LA Galaxy Postgame Quote Sheet: LA Galaxy 2, Houston Dynamo 4

LA Galaxy 2, Houston Dynamo 4
Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 – 1 p.m. PT
2019 MLS Regular Season
BBVA Stadium – Houston, TX


On the mentality after a tough result:

“We have relaxed after qualifying for the playoffs, but we understood our rival today and the challenges they brought to the game. Now, we have to focus on Minnesota. So, we need to get ready for them. We are ready. We are a very good team.”

On what the team needs to improve prior to facing Minnesota:

“We need to learn from our mistakes prior to our first playoff game. We can’t underestimate the opponents. It happened to us against Vancouver, it happened again today against Houston. We played well, but to allow eight goals – that is too much so we need to focus more throughout the game. I will say that I feel we have relaxed a bit since qualifying.”

On the instructions he gave the defense:

“We have played with (Giancarlo) Gonzalez in on game and (Daniel) Steres in another. We need to find the formula in training and address the mistakes we made today and against Vancouver. We need to improve as a team prior to the game against Minnesota.”

On Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contributions to the team: “He has been very important for us, he has scored 30 goals. He has battled with Carlos Vela the whole season for the most goals and Vela finished with the title. Both have had a great season. Zlatan is very important to us, he knows what I’m talking about.”

On the missed opportunities today:

“We hit the post three times, that is not easy. We just didn’t have any luck offensively today. We made mistakes defensively and the other team was able to capitalize on that. We need to play smarter, be more aware because we have the talent to score goals. But we have to address our defense as well.”

On what he takes away from the game:

“This was a game that went back and forth. It was tough to maintain the intensity, it was very hot. We scored two goals and hit the post three times and if that was a different story, maybe we could of managed the game differently. I’m not sure if the third goal comes after a foul on (Diego) Polenta, it is tough due to the quality of the image, but I don’t believe we deserved to lose.”

On playing Minnesota on the road:

“What hurts me the most is that we missed a good opportunity to play at home after these last two games. Playing against Seattle, Minnesota or Salt Lake doesn’t vary too much, they are really balanced teams. Any of those three would be a good rival.”

On the defensive errors the team made:

“We have to recognize the talent our rivals brought to the game. Unfortunately, we allowed four games in our final two games and that is a lot. One can lose confidence during this stretch, but we have time to address this prior to the playoffs in two weeks.”

On Joe Corona’s recovery:

“We don’t know if he will be ready for the playoffs. I don’t know how serious the injury is. He had to come off immediately after the impact. He is a big loss for us. It is difficult anytime you lose someone from the starting lineup, especially after you spend so much time developing a style of play. If we have to, we will do our part to fill the void.”

On managing the season:

“I felt like the team did well. The first goal was to make the playoffs, we had gone two seasons without making the postseason and we want more than just that. I think that as a team, we can do more.”

On Uriel Antuna:

“Uriel really held his own today. He has done that recently in a few games as a winger and he has been very active throughout the game. We will do our part to have him with the team.”


On how it felt to get back on the field:

“Yeah, it’s always nice getting back on the field, but the result we have tonight isn’t up to our standards and it’s definitely a bittersweet taste in your mouth.”

On the performance of the team in the last two games:

“Yeah, last two games have been pretty bad performances. No disrespect to teams we’ve played, but losing both those games is embarrassing for us. We have to be better and going in the playoffs now you can’t play games like that or you’re going home. That’s just the reality of it and we got two weeks to kind of get healthy and get everyone feeling good and then we got a big one.”

On what the defense needs to address in the games moving forward:

“I think in the last two games eight goals against us not anywhere near playoff quality so you got to go back, look at film and really get back to what we did to the previous four games and if we can get back to that level we’ll be hard to stop.”

On the Dynamo scoring four goals:

“Sometimes other teams have quality players just like we do and they see a yard or two difference and they can make the pass and that’s the reality of it. If you are a yard or two in this league teams can beat you and that’s what happened tonight and it happened three times and that’s just not good enough.”

On the mindset of the team:

“Yeah, guys are pissed. We just lost a game 4-2 that we had no business losing at all. So, guys are upset right now and then we got to get home and let it go and get everyone healthy and feeling good for two weeks.”

On what it means to him to show up for the team tonight:

“Yeah, I mean I’d love not to see that many shots—that would be ideal, but at the end of the day you have to do what can to help the team and it just worked out this year that I ended up on top and that doesn’t matter now because we are going into the playoffs so hopefully we go into the playoffs and I don’t have to touch the ball at all and we go all the way but yeah that stuff we can talk about after the season, but we have to get ready for Minnesota.”


