Thursday, July 16, 2009

Galaxy Win 3-1; Postgame Reaction

Re-live tonight's 3-1 win by watching the highlights from the game here or read the match recap from MLS. Pay particular attention to Alecko's opening strike, which was selected as SportsCenter's top play of the night.

They other goals weren't that bad as well we think.

Also, it looks like Landon and David were right when they said this after training on Monday...

Also, be sure to check out the reactions from all the guys on the postgame quote sheet.

Los Angeles Galaxy 3; New York Red Bulls 1
MLS Post-Game Quotes Sheet
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
July 16, 2009


On the game:
“A difficult game to describe. In the first half, quite an even game, except for the long shots that they took and they were very effective in doing that. We had two chances to score and we didn’t do it. The scoreline was a little too much. The second half, we competed a little better. We got a goal and we could have scored the second one. We probably concentrated too much forward. Planning, avoiding crosses, from different players. But, we weren’t really prepared for the shots from long distance.”

On being embarrassed being down 3-0 at halftime:
“Yes I do. Yes. I feel sorry. I apologize to the fans. Certainly the scoreline says that. Three-nil. We could at least have scored a goal. At that particular time, my responsibilities are more than that. Its just not feeling embarrassed. It’s trying to get back in the game and compete. And see if we can score and we did. And, we could have scored a second and it would have looked better that it was.”

On frustrating it was to have a full team and be down 3-0:
“Very frustrating. Elaborating on that, Mac (Kandji) looked rusty because of his injuries. Albert (Celedes), we have to take out with 25 minutes to go because we think that his hamstring can go out at any time. I don’t think we are fully fit. We have to take it. That’s the only way. Now, we have to move forward and prepare for the next game.”

On the morale:
“Difficult. I didn’t think that was going to happen today. That we were going to start turning things around and winning some matches. Again, we have to put this behind us. Watch the video and analyze what happened. And, then try to improve win the next game.”


On the match:
“It was extremely hard to take. They scored three unbelievable goals. Then, it was hard for us to get back. The situation now is not the best. As Juan Carlos said, ‘We have to stick together and try to turn things around sooner rather than later.’”

On second penalty kick, what were you thinking approaching the ball:
“I was just trying to make it at that time. I was just trying to score.”

On whether the goalkeeper guessed the right way:
“He guessed the right way. On the first one I went to the goalkeeper’s right. Then on the second one I went to the goalkeepers left.”

On the team’s morale:
“It is low right now. Understandably, we haven’t been able to win a match in a number of matches. We are professionals. We have to stick together on the field. Not make mistakes right now and try win a football match. When we win one, things will change, but we haven’t been able to.”


On the team’s morale after the second goal:
“After a fantastic goal by (Landon) Donovan, it was difficult to control the game after being down two goals. After you receive another goal, it is very difficult to win.”

On his overall assessment of the first half:
“In my opinion, in the first half, 3-0 does not reflect how the game was going. Los Angeles was not playing much different than New York. There were three fantastic goals for them, but we tried to score and do good things and I think we did some good things. The goalkeeper made two or three great saves and that was too much for us.”


On the Red Bulls’ first half performance:
“Sometimes, there’s nothing to say about that. I think we are cursed this season. In the beginning, after they get the first goal, you think ‘We can get that back,’ and then they get the second goal, and then the third goal made it very tough for us. We dug ourselves a big hole in the first and that’s what killed us.”

On the Red Bulls’ attack:
“We created a lot of chances up top. We have to finish them just like we did in the couple games we won, we have to finish our chances. I don’t know what’s going on nowadays. It’s kind of tough and it’s kind of depressing.”


On the game:
“I thought our team played well. Certainly, the first goal coming as early as it did was a big play in the game. I thought we played a real good first half, both halves, we lost our concentration a little bit; at the end of the first half (Donovan) Ricketts had to make a big save, which in my view, is a big play in the game because it could’ve been 2-1 going into halftime. Instead, it’s 3-0.”

“And then, that mess at the end of the game – it’s something I’m not happy with. A victory well earned. As I said on the television interview a few minutes ago, I became a better coach with the addition of David Beckham and I thought Landon Donovan was fabulous tonight. Our goalkeeper, I think has simply been outstanding this year, so we’re hopeful we can keep building this team and get it better. We have a long way to go, we know it’s not going to be easy but it’s fun working with this group. Our young players are receptive to teaching and it’s fun to see these kids develop and now with the addition of some of our veteran players, who do a great job everyday with this team on the field and in the locker room, it’s been good. Again, we’re hopeful we can keep getting this group better.”

