Ben Olsen - 2014

Post-Match Quotes: August 27, 2014


On the team’s first half performance:

“I will take this one. For this match, I think we had too many guys have a poor night, and I had a poor night. If you add that up against the LA Galaxy, and you’re down one-zero in the first couple of minutes, you’re in for a long night.

On the comparisons between this game and the game against Real Salt Lake:

They’re both good teams, and if we don’t play up to speed, if we’re not all on the same page, and focused on every play and squeezing every ounce of talent that we have out of our team, we’re not good enough. That’s who we are. We get reminders every now and then. So tonight is a reminder. But they’re a good team, and they’re very well coached. Sometimes this happens on the road. To come here and get a result against the Galaxy, you need everybody sharp and focused percent and then you have a chance.”

On the Galaxy’s performance:

I think it was a combination of us being poor, and them being very sharp. What I’ve always liked about the Galaxy is the way they move the ball. They can make you chase, they give the next guy more time. Their two-touch soccer is as good as anybody’s in this league. But I don’t care who we put on the field, they’re not four-one better than us. There were some poor performances on our part.

On the thought to put Fabián Espíndola in the game in the second half:

“The second half wasn’t bad. We revved it up, but it’s too late against LA to be down three-zero and now rev it up, and now do the little extra things, and now put a little extra focus in what we’re doing. It’s too late. So in the second half we’re fine; we get a goal back and we’re unlucky not to get another one. The plan was to bring Fabi [Espindola] and Nick [DeLeon] off the bench to give us some offensive firepower, but we were digging ourselves out of a pretty deep hole.

On the penalty kick call:

“To me it’s a poor call. From my vantage point, it was a bad call. And Baggio Husidic was offside as well building up to their third goal. The refs didn’t help, but they weren’t the reason we lost tonight.”

On Eddie Johnson’s performance:

“He had a pretty good night, worked hard and gets the goal."


On the Galaxy’s first goal:

“It was kind of a weird play. Give the ball away and they make a good play on it. Just kind of deflects off and lands in front of their guy so not a great way to start the game. But it’s one of those things, you just have to move on and play a little better and we just didn’t for the next half. But I thought the second we kind of regrouped, came out with the right mentality, but it’s just a little unfortunate. They were good tonight and we weren’t. I have to watch it; it’s a little early right now to really explain it. But obviously we’re upset; don’t have time to really be down though, we have to be ready for a big rivalry game on Sunday. We knew it was going to be tough to go to Kansas City then come to LA. Like I said, they were good tonight and we weren’t. We’ll learn from it and move on.”

On road games:

“I wish there was an easy answer. I think it just comes down to us getting the job done. I can make excuses and say it’s traveling, but we prepare properly; they give us ample time. They put us in a position to have success and we just have to go out and take it. We’ve done it a couple times this year on the road. We’ve gone out and gotten good results. It’s a tale of two games, from Kansas City to here. I think they probably watched that game and maybe they had a little bit of a different game plan, and it seemed to work for them tonight. Like I said, we were great in Kansas City, we were not good tonight. That’s really all I’m going to say about it. We have to learn from it. Obviously we can’t just keep giving up a bunch of goals. That’s the most frustrating thing from a defensive stand point. But we’ve just got to get back to work.”


On the team’s performance:

“To be able to deal with it and not collapse like we were doing that first half. So we’ve just got to be like the game on Saturday where we played well against Kansas to that tonight. Coming here to LA was always going to be a tough aspect to come and get beat four-one. It’s the manner in the way that we got beat that’s upsetting for me.”

On the second half:

“We pushed on. We pushed a little bit and we had one or two more chances and things. I think Bobby [Boswell] had a chance where the keeper had a good save. Maybe if it would have been three-two and it would’ve been a little more interesting. But at the end of the day, we were much better than this tonight and that’s all it really boils down to; we weren’t good enough.”


On the play of Landon Donovan tonight and the last few games:

"Landon is obviously committed to completing his career in the right manor, his leadership and quality tonight was terrific, what more can you say. He has been a great one, his attitude has been terrific over the last two or three weeks after his announcement. We are really happy for him, and certainly he has been an important part of our success over the last couple months."

On Alan Gordon rejoining the Galaxy:

"He is an improved player from the last time we saw him at the Los Angeles Galaxy, his experiences in San Jose were good, he is a good player. I thought he and [Gyasi] Zardes worked very well together tonight, for the first time, they had never played with each other, I think that was a real positive. I think Alan has two goals in the last three games, that is all good stuff."

On the status of Robbie Keane:

"Well, obviously, you don't want to lose a player of Robbie's quality, but I think the players are confident that we can play when we lose some players. That has been the case a number of times this year, and I think their response tonight was outstanding. Robbie is day-to-day now, he might be available on Sunday, it was from the last game, so hopefully he will be ready to go on Sunday, but I am not announcing any medical updates."

On the first half tonight:

"We played well, I thought DC United came out real hard, put a lot of pressure on us in the middle third of the field, it was a little difficult in the early going, but once we got the ball moving a little bit better we were able to create some chances. Obviously the first goal is big again and then the goal right before half was critical. I am at fault for telling them to take their foot of the gas a little bit in the second half because we wanted to avoid any injuries, and that wasn't easy. A couple guys got clipped and it could have set them back, but we wanted to make sure we didn't exert to much energy so we can have enough gas left in the tank to play Sunday, and I think that was accomplished, our guys will be ready to go."

