Quote Sheet: RSL 1-2 LA Galaxy


Real Salt Lake 1-2 Los Angeles Galaxy

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Interim Head Coach Freddy Juarez

On the game:

“We came out of the locker room thinking that we had a good first half. The talk in the locker room was if we could up the tempo even a little more. 10-15 minutes there at the beginning of the second half, we didn’t do that. Tactically, they [LA] didn’t do anything, but they upped their tempo and we didn’t respond well. After those 10-15 minutes, the first goal, Aaron (Herrera) trips, the second goal, Justen [Glad] is trying to play it out, the guy is savvy, pokes it out, and that creates a second. Aside from that, we created some chances. The composure, it almost felt like it was a rushed situation every time we got into that eighteen area, maybe get a better shot off or get one extra pass or make sure we’re attacking the cross. I remember Donny (Toia) putting in two very good services, that one crossed the goal on the ground where we had two guys and maybe just a little bit that on response and another one that he gave in the air that Corey [Baird] and Dami [Kreilach] maybe don’t respond quick enough and it just goes across. That was it, 10 minutes there in the second half, I thought we started out too slow — can’t happen — and then just two silly goals, in my opinion.”


On the composure in front of goal:

“We don’t have much time to sharpen up [before Houston], but there’s some days when we score them and other days when we don’t. Today happened to be one of those days when we wanted to do it so bad that it just doesn’t happen, the timing. Obviously, there’s an opponent, too. I don’t want to say that they didn’t take a part in it, they were throwing themselves everywhere, closing us down, they really upped the tempo in the second half. There are some games you get and others you don’t.”

On subbing off Sam Johnson:

“He did [have some chances to score]. I think he was getting caught offside a couple times. He had a tough game in New England. We had already kind of spoke a little bit of maybe fatigue, if fatigue starts kicking in, that him and Corey played the 90 minutes over there, Corey could come in and add a spark, and I think he did. He came in and we can play Corey as a nine, he started getting the ball right away but also then we made that change where we could get him wide and see if we could get their outside back isolated and create a couple chances. That was the idea behind Sam, I think he was getting a little fatigued. He had a very good chance in the first half where he got through, and again, a little bit of composure. It was a decent game for him.”


On uncharacteristic defensive errors:

“The first one — I’m obviously far away, I’m thinking maybe he clipped him, but after I look at it, he doesn’t clip him. It was just weird, I think Aaron even had position on him. He’s playing [Cristian] Pavon, who’s a very good player — quick, fast — maybe just a little lapse in that situation. We’re thinking, ‘Yeah, we’re going to get that foul,’ there wasn’t a foul, they get a goal. The second one, trying to shield it off and again, a savvy player — Pavon again. Uncharacteristic. We don’t see that very often from our guys, it happened tonight in a very important game, but what can we do about it? Learn from it. We know that we went to New England and some guys gave some very good minutes. We’ll take a look and see who needs some fresh legs, but we have players that can step in and make sure that we have a team that can put out the effort on Sunday — and they’re going to have to. It’s a must-win for us.”


On things not going their way:

“It does [sting.] Everything that went on today, the great crowd, the 10-year anniversary for the winning team. All of us thinking about it the last couple of days and today, I wanted to win for the group, I wanted to win for the fans — I wanted to please them — you wanted to win, more importantly, for the team. I’ve thought they’ve had a good season and I thought we were the better team. Watching a lot of video on LA Galaxy, I think they have very good players, I think we’re a better team. It just didn’t happen. The first half, we showed it, and the second half, some lapses.”

Midfielder Kyle Beckerman

On the two halves:
“It was a couple moments really. I think we played decent, we actually played pretty well. The only thing we were missing was the goal to really change the game and get the extra momentum. It was just two moments that they put together to score, which really changed the game.”


On the uncharacteristic mistakes:

“On one, it seemed pretty odd that Aaron would just go down like that, so that was a big no call for them. It was just a couple moments in the game where they took advantage. We had plenty of chances to score, and tonight just wasn’t the night.”

On chances being rushed:

“I think it’s natural, when you’re losing, to hurry things up a little. We’ve also done that at times and we score. We just have to keep at it, get back to work the rest of this week, and see if we can learn from this game and be better for the next one.”

