Quote Sheet: LA Galaxy 3-1 Real Salt Lake

QUOTE SHEET
LA GALAXY 3-1 REAL SALT LAKE
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2016; STUBHUB CENTER, CARSON, CALIF.
AUDI 2016 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS – KNOCKOUT ROUND

 

REAL SALT LAKE
HEAD COACH JEFF CASSAR

On what was missing from the team’s defense Wednesday night:
“The tenacity needed to be there. Just being in shape doesn’t work. You’ve got to close down hard and you’ve got to make it difficult. It’s not just about sitting in shape. LA was more aggressive tonight in the way they defended and the way they approached the game. It took us too long to settle down. They were operating at a speed that we weren’t and it took us too long to get into the game. I thought we did start to settle in and start to move the ball and the things we wanted to do against them: changing the point of attack and then getting into width. When we did it we were really effective, we just didn’t do enough of it.”

On the lack of energy from the team:
“I think the game in Seattle took a lot out of us. Traveling home…I’m not making an excuse by any means, but LA looked fresher and more intense than we were. We were getting into some good spots, whether it was poor passing, poor execution or just the way that LA defended, it was much more intense. [Jelle] Van Damme is a fantastic, fantastic defender. Their whole back line was very good, but he’s a difference maker.”

On if issues from the regular season carried over to Wednesday’s match:
“Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Early in the year, we were scoring first and being more aggressive and teams have to adapt and the game opens up more for our offense. But in the last 6-7 games, we’re giving up the first goal and we’re chasing and we’re changing our game plan because we’re down a goal. There’s a lot of areas that we need to improve on and I’ll start with myself and we’ll address those. But in these last 6-7 games, the goal got really small for us.”

On the challenges that were posed to Real Salt Lake tonight:
“When they push four people high on you, you have to defend 1-v-1 at times and I don’t think our 1-v-1 was very good. Then to follow it up, I don’t think our shape behind it was very good, the cover. You know, when he’s able to beat Demar Phillips and get straight to goal, that’s unacceptable. You have to have cover and I just don’t think we did a good job. And you’re in the playoffs now, you have to have good games. You can’t have holes. Our 1-v-1 defending wasn’t good enough tonight.”

DEFENDER CHRIS SCHULER

On the match:
“It’s a Knockout Round match and the first game away is a tough one to play. The home team is usually going to have a lot of the play, just like you saw in the Toronto and Philadelphia game. Toronto got in the forefront and got a few goals.”

On what they did wrong defensively:
“I don’t know, I’ll have to go back and watch the video. You lose so much in the game playing. Maybe play a little bit more behind, maybe a little bit more sustained possession and stuff to try and settle the game. But I thought we did well with our reaction when they scored the first goal.”

On the play of Emmanuel Boateng:
“He’s fast and strong and good on the ball. That’s a good combination to have, a good skill set.”

MIDFIELDER LUKE MULHOLLAND

On the match:
“We could have hosted this game at home and still lost it in the same fashion. We started today’s game as a totally different season, obviously for the players it’s totally different. I think we showed LA Galaxy way too much respect in the first half. We were too much in a defensive mindset which made them come at us and before you knew it we were two goals behind and playing catch-up. It was a good response in the second half, which has been kind of how the season has gone this year: we have one good half and a bad half. I think LA were the deserved winners.”

DEFENDER CHRIS WINGERT

On what went wrong in the first 15 minutes of the match:
“Clearly we were sitting in a little bit and trying to stay compact as best we could which gave them a good amount of time on the ball. I don’t remember exactly how it broke down before the cross, but a little bit unlucky to take a deflection on the cross. It lands right on [Alan] Gordon’s foot. I thought we had decent cover there as we were heading in. Credit to [Emmanuel] Boateng. He’s been giving us problems all year and he gave us problems tonight so I think tactically there’s only so much you can go over in a game plan. When you get in certain situations, guys have to make plays on both sides of the ball and credit to him because he made some great plays to get in behind, and not only to get in behind, but to finish.”

On if it’s difficult to end the season like this knowing where the team was at a couple months ago:
“Yeah, for sure. But we put ourselves here so I think in a sense, it’s absolutely disappointing to finish the season like this…whatever we went in the last month without a win. But with that being said, we got a fresh start tonight and whether or not we deserved it – I guess you do with the full body of work – but with the fresh start tonight I thought that everybody’s attitude was right. We were pumped up, but we came up against a good team. They’ve got a ton of weapons and they showed it tonight.”

 

LA GALAXY
HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

On the play of Emmanuel Boateng:
“Obviously he had a very good game. I think he had two great goals. He really didn’t foul the player on the penalty kick which was unfortunate. I think it got him a little angry, but I think he made up for it for sure. We’ve been looking for him to break out a little bit and he did today. He had a great game.”

