LA Galaxy Postgame Quote Sheet: LA Galaxy 2, Houston Dynamo 1

LA Galaxy 2, Houston Dynamo 1

Friday, April 19, 2019 – 8:00 p.m. PT

2019 MLS Regular Season

Dignity Health Sports Park – Los Angeles, California

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH GUILLERMO BARROS SCHELOTTO

On Julian Araujo’ s overall performance as a starter:

“I think he debuted like a starter. He played well. He was having some problems in his space. Even in the first half he went up and made some difference. So, I am happy with the team because we won, but I think I am very happy with him because he is 17 years old, and we are putting on the field, on the pitch, lots of players from the academy, and I like it.”

On the LA Galaxy’s second-half performance:

“I got happy because after Houston tied the game, we fought to win. We deserved to win. We made everything to get the ball. To be direct, or play, but everything we did on the field was to win, not for a tie or keeping the ball, or try to do something. I think I am very happy, because we fought, and we won. Sometimes we fight and you can’t, but today I think the team, after Houston tied, we were looking to win. I am happy because we found another way than in other games, we tried today.”

On Romain Alessandrini’s injury:

“I don’t know. Just, I need to talk with the doctor. Maybe tomorrow, or Monday, when he can do something in the clinic, because it’s the knee, but I don’t know what happened.”

On Diego Polenta’s performance:

“I think he’s growing. We know when at the start of the season, he would grow in the level, because he hadn’t played in the last six months, and he showed up with us in January and he started to training. But, I think game by game he’s getting better. He played really good when he played one on one. He’s a winner. So I thought he could get to score, because he tries even when he went for set pieces, always. He’s a winner.”

On the controversy of Houston Dynamo’s penalty decision:

“I don’t know how the decision was made about the penalty; if it was the VAR or the referee. I don’t know if there was a foul. I don’t know if it was inside or outside the box. It’s not very clear. I can’t give my opinion. But in the lockers, in the videos I know it was outside very clear. But, I am not the VAR, so I don’t know.”

On Chris Pontius’s absence from the team roster:

“He had something on the calf. Just for two or three days he will be out. Maybe he will be ready for Monday. I don’t know, but it’s nothing special. But, he has some pain there.”

On David Bingham’s performance:

“I think he was really good time sometimes in the second half. He gave us a lot of security in the air balls, and even [Alberth] Elis’s shot from the right section, he was able to save. He’s good. He’s getting better too.”

On Emmanuel Boateng’s performance:

“I think he’s ready to play. When you lose a player like Romain [Alessandrini] maybe sometimes the team can feel it. But, we are training with the players, and everyone has to be ready. I think Emmanuel [Boateng] today was ready.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC

On Houston’s penalty kick:

“We talk again about VAR. I said last time we talk about VAR. The referee can make a mistake, but the guy upstairs or wherever he is watching the replay and they showed the replay while we were looking and you can see it was outside. I don’t want to complain too much about it, but the guy who watches the VAR maybe he needs to drink coffee while it’s happening or he enjoyed the game too much. It was a beautiful game. When this happens, at least when City and Tottenham it happened was not a mistake it was a good call. Can you imagine losing on something that was a bad mistake because of something you don’t have time to watch, in the heat of the moment you make a mistake. We can all do and we can learn from it, but he was clear. He didn’t even go out to watch it. I don’t know if it’s when they whistle for something and they don’t want to want to go against their call, but they have to drop this if it’s like that situation.”

On Diego Polenta’s goal:

“We were pushing and pushing, but still we cannot think like that. We got revenge because of Polenta’s goal. We did it because we were fighting and I think they could also score one in the end. They had a good chance, but I think the game was nice. We played against a good team. I think they played good and they made it difficult for us. I think everybody did a good job and we won a nice game. I think for the fans, it was great. It was exciting.”

On Julian Araujo’s performance:

“I think he did a good game, he did a great game. I think they helped him a lot. I think being 17, coming in you have pressure on you. I think he did a really great game and he deserves all the credit he can get and much more. He’s a hard-working guy. He always works hard. He’s a good kid and he listens. He wants to improve and he has a good spirit. I’m happy for him. He had a good game against a good opponent. It was not easy, but we said in the beginning we will help him and make it easier for him.”

 

On win streak:

 “Now we are winning. We should not relax and just focus on ourselves because I think our only threat is ourselves because if we relax, if we start to underestimate the team we play against we will get punished. We need to respect them, but still play like ourselves because if we do we are a threat for any team in this league.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER DIEGO POLENTA

[Translated from Spanish]

On getting the game-winning goal and how he has settled in:

“It’s very important, I think more than this being personal, this is a great team accomplishment and I am happy for the team.”

 

On how he feels and how the team chemistry is:

“I feel very good. There’s a great group. I think we are doing things very well, but this is just starting. We are taking it game by game.”

 

On how he asses the Galaxy’s defensive performance:

“I think that it was a difficult game against a rival that was undefeated. In times we did things well and in other times we didn’t. The important thing is that we won. It’s always good to fix mistakes by winning games and we are happy for the victory.”