On David Beckham’s performance:
“I thought he was good. David is a competitive guy and at halftime, I told him we’re going to go to 60 minutes and he’s telling me 65, 70. If he had his way, he’d keep going like any player. He’s kept himself reasonably fit from his break with AC Milan and the national team. However, you have to get back in training, he needs some games and I didn’t think we’d get as much from him as we did tonight. I think he certainly brings confidence to the team. We’re a team where we were very suspect in the midfield and all of a sudden, it got real good when you have David Beckham and Landon Donovan in the midfield. And I thought (Eddie) Lewis and (Stefani) Miglioranzi played well and certainly, we took our goals well. I thought we took our goals well. I thought we got three great goals tonight and as I said, got that timely save by Donovan Ricketts. But I thought David was good. He’s got a great attitude, he’s right in and he’s fit right in the group, brought a healthy spirit. It’s not easy for him with the scrutiny and I thought that performance was pretty impressive considering the factors that led him into this game to come back into MLS.”

On Beckham being booed:
“I would think he’s been booed before. I think this is almost a pleasant environment for him tonight. I think it was OK for him – he’s used to that. I think he’s been in bigger venues and bigger games in more difficult conditions and he can deal with a little booing here.”

On Beckham and Landon Donovan winning together:
“There was never any doubt in our minds that these guys would work together, but it was certainly a great moment with all of the build-up with the so-called questionable relationship, it was great. They’re going to be good together. They’re good professionals and certainly, it was a nice moment and hopefully, there’s going to be more of those.”

On Alecko Eskandarian:
“Certainly, he took his opportunity well. I think he’s dangerous, he gives us a little bit of quickness up top running off the ball. It allows us to utilize (Landon) Donovan in the midfield. We technically get quicker and physically get quicker so he’s been a positive addition for sure.”

On if he said anything to Beckham before the game:
“I didn’t have to tell him anything. He knew it. First of all, he’s played here before and obviously on the field, it’s a learning experience for him to get to learn his teammates a little bit more. Obviously, last Saturday – we talked about some of the players. He’s really a great pro and very observant and really understood how to fit in and make the group better. The experience of stepping on the field in a game like this is something that Dave has been through literally hundreds of times so he certainly didn’t need my coaching in that aspect.”


On tonight’s game:
“It’s great to be back personally and great to be back on a team that is confident as we showed tonight. When you have this quality, we both enjoy the game; those two goals could be goal of the season easily. That’s great that we put in a performance like this. It’s great to be playing on a confident team. We have quality in this team. I’ve been talking to Landon [Donovan] and the manager and other players as well while I was in Milan and they said we have a good group of players here that will improve and move to a different level. And that showed tonight. I’m more than happy to be back here playing, especially when we play like this tonight. I enjoyed it a lot.”

On tonight’s crowd:
“We were happy with the crowd tonight, a lot of people turned up and we put in a good performance. It’s nice to have thousands of people watching us, but the most important thing is to get three points and we did that tonight – in style, as well. I’ve had a lot more boos before in games, a few tonight, but it’s to be expected. It’s sometimes nice to get the boos. It gives you some inspiration, especially when we play like we did and win like we did. Then the boos start to go away after a while.

On the Galaxy’s chance of winning a championship:
“From what I’ve seen tonight and from what I’ve seen in some other games I’ve watched, without a doubt. We have to push forward still. There’s still a lot of hard work to be done. But we came together as a team. Also, I think not saying too much about the players in the past but we are playing with players who have a lot of confidence and don’t feel as if they aren’t scared to just do stuff on their own. They don’t feel as if they have to give the ball to certain players in attacking positions because they can do it themselves. So I feel that’s the biggest thing. We are playing with players who have a lot of confidence, a lot of ability. And when you play together as team, you see the standard of it tonight and you see players working hard for each other. And when players work hard for each other, it works.”


On tonight’s win:
“We played very well. It was nice to have a confident team coming in and a confident team that got a lot better with a world-class player joining us. And we were very good tonight and deserved to win.”

On the Galaxy’s success in his absence:
“They were fantastic. What I think we have done now is built a solid defensive foundation which is hard to breakdown when you have that. And then you add pieces like myself and Alecko [Eskandarian] and Edson [Buddle] playing well and Alan Gordon, who didn’t play tonight who would start on most teams in this league, and then you bring in David, you’re going to have a pretty good team and that’s where we are at right now.”