On what made the Galaxy so effective from kickoff:
“I think that’s a team we’ve been playing with over the last 2-3 weeks getting them ready for the playoffs. They’ve been training together and they know each other and each other’s responsibilities. I thought they played in a very cohesive manner. This is the best collective effort we’ve had in a while. I was pleased.”

On how Emmanuel Boateng has been able to settle into his role with the team:
“He’s a young player. 21-years-old. You have your ups and downs during the season, but he’s got such a great attitude, a very likeable and personable guy. He’s competed throughout the season. He’s a good professional. We think obviously over time, he’s going to become a real good player. There’s obviously things he can do still to improve, but he’s got the right kind of attitude to get better. He’s worked real hard this year to position himself where he is today.”

On how important Boateng is for the team chemistry:
“Every sport has a different collection of players that make a team better. If I can use my NBA analogies, there’s the right pieces around LeBron James with Cleveland. It’s like that in every sport. You can’t have 11 Robbie Keane’s on the field and you can’t have 11 Emmanuel Boateng’s on the field so you have to have the right balance. When there are other young players like Ema, committed to work and complimenting the other players, I think it really helps the team. Today, he was a complimentary player. He took the game into his hands for a while in that first half and scored two great goals.”

On what it was like have Landon Donovan back on the field in the postseason:
“We have a smart player on the field. That’s been one of my statements…We actually did something right this year. We progressed Landon in the right way to where he’s ready now to play regular minutes and did it in the right manner. And as he got fitter and sharper you can see that his intelligence, his ability to communicate, his technical ability is something unique and something we haven’t had. And I think he really compliments the group. He’s not the same player he was 10 years ago, but he’s still a pretty damn good player. I think being able to add him to the group and get him to where he is today is going to hopefully make us a better team.”

On what, if any, negatives he could take from the game:
“I would say that the coaching was fantastic. I think the players could have been better. All kidding aside, obviously I don’t want to concede a goal. It would have been nice to get the fourth goal in the second half in the first fifteen minutes and deflate RSL a little bit, but we weren’t able to do that and they kept coming at us. So maybe if we would have got that fourth goal, we really would have been positioned to kill off the game in the right way.”

On Alan Gordon’s performance and his status for Sunday:
“He’s fine, he’s not going to have a problem. He knows where the goal is, you don’t have to point him in that direction. He’s a target forward, he holds the ball up and he gets in front of the goal. He works real hard and he did his job today.”

FORWARD ALAN GORDON

On the cross:
"Landon [Donovan] made a great run down the line, Giovani [dos Santos] made a hard run to the front post – great run – opened things up for me on the back post. Gio saw me running, got his head on and flicked a really nice ball to me and there wasn't much left to do but put it in the net; so those two deserve all the credit for that goal."

On the result:
"Yeah it was a good performance, it's something that we wanted to do, get after it, press as a team, I thought we were connected all game. I thought everyone was committed to the team and it showed."

On his thoughts on Emmanuel Boateng:
"He was fantastic.  You know he was definitely using all his tools tonight.  He was powerful and getting in behind, something that we desperately needed, it gives us a different dimension and he was the difference tonight."

On this team playing like vintage Galaxy, when Galaxy has been its best in the past:
“I thought Baggio [Husidic] and Sebastian [Lletget] were fantastic tonight. I thought they controlled the midfield and they dominated, I thought without them two we wouldn't have looked that way tonight and the back line was very good, so it really freed things up for us up top, everybody had a good game."

On his thoughts and expectations about the next round of the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs:
"I expect a really good team.  I said it before; I think Colorado [Rapids] in my opinion was the best team this year.  They are a really good team collectively, they fight hard, they battle, and there is no easy game against them so it's going to be a tough challenge."

On his thoughts on the team:
"Well, we have always said we have been a deep team, and that's the way Bruce [Arena] designed this squad. When our star players are out, then we have veteran players to step in and it's makes us a deep team."

MIDFIELDER EMMANUEL BOATENG

On his game:
“I took what the defense gave me. Just playing the game normally. I think the penalty kick made me ticked off, so I had to go get it back for my teammates.”

On his success against RSL this year:
“I just prepare for that game like I prepare for every other game. I take what the defense gives me.”

On his first goal:
“I saw [Alan] Gordon posting up on the defender, and I know he’s always going to win that. I got in front of him to pick it up and the only way to score. The only way to score there wasn’t to shoot, but to dribble through them and I was fortunate enough to get to that.”

On switching sides with Landon:
“He talked to me about it during practice and said it’s good to give the defense a little different look. I think it helped and we got the third goal on the ball from that side. I’ve just got to keep listening to that guy [Landon Donovan], I think he knows what he’s doing.”

On whether this was his best game:
“I have had some good games, but I think this one is really up there. An important win for the team.”

On his chemistry:
“I think guys have trusted me a little bit more and given me the confidence to take the defense on and make the game simple for me. Everyone is trying to help me with my runs and hearing a little bit from everybody.”

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