RSL 2-LA Galaxy 1

RSL Communications
Los Angeles
1- 2
Real Salt Lake
SATURDAY, OCT 6 7:00PM MDT Home Depot Center
Recap: RSL 2-LA Galaxy 1

CARSON, Calif.Real Salt Lake (17-11-4, 55 points, West #2) battled back after conceding an early goal to beat the L.A. Galaxy 2-1 at The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, riding a pair of Fabian Espindola goals – his 8th & 9th of the year – to the victory, which puts RSL five points clear of the Galaxy (15-12-5, 50 points, West #3) and six points clear of Seattle (13-7-10, 49 points, West #4 - pending Sunday’s home match against Portland) into 2nd place in the MLS Western Conference.

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Highlights

Post Game Quotes

REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS

Overall thoughts on the game:

“It was just a fun game to be apart of. I was thinking all week how fun this game could be. What a great experience it is to play in front of this crowd, against a team that's such quality as the Galaxy. It was just a fun night.”

On the result:

“They really put us under. They scored in the 17th minute and we were under all of those 17 minutes. I was really interested to see what our response would be. A lot of teams, even ourselves, in some patches of the season, and in prior years, would fold up shop and just succumb to more and more goals and more and more pressure. I think our guys handled it in the exact right way. They stayed calmed and realized that we would still get chances. And, what a fantastic play by the players involved on that first goal. I think it really changed the flow of the game.”

On Fabian Espindola: 

“I guess he likes this stadium. He was spectacular tonight. Obviously, the two goals were quite nice and special. He was good for us defensively and trying to find spots to help out the rest of his team on the other side of the ball. It was critical.”

REAL SALT LAKE FORWARD FABIAN ESPINDOLA

On his success at The Home Depot Center, where he has five goals and three assists in four games this year:

“I like to play against LA. This is a huge field, it’s so difficult for defenders to mark and I think that’s good for us. We’re a team that’s good with the ball so it works because the other teams get so tired when they don’t get the ball in those spaces.”  

On what Saturday’s win means for the team:

“The good thing is we came back from a 1-0 hole. [Teams that do that are] the kind of teams that can win the championship – when you’re losing and you can comeback you’re actually showing that you can go far in this league.”

REAL SALT LAKE GOALKEEPER NICK RIMANDO: 

On the come-from-behind win:

“It's one of those things that I think we've been through before. We never quit; we never stopped. It's one of those things that we've been in that situation before and we know how to bounce back. When we play as a team we are able to do that, and tonight that's exactly what happened when we went down the goal.”

On Espindola:

“He's been there for us. He wants to prove to his teammates and his team that he's here and he wants to play. He wants to prove to the league that he's one of the best forwards in this league. He's been putting forward that effort for a while now, but it’s really starting to show.”

REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER TONY BELTRAN

On the win:

“It's huge. LA is right behind us in the playoff race. We need to finish second or third place so we can avoid that wild card spot. It's a big statement, but mostly it’s good for ourselves. We want to keep this going. We've said that as far as we are considered the playoffs started weeks ago. We want to keep getting results week in and week out and get through October and November.”

On going down a goal:

“Obviously, the Galaxy is a talented team and if you are going to give them attacking opportunities they have players that can finish – like tonight. But when the goal happened, we knew we were a good enough team where we can play soccer and we have dangerous players as well. We showed a lot of character coming back and holding the lead for the rest of the game.”

REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER KYLE BECKERMAN

On the team’s performance:

“It was a good 90-minute performance. We didn't panic when we gave up the first goal. It's always a tough game when we play the Galaxy. They throw haymakers; we throw haymakers. And, it’s a real battle out there. It was a good response from when they scored— Two great goals by Fabian. We didn't give them a ton of chances, which was an improvement from the last couple of games.”

On playing the Galaxy:

“(When) we played this team it goes in waves. They'll get the ball and then it switches and we get the ball. We kind of know that from the experience of playing them so many times. So, we just follow them when they have the momentum and we just wait our team and then it turns and we have to finish the chances.”
 
 
LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

 Overall thoughts on the game:

“Their first goal came a little bit against the run of play, but we were sloppy defending in our penalty area, not real sharp with our attacking play in the other penalty area. We just weren’t sharp enough for 90 minutes. In the early going we were okay. We played a sloppy game today.”

On the changes to the backline:  

“I wouldn’t say the story of this game tonight is the fact that we’re missing players on our backline. We weren’t good enough for 90 minutes all over the field.”

On Tommy Meyer and Bryan Gaul’s performance:

“I thought they did fine”

On Edson Buddle’s performance:

“No [I didn’t get what I wanted from Buddle], because I wanted to get a goal. Our service wasn’t good. We didn’t get a whole lot of spark out of the changes we made. I just think over 90 minutes we didn’t play well. They defended well. The play in the goal was quite good. I thought Josh Saunders did an excellent job in making some saves to keep us in the game toward the end. “

On the team’s current standing: 

“I haven’t really looked at the standings, I don’t really care. We go out the next game and we play to win.”