On what this goal means to him:

“I always think that soccer is like this. Today I’m here, my teammates joked that I never play like that, and tomorrow maybe it’s not the case. So, soccer is like that. There’re times things will go well for me and there will be times when things won’t go so well. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. I am at ease, I am working hard. As for the goal, of course, it’s great to score especially at in the last minutes of the game. But I think the most important thing here it’s the team, and I feel very happy that I was able to help get the three points – which the team won, Diego Polenta didn’t win.”

On the goal and how he saw it unfold:

“It was a corner kick in which Jonathan [dos Santos] put in a great cross. In reality, it was all to Jonathan’s credit because he put the ball on my head, I only had to push it in.”

On the last time he had scored:

“I don’t remember the last time I played soccer [laughs], remembering the last time I scored is impossible.”

On thinking about the months he didn’t play, and now he is here celebrating and enjoying:

“Obviously the moment I scored a lot of things came to my head. The moment I wanted to leave soccer. And now I am smiling again, like I said before for me it’s a great club that came after me and I am very happy, I am enjoying. But more than anything I am enjoying being with the team, working with everyone day in and day out and they are there in the good and the bad moments.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER JONATHAN DOS SANTOS

[Translated from Spanish]

On coming back in the second half and what that means to the team:

“I think we relaxed a bit in the start of the second half and they pressured us a little more. We knew as a team it was an important game and we needed to get the win whichever way we could. The team got frustrated at the end and we got our reward.”

On the team’s pace during the second half the past two games:

“I don’t think it’s something we need to worry about, but we need to change our mentality. We came out a bit relaxed in the second half. I don’t know if it was because we exerted ourselves too much in the first half, and that somewhat could affect us. As opposed to last week, we had less of a falling out period this game. At the end we did suffer a bit. We had a bit of bad luck conceding the penalty kick, if not I think the game would have been in our hands during the entire match. At the end we made a huge effort and got the result.”

On Diego Polenta:

“He's very good, he’s good tacitly and always knows where to place himself on the field. He has a lot of quality, knows how to play out of the back with ball at his feet and he never gets nervous. He was a great signing for our team this year. I feel very comfortable playing with him, I know I’m covered defensively with him behind me. That also makes my job a lot easier, as well as Joe [Corona] and Sebastian [Lletget]. I’m happy for him, he deserved this goal. He deserved it, he’s a great player and a great singing.”

On the team:

“I think you’ve seen our team thus far, it’s not easy to win six out of seven games. I think the team is very compacted, we just need that little bit of patience. We need to have more ball possession, run less – or more like know how and when to make the runs – and not just run without necessity. I think the team is great defensively and offensively, we just need to fix some minor details. It has cost us some effort to get into the first ten minutes of the second half of games and in the end they score on us and makes us suffer. Little by little we will fix those details.” 

HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH WILMER CABRERA:

On initial thoughts of how the game went this evening:

“I think we had a very good plan, we were comfortable with the ball, our position was good. Again, we created the chances, but had a lack of activity…to make simple passes and give the best position player in that situation the opportunity to score with a simple tap and in these types of games you have to capitalize on those opportunities, otherwise you are going to be punished. Then we told them about the PKs, about how everything that happens in the box is going to be complicated for us. They were good on set pieces and in the end, we lost the game on set pieces. Now we have to move forward to try to think about the next game, but I am happy for the performance, for the personality that we showed, I am happy because we came over here and we had good position, good movement on the ball, good shots, we should have scored more goals, but we played well.”

On the team’s determination to fight back and equalize the game:

“We are committed to playing, committed to go anywhere to try to play even with any team. Today was important for us to prove to ourselves, for the players to prove to themselves, that they can compete, and we looked very well, we created options, we should work on making it simple at the end to finish the opportunities. We push, and we finish those 3-4 opportunities that we had, we could have won the game comfortably.”

On what you can focus on from this loss:

“We know why we lost, we spoke already. We just have to go home and prepare ourselves for our next game, understanding that we have to grab the good things that we did and need to improve on set pieces, we need to improve on the lack of concentration that can affect us.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO GOALKEEPER JOE WILLIS

On the penalty kick against Zlatan Ibrahimović:

“Zlatan obviously gets a lot of penalties so we did our research and watched some of his (penalties) from the past and he likes to go both ways so there is only so much you can do with that. I just had a feeling he would go to my left so I went for it and wasn’t able to get enough on it.”

On the save against Emmanuel Boateng to keep it 1-1:

“I saw the ball coming through and I tried to just get out quickly and cut down the angle, make myself as big as possible, get to him as quick as possible, give him as little goal as I can to shoot at.”

On visiting the Dynamo Special Olympics team after the game:

“Our Special Olympics team has their first away game of the season tonight so it is a special night for them, playing in this incredible stadium. I just wanted to wish them luck and let them know that we’ve got their back.”