On being honored pregame:

“It’s just really great to see those guys, and it’s a really neat thing for Javi. It brought back a lot of memories of that final and the whole run. I’m glad they were recognized.”

On Javi’s recognition:

“I think Javi was a massive player for us. Not only on the field, but off the field, in the community, in this locker room. He was such a huge part of it. The consistency that he showed over the years, so I’m just so happy for him.”

On playing with Javi:

“It was so much fun. He was your classic South American number 10, he was shifty, movement all over the place, scored goals, assisted goals, just an all-around great teammate.”

On Jason Kreis un-retiring the number 9:

“It’s long overdue. We should have a number 9 that plays on the team. It’s an honor to Jason and whoever wears that number 9. Same thing with Javier, when you see someone take that number 11, you know that it comes with big shoes to fill. I think it’s great and you want a player that wants to wear the number 9, so it’s great if we could get it back.”

Defender Nedum Onuoha

On the game:

“I don’t think overall, they really upped their performance in the second half. We probably stepped off a little bit. We said at half time to really focus in on the first 15 of the second half, and we didn’t do it and it gave them a leg up. Especially with the players that they have in the attack, they only need a little bit of encouragement to really start having attempts on goal, which is what they did. Before we know it, we’re one down and then we’re two down.”

On RSL’s chances on goal:

“I think they defended well enough, but we still created opportunities. We just missed that little bit extra, up top in the final stage. We did well to get into the final third, but whether it was the end ball or the attempts on goal, it wasn’t as clean as it has been in recent weeks. This is the type of thing where on a different day, we score two or three goals.”

On working on finishing before Sunday:

“You can always work on it, but some days things just don’t go your way. I think for the attackers today, it really was just one of those games, which is a shame.”

On defensive misplays:

“The best attackers are going to read what defenders are going to do, which is always hard. They had some quality attackers up there today, but we just made mistakes today, myself included. I was lucky not to get punished, but then Justen made one and we got punished for that. To be successful you have to limit the mistakes, whether that’s in the way you shoot the ball or the way you clear the ball and not take any chances. Today, we were uncharacteristically poor and we just made too many mistakes, particularly in the second half.”

On the previous Zlatan interaction:

“There was not much there to be honest. The guy has played 700-800 games, and I’ve played my fair share. It was a game I was looking forward to, but more so because we had lost to them in the first game, and I felt like it was a bit undeserved. He always does well for them, and he contributes goals and assists, and I was just trying to stop him. There’s nothing really there, because he’s faced many center halves before, and I’ve faced many strikers before.”

On Justen’s mistake:

“Justen is a good enough player to know that it was a big mistake and the decisions that went to that point were incorrect. It’s not something that he does week in and week out, which is why I believe he is a good player. I think he knows he’s a good player as well. It turns out that when you make that mistake against certain people, you will be punished. When you want to play at the top level, it’s about minimizing mistakes. He’ll be alright, he’s disappointed, he’s holding his hands up and saying this one is on me, but it’s a whole team thing. Even if that mistake didn’t happen, it’s not like we scored 2 or 3 goals.”

On Pavon:

“It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. The way the league is, I believe that it’s quite top heavy. Most of the real top players are in the attack. Week to week, it doesn’t matter which team you’re playing against, their main players tend to be in the attack. WIth him joining and with Antuna on the other side, they have good people that link up well with their number 9. Once you start bringing people in who can do that, instead of having isolated situations where you defend against this guy and that guy but defend against groups of players, it’s a lot harder. When they are together, it’s very difficult to play against and he is one of the better players in the league.”

On bouncing back for Sunday:

“We’re very disappointed in the locker room today, but we’re lucky enough to have one more home game this season. For emotional reasons, it’s a very big game for certain players. We want to finish the regular season as strong as possible. We’ve gotten ourselves in such a great position to still technically be in the playoffs right now. This is the first game of the season where we feel like this is a must-win. People are motivated because we want to give a better account of ourselves compared to today. When Sunday comes, we’ll be ready to go. We’ll take it right to Houston and see what we can do.”