On the difficulties the team has faced since clinching the playoff berth:

“I mean after Salt Lake we were in the playoffs and I think these two games hasn’t been what we are able to do. Conceding these goals in two games against two teams that are not in the playoffs is not good obviously, but actually we are in the playoffs and now I think it’s at Minnesota away. So hopefully it will be a good game.”

On what was missing in the final third tonight:

“I think we did two simple mistakes. Well we are in the attack almost scoring or dominating in the attack, we get one counterattack and we don’t catch that or stop that, and we get punished by them – so obviously it’s not a good game.”

On where the mentality of the team is now: “Good question. I think we have to wait until the playoffs, which doesn’t mean nothing because it’s a totally different game in the playoffs than this last game. Today we played for the position and with a loss or draw, we are still in the playoffs.”

On what needs to change for the next game: “I think the simple mistakes we are doing has to change. First goal was missing 20 seconds or something. You need to be more intelligent and know that what’s left is 20 seconds and whatever to take out the time.”

On what this year means to him after missing the scoring record he set last year by one goal:

“I think good. I mean 30 goals. I promise to break some records. I wish I could have started this season in the beginning. I was injured in the beginning then had some suspensions. So, it’s still good. I don’t complain.”


(on the outcome of the game) “I think it’s a really good way to end the season the way that we did, with (DaMarcus Beasley) and the result I couldn’t be happier. Not only do I think it’s a good game, but we put on a good show. We came from behind twice, we had a big crowd, which I think inspired us as well. For me, the day couldn’t have gone much better.”

(on making adjustments going into halftime) “Yeah, we actually did. At the water break in the first half, we had to make a little adjustment. You know, we got a little stretched at times in the first half. Half of us were kind of stepping, the backline wasn’t at the same time. We weren’t fully on the same page against teams of that quality, they will play right through you and cause you problems and it forced us to have to defend too much space. We made a big emphasis, about if we were going to stay high and we were really going to do it as a group. We were going to do it with everybody on the same page and again I thought after 30 minutes, I think that’s when the water break was, we adjusted that. I think that helped us, once in possession higher up the field. I thought we were better with the ball. Big emphasis obviously with the heat, and everything we wanted to be good on the ball. We wanted to make them chase, it’s not whether they’re used to play in. And I thought after we regrouped around the water break, especially at halftime we understood the need to value the ball a little bit more. Pick our moments, when we were going to attack and be dangerous. And obviously the second half was very good.”

(on making defensive adjustments against Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the first goal) “Well I think our two center backs did a very good job, our backline did a very good job. I think our midfield, they played balls directed, they hit the times where he hits the runners that run off of him. He makes life very difficult; I don’t care who you are. When you’re playing against him, he’s going to cause you problems, which at times he did. He’s going to have his moments, which I thought he did. But I thought our backline, our two centerbacks in particular did a really a good job of dealing with him. It’s not an easy task.”

(on intent to double team Zlatan Ibrahimovic) “Well, there’s times where you’re going to, there’s times you’re not going to be able to. For me, the biggest things, you try to affect him on the first ball, what he does a really good job of is that he brings people into the play. So, there’s always other dangerous players that run off him. So now, the work of Boniek (Garcia) and Matias (Vera) and those guys to pick up the runners off of him now, becomes super important. And I thought for the most part, we did a really good job of that, it’s not always going to be perfect. Zlatan is going to find his moments to be dangerous, as he did tonight. But, it’s a big-time performance by the two center backs in particular for me.”

(on his final takeaways as interim head coach and the final pitch made to become head coach for next season) “The thing I think that I take away is the response of the players. So, when you’re trying to lead a group of players in a tough moment, it can be tough. Guys can go the other way, they can look for excuses, they may not want to fight. When you look at the response of today, it’s a good example of it. We talked about adversity when I first took over and how you respond to tough moments. Well we had a couple of tough moments tonight. We go down twice, and we respond both times. It’s hot, you know all the things, we can kind of lay down. You never saw that in this team. You know, we can talk about the tactics and the other stuff we’ve been working on. But for me, the most I take away from is that if you’re trying to build a culture, you’re trying to build a team environment you’re trying to build something that is real, you see responses like we did today. And those guys never gave in. By the way, that’s a very good team. That’s a very good team with a lot of dangerous weapons. For our guys, to come up from behind twice, and then go and win the game the way that they did that’s what I’m most proud of. It takes most personality, and they showed it.”

