Galaxy 1 Chivas USA 0
Don’t tread on me! Jovan Kirovski and the Galaxy steal
a base a goal and steal the game. (Photos by Scott Varley).
David Beckham spoke in the locker room for the first time I can recall and he gave a scathing assessment of the Galaxy’s opening 45 minutes:
“To be honest they kind of controlled the game in the first half; our passing was terrible, we just kept giving the ball away. We couldn’t get in a rhythm. But sometimes that happens. You just need to persist.”
A persistent Becks gets stuck in.
Here’s Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena on another narrow 1-0 win:
“To make it a real team you have to win games 1-0. The 4-3 stuff, the 5-4 stuff I think is nice; I was part of 6-5 game when I was at New York Red Bulls. It was one of the worst games I’ve ever been part of – it was a horrible performance by two teams defensively and yet, for some reason, I read it was one of the greatest games in MLS history. It was a horror show in terms of the defending on the field. Good teams can’t be in games like that. We have to learn how to play in these types of games and we’re learning that.”
Not surprisingly, Chivas USA players ducked out of the locker room ASAP so I didn’t get to talk to any of them.
But Coach Preki sounded resolute in the post-game press conference:
“The game sometimes is cruel. There is no way we deserved to lose this game. … On a nothing play we give up a goal.
“They were lucky – the ball is bouncing their way,” he added later. “We didn’t play great, but they didn’t get anything (much) either.”
The passion of the SuperClasico spilled over occasionally, but the Galaxy’s Todd Dunivant seems to be having a great time compared to Chivas USA’s Jesus Padilla. “He came from behind and sent a message and I let him know I wasn’t going to take it,” Dunivant said. “Ultimately, we had the last laugh.”
There was passion in the post-game press conference, too, Preki virtually berating one reporter who had the temerity to suggest (incorrectly, BTW) that the Chivas USA season was petering out and the team was giving up:
“Giving up? Why would they be giving up? Did they look like they were giving up? I don’t think so. They’re a tough group. We have a lot to build on.”
Preki was thankful for the two-break Chivas USA will have now, though; they’re off until the Sept. 13 game at home against the New England Revolution:
“The good thing is we don’t have a game for two weeks and some of these guys will get to know each other a little better,” he said of a team that sported three new faces including Columbian defender Yamith Cuesta, who made his debut the day after joining the team on the practice field for the first time. “For not knowing anybody’s name, for not speaking any (of the English) language, training yesterday for about 35 minutes with the first group I thought he was pretty solid.”
Here’s Beckham with an oblique reference to the locker room discord his presence created last year and the lack thereof this year:
“There’s a lot of hard work (that’s) been done before I arrived. The players have worked hard. … And, obviously, with me coming back into the frame, it’s great to see the way the players have come together and great to see the togetherness of the team. All the hard work was done before I arrived so it’s nice to step into that.”
Jovan Kirovski and the Galaxy kept their heads.
Here’s Todd Dunivant on the Galaxy’s attitude coming into the game:
“We knew they had two games in hand on us. So the onus was on us to get the points tonight – they had the breathing room. But tonight we came out and defended well and limited their chances and (goalkeeper) Donovan (Ricketts) made a big save tonight and stepped up for us and carried us through to the shutout. Tonight we made the bigger plays and that was the difference.”
Here’s Dunivant on how much the Galaxy practice set pieces from his throw-ins, which led to the goal:
“We actually did yesterday. We usually do it the day before the game and yesterday we did it where Omar comes up all the way from center back and Gregg (Berhalter) was up as well, so it makes a difference. It’s a weapon because you can get a ball in there with accuracy and if they can get any kind of flick on it anything can happen.”
Here’s the goal:
Finally, here’s Dunivant on the Galaxy’s disciplined approach to the game:
“We talked about the need for discipline tonight. We know that these games are heated. There was a different energy in the crowd tonight, you could feel it when we walked out into the stadium. You knew this was a SuperClasico game. It was kind of electric out there and we always feed on that. But we had to be smart. In the first (SuperClasico) we lost our cool a little bit against these guys and got some red cards that cost us. But tonight we did a good job of keeping our heads and tonight they were the ones that got sent off.”
The result: MLS standings.
Updated: And finally, Galaxy striker Alecko Eskandarian didn’t play, but said this on his Facebook page:
“Helllllllllll yea!!! HUGE win for us. Chivas played really well, but I’m stoked we got the 3 pts and that Becks shut up some of his critics.”