On Juninho’s performance: 

“I think Juninho played quite well for us tonight. If we had nine other players who played like Juninho tonight I think we would have won the game.”

On the defense against Juninho:

“I’m not sure [they were pressing Juninho]. He got a little space when he hit that crossbar. I don’t think that was an issue, but I think they did play well, they did defend well; they deserved to win the game.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER LANDON DONOVAN

On his injury:

“It didn’t feel good. I landed on it. Just on the ground, I don’t really remember, but there was a pretty good divot there so I’m not exactly sure.”

Thoughts on how loss impacts the playoff standings:

“I think we’re just a little disappointed in the game in general. Not really worried about that part right now. That was a pretty good first half and we fell asleep for a few minutes and [Fabian] Espindola made two good plays. It was frustrating. I thought we had really good chances. They were scrambling a bit, made some kind of last ditch blocks and dodged the bullet. I give them credit, they scored the goals.”

Overall thoughts on the game:

“I thought we played well, actually, in the first half. Second half they did a better job of containing us, we didn’t have as many chances, but we’ve got to do better, myself included, and score some goals (when the opportunities come) and make it two or three-zero so the game’s over. We weren’t able to do that.”

On the teams’ goal to finish in the top three spots:

“There’s no question, that’s the goal, but that goal just got a lot more difficult so we’re probably going to have to win both games and we’ll see what happens. The goal is to be at least third. If you’re fourth, obviously there’s a disadvantage in playing an extra game, but we’re a deep team and if we have to do that we have to do that.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD ROBBIE KEANE

On the result and the team’s performance:

“I’m disappointed with the result like everybody else. It was a game, I think, the first 20 minutes when we got the goal we were controlling the game and then we gave two goals away in the space of two minutes probably. So, I think that killed us.”

On what the Salt Lake defense was doing that made it tough for LA to score:

“Nothing, really. Because if you looked at the first 20 minutes we about (had) four or five chances, but after that, as soon as you concede two goals, they sit back and invite pressure on and put two banks of four (players) and obviously made it difficult.”

On whether there are any positives moving forward from this game:

“When you lose a game it’s important to bounce back and try to get a victory. We’re playing against a good team when we come back after the break so, two big games coming up and then obviously the playoffs. It’s always good to get confidence going into the playoffs.”  

On whether the team has discussed the importance of different playoff positions:

“Yeah, you want to finish as high up as possible. I don’t think we need to be sitting down as a group and chatting that we need to finish third or second, we’re certainly not sitting in here saying we want to finish fourth. So, of course you want to finish as high as possible and we’ll be trying to do that in the next two games.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DAVID BECKHAM

Overall thoughts on the game:

“I thought we started the game very well. I think we had a lot of chances in a short space of time, which unfortunately we didn’t put away. When you play against a team like Salt Lake you have to be on it. I think we made a couple of mistakes leading up to the goals and it let them back in. They’re a good team and when you give good teams a little chance then they capitalize on it.”

On the team’s standing heading into the playoffs:

“We’ve got two more games left, so, they’re two tough games but I think at the end of the day we’ve made it into the playoffs. It’s just down to where are we going to be placed now, but we need to finish the season strong.”

On his fitness:

“Not perfect yet, but I’m getting there. Getting the 90 [minutes] in today was important for myself, but no, I’m not perfect yet. We’re real disappointed.”

On how the team will get past the loss:

“It’s obviously down to us now, what happens. I think it’s important that we just forget this game now, we’ll talk about it Monday but we have to forget this now.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER OMAR GONZALEZ

On what the Galaxy can do better in defense:

“I think we’ve just got to be tighter on them, we can’t let them get so many entry balls because they were just collecting balls coming into them and we were just being too easy on them and that just can’t happen. We’ve got to go from here and be a little bit more aggressive, make it harder for forwards to collect balls and then from there just be better on second balls.”

On the performance with two new starters in the lineup:

“I don’t really think it matters who you put in there, we’ve got to be better. That’s it, we’ve got to put a better effort out there. We started the game off great and then we just shut off for a couple plays and they punished us.”

On what positives they can take away from the loss:

“This game didn’t go the way we wanted it, but we’re still in the playoffs. I think we certainly want the wins, but now is the time to start get the little things right. Just like tonight we got punished on those plays, next game we can’t make those mistake and we’ve got to be on the entire game. So even though we didn’t get the win tonight, I think we can still take a lot from it and grow from it because there’s two more games left in the season and then the true test comes. We’re not going to win Supporters’ Shield so that doesn’t matter, now it’s all about getting it right for the playoffs.”

On how much the Galaxy are thinking about playoff positioning:

“We certainly don’t want the play-in game. I think right now we’re just trying to get in second or third and it’s looking right now like it’s kind of tough to be second so we’re fighting for that third spot. I think Seattle plays Salt Lake next so hopefully they can help us out there, but we’ve just got to win out.”