Quotes: LA Galaxy 2-0 Sporting KC

Reaction from players and coaches on Sporting KC's 2-0 loss at LA

Jimmy Nielsen 1v1 with Robbie Keane

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USA Today Sports Images

SPORTING KANSAS CITY HEAD COACH PETER VERMES

On how he viewed his team’s performance:
“I actually thought up until the goal we were actually pretty good. Look, it’s a handball. It doesn’t get called and it breaks us a little bit right at that point. Now here we are, we already have the fatigue aspect to deal with and now we’re trying to chase the game after a goal gets scored based on an easy call by the referee and it doesn’t happen. At that point we go in at halftime trying to chase the game a little bit, coming back in the second half. Obviously the fatigue and the goal opened us up a little bit more. The second goal doesn’t really doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day based on the fact that we were trying to push forward to get back in the game at that point. It’s a tough road trip the way we had to travel.”

On the Galaxy’s pressing style of play:
“I think they were good tonight. They were good from front to back. I thought their energy was good. I will say though that we turned them over quite a few times in that first 30 minutes up until that goal. Then we started chasing and it sits in your mind you get a little fatigued and now all of a sudden we start to open up and I still think up to that point we were pretty decent and being away from home and trying to play against somebody is who we are and we’re going to keep doing it.”

On Sporting’s shutout streak coming to a close:
“I really don’t care personally about the shutout streak. All I care is that we have a clean sheet at the end of the game, we scored one or two then obviously we get the points. It’s a shame in a game like this because I think they’re two good teams, for a goal to be scored that way. You have center ref, you got linesman and you got fourth official and the fourth official is right there I mean he had a great view of it and for that not to happen between the three of them is a failure in the system. Those guys made a mistake for sure. I spoke to Ricardo but at that point, what are you going to do? I wish we had instant replay, that’d be great.”

SPORTING KANSAS CITY GOALKEEPER JIMMY NIELSEN

On that Galaxy’s attack:
“Well, they were definitely better than we were today. It’s disappointing from my point of view with our performance today. Huge game, big game, in my opinion two of the better teams in the league and we didn’t perform at all. Overall, credit to LA, they were better than we were today.”

On Sporting’s shutout streak coming to a close:
“It’s disappointing the way we performed, that’s what’s disappointing. Not the shutout [streak ending]. Big games like this, you just don’t play bad like we did today. Right now I’m extremely disappointed and sad that we couldn’t perform better on a fantastic night like this, full stadium, two big teams, very disappointed.”

SPORTING KANSAS CITY DEFENDER MATT BESLER

On the physical nature of the game:
“LA is a great team so we knew coming in that it was going to be a battle. It was a dogfight, there was a lot of physical play especially in the middle of the field tonight.”

On the Galaxy’s attack:
“We knew coming in it was going to be a difficult challenge. LA is one of the best teams in the league and when they’re playing well they’re a tough team to beat at home so we have to give the credit to them. And for us, it just wasn’t good enough for tonight and we’ll have to make it better for our next game.”

On breaking down the Galaxy prior to the game:
“We had a few areas we wanted to expose but again, credit to them. They played a great game. We weren’t able to break them down and they got two against us. So, credit has to go to them.”

SPORTING KANSAS CITY FORWARD GRAHAM ZUSI

On Sporting’s approach early on and how they veered away from it:
“After the first 15 minutes of good pressure and balance, we got away from that for one reason or another. Our initial pressure on the ball disappeared and allowed them to move the ball up the field at their liking. And that’s when they can cause some problems. Given that much time on the ball, their movement off the ball is very good as well. We kind of fell apart defensively and allowed them to get a couple goals.”

On Landon Donovan’s return to the Galaxy and his performance tonight:
“It wasn’t that long of an absence but Landon’s a great player, always has been always will be. I don’t think you saw him miss a beat out there. He was a key on both of their goals and he’s looking like Landon of old.”

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

On the victory:
“A more complete match for us, pretty solid over 90 minutes, obviously not perfect but I think we haven’t closed out games the right way in the last 10-15 minutes of games. Tonight I think we did that. Obviously, the second goal was important, a great goal on a combination between Keane and Donovan. The first half Sarvas goal was a big goal, overall a pretty solid performance by our team over 90 minutes.”

