LA Galaxy Postgame Quote Sheet: LA Galaxy 2, Toronto FC 0

LA Galaxy 2, Toronto FC 0
Thursday, July 4, 2019 – 7:30 p.m. PT
2019 MLS Regular Season
Dignity Health Sports Park – Carson, California


On Efrain Alvarez’s performance:

“Before I speak on Efrain [Alvarez], I’d like to say that we are very happy today, because we had two players on the field who were 17 years old, Efrain [Alvarez] and Julian [Araujo]. In the second half, Emil Cuello went in, and came in [to our club] from the MLS combine, and you know we needed to win because we had the stadium full, we were coming from a loss in San Jose, and everyone had expectations for the game today. They are professionals. I think the team played very well and supported our players like Julian [Araujo] and Efrain [Alvarez] and allowed them to bring their soccer into the game. Efrain [Alvarez] is playing, because we don’t have [Uriel] Antuna, Romain [Alessandrini], all the players on the national team, or injured. He’s young; he needs time. We can’t force him to play every game and give assists and goals. He’s 17, he needs time, and we are working with him for the future; for the LA Galaxy’s future. But, we need to take the steps that we need to take, and that he needs, and then he will be a great player if he stays grounded.”

On the team’s mid-season form:

“I think today we can see something, but we have seven players out due to national team and injuries, and it’s a lot in MLS. But we are making the team, and sometimes we don’t have the players, so we have to try and figure it out with what we have, but it’s hard to keep the idea and keep the results. Sometimes you prefer to just win [regardless of how you play]. Sometimes you have to play how we are going to play, because this way we are going to win. During this season we’ve had 19 games. I think the team sometimes shows the way that I want to play; the system that I want to use. Today, we had a lot of young players on the field. So, we can’t tell them you have to play like this, or you have to play like that, because they need to make mistakes, and sometimes they will make good decisions. But, with young players, sometimes it’s difficult to keep the line, always going up and going down. So, in this case, I prefer for Julian [Araujo] or for Efrain [Alvarez] to play well and get confidence for the future, step by step and not put the system over them.”

On the LA Galaxy’s patience on the game:

“I think we need to mix it up when we have the ball, and sometimes be direct or take patience. Today, for example, I remember a play in the first half when Julian [Araujo] gave the pause, and I think maybe 20 passes almost, I don’t know exactly how many; sometimes the game gave us the possibility for making passes and organizing the play or moving the ball until finding the play, and sometimes I want to be direct. It depends.”

On giving Efrain Alvarez his first start in MLS and what impressed him most from his performance:

“When we organized the team, we saw him really well in the second half against San Jose. So, after the game we were talking at the table, and we said he needs to play in the next game. I think the best thing I could see about him was that he always tries to get the ball and do something with it. Even sometimes where he could easily lose the ball; one minute after, he recovers the ball, he has the ball, so I think this is the best thing to take away from him today. Even when things are not going really good for him, he can keep the line and ask for the ball.”

On Zlatan Ibrahimović’s two goals:

“I’m very happy for him. He has a big career. He knows the striker sometimes can, and sometimes can’t score. But, I feel happy because you can feel like he feels, like when he doesn’t score or when he doesn’t have the opportunity to score, he gets frustrated. And today, the young players gave him the possibility to score twice.”     


On breaking records in MLS:

“I don’t even know what the situation is… As long as they don’t suspend me, maybe I can break some records. I’m not in control of that. It was a good day today. Good game, and two different scenarios from the first and second half. In the second half, we stepped up and pressed higher and won the ball higher, and from there, we started to play. Instead, the first was more that we won the ball more in the back and we didn’t come up to the offensive part and had the offensive power to create chances.”

On getting back on the score sheet:

“Of course I will score. That’s the last problem I have. I just need to be in the right spot and the right position, which is the most difficult part. I’m not worried about the goals, I think the collective performance is more important than my goals, because if the collective performance is there, the goals will come.”

On Efrain Alvarez:

“I said he is the biggest talent in this league and he’s ready to play. He’s only 17 and I believe that in this league, if you’re 16 or 17, you can be ready to play, because the level is not like Europe. If you’re 16 or 17 and not playing in this league, then it will be difficult in Europe.”

On having patience:

“I’ve had patience since day one, because of where I came from and who I played with. It’s nothing to brag about now, because now I am here and I’ve said from the beginning that I have to learn, I have to adjust, I have to have this patience and to adjust my game after the game here, so that is what I’m trying to do.”


On the match and feeling comfortable playing at this level:

“I mean it was difficult, but the coaches gave me my responsibility and I went out there and did whatever the advice they gave me. I went out there and did what I had to do. I definitely do [feel comfortable], my whole life I’ve been playing with older guys, and I feel like this has been another stepping stone. I feel like I’m doing well, and I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be.

On playing for a coach that trusts players regardless of age:

“It’s a blessing obviously being a young guy and getting starts. Knowing that the coach has trust in not only me but the other young guys, there is not much more you can ask for.”

On how comfortable he is being called on to play:

“I never want to get comfortable. I always want to keep going and I want to learn and I want to do whatever I have to do to be better. There is never going to be a point where I am going to get comfortable.”

On what it’s like combining with Efrain on the field:

“We’ve played together before so we’re doing well, and I feel like we can continue to work more and be better.”  

On what he liked from Efrain today:

“He was working, he was a really hard worker today, and he did whatever he had to do to get an assist, and he did well.”  