(on what he said to DaMarcus Beasley before the match) “We approached it as a normal game, so I had the same normal conversations with DaMarcus as I would for any other game, in terms with what we were trying to do in the game. Listen, he’s a fantastic career and he’s a legend in U.S. soccer and we know that. You know, I just mentioned to the guys before the game, I think it was a good reminder for everybody. When you’re a kid and you dream of playing the game, you end up having this career and it’s inevitable. Everybody will at some point arrive at their last game. Everyone is going to play in their last game. Tonight, it was DaMarcus’s last game. What I said to the guys it’s a reminder that thing doesn’t last forever right? Every time you’re on the field, you’re going to have to cherish it, you have to enjoy playing the game, you have to play with joy and passion and give everything that you have to the game. Because I think DaMarcus said it in his speech, he went to bed one night and he woke up twenty years later, he’s playing his last game. It goes quick. So, that was my message to the team and how it related to DaMarcus. Embrace every game that you play, embrace every single one, because inevitably it comes to an end.”

(on playing two forwards like Mauro Manotas and Christian Ramirez together) “Yeah, those two have played very well, since we started playing them together. They’ve developed a good partnership, they like each other, they play well with each other. It poses a different problem, or different threats for the opponent and when you play two up front, not a lot of teams play two up front in our league. And I think it worked for us again today, we had to adjust, we went back to our 4-2-3-1 which we haven’t seen a lot of recently, but that’s what the game required. We brought Tommy (McNamara) inside to play inside the number 10 and played Memo (Rodriguez) out on the left. But, yeah when those two guys play together up front, they cause problems, and they did again today.”

(on what DaMarcus Beasley means to the Houston Dynamo) “Well he means a lot for the Dynamo. He means a ton for soccer in this country, in general. Not only the Houston Dynamo, if you’re involved in the game in this country in anyway, DaMarcus had a big hand in pushing the game, along with the league in the direction that it is heading. You know, you look at a guy that has played in four World Cups, played in Champions League, played in Holland, played in Scotland, played in Mexico, there’s not a lot of American soccer players that have done that. So, I think for us to have had DaMarcus at this club for a better part of five-six years now, it’s been a huge privilege, I think he’s raised the profile of the Houston Dynamo. I’m happy we got to send him out like that, because DaMarcus deserves to have a good day on his last day and I think did.”

(on the plans they have to continue playing like they played today) “Well I think today was a great advertisement for what the game can look like in our city—what this team can look like. You saw the crowd tonight. The crowd was phenomenal on a hot day at 90 degrees at three ’clock on a Sunday. The crowd was fantastic. Listen the players sense that. They respond to that and I think the crowd pushed them on today. I think for me if you are a season ticket holder, you’re a fan and you’ve been to this stadium before, if you come to this game today you see that. That makes me want to come back. That game today makes me want to come back and be a part of this club and watch games here at this stadium consistently. I enjoyed watching it and I’m sure all the fans did as well. There was a real buzz in the stadium today. That’s what we hope to continue there is no reason we can’t have that consistently because I believe in this club and in this city and what we can be as a soccer city and I believe in the group of guys that we have.”

(on if he would like to continue with the club and a head coach or assistant coach if not given the full-time role) “To be honest I haven’t even thought about that. I really haven’t. My hope is that I get the job and we build on something. I think we’ve done really well over the past 8-9 weeks so that’s my first hope. If I don’t, that’s not my decision but I’ll rest very easy knowing that not only myself but the whole staff, the guys have evolved, done everything we can in a good way. We’ve all bought into the team concept and trying to do our absolute best for the club, so which ever way this thing goes, I can smile and be happy with the work that we’ve done over the past eight weeks and I’m proud of this team.”

(on if any players from the Dynamo Academy will be coming up from the first team and what he sees in the Academy players) “That’s a really good question. I think it’s an important one. I think at our club I think the Academy we need to produce players from our academy. We understand that. We have Erik McCue, the center back that we signed this year, who I think is a good prospect and can do good things. You look at (FW) (Jose) ‘Memo’ Rodriguez who is from our Academy, those are the types of players that we want to produce here, locally. We want the next Memo Rodriguez and when you look in our system right now there’s some guys that we’re watching and paying attention to. We have guys training so they can come and get experience to be around the first team which I think is really important and we definitely need to continue to push that and for me if I’m here, and I get the job that’s going to be another big emphasis for me personally. I think we need to really push that aspect of the club and look to develop players in our Academy, that is extremely important.”