On Landon Donovan’s performance:
“Much improved performance, he played well. You see every game it is getting better, certainly a good performance by Landon.”

On the play of the Galaxy defense:
“I think the backline played a good game tonight. Obviously AJ and Omar are pretty comfortable with each other. I thought Sean and Todd did well, but collectively as a team it was more complete, which helps our backline.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD ROBBIE KEANE

On what was the key to the team’s success:
“We watched videos on them and how they play so I think it was important that we pressed them and the keeper likes to play the ball from the back and he tries to play it to [Collin] so we stopped them from doing that because we knew that if they played the ball in the air then Omar would win most of the headers so we’d get the second ball and that was the case.”

On the team’s counter attack:
“I think we did [counter attack] very well. We could have been a bit better sometimes with our final ball but overall we have to be happy with the three points.”

On the play of Landon Donovan:
“You have to give people a bit of time. It takes a four or five games to get into the swings of things. It doesn’t matter how much fitness you do away from the team or on the training field, it’s the match sharpness that is the one that is going to get you and that will only come with playing 90 minutes most week. He’s played three or four games now and when you score a goal and set one up it breeds confidence.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER LANDON DONOVAN

On his play on the night:
“I did feel more like myself. We did a really good job this week in correcting a lot of little things that were keeping us from winning over the last few weeks. I thought our performance was really good from start to finish. We finished the game well, finally. We put them under a lot of pressure for good stretches of the game. And if we are a little sharper we can end the game sooner. All in all, it was a really good performance.”

On his goal:
“I was debating whether to make the run at first and Robbie, from there, probably 95 times out of 100 is going to score, but I just decided to go, I wasn’t sure he saw me, I didn’t think he saw me to be honest. The pass he made is more difficult than people think. You’re running at full speed with guys coming at you, the goalie coming, you can over hit that easily, you can under hit it easily and the pace was perfect. He made it really easy for me.”

On the result:
“We wanted to play well. We can live with losing or not winning games but we have been pretty good lately, but we have been lacking a few little things so we did a good job this week at working on those things. We were just aggressive and took the initiative. They are a team likes to press and we wanted to flip the tables a little bit and see how they handled it, and they didn’t do too well with that.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER MARCELO SARVAS

On his goal:
“I stole the ball in the midfield and Landon was running to the left of me. I passed to him and ran inside. He put [the ball] back and I had an open goal to score.”

On the team’s performance on the night:
“We are playing very well, even against Monterey when we lost 2-1 we played 75 minutes of a good performance. We knew we should come out today, press them and try to score. We had about five or six real good chances to score and I think the team did very well tonight.”

“I think so. It’s about 90 minutes, not 80 or 75 minutes. If you looked in the 90th minute, everyone was in the game and concentrated, they don’t give space. The team did very well.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER TODD DUNIVANT

On the win and the clean sheet:
“That was our primary focus tonight, coming in and getting a shutout. We have [not] given up a lot of chances, but we’ve given up goals and that comes down to concentration and you kind of make your own luck so tonight we wanted to do that, and the backline and the whole team was very solid.”

On the play of the back four:
“We know each other well, we have always played well together, and it has only gotten stronger over time. It was nice to have the group back and we have a lot of good players on this team so, it’s not like we can’t have other guys in there. This four has done very well and tonight was another example.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER A.J. DELAGARZA

On keeping a clean sheet:
“Solid, all around. Everyone was working, shutting down crosses, obviously Graham [Zusi] can put in a good ball, but everyone in front of us did their job and it made it easy for Omar and I and we were cleaning up those chances that they did have.”

On the play of tonight’s back four:
“We obviously know each other pretty well; we have been here for a while, Leo’s been here, Tommy’s been her. A lot of guys can do the job and fill in, it is just about focusing and getting the job done on the full 90.”

On how they shut down the Kansas City attack:
“They are an athletic bunch, they like to play a lot of through balls with Benny [Feilhaber], Graham [Zusi] and [Paulo] Nagamura. It’s all about keeping in front of them, dropping when we need to drop and stepping when we need to step.”