Quote Sheet: RSL 1-1 LA Galaxy

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On his overall thoughts on the match:

“It felt like there was just two teams that didn’t want to lose.  It was just a hard-fought game in the midfield.  We were just a little bit off in our possession and attacking ideas, but I was really proud of our guys for our defensive shape for most of the game.  If you look at [the game in] L.A. compared to here, we were much more organized.  I felt that L.A. wasn’t as dangerous this time, but we also have to counter that and be better offensively.”

On how FW Joao Plata’s injury affected the match:

“Joao [Plata] and Alvaro [Saborio] have a partnership that’s going really well right now.  I thought Garcia came in – I know it’s tough to come in cold and when you’re not prepared to come in – but I was proud of his reaction.  I thought he worked hard.  I thought some things didn’t come off offensively, but the effort was there.”

On how LA Galaxy FW Robbie Keane’s first half goal affected RSL’s mentality:

“I don’t think it changed our mentality, it just kind of took the air out of us for a little while because we were playing good soccer and they weren’t doing much against us.  They made us pay with a good play.  After that, it was a battle.  We didn’t do the best of job taking care of the ball but we’ll work on that and we’ll get better.”

On the team’s standing with five points from three tough matches:

“I’m very optimistic.  If you look at the schedule we have to start off the year, it’s pretty daunting.  The guys are up for it.  If you think taking four points out of six [on the road], we’re pretty pleased with that.  We come home and we want to put on a good product for the fans – they deserve that – and I thought we did that.  I think the fans saw a team that fought hard.  We just need to do a better job taking care of the ball.”

On the team’s rash of injuries suffered by RSL’s forwards:

“I don’t [know Plata’s injury], to be honest with you.  I think it’s a hamstring injury but I’m not sure how long it’s going to be.  It is a little concerning.  We’ll get Saborio and Garcia working together this week and make sure they’re in a place to start together.”

On his decision to not use his final substitution:

“I felt that Luis [Gil] and Luke [Mulholland] were giving us the work offensively and Luke, especially, defensively.  I just thought that that combination of players out on the field was going to get it done.  I didn’t want to change anything.  We had a few chances there at the end, but the final pass wasn’t quite there.”

On DF Chris Schuler’s performance:

“I was really pleased.  He was battling with Rob Friend most of the night and won most of those challenges.  I was really proud of him.  We’ll see how he’s feeling tomorrow because that’s the key with Chris – how he does the next day.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

Thoughts on the game after Plata’s injury:

“It just felt like the second half we just kind of ran out of gas a little bit. I think we weren’t able to connect that first pass or maybe that second pass to get forward and get that space behind them. It didn’t seem like we were sharp enough.”

On RSL’s defensive performance:

“I thought Schuler had a great game. He was physical with Rob Friend, he won all those battles in the air, good spots. I thought Tony [Beltran] and [Chris] Wingert had a great game as well, and let’s not discount the work that the midfielders did – Kyle Beckerman chasing back getting stuck in defensively.  I think the defensive side of the game was very good. I think the offensive side we need to improve on.”

On areas to improve on:

“I think there are some things we can do to get better. We just weren’t sharp in that second half, especially with our possession game. It’s really early in the season – we know that and we acknowledge that. We don’t want to be playing our best soccer right now, but it can get better. I think that’s going to be the challenge this week in training – to connect those passes and get a little bit more possession.”

On the number of injuries mounting up:

“I think we’re only two games in, so I don’t think we’re going to get too fired up about it. It’s a long season. Fortunately, we have good depth at that position. Hopefully, Plata is able to rehab and come back quickly and we’re able to fill the gaps.”

Thoughts on RSL’s upcoming match against Toronto FC:

“It’s going to be a fun one especially with their new signings. The type of caliber team that they are after signing three big name players – I think it’s going to be a fun game.”

Real Salt Lake MF Ned Grabavoy

Thoughts on the differences between the first and second halves of the game:

“I think we started well, we were positive. We certainly created better chances around their box in the first half. I don’t necessarily know if it was an injury…but maybe once the Galaxy as the game went on a little bit, they would take a tie or at least become less aggressive going forward and a become a little bit more conservative. Towards the end of the game, I think they sent less numbers forward. I can’t really think of a time in the second half where they had their outside backs or midfielders advance, so I think it’s probably that more than anything.”

Thoughts on LA’s lack of shots on target:

“I was just saying to Kyle, I can’t really remember them creating a really good chance or even a decent half chance besides the goal that they scored. I think there was a crosswind that kind of came out of the ground and covered it up. That’s how it goes with them little bit – an unfortunate turnover and Robbie Keane is going at somebody one-on-one and he gets a good shot off and he’s going to finish that most of the time. I think we’re better defensively for sure, but I don’t think they necessarily sent in as many guys forward on attack as they usually do. I think they were careful and sent some guys back.”

