Monday, May 17, 2010

Postgame Reaction from 0-0 Draw with Toronto

We caught up with Chris Birchall outside the locker room on Saturday night to get his thoughts on the 0-0 draw with Toronto FC. Here is what he had to say...

Also, be sure to scroll through to the bottom for lots more reaction to the draw from both locker rooms.

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On tonight’s match:
“I thought Toronto did a really good job at the start of the game and threw a lot of energy and defended well for ninety minutes. I thought our second half was real good we had some chances there to get the goal. I think it was a much better second half than the first but give Toronto credit they played hard, they were very well organized and we had to make the play to make a difference in the game and we didn’t. But at the same time I felt pretty good about the way we came out in the second half.”

On playing Landon in the midfield:
“To give him a little bit more room because Toronto really pulled in tight with their backline. It was difficult to play at his feet and definitely in the air it wasn’t the best situation for him. They collapsed their team pretty tight with eight players centrally and really to get a little bit of room we had to stick Landon out in the flanks and I think he was much more effective in the second half than he was in the first.”

On the play of his defense:
“It wasn’t a tough game to get a shut out. Toronto basically attacked with one, two, three players the whole night and that was certainly their plan and give them credit I think they did a good job in that regard and at the same time our back line did a really good job.”

On playing Bryan Jordan at right back:
“Bryan did a very good job over these last three games. It hasn’t been easy. [Chris] Klein is obviously an experienced player there and we are going to be returning Sean [Franklin], Leonardo and [A.J.] DeLaGarza very shortly so that will help us in that position. We anticipate that [Mike] Magee is back, [Clint] Mathis will be back and Eddie Lewis will be back so that certainly is going to help us.”

On Josh Saunders’ performance:
“Solid. I am not sure if he had to make a save tonight. But he did a good job. He is a good goalkeeper we probably could have played Donovan [Ricketts] tonight but we wanted to be safe and keep him out that just tells you how much confidence we have in Josh.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan
On the draw:
“Not the result we wanted. We didn’t play well in the first half, the second half I thought we played very well. Sometimes the ball goes in and sometimes it doesn’t. A goalkeeper can always be a great equalizer in our sport and he (Stefan Frei) was great tonight.”

On playing in the midfield:
“It was Bruce’s idea, it was a good idea. For whatever reason they were pretty compact and pretty tight, so there were a lot of guys around me and Edson and it made it difficult. And that was there game plan. Once we started passing the ball better, everybody played better, it didn’t matter where we were. I think in the first half that was our downfall; we just didn’t pass the ball enough.”

On the postgame ceremony:
“It was a great crowd. It’s sad to send them home a little bit disappointed like that, but it was nice. A lot of people stayed, and stayed for Edson and my send off and that was nice and we appreciated.”

LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant
On the flow of the game:
“I thought that maybe we pushed a little too much. Just a little desperate to get the result and we didn’t allow the game to flow. We seemed a little tense out there. It wasn’t our normal flow. And, I think it showed a little bit. It seemed a little hectic and a little frantic. The result was a lot of balls that were misplayed, and they were countering a little bit.”

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Josh Saunders
On his first start of the MLS season:
“I tried to treat it like another game. A little bit of jitters here and there. Just trying to be smart, and not to take any risks as much as possible, and get the result. I felt comfortable out there. I made one save early on, which kind of got me into the game a little more so. It’s always tough when you come in and you have to make that first save. I was able to do it, and it guided me through the rest of the game.”

On the team’s defensive play:
“They had their chances, but obviously with the guys in the defense and midfield in front of me—it’s great. They limit the chances. They helped to break down a lot of the plays that would be difficult for us, so it doesn’t force us to make the difficult saves. “

LA Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter
On the team’s performance:
“I think all in all we got the shutout obviously, but I wasn’t 100 percent pleased with our performance. We gave them a chance early. It was a little bit sloppy at times. It wasn’t like they were creating a lot of chances, but I still think we could have been a little bit better. We still got the shut out and Josh did well.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle
On the draw:
“We want to win at home. It’s unfortunate that their goalie did a good job and made some good saves. I have to give credit to him.”

On the field conditions:
“The field was slick for both teams. The players were slipping and the ball was skipping, and it took a while to adjust to it. I think in the second half once we realized that we can take a second touch and got the ball and game under control we got a lot more chances.”

On Toronto’s defense:
“We have to give them credit. They didn’t make it easy. They are on the road. They held a lot of guys back, and it was hard to penetrate at times.”

Toronto FC Head Coach Preki
On tonight’s match:
“I said to the group when I arrived here three months ago that I saw a bunch of kids. They’ve shown that we’ve grown as a team, and we’re still growing but we had a bunch of men on the field who know how to fight for each other. I’m still disappointed that we didn’t win this game because in my opinion, we had the best chances. The chances that came at the end of the game for [the Galaxy]—both of them were offside. It happens. We’ve got to go on from here and go to Vancouver for the fight for the Canadian Cup. They are finally starting to understand what it means to play for each other and the results are showing right now.”

On the injuries:
“We are so depleted in numbers. We have a game on Wednesday and then on Saturday at one o’clock, and our numbers are so low. So we are trying to save everyone’s legs, but we are also showing a lot of trust in some of the young guys. They are developing nicely for us.”

On the red card:
“I was just hoping that the game doesn’t get decided on a call for either team. It could have been, but thankfully it didn’t. I knew that even after we went a man down, we were strong, we were a unit, we defended as a group. When we had some moments to go forward, we had our best chances in the game. In the end I was happy, I was proud of my group. I was really proud of my team because they are showing tremendous commitment right now.”

On his team's effort:
“We defended like men, we played like men, we were committed. Every single guy that stepped on the field left everything on it. That’s the whole idea. If we can do that all that time we’ll be a really tough team to play against and that’s coming.”

Toronto FC Goalkeeper Stefan Frei
On his game:
“There is always things I can improve in. I think my kicking was good today, but one cross maybe I can improve in. There is always stuff I can improve in. I don’t think there is one game in particular that I had a perfect game. It probably never happened. But I was fortunate to be able to make the saves in the end, and get us the point we deserved. The whole team fought exceptionally hard.”

On what impressed him most with his team:
“The way we fought for it for 90 minutes. We knew who was going to come out determined and play hard, work hard and give the effort and that’s what has been lacking on the road for us a little bit. But today we deserved that point. Over 90 minutes we worked extremely hard.”

Toronto FC forward Chad Barrett
On Toronto FC’s road form:
“Everyone has been questioning our road form. How can you question our road form anymore when we come in and win two games—win the Canadian championship—and take a point away from the best team in the league. We are really coming together, and I think the guys are starting to believe this is a team that can do some good things.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where is Alan Gordon?