Quote Sheet: RSL 2-0 LA Galaxy

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis

On how gratifying the win was after some tough losses:

“It’s huge. I think it just builds an incredible amount of momentum for us. An incredible amount of confidence and positivity. To get that goal in the first half, I think was giant for us. It took a big, big monkey off our backs.”

On how the ball movement helped open things up:

“Yeah, I thought the guys – again – the energy on both sides of the ball when we had it. The movement was spectacular. There were players that were wanting to get forward to take opportunities, to take risks. Then the amount of the work they put in defensively was absolutely spectacular, especially in the midfield.”

On having 10 men in the last 10 minutes:

“The first thing I’m thinking honestly is that I’m probably a stupid coach again. Maybe I shouldn’t have made that sub. I wasn’t trying to analyze in my mind as quickly as I could if I could have held a sub so we wouldn’t have to play a man down. At the end of it all I don’t think you really think about somebody pulling a muscle. It wasn’t due to fatigue, it was due to a muscle pull. But we’ve been there before haven’t we? I think back to the Open Cup match when we went into overtime I think we were playing down a man and for some moments in that game, and in the playoff we were down two men. Guys have been through a lot – every scenario possible in a game this year. They should be well-prepared to hopefully move forward into the next round and beyond.”

On hitting the crossbar and the post:

“Déjà vu all over again, right? Yeah, I did. I started to think to myself ‘it’s going to be one of those nights. Maybe they’ll catch us on a counter and we’ll leave here scratching our heads that we couldn’t put one of those away.” But just a little bit of a different feeling tonight, the whole night: before the game, as the game was going on, the spirit of the crowd tonight. It didn’t feel like there was any lulls from our crowd and often times there is. But tonight I think the crowd did an unbelievable job, they just keep spurring us on and spurring us on. Interesting right? The two guys that scored tonight, I believe it was their first goals of the season, Sebastian’s first goal of his career. This was a playoff series of guys that don’t normally score goals scoring the goals.”

On what was better tonight than the first leg:

“How much time do we have? I just think – I say it to the guys and I’ve said this in the press before. I think sometimes we do too much talking about tactics and shape, and all the other things, the beautiful game, the passing all these things. For me, honest to God, every time Real Salt Lake wants to win the game more than their opponent we win the game. And tonight we wanted it more than the L.A. Galaxy. But I feel like last Sunday they wanted it more than us. I think – I wouldn’t say all the time for everybody – but I would say 90% of the time the team that wants to win more in our league wins.”

On the special feeling surrounding the game:

“Ever heard of je ne sais quoi? I don’t know. It’s just a feeling. I think perhaps it was great that there was so much talk about this difficult thing we’ve been having about playing games at home and games we’re expected to win. I think we’ve had a hard time dealing with that. So everybody was talking about that the last couple of days. I think there’s one thing people forgot – this wasn’t a game we were supposed to win, this wasn’t’ an opponent we were much better than. This wasn’t a game where we could come in and draw and advance. We had to win. We had our backs against the wall. We were the underdogs and our guys went out there and showed what it means to be part of the team and how to treat each other like family.”

On Schuler’s contribution to the series:

“He was massive. Again, a number of balls he stepped in front of from Donovan and Keane today. He made physical challenges and completed the first pass. All those little things were huge for us. Once again this game I walk away from it and I say ‘I’m really happy that Chris Schuler scored the game winning goal because he deserved it.”

On Rimando’s save on Donovan:

“Which one? It’s all a blur. The most dangerous one I remember when he went down on the ground to save it and it bobbled out in front of him, the defender made a good play and I believe that was Schuler. He was there to make a hard tackle on Keane. I only remember because I remember seeing Bruce wanting a penalty. But yeah, I think again this time of year, you need players like Rimando, Beckerman, Morales, Saborio to step up and make huge plays, Borchers, Schuler included. All of those guys did everything and anything possible to win that game, were willing to do whatever it took.”