Thoughts on being on the road for the first two matches of the season:

“I think sometimes it can be a bit difficult when you go into this preseason for a long time and you’re away from Salt Lake and you’re only really training here once or twice.  Obviously, we were here this week, but sometimes altitude can eat at you when you’re away for so long like that.  It seemed like we didn’t maybe have the energy in the attack to make that all-out-run and get ourselves in a good spot, or make a supporting run to make ourselves get into a good spot. And so I think it was a bit sloppy both ways. Probably not the most entertaining or attractive game to watch from a fan standpoint.”

Thoughts on the upcoming game against Toronto FC:

“I’ve seen them play a little bit last week when they were on national TV with Seattle, so I think we’re going to have to take a look at the film a little bit with them because they’ve made a bunch of changes. They’ve added some good pieces and some good players, so it will be another good team coming in here. I think especially at the beginning of the season, everyone has hope and belief whether you’re a team that did well last year and build off that, or whether you’re a team that made a ton of changes and you’re hoping for better days ahead. So I think you see at the beginning of the season that everyone is going to fight. Most teams are healthy so there’s no matchups at the beginning of the season where you have a team coming in that you could necessarily take advantage of. They’re all good opponents.”

RSL MF Kyle Beckerman

Thoughts on the second half:

“I’d have to look at the video. But four points home and away with the Galaxy, you’ll take that all day.”

Thoughts on the upcoming match against Toronto FC:

“I saw a little bit of their game last week, but I haven’t watched much of them. I’m sure we’ll practice this week and look at some video and get a little bit more familiar with them.”

Thoughts on trying to improve:

“It wasn’t our greatest soccer game, but I think that happens sometimes when it’s our first home game back in the altitude. So hopefully we’ll get more acclimatized this week and be ready to go next week.”

LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena:

Overall thoughts on the match:

“It was a well-earned point. Our guys played a pretty good game today. I think we obviously made a tactical error on their goal, but our guys showed a lot of character in the way they came back and got the goal. I think they played a good second half. Perhaps there was a chance through there we could have been a bit better with. But I think it’s a fair result and a really good effort by our team given the circumstances – the injuries we had to deal with during the game, the field conditions were poor, the altitude. To get a point out of it is a good result.”

On the status of DF James Riley and DF A.J. DeLaGarza:

“We don’t know anything yet before we get back and have the doctors look at them. DeLaGarza probably only has a contusion from a bad tackle – it was a bad tackle so I’m sure the league will be looking at it.”

On the starting personnel and tactical changes coming into this game:

“[Stefan] Ishizaki and [Baggio] Husidic needed to play. We wanted to get them into the midfield and to design a midfield where we could take advantage of those two players with Juninho and [Landon] Donovan. That’s why we went the way we did today and I think the guys did well. I think that [Dan] Gargan, [Marcelo] Sarvas, and Leonardo did very well coming in off the bench.”

LA Galaxy DF Omar Gonzales

Overall thoughts on the match:

“I think that it’s a well-earned point. It was a very hard-fought battle between us and Salt Lake again – when we play them it’s always going to be a tough battle. We didn’t start off the game very strong, but we managed to get our feet under us and start controlling the game.”

On how the two injuries (to Riley and DeLaGarza) affected the game:

“It was unfortunate to get those injuries. The one could have been avoided with Saborio, I think that was pretty dirty on his part. He was definitely intentionally trying to hurt A.J. [DeLaGarza], and I think he succeeded in that. Fortunately for us, we have a lot of players on the bench who can come in and do well and we finished off the game strong.”

LA Galaxy MF Landon Donovan:

Overall thoughts on the match:

“This is a good result for us. We didn’t give up too much, though we let ourselves down a little bit on the free kick. But for the most part, pretty good. Perk had to make one really good save on Grabavoy and then other than that I thought we were good. We put them under good pressure. Possession was almost 50-50, which doesn’t happen often here. I think all-in-all it was a good performance.”

On the game being a bit chippy and how they overcame their injuries:

“It was a chippy game. James’ [Riley] was a little bit of a fluke play and then the A.J. [DeLaGarza] one, I’m trying to figure out how it’s not a red card. You see his leg, you see the intent, and how nasty that was. I’d be very surprised if there isn’t further action taken. It’s okay to be tough and physical, but you don’t want to be nasty and that was a pretty nasty one.”

On the tactical changes made coming into the game:

“They [RSL] do a really good job of putting numbers in the midfield, so we wanted to match that. We wanted to make Beckerman have to deal with me, and I think I could have done a little better job of doing some more attacking, but I think all-in-all it was a pretty good. Through there we did a pretty good job of neutralizing them and that’s what you want to do when you play here.”