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Post-game quotes: D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy

MLS 2009 QUOTESHEET
SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2009 - D.C. UNITED 0, LA GALAXY 0

D.C. UNITED ASSISTANT COACH CHAD ASHTON
On the game

I thought we fought really hard. I thought we made the game. I thought we created enough. Obviously, in the final third we were lacking a little bit. I thought, especially given the conditions, we could’ve put some more stuff on frame and maybe made it harder on Ricketts to make a couple saves and pick up just some scraps and just get a cheap one.

On Emilio’s goal which was called offsides
I haven’t seen it yet. But I felt like the goal was onside. I don’t know for sure. From our point of view, it looked like [Luciano Emilio] made a really well-timed run and it was a good goal. You know you need three points in this situation, and to walk away with one is deflating. We’ve had too many of those this year where ties have felt like losses. We’ve got to start to turn those into wins.

On getting a draw at home
Again, I thought we fought hard. It's a real positive to put a zero on the board and not give up any goals. We've been on the road. I can't tell you how hard and grinding it is to do all that travel. I don't remember the last time we've played a home game here. It feels like a very, very long time, and just to be back in front of our fans and on our home field, and on our home training field, and in our own beds has felt great for us this week. We've got to rebound from those past few performances that haven't been the best. But there's a definitely a lot of positives tonight.

On Los Angeles
We feel like, in breaking them down on film, they’re a team that’s very, very organized, stays compact and basically tries to counterattack against you. To break them down you have to be disciplined in terms of your possession and move the ball from side to side, change the point of attack and wait for there to be an opening. I even thought especially in the second half, we didn’t do a great job of holding those wings out wide and playing that last ball to our wide guy, whether it be in the air for a header at the back stick or a winger starting to creep in a little too early and having to back up for the header. I thought we could’ve stretched them a little more, width-wise, once we got into the final third. But again, they’re very organized and we have to be patient and not give them the ball – a couple times we turned the ball over in bad spots, and [David] Beckham to Landon [Donovan], it’s going the length of the field in a blink. So we tried to eliminate as much of that as possible.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER/FORWARD SANTINO QUARANTA
On the team’s performance

For 90 minutes, it was probably one of our more positive, steady performances. We didn’t finish, they had some chances, and I think, in the end, we needed points. But it was a fair result, I guess.

On the club’s play-off hopes
It’s such a long season that if we get on a roll here and win three, four, five games, that’s 15 points. So we’ll be fine. The guys understand that if we keep playing like this, we’ll be alright.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER BEN OLSEN
On the team’s focus

I feel like it was one of the only games this year where we have had the right mentality throughout the game. Our lapses were very few and that’s an important step for us too. Now, we’re a professional enough team to realize that’s not going to do it. We need to do that and sneak a goal. We’d like to get three points, but it’s certainly something to build on.

On facing Los Angeles
Obviously when you play L.A., Landon Donovan is a key force for them. And staying on him is a hard task. Sometimes we did it, sometimes we didn’t.

On Wednesday’s Champions League match at home against Toluca
We take pride in what we do here. They’re a good team. The Mexican teams have been very good in this competition. It’s going to be tough to get a result, but why not? We can do it.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRIS PONTIUS
On playing an MLS team following a Champions League fixture

It’s really a difference in how they play. I’ve only played down in El Salvador, but it’s a different environment. Playing against Toluca this Wednesday, they’re going to play a different style than an MLS team. We have to come out and win this game. We just lost to Marathon, so we need to step up.

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On the heat and humidity

I’m fairly used to it, but teams from the west coast aren’t, and I think our guys are pretty surprised how it hit them in the first half. And to hang in there and play well and stay tight defensively and pick our spots to go forward was important, and I think at the end of the game we positioned ourselves to where we wanted to be and possibly steal three points here as well. To come in here against a team who needed to win, and they’re a quality team, and to grab a point is fair and something we wanted to accomplish.

On managing players through last five games
I didn’t have to do a whole lot, the referees helped us last week when they gave us two red cards so we were able to bring in a couple fresh players today, but it’s not easy and I know D.C. United had a tough week as well in Toronto and Honduras. We noticed that they obviously didn’t play their first team as well on Tuesday to save some players for tonight. I thought it was a good move if they were able to get a point in Honduras. What’s good for us now is we were able to finish our issues with playing two games in a week. Some other teams, like a D.C. United, don’t have that luxury. But now we can get back and recharge our batteries a little bit and hopefully get our guys prepared for the Chivas game next week.

On Donovan’s play
His attitude is great, and his play is great, but his play is more consistent. He’s not up and down from game to game. He’s a good performer and he goes out each and every game. That’s really the quality of a good player is they have to bring that consistency game in and game out, and Landon [Donovan]’s certainly starting to achieve that.

On David Beckham’s play
It’s been good, but you have to remember that this is still like preseason for David [Beckham], and he hasn’t played in a couple weeks because last weekend he played 17 minutes against Seattle and then missed the game against Chicago. Then he came into this environment, which is really different for him. He rarely plays in hot and humid conditions. The fact that he’s been off for a couple of weeks, he was a bit winded.

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DAVID BECKHAM
On the changes in MLS in since he arrived

We always said that it would grow slowly, and it’s done that. With new franchises coming in, and young talent coming in from young kids, and I think it’s slowly moving forward.

On if he’s making a difference
I would like to think so, but only time will tell.

On difference with this team compared to last two seasons
Overall we’ve got a very good group of players with the starting 11 and the group of players that come in. It showed that the other night when we had a couple of players out against Chicago. It doesn’t notice because we’ve got talent waiting to play.

On Arena’s impact
Oh, of course. Bruce has experience in the American league. With his experience around America, it’s vital to us as players and as a franchise.

On tonight’s result
Yeah I think we’re happy with the four points out of the two games [on the road]. You can’t ask for anymore effort from the players with traveling and playing two games in a short amount of time, and the four points are better than none. But it’s been a good trip.

On his play tonight
I’m central midfield but I saw some spaces on the right, and the manager pushed me up towards the left with five minutes to go. It’s just about getting on the ball and supplying the forwards with balls. We did that at times, but we knew it was going to be a tough game.

LA GALAXY FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN
On past five games, and how it positions LA

It’s good, we’re in good shape. We now have seven games, five of which are at home, and the goal is to keep separating ourselves from the last playoff teams.

On what is the difference during this stretch of games
We’re a better team. It’s better having David [Beckham] here now, consistently it helps. We’re gelling better. On another night maybe we win this game, but tonight we’re happy with the tie.

On tonight’s game
They started well and we knew they were going to have a lot of energy, because this was a little bit of a desperation game for them. Then as the game went on we took over a little bit of the control they had. They had quite a bit of possession but we felt like we had control, and we had a few chances at the end, but maybe another day we win it.

Broadcasting and P.A. Request: When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.” We appreciate your cooperation.

Doug Hicks, dhicks@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5448,
Boris Flores, bflores@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5452,
Kyle Sheldon, ksheldon@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5450 or
Cristina Cruz, ccruz@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5440