On a coming of age for Sebastian Velasquez:

“Yeah, he’s just a guy that – we have quite a few guys on the team that will literally run through that wall if the coaching staff asked them: ‘Sebastian run through that wall’ he’d run through that wall right now. He is an extremely hungry player that has some real gifts. It’s sometimes difficult to get some of those gifts to come out of him. But tonight I think he took a major step forward. There’s no kind of cow towing to the veteran players around him. He just stepped forward and said I’m going to have an impact on this game in some way and he did in a major, major way”

On what the crowd needs to bring at Sunday’s game:

“I think for me it’s pretty simple. We need to be here early – there needs to be that really raucous singing of the song “Believe.” At the beginning of the match I thought that was spectacular today how noisy it was. And just to carry that energy and to continue to believe. We tell our players all the time that no matter what happens in the game we continue to work hard we need to stay together and we need to believe. If you do those three things in the end good things will happen.”

Real Salt Lake MF Sebastian Velasquez

Thoughts on scoring his first career goal:

“It’s a great feeling to contribute and help the team win against LA. Obviously I wanted to get a goal, but the most important thing was to win. If I would have been able to choose when to score a goal, I think today would have been perfect. Other than that, I remember the play where I saw Wingert take a touch back and then he just crossed it. I saw that Robbie made a first place run and Omar went with him and then I was in a place kind of by myself. I kind of put my head into it and it went into the bucket. It was an amazing feeling. I’m never going to forget that moment.”

Thoughts on being found open by himself:

“I kind of really was surprised that I was by myself. Especially when you see a kid with rat tails that’s 5’6”, or 5’5” head and a bump into the net is just not an easy thing. It’s a moment that I’m always going to cherish, but at the end of the day we still have the playoffs to play. We still have another game, so we got to keep our minds in the game.”

Real Salt Lake MF Kyle Beckerman

Thoughts on the 120 minute match:

“We really talked about it yesterday and today. If we’re gonna have a chance at winning this game, we got to have 11 guys on there that’s going to fight for the guy next to you. No matter what happens, he’s going to run for the other guy, and he’ll run for the next guy. That’s what happened tonight. When we do that we’re going to be successful.”

Difference from this match and the last in LA:

“We got 11 guys on there who are going to fight for each other, but also the Galaxy are a good team. They win most of their games at home, just like we do. It’s never going to be easy going to LA to play. They’re going to play better there. And when they play better, Landon, Robbie and those guys are going to be super dangerous. We’d like to play better, but you got to give them credit. They’re a good team.”

Feelings after Schuler got the second goal:

“It really felt awesome. I was thinking they were going to call it back for some reason, and when they didn’t it was just an amazing feeling.”

Thoughts on Sebastian Velasquez:

“He’s a good player. He’s got some great skills. We really got on him to work on the defensive side. I think he’s just going to get better. I think the main thing you’ll see is that he will be refined I think. As he gets older and gets more games, he’s going to be a bit sharper. We’d like to get him on the score sheet more, but tonight you got to get one to get the next one, so that was big for him to get that first goal. He’s got a great upside.”

Thoughts on facing Portland six times in four months:

“They’re a great team. They’ve shown really well this year, so it will be another two games that we’re going to have to give another great effort like we did tonight. Nothing comes easily in the playoffs, but it’s something we look forward to. They’re a good team, we’re a good team and we just like to go against the best.”

Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando

On the team’s defensive performance:

“Eleven players defended and for us that’s a big key.  The way we play in our system, we need everyone to pitch in and give effort – tonight, we did that.  [Head Coach Jason Kreis] said we needed to do that, he challenged a lot of us, and the result today shows that the challenge was met.”

On Chris Schuler’s performance:

“He was fantastic. In the end, he was such a beast.  He and Nat, together, really solidified our back line.  He was really frustrating [Robbie Keane] when he stepped in that area.  I thought he did great.”

On his double-save late in the first half:

“[Landon Donovan] shot to my left, and I got both hands on it, pushing it with my fingers to the middle.  My thought was to get on it as quickly as I could.  I was just trying to make myself as big as I can, and I was able to get on it.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On the team’s defensive performance:

“As a group, we really made a decision be good defensively and bring a lot of energy.  You could see, from the opening whistle, we got a lot of help from the outside backs in 2-v-1 situations. [Kyle Beckerman} and [Javier Morales] did a great job of limiting the space that Donovan and Keane were able to use.  I thought the back line was solid.”