(on what he has learned being a head coach) “It’s been a great experience. It really has and I’m smiling because I’ve really enjoyed it. I really have enjoyed it. You don’t understand what it’s going to be like until you actually get the role you think you know what’s it’s going to be and what all this stuff is going to entail but until you actually do it it’s all that and then some. It’s a lot but it’s been fantastic. It’s been a great experience for me. I feel like personally I’ve grown over the last nine weeks. It’s given me confidence that I can do the job which I think is important and again I’ve enjoyed not only for myself working with our whole staff and working with the players it’s been a really good experience. So, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”


(on how he feels after the game) “Obviously for me, I made it about the game, simple as that. Obviously, yeah you have different emotions, different thoughts, you know – so many things going through your head, but as much as I could, trust me as much as I could from the last week I tried to have as much of a normal week as I could, and obviously today – game day, I tried to make it as normal as I could without having too many thoughts about what’s going to happen after. I tried to tell the boys it’s not about me, this is about the game. Forget that I am retiring after this, this is my last game, whatever, we have a game to win. Especially when you play at home in front of your fans and not having the greatest season, you definitely want to give the fans something to be excited about, to be proud of for next season. I thought the boys did that. We came from behind twice today and it just shows that you know, I always said in different interviews that this team will never stop fighting, we always put the effort in we always play 100 percent for each other we are just missing that quality, that quality on some passes, being in front of the goal, even defending, sometimes the play wasn’t there like you’d like it to be but the effort, the fight, the heart that these boys have is just something you can’t teach. This is what the Dynamo is about, the way Dynamo played, we really showed that today. For me, I’m happy we got a win and this being my last game, I can definitely retire now. If we would’ve lost, I would’ve had to come back, nah, nah I’m just kidding, kidding, kidding. Great game.”


(on what he learned from DaMarcus Beasley) “I remain with his humility, with what he always displayed on and off the field. He is a humble person, an example for us younger players that are developing as professionals.”

(on why he met DaMarcus Beasley at midfield) “It's every player's dream, to have a goodbye like that. We are happy and grateful to him for the support he always gave us.”

(on his future with the Dynamo): “I have one more year left on my contract. I have decided to stay here. Make the best decision then when my contract is over. I hope I have no problems and finish my contract here in the best possible way.”

(on his performance today): “Grateful to God for that goal and that assistance. I was close to match the numbers from last year, I improved the first year stats and that keeps me content because my numbers were almost the same in fewer games. I hope to continue in the same way. I think that for me personally it is not very happy to be in the bottom spots in the table, I always like to play playing something.”

(on reflecting on the 2019 season) “It's hard. You want to finish in the best way, but we started well and then we were a disaster. We didn't win at home or on the road. We are not going to fool ourselves by today's game. It is the worst season as a group since I arrived here. If the team wants to improve, they must change their mentality.”

(On staying with the Dynamo next season): I already let management know, I want to fulfill my contract here. It is the last year I have. I don't know if (speaking about this) will bring me problems. I don't know if they want me to continue or not. So, let's see what happens next year.”

(on his conversations with the coach about his role): “Sure, I told him. I met with him. I was one of the best offensive players in the league and they put me to defend, then it is better that they use me as defender. I think you have to be aware, intelligent, know that my strength is in the attacking third and I hope that next year things will improve for me personally.”

(on the fans) “Grateful for the support they gave us all last year, despite being an irregular team, a team with ups and downs. They always supported us and that is very important. Personally, I have lived my best seasons here. I hope coaches and executives make the best decisions to finish next year with a spot in the playoffs and not just completing the regular season.”

(on DaMarcus Beasley and his future in the team): “Of course it would be great if he stayed in some role within the club. He has the experience that would help so many young people that the team has brought recently. What he has lived, he can transmit to us as advice and we want to learn from him.”


(on DaMarcus Beasley) “I had always faced him as a rival, now I had him as a teammate and he is a great person. A great footballer, I wish him the best. Glad to be part of this team, although the season has not been good. Expect the best for next year.”

(on his first season with Dynamo) “It was not the best. It was not what we wanted. We had a good start, but then we couldn't get to the playoffs. That leaves us in debt to the fans and to ourselves.”

(on staying with the Dynamo) “I would like to continue. We will see what we decide. Now I have to join the national team and later we'll see what the next season holds for us.”

(on winning this game as a commitment to DaMarcus Beasley) “We have always been committed. We were looking to reach our first goal, that was to be in the playoffs. That didn’t happen and it was the last game at home and we wanted to finish it in the best way. Especially with it being Beasley's farewell and for that fans that always comes to support us.”

(on the possibility of DaMarcus Beasley remaining with Dynamo) “Beasley has been a man who has given his life to football. Wherever he has gone he has given his best effort. Here was no exception. What he has done for us and for the team has been very important.”

