Galaxy Post-Game Quotes (and Highlights)

Reaction to tonight’s 2-0 Pan-Pacific Championship victory – yes, victory, even if it is only preseason – over Japan’s Oita Trinita AKA the “Terrible Turtles,” comes from Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena, veteran midfielder Chris Klein and top draft pick Omar Gonzalez.

Here’s Arena on tonight’s performance compared to last season:

“I saw more of a team tonight than I saw in a number of games last year. … We have a lot of new faces and there’s always a lot of unknowns at this time of year. To have a start like this in February with a positive result is good.”

On Edson Buddle’s first half goal:

“Really an alert play to strip the defender; the finish was incredible.”

On Gonzalez’ professional debut:

“Omar did well for his first game. A couple of mistakes he made on the ball and his positioning could have been better on a couple of plays, but overall I was very pleased with his performance. I think he’s a good young player with a lot of potential so hopefully he can continue to move forward. .. Omar’s a talented kid, he’s going to have his ups and downs, but he’s a player whose certainly going to contribute to make our back line a little bit better than it was last year.”

On not dressing the likes of Ely Allen, Brandon McDonald, Mike Randolph, etc., for the game:

“Most of the players I introduced tonight were new faces. … We’ve seen those other players in the past and have a pretty good feel for them, not that we know them completely. We wanted to look at some new faces at a time you can do that. Tonight was the occasion and we took advantage of it.”

On goalkeeper Josh Wicks:

“He was solid tonight and the group in front of him did a real good job. I liked the fact that Josh was pretty steady tonight. At times last year we saw an inexperienced guy out of the goal, (who) at times ran himself out of position or his decision-making wasn’t good. Tonight I thought he was pretty solid in the goal.”

On what the team will look like Saturday:

“I don’t know yet. … This is the first time any of our players played over 60 minutes so we know they’re going to be feeling it come Friday. We’ll have to make some smart decisions to have a fresh team on the field come Saturday.”

Here’s Klein on the game:

“I’ll tell you one thing – it’s good to win. It’s good to walk off the field and win. No matter who we’re playing or where we are or what group of guys we have in the locker room, we have to create a winning mentality here in this locker room and it’s a decent start.”

On the feeling in the locker room:

“It feels like a group now and a lot of that comes from the themes Bruce is trying to instill within our locker room. He’s demanding (of) the older guys (that) not only are they inclusive of the younger guys, but (they) take responsibility for the locker room and if something is not right it’s up to us to fix it.

Here’s Gonzalez’ assessment of his performance:

“In the very beginning of both halves I gave two bad balls away, but I got over that hump and I thought I did well after that.”

On the difference between the college and pro games:

“It’s a lot harder, the players close down the space a lot faster and it’s harder to get the ball at your feet and I think I’ve just got to get used to the overall speed of the game. I think if I do that I can come into my own.”

On the foul on him that led to the penalty kick decision:

“I just had to sell it y’know.”

On playing with a former national team player like Tony Sanneh in the center of defense:

It was just amazing. He’s just so calm back there and I obviously have a lot to learn from him. I think he’s going to teach me a lot and I hope to be one day as good as he is and go to the places he’s been.”

Not a terribly (ahem) compelling game:

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  • Ben

    Thanks for sticking around long enough to get quotes, Nick.

    Good to hear the positive statements from Klein and thanks for trying to get some decent answers out of the savvy Bruce.

  • charlesj27

    As Ben have already stated… Thanks, thanks for spending the time to get opinions and few words from coaches and players. We do appreciate it. I was there at the HDC last night. The first game (to me) was unbelievably “stale” or “dull”. It was like going back a few notches from a professional league. May be, I’m being harsh – but, to me, the fluidity of the game was no where to be seen. The second game with LA Galaxy v. Oita Trinita was much better to witness. Oita did come out and put pressure on our players in many parts of the field. But, what just pleased me so much was the fact that the players that Bruce & Dave fielded was just as gritty, tough, and no-nonsense! This was extremely good to see. The crispness and sharpness of a good football/soccer game is not there. But, honestly, at this stage in the pre-season… it would be unrealistic to demand that. For me, I was impressed with Eddie Lewis, Omar Gonzalez, Tony Sanneh, Dema Kovalenko, Alan Gordon, Sean Franklin, Josh Wicks, and especially Jovan Kirovski. And, the 2nd-half subs that came in were decent too!!!

  • Inigo Montoya

    Glad to see they were playing possession much better than almost any time last year. Better shape in the midfield, more purpose and patience. Not great, and maybe not yet MLS-competitive, but better.

    Not a lot going on transitioning to possession up top with Gordon and Buddle, tho Buddle’s steal and strike were well done.

    At least that’s how it looked to me, watching on tv. Couldn’t get to the stadium, sadly.

    Oita was not a great team, so we never saw Sanneh tested for speed.

    Nick, how do you think this performance compared to the Seattle and Houston scrimmages? Are they at least making progress?

    [And thank you for your reporting. Well done, and much appreciated.]