On the chemistry with David Beckham on the field:
“It was fantastic. The first day he got back in training - with players like that you don’t worry about chemistry because he sees the game the same way. I think even with a little time to practice and get back on the same page, we’ll figure things out a little bit more. He understands how to play the game, he knows how to play and he can make all the plays that I need to get the ball in a good spot.”

On taking the red eye flight to the game tonight:
“We felt collectively that being at the ESPYs was a big opportunity. It’s not often that soccer is on the front of people’s minds in this country and right now, it seems to be. Not necessarily for the right reasons the past two weeks, but people are talking about it and that’s good. I felt it was important. Bruce (Arena) thought it was important. Tim Leiweke thought it was important. And I’m at a place now where it doesn’t matter when I arrive, the preparation is ideal. I know how I’m going to perform and I promised Bruce that and I think it worked out.”

On the New York Red Bulls’ struggles:
“New York actually has a pretty good team. They aren’t as bad as their record is. When I look at their players, they have some good talented players. Sometimes things don’t work out.”


On the game:
“It’s always nice to get the win. I don’t care if it’s a clean sheet or not. Once you win, I’m happy with that.”

On saving Juan Pablo Angel’s second penalty kick:
“Any save makes me feel good but especially on a penalty, it’s even better.”


On the team’s form:
“This is our fourth win in a row now and I think the team has been in high sprits with David (Beckham) and Landon (Donovan) and Birch (Chris Birchall) just doing great. I think that we’ve hit a point where we are all playing better together and just have this kind of chemistry that’s hard to beat right now. We just need to keep it going.”

On the significance of the win:
“I think this puts us third in the League and that’s just an awesome job - coming from one of the bottom teams to the top is just amazing. I’m very proud and can’t wait to get home.”


On his start with the team:
“It’s been great - definitely a tribute to my teammates and our coaches to making me feel welcome right away and having the confidence in me to play. It’s been a great start, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

On his goal:
“I don’t know played the ball into me, but as a team, you want to set the tone early. I took a touch and saw my defender kind of over-committing on the side and just popped it over his head. Once that ball dropped, I lit up because I know those are balls I dream about hitting everyday. It felt great coming off my foot and it was a great goal in my last game here at Giants Stadium.”


Anonymous said...

I saw the commercial for Beckham's stint on Leno (or whoever). If he is here to promote soccer, it would be nice to share the spotlight with his teammates. He is so HOLLYWOOD! Are any other MLS players making the rounds to late-night television? Old habits...

Dan Haug said...

I don't have a problem with Becks on the talk shows. It's all good for the league and for the Galaxy.

I just hope he can avoid taking any more shots at Donovan.

Max- Galaxy Fan in Chicago said...

Great game last night. Fantastic team effort. Good to see Beckham not be the main focus. Major props to Alecko and Landon....they crushed that ball. I'm really liking this vocal-confident, almost cocky version of Landon. He's playing with such conviction, that its inspiring. Go Landon and the Galaxy. I hope we play just as hard vs AC Milan this weekend. Gosh it feels good to feel proud of your team an its effort....almost forgot what it felt like. Continue the win streak boys!!!

Mark Villa sec. 132 said...

Wow. That was a TEAM effort. Amazing to watch. I am very proud of our boys! Great to see LD pulling the trigger. Alecko was just stunning. Great volley from Lewis. Donovan Rickets was the man! I am ecstatic to see this much confidence and calm from our team and I look forward to seeing it grow. Sunday will be fun, and should be. But I'm looking forward to next Sturday against K.C., and seeing how well this intensity will be carried over.

Sara said...

Dan, when did Becks make any digs at Donovan? By calling him out on the fact he went behind his back and trashed him? By branding such behaviour as "unprofessional"? The last time i checked it was Landon throwing bunch of "digs", so lets put it in the right perspective.

Besides that is over now, and they have both talked it over in private with Bruce. I thought they showed at the game just how cool they are with each other, and that this whole thing was way blown out to sell the book!

Oh and to Anonymous, are you serious? Share the spotlight? With whom my dear? So you think talk shows would like to hear from anyone else in the lAG team? Lets not kid ourselves here, Beckham transcends sport and is the biggest name in MLS.Hence why the spotlight is on him, thank god anyone is interested, and he gets to promote it by simply appearing as the LAG player, so its all good in my books.

However i have not seen that he is bound to be on Leno, so i dont know if that is even true.

Anonymous said...

You probably got it confused, Leno is off the air until Fall.But LOL as if you can compare Beckhams celebrity status to anyone else in the MLS,please!

MEG said...

Sara, Great post!