Sunday, November 8, 2009

Galaxy Players Talk After Series Win Over Chivas USA


On the win:
That was a certainly a great win. It was a real battle. I think both teams should be commended; they played real hard. It was a game like most playoff games. It was going to come down to one or two plays, and certainly the referee showed a lot of courage. It was clearly a foul on [Mike] Magee, and [Landon] Donovan had to set up under pressure and convert a penalty kick. I think our guys played hard tonight and they deserved to win. I think Chivas deserves a lot of credit for a good tough performance. They certainly had a very good year. We respect what they brought to the series. It was outstanding and special for us because this franchise has not been where they want to be over the last couple of the years, and we are moving in the right direction. Our next game is certainly going to be a challenge. I think most people in MLS would tell you that Houston is the best team in Major League Soccer, and we have to go against them on Friday night. That will be equally, if not more, challenging than tonight’s game. We look forward to getting some rest and getting recovered, and having our guys ready to go on Friday against Houston.

On the play of Dema Kovalenko:
Obviously, this is our fifth game this year. We know each other very well. Dema was matched up against a player that is equally as aggressive in [Pablo] Nagamura and it was a real battle between those two in the center of midfield. If you know Dema, his performance tonight wasn’t a whole not out of character.

On the late goal and the play of his team:
Every game is different. I don’t care when the goal comes, it doesn’t matter. If you followed Chivas in the year, I think they led the league in shutouts. It’s not it was going to be a bunch of goals scored in this game.
It was pretty obvious from the start that it was going to be a tight contest, and it was probably going to be a 1-0 type of game. The game on Friday on Houston will present different problems. I can’t even look at tonight and say it has to get better against Houston. It’s going to be completely different circumstances. If we won 1-0 on Friday and the goal comes in the 95th minute, I’ll take it. Obviously, we had a few chances tonight. I think our passing could have been a little cleaner in the final third, hit a couple of better crosses, but for the most part defensively we were good. It was just the kind of game we anticipated it was going to be tonight. To be able to have the concentration and discipline we showed tonight for 95 minutes is a real plus, and we are going to have bring that on Friday night .You saw the Seattle/Houston series—they played 180 minutes without a goal, and a goal came extra time today. One would surmise that perhaps Friday will be a similar type of game.

On the Galaxy’s defense:
It was very good. [Chivas] had nine shots, three in the second half, which is good. You know they are a good team—they come at you. Obviously, last week in the second half, Chivas broke us down a lot, got behind us. For the most part tonight, we were really solid in that aspect of our defending. It was a good performance. [Donovan] Ricketts wasn’t called on to a do a whole lot, which is a real positive.

On Landon Donovan’s performance:
I’ve known Landon since he was 17 years old, and actually even earlier than that. But his growth this year, to me, has been remarkable. He’s grown on the field as a player. He’s a more mature consistent player, but he’s role off the field with this team has been perhaps even better, remarkable. The things he did to help build this team to have the right kind of team chemistry, to be a leader and being in a year where things were not where we wanted them to be—Landon was consistently here everyday, and taking the responsibility of a captain. He’s been doing a fabulous job. It’s great that he had the game winner tonight, and hopefully he can get a couple more for us this year as well.

On beating Chivas USA in the playoffs:
It’s huge. There may never be another opportunity to play them in the playoffs, so we have to think of the historic value of it too. So, you want to take advantage of these opportunities, obviously you are kind of living in the moment, but when you think of that from a historical perspective, that’s huge.

On his Penalty Kick:
There were a lot of thoughts in my head before taking it. My thought was to get to the ball and keep an eye on him [Zach Thornton], and if he moved really early, I was going to make my decision. My thought was actually to go to that side, but I saw him step the other way and start leaning that way, so I just closed it and put it in.
On celebrating in front of the fans:
We have some loyal fans and it’s been a rough couple of years. The expectations were high and they’ve been let down over the past few years so it was nice to reward them. We expect Friday night to be loud again; they certainly helped us tonight.

On the young teammates: (said in Spanish)
I really think the young players stepped up tonight. Everybody had a great game, especially Omar. In the first leg of the playoffs, they were a little nervous, but they come out big tonight.

On the Western Conference Championship against Houston Dynamo: (said in Spanish)
Houston is a team that has a lot of experience. Both of the games that we played during the regular season were really close, so I expect this game to be close as well. One play should define the course of the game.

On the match against Chivas USA:
It was never going to be a five or six goal thriller like in the past, but we knew it was going to be tough. We know whoever scored the first goal was likely to win the game because it was so tough between us two. We worked hard; we knew if we defended well then we would have the chances. We were always going to get chances with good players like Landon and especially Edson. We defended great tonight because after the last game we had to work on a few things and tonight our back four tonight was exceptional. When we defend like that, there is always a chance we are going to win.

On playing Houston on Friday in the Western Conference Championship:
You know Houston are a tough team. When we played them away, a few weeks back and they were a tough team to play against. They have some good players, some young players and also some experienced players. Its going to be a tough game again, but this stage of the season, this stage in the playoffs there are no easy teams. We proved that tonight against our rivals and we’re happy that we beat them.

On the team’s play so far this season:
We’re happy with tonight, but we still have not won anything. We’ve done well and deserve to be in the position we are, but we can’t get carried away because we want to go further. One more win and we’ll be in the final, but it’s a tough game first.

On the team’s strategy:
We wanted to come into the game go into the first half and go forward and we expected more, but they kind of came at us. They were pretty active. At half time we collected ourselves and realized what was going on and said that we have to take it. This is not a team that was going to give it to us, so we started attacking with more numbers and we got more chances.

On the foul that lead to the penalty kick:
Landon played me a perfect ball, and I had anything but a perfect touch. My second touch was good, I got hit where no man wants to get hit. It took me a little bit to go down, but it was definitely painful and a penalty.

On beating Chivas USA:
I’m so happy for this team. We worked hard all year to be here and we deserve it. They were a good team, but we are a better team and that’s why we are here. Nothing to take away from Chivas, but we deserve it more.

On playing in the Western Conference Championship:
[Houston is] a tough team, there are no easy games anymore. Everyone wants to be in the finals and it’s going to be the same type of game—fighting—but we are ready. We have good enough players. It’s another day, another game, there is a little bit more on the line, but we’re ready. We’ve been training and working all year for this. We’ll be ready.


Nurul said...



Galaxy Til I Die said...

The Good: Houston has not scored against the Galaxy since October 18, 2008.

The Bad: They are a dangerous team and will capitalize on any mistakes the Galaxy make.

Bring on Houston. The Western Conference Championship and the MLS Cup are coming home.