On getting that long-sought big win at Rio Tinto Stadium:

“It means a lot.  We’ve thought about all the times when we failed at home, and it’s worn on us.  To be able to have a game like this, where we had to win by two goals, it’s really satisfying.”

On Chris Schuler’s performance:

“He was fantastic; a well-deserved Man of the Match.  He covered really well, won everything in the air and his distribution was really solid.  I’m really proud of him, and I feel like he did a great job.”

Real Salt Lake DF Chris Schuler

On his overall reaction to the game:

“They’re a great team.  L.A. has shown that they can get it done in the playoffs – to win back-to-back championships. It’s good to not let them have a chance at a three-peat.”

On what was different about tonight’s performance:

“I think we’re in pretty good form right now.  We’ve had a lot of momentum.  Everyone’s been buzzing the whole time, and we had a nice fanbase show up today.  I’ve never heard our stadium be that loud.  It’s pretty cool; it was a good experience.  There are some good things going in our direction.”

On his game-winning goal:

“Borchers actually helped me out a bit on that one; he made the call.  [Morales] put in a great ball – he was dropping dimes all night.  The ref pulled one out of the goal earlier on.  I made a run and just had to put my foot on it.  I put it away, fortunately.”

LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

Overall thoughts:

“We didn’t play well tonight. We really had our opportunities on Sunday to have a cushion coming in here and didn’t do it. Tonight we failed on defensive set pieces. The wind made the game terrible with the field conditions and all of that, so it was a real sloppy game – a scrappy game. They were more opportunistic in their set pieces than we were, and that was the difference in the game.”

On Landon Donovan’s and Robbie Keane’s lack of impact in the game:

“They were not factors for us tonight. Give Salt Lake credit, they played them well.”

On his team’s sloppy passes throughout the game:

“The conditions were tough for both teams with the hard field; this field is like playing on the street and makes the ball bounce a lot. The conditions are tough, but both teams had to play in those conditions and they played better than we did. They were very direct. They played balls behind us and put our backs under pressure and scrapped a lot and were hectic in their attack and created some opportunities from that. The last goal, the referee, though the whole game was like a boxing match, decided to call that foul, but in all fairness, we shouldn’t position ourselves to be called for a foul there. They scored. We have to be smarter to play this game in to penalty kicks once we got into overtime and didn’t get it done.”

LA Galaxy FW Landon Donovan

Overall thoughts:

“We had a number of decent breaks. We got the ball in some good positions a number of times, but we got no production. It’s good to get a bunch of corners, but at some point we’ve got to get some real balls in front of the goal and give ourselves a real chance to score. I don’t think that we did that well enough tonight.”

On how the game came down to set pieces:

“They had a number of quality set pieces and [Javier] Morales hits a good set piece. Obviously the wind, and the way it was going, made it difficult, but give [Chris] Schuler credit. He made a great play on that to get his foot on it and put it in. It’s frustrating, but at this point it’s over with and you’ve got to learn. We know that there were a number of errors where we fell short and we just didn’t deserve it tonight.”

LA Galaxy DF Omar Gonzalez

Overall thoughts:

“I think that they came out high-pressing from the very get-go and didn’t really stop the whole game. I think that we kind of came out flat and didn’t stick to our game plan of playing as if it was just another game, not even a playoff game, attacking, putting pressure on them. We let them play out of the back, and we started dropping off and let Kyle [Beckerman] and [Javier] Morales make the game. When they do that, it’s pretty hard to play them. I think that we should have come out with a lot more high pressure and made the game tough for them, but that didn’t happen.”

On their inability to put shots on frame (2 of 21 on frame):

“You are not going to score if you do that. We had a couple chances, good looks, but we weren’t sharp enough in the final third. I guess for both legs we weren’t sharp enough. We couldn’t score at home, and now we couldn’t score here.”

On if they lost the series in the first leg:

“No. Not at all. Coming in here 1-0, we should still play with an offensive mentality. We were the ones who were more poised to the win the game because we were up 1-0, but we shot ourselves in the foot by not coming out sharp enough or with enough intensity.