Former Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis

On un-retiring the number 9:
“My feeling from the beginning is that I was never really comfortable with the idea of retiring a number. I certainly was extremely proud and honored to have my name put on the stadium, but in soccer, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense, really. In soccer culture, the numbers on the jerseys can be really, really important - what they represent in positions, what they represent to the fans, what they represent to players that you’re potentially trying to bring here. From my point of view, those things are more important than whether or not my number is retired.  I’m honored and pleased to un-retire it and give it back to the club.”


LA Galaxy

Head Coach Guillermo Schelotto

On the defensive performance:

“We defended very well. We might think that we didn’t play well on offense, because we lost the ball very quickly. When we took the ball from them, we lost the ball very easily. By the second half, we got better in offense and defense. We were able to finish and kill the game before full time. We lost three or four situations to score more goals, but we couldn’t score. We gave the opportunity to them to score off a set piece in the last minute. I think in the second half we played well and it made the difference to get the win. The defenders played very well for 90 minutes.”

On the half time talk:

“We told the players on the pitch where they had to play and to stay there. We came out and fixed our passing, stopping and passing back. We made the game very slow and then we played very fast. It’s a passing game, so good passing helped.”

On Pavon:

“The result, not just the result of the game but the result of how we played, is because of him. Today he was wonderful. He played wide and he put good balls in. On the second goal, he gets the ball and does well to get the ball to Ibrahimovic. Today the team supported each other. They made sure to bring their best football to the pitch.”

On clinching the playoff spot:

“We have two more games. It is a fight to get a better position in the table. The big challenge when we started this year was to get to the playoffs after two years of not making it. Today we got the result. Now the expectation of the team is coming. We worked very hard to give the best we can to the club.”

Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic

On tactical changes for the second half:

“I think the game opened up, and we had more space in the second half. We had good chances. We missed three good opportunities before we scored the second one. That goal was a little bit heavy because normally when you miss chances, then you usually get a goal against you and it becomes more difficult, but we kept going. I scored the second goal, and then we were under pressure and it resulted in the goal at the end, which I think we should not concede because it's a simple mistake. But we won the game, and now we're in this playoff.”

On the character of the team and recent form:

“It’s like I said two or three games ago. If we want it, we have to show it and we have to really do it. I think the last three games have been a situation where we asked ourselves; what do we want? We have to show ourselves and the coaches, the defense, everybody around that we really want it and I think we'll be playing good. Very good. In some games and moments, there is less good, but mostly very good. And we have been winning, as you’ve seen.’

On thoughts of retiring a jersey number

“I think as long as you are physically good, you keep your numbers. You don't need to worry about them. Because it comes by itself. Just try to enjoy, try to form and most importantly, try to stay healthy. Because when you come in a certain age, you want to have a career after your professional career. So the same thing with me. I want to have something to do after I retire. Especially for my kids so I don't want to go along limping and not be able to be with my kids. 

Do I want my jersey retired? No. I have three statues waiting for me outside the Galaxy Stadium.”

On whether the scoring record is a priority

“No, no, no, no. Today it was important to win, not to break the scoring record. I'm here to help my teammates. So, to go around and just think about the goals is not good for me.  My focus is to help my teammates and make the playoffs and then to make a run in the playoffs. If I keep scoring, if I keep creating, I think that should be enough to help my teammates.”

Defender Dave Romney

On getting the team back into playoff contention:
“It's really exciting. The last was in 2016 and it feels like a lifetime ago we got knocked out and I still remember it vividly. Just to get that chance again, it feels really special.”

On the team’s character:
“We did really well in the second half by creating chances. We created two goals out of nothing. The guys who came in battled. They served a lot of balls and did a really good job at being aggressive. We were a little sloppy at places but we had the opportunities.”

On the importance of the defensive performance:
“It was huge. Once we got the lead it was it all about finishing the game out as we try to keep rather than just get in. We did pretty good at that until they scored and then it’s just battling for your life.”

On keeping RSL at bay:
“We did pretty good on our one-on-one battles. It all comes down to the backline, we had guys battling for balls and I felt we won most of those and just where the game flowed, it kind of worked in our favor.”