored goals. Today was the right formation.”
On his role in the adjusted formation:
“I mean, I don’t love it. But right now, it’s about starting to win. It’s all about the team. Maybe with time I’ll be back playing striker, but right now we just have to find a formula where we’re winning. Today we did better and I think we actually deserved to win today. We didn’t get the decisions with us. It was a little bit better, but it’s not enough.”

On his own performance today:
“I think last weekend was the first weekend I wasn’t struggling with my hip flexor so this was a week where I’ve been 100 percent the whole week. That gives you confidence and I think people saw that today. I’ve been healthy for a week and I’m better. I think moving forward it’s going to be good and especially the chemistry with Gio is a game-changer for me.”
On his chemistry with Zlatan and how Zlatan is fitting in:
“I think he has a brilliant mind of course, so he’s going to make those passes. Of course he’s also working on the chemistry with all the guys and how we’re doing everything. I think the ball I got from him was magic. It’s easy for me to score that goal. I think we can expect more and more from him now.”
“It seems like in every game it goes against us to be honest. For me, in the first game against Portland, in Chicago and now this game. I think it’s a situation in the end, where it’s 2-2, the referee has to go to the screen himself because it’s such an important decision. I won’t say anything about the decision, but it’s so important that he has to make [the decision] himself, for me.”
On the officiating:

“What can I say, it’s another game that we need to chase the goal just like the other games we played at home. Like I said last time, if you chase the goal, you play different. Today we played much different because we changed the tactic. I think it was working better, we were more solid today. But still, you losing the game after six minutes is not okay. To receive a goal so fast, chase that, and the second half starts and you concede another goal fast, you are still chasing. We do 2-1, and we do 2-2. I don’t know if it was offside, my goal, but it doesn’t matter. I never give excuses or blame the referee because we all try to do good. We can do better, he can do better… And then we concede a penalty against us… Somebody says it’s not a penalty, somebody says yes. If you look at the video, it was no penalty and I think even the referee… I’m not sure if he was watching the video, the VAR. I don’t know. It’s different. But we have to give used to it. Like I said, I don’t want to give an excuse for the [referees] on the field. It’s all on us. We need to do more. Much more. It’s not acceptable, it’s not okay… It’s a team effort and we need to do much more, that’s for sure. We need to work hard.”
On Giovani dos Santos:
“I think Gio did good. If he didn’t do good, it was the mistakes from the other players because we need to look for him. He needs to receive balls, he needs to control the game. If we don’t find him, it’s our fault, not his fault. He’s in the right position and we need to find him, not him find the ball… He did a good game, he scored a nice goal.”
On Ola Kamara playing wide:
“It’s a different game for him. Normally he’s not playing there, he’s playing where I play. Physically he did good. When you play that position, it’s important to keep the ball, so it’s all about what you’re used to. He scored a nice goal, so it was good. He was supposed to come in behind the defense, exactly what he did, and he scored.”
On getting a win on the road:
"I think to get the 2-0 lead was really good then we had to take some pressure and you have to expect the home team to throw a lot at you. I thought we could have managed mistakes in there a little bit and now when they were throwing things at us we managed the moment a little bit better but the best part of the night was that at 2-2 that is when we played our best. We didn't waver, we went after the game with a young team to show that kind of character and maturity I think it says a lot about our group. I am proud of them for the response and a really but three points for us on the road."
On giving up two goals:
"Some of it was our inability to manage turnovers and little mental errors and a set piece goal on the second one but that is one of the things about coaching young players is you have to sort of live with certain things sometimes. It doesn't make it easy on the bench but again if in the end it led to us showing more character in a big moment then I think in the end it ends up being a positive so we'll look a little bit at how we can understand how to manage things on the road, how to manage a good team when they are throwing things at us. I take away a big positive watching them really respond at 2-2."
On having VAR go their way tonight:
"I am used to not getting VAR so it was nice to get it. I don't know enough about what happened so it is hard to make any comments on it. Overall I thought the referee did a nice job with the day with the night. I'll know more once I look at the video and see how close plays were. You would hope that they got them right and that it is nice to have it work in our favor."