(on what he takes from DaMarcus Beasley) “Every time he went to play at the Olympic Stadium (in Honduras), he asked me why we made it tough on him by leaving the grass so high. We had to take advantage of that. The brotherhood here was wonderful.”

(on requesting a photo from DaMarcus Beasley) “He is a legend, I will frame that photo. I'm already imagining that the same thing is going to happen to me, moving to a new role.”

(on his retirement): "I imagine that is coming, but I still have many more months of activity."

(on the fans): “Thankful to have them join us, supporting us, we fall short, and their support will always be important.”


(on what it means to get a victory for DaMarcus Beasley in his final match) “DaMarcus Beasley is a fantastic person, a great example. He is someone who gave it all on the field, just a great human with incredible humility and I walk away with a lot of memories with him. When I came, I’d say on the third or second day in the locker rocker room, without knowing him, not playing a game with him I told him that I wanted one of his national team jerseys and he gave me a jersey that was very special to him. It was a jersey from the World Cup in Brazil. That tells you the type of person he is. That will always stay with me. So, I am very grateful to have shared a locker room with him, he had a fantastic career and he is another brother for me – a friend, someone who I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

(on his takeaways from the 2019 season) “It was a difficult season, very complicated for the team and very tough for me personally too. It was just a complicated year, but I am thankful to God for challenging me, it helped me grow a lot this year and I hope to take these lessons with me into next year. We fully expect to be a better team next season.”

(on if this is his last game with the Dynamo) “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know. I was thinking about this prior to the game. I’m not sure if y’all noticed, but I was really emotional out there as we said goodbye to DaMarcus. I just had a lot of emotions about going out there one more time on that field and hopefully God grants me more games here. I want to give it my all for the next two years that I still have here.”

(on what he enjoyed most about the 2019 season) “Well, what I enjoyed most was how I responded to the various challenges this season. I had to face things head on and there were a lot of challenges. I started the year very well, then I went to Colombia and I wasn’t able to maintain that momentum. I struggled to get back in rhythm. I’m grateful that God gave me the strength to persist and I really appreciate that because who knows how I would of reacted two years ago. So I am very grateful to God for everything – the patience he gave me and everything he has blessed me with.”

(on his message to the fans after today’s victory) “Yes, very grateful. We had a lot of people here today and we wanted that. We wanted a full stadium and we were able to give them a good victory. I ask that they believe in this team, this team is going to accomplish a lot next season.”

Dynamo FW Memo Rodriguez

(on what it means to finish on a victory) “Yeah, I mean going into the game we knew it was going to be a tough team to play against. Obviously, we wanted to get the victory. We wanted to get it for the club, the fans especially on this day for (DF) (DaMarcus) ‘Beas’ (Beasley) and then I think it was a team effort and thankfully we got the result and we won for ‘Beas’.”

(on the game going back and forth) “Yeah, I mean I was surprised that both teams were in this heat back and forth and I think we really read the fans really helped us out to get the minutes to push for the victory. I think it’s all credit to the players doing a big effort and not putting their heads down every time they scored on us and I think it’s a massive win for us and for us to end the season strong.”

(on being the last to score and seeing DF DaMarcus Beasley walk off the field one more time) “I mean obviously ‘Beas’ is a legend for the U.S. and just to send him off on a victory it’s amazing for us and amazing for him just to end his long career in a victory and it’s important for the team as well but we’re going to miss him. He was a great player but even a better person. Everybody has learned something from him and I think he always brought it every day—day in and day out. It’s important to see that and we will have a long career like he did.”

(on his message to the fans for their support) “Yeah I mean ‘Thank all the fans that supported us through the good and the bad moments. The season didn’t end like we wanted it to but they were there supporting us and I think that’s important to bring all the fans together. We’re all family.”

(on what the fans can expect from the 2020 Dynamo) “It’s important for them to support us in the ups and downs. We’re going to keep pushing as players and they’re always going to be here. Players are going to be coming and going but they always stick with us until the end and hopefully we have a good season next year.”

(on what it has meant to play with DF DaMarcus Beasley) “Yeah, I mean I think he brings it every day—day-in and day-out and I think it’s important for us as a whole to learn from him that it’s does not matter the age or how long he’s been in the game but he always just bought it. He was all serious when he had to and he always joked around whenever it was a time to be serious so it’s important for us to take that away from him that he was always giving it his 100 percent day-in and day-out.”

(on what we can look forward to next season) “Yeah I think it’s important that obviously the difficult situation we never put our heads down. We always tried every game. Unfortunately, results didn’t go our way but were looking forward to next year and bring something special and hopefully bring joy to the fans next year.”