On what the team has to improve on:

“Today we had a little difficulty playing out of the back and we were too far behind from our forwards. I feel like we have to be closer to our midfielders and our midfielders closer to our forwards. I feel like we can do a lot better at being compact and controlling the ball more.”

On competing with Rolf Feltscher for the starting spot:

“Obviously it’s my goal to keep the position and keep my starting spot, but he’s a little injured now. Hopefully, he gets back and if it’s him that is starting, then whatever helps the team out more.”

On if it’s hard to believe he has become an integral part of the team so quickly:

“It’s hard to believe that I’m young and this is my first professional team. It is hard.”


On the squad mentality before his assist:

“We were not frustrated at all, we were just trying to work out the game. In the first half we couldn’t break the line, but the second half we came in with a different mentality. We tried breaking it more, we ran collectively, we did offense and defense collectively, and that is what we needed and we broke them down.”

On impact the goal had on the team:

“Now we got the victory, that is something we needed to start our home victories and a winning streak.”

On his first league start:

“I was very happy I got the start. That is something I’ve been waiting for the last two years or so that I’ve been with the second team. This is a dream come true, but from here we start working more and more, and I start trying to get more starts.”

On feeling more comfortable at this level:

“I feel more comfortable you could say, getting minutes here and there and then starting today.”


On the team's performance:

"I thought we had total control of the game for a large chunk of it. I think there was a stretch towards the second half just before we made a couple of subs where we started to look just a little bit fatigued in certain areas and they started to get corner kicks and some things that we knew they were going to be big team and difficult for us to defend on some of these set pieces. Sure enough they were just starting to get a little bit more space we were sagging off just a little bit too much and they were able to get a touch of momentum like I said most of that came in the way of set pieces and things like that. We had some good possession, I thought we could play through them at will. A lot of times we could get guys into dangerous final areas but the connection between the final pass and the cross missed most of the night so we made a substitution to try to bring Jordan [Hamilton] on just to get a striker, maybe just a little bit more activity and presence and I think within seconds of doing that we give up a goal. On the goal we talked all night about getting out to the crossers and trying to prevent them from swinging balls into the box because that is the perfect vision of a goal that the only person who is going to get to that ball that high is Zlatan [Ibrahimović]. The best thing you can do is be in his body and try to disrupt him but he's the only one heading the ball up in that space and he did what he does which is he finds the only spot in the net that he can tuck it in but we have to prevent the cross maybe on the backside we can be a little bit closer to him maybe just getting like I said into his body to give him more of a disruption but that is what he does he gets one look at the goal and he scores a goal. After that we start chasing a little bit pushing some numbers just trying to get some more guys in front of the goal but as we did that our shape changes and some of the fluid attacks that we had start to fade but it's in a hope of trying to get more numbers in front of the goal. Then we stated to get a little bit more opened up defensively because we are committing so many guys. The second goal for me is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, it's the first goal and some of the opportunities that we were close to, Marky [Delgado] had one early he had a really good look and some other chances that could've been the difference in us getting on top of that game."

On Jonathan Osorio's performance:

"It's is good to have him back. We he playes in there it is a little different than when Nick [DeLeon] is in there. He and [Alejandro] Pozuelo obviously look for each other and they do a lot combining and connecting and a lot of little passes. I think that helped us in possession and I think at times it slows us a little bit down in some of the final attacking actions but I think in the grand scheme of things it helped to control the game and it helps us to unbalance them a little bit. We just need to make sure when that is happening that we don't lose the timing of the final action that is ultimately going to cause the goal scoring situation scenario in front of the goal. It was nice to have him back, I think he was solid and I think he had a good game."


On being back from international duty:

"It is nice to be back with the team, I felt good but unfortunately it didn't end the way I wanted but looking at the bigger picture it is good to be back."

On tonight's game:

"We controlled the whole game then game changed they got one chance goal they got a second chance goal and game over."

On his performance:

"I go out there and do my best every game for club and country and that is all I can do."

On the team's performance:

"Our performance was great today before we took a goal. The game was in our control we were just missing that last little bit to put the ball in the back of the net. If we put one in the back of the net this game becomes a 2 or 3 nothing game for us and that is what happens in these games and this league if you don't take your chances, a guy like [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is going to make you pay. It is a positive we have to keep playing like this but in the end it is not good enough unless you score goals."  


On takeaways from the match:

“Yeah we weren’t to capitalize on half chances that we had and make them into real chances. The one kind of clear-cut opportunity that they got, they capitalized, and we knew all [Zlatan] Ibrahimović needed was a yard of space and he found it, and obviously he scored. I think this is a matter of we’re getting into good areas and having our crosses pass the first man or the ones on the box aren’t where we need them to be. Regardless, there’s some positives to take away from the game. We’ll get back to Toronto and look to sort those out this week for preparation against Montreal next week.”

On being optimistic about what the team can do in the second half moving forward:

“Yeah, we dominate for large parts of the game and we really control everything in the match. We had them pinned back for large portion of both halves and again like I said we gave up one chance to a guy that’s incredible in those situations and he capitalized on it.”

On the team being fatigued from all the travel:

“We aren’t making any excuses for ourselves. This is MLS and we understand the travel and the schedule and that’s never an excuse. We are looking to get out again just eleven players against eleven players on the field at the end of the day and we weren’t able to take the three points tonight.”