On the defense only allowing three shots on goal tonight:

"We played well, and were fortunate, I think they created some good chances, but you know we played well. Our back line has played very well. Eddie Johnson was a handful tonight, he is a good player. D.C. United had some of the same issues we had coming into this game, they have an important game on Sunday, they need to travel back across country. We tweaked the lineup a little bit, we gave [Dan] Gargan a rest tonight, but our line has played well all year, it has been a really good year to date for them. Omar is playing well, I think this was Todd's first 90 minute game, since, maybe, March, so it has been a long time, it is good to get him back in. It was a combination of these things, but our entire group of players have been involved in the back line, and our midfield effort we are getting out of Juninho and Marcelo defensively has been outstanding job there, so it is a collective effort by our guys."


On the team’s performance:

“We’re moving well and we are passing well and we are creating opportunities, but I think the biggest catalyst is when we defend well it puts us in good position to score, so ironically they focused more on our defending and we end up scoring more goals. I think when you’re tuned in that way defensively; it also makes you sharper offensively. It’s been great, things are going our way, bounces are going our way and it’s a lot of fun to score goals.”

On his play:

“I am enjoying it. I realize very clearly that there’s only so many more chances to do this. The decision to retire and playing this way are intricately linked, and that’s giving me freedom to relax and enjoy it and it’s taking all the pressure off and that’s when I play my best. It’s been a lot of fun, I am enjoying it and most of all I like winning.”

On Robbie Keane’s absence and how Landon took over Keane’s role in tonight’s game:

“I would love to be Robbie Keane. I would say that the guys around me have made it very easy on me lately. Juninho and Marcelo [Sarvas] have been excellent, Stefan [Ishizaki] and Baggio [Husidic], whoever has played there have been excellent Gyasi [Zardes], even though he hasn’t scored now in a few games, just the way he plays makes it so easy and he really occupies people and makes it difficult. I’m trying to put myself in good spots and make good plays and the guys are helping me out a lot.”

On the team’s performance in the first half:

“I think we know that when we play a certain way, more often than not, we score goals and we win games. The start was good, obviously a little bit of a fortunate bounce but I thought we played well. We’ve been good on set pieces lately, getting guys in front of the goal and creating chances and the third goal was one of the best passing team-goals we’ve scored this year. When we pass and move that way, you see teams get dejected. They can’t get around the ball, it’s frustrating for them, and for us it gives us energy, it gives us confidence and it’s been a lot of fun.”

On Alan Gordon:

“I’m trying to figure out how he couldn’t play in San Jose, but I am glad that they didn’t see what we see. It’s pretty obvious how good he has been and what an impact he makes. I think that he should be a starter in a lot of teams in this league, including San Jose, and it’s interesting to see that they would let him go. We are happy to have him here. He’s been excellent, his work rate, his attitude, they guys love him, and he has scored important goals for us too.”

On the Galaxy’s great style of play and the team playing better than the 2011 version of the squad:

“I think so; I just think we have a very good comfort level with each other. Like I said in the beginning, when we defend that way, when we are committed that way, with that kind of aggressive attitude defensively, we do all of those offensive things naturally. We move naturally and we pass naturally and we all have understanding for each other, so those things are always there. But when you add in the defensive side and the mentality that we’ve had, it makes us a very good team.”

On the team’s perseverance, playing five games in 16 days:

“We’ve mixed and matched parts but for the most part, it’s the same seven, eight guys that have played. They’ve done an excellent job. What’s happening is we end up running a lot and working a lot but most of it is with the ball, and it’s enjoyable so it’s different when you have 30 percent of the possession and you’re chasing the whole game versus having 70 percent of the possession and you’re moving in a fun attacking way. We are a little tired and heavy legs but it’s enjoyable when we get on the field we want to play and we want to have fun and the same will be true for Sunday.”

On his plans for using D.C. United’s gifts, including a paddle board and a chair:

“I don’t know yet, I am going to seat on my chair and paddle. I have paddled before in Bora Bora.”


On scoring with his left foot:

“I was very happy to get my first MLS goal with my feet instead of my head. I was pretty surprised that it went in and I just ran over to A.J. to lift my shirt with “Luca Knows Heart.” Tomorrow’s a very important day for him and we’re all going to be here for him. I’m happy to get the win for him tonight so he can focus on what he has to focus on tomorrow. It’s a very important one for us, gets us that much closer to the top of the table, and we need to keep going.”

On whether he’s having fun playing:

“Of course [I’m having fun]. Everyone is playing as a team, everyone is working from top to bottom and everyone is working to get around the ball quickly so that we don’t make it easy on them so the ball just seems to pop out and we’re picking up second balls and just starting to play from there. The third goal for us tonight was probably one of the best goals of the year. I think we had the ball for maybe a minute and a half or two minutes before that, ending with a goal. That’s just beautiful soccer right there and it’s a lot of fun playing right now. I’m trying to get forward as much as possible, but I’ve still got to remember that I’m a defender and that I’ve got to do my job there. But if I get the chance to go forward, then why not?”

On the penalty call earned:

“The ball was coming my way and tried to just and get both hands on my chest and he just held me, so that’s all it was. I think I’ve been fouled worse in the box, maybe plenty of times, but the ref happened to see this one tonight. I’m happy about that, because there’s has been plenty worse and I’m always frustrated that people hold me like that, so it was nice and Landon got another goal so it was great.”

On seeing something special from Landon Donovan:

“When Robbie Keane is out, a lot of guys have to step up and fill those the gaps, and I thought Landon was in a lot of those places tonight, but so was everyone else. The guys who had to step up to fill that role did. I thought Alan Gordon was great tonight, Gyasi [Zardes] played amazing holding the ball up, taking on guys and creating space for himself. .. Juninho and Marcelo [Sarvas] were killing it in the middle, covering so much ground for us, which makes it easier for us defenders.”

On the team’s current MLS standings:

“It would be great to get the Supporters’ Shield again, just like 2011. That was a great year for us. We were the best from the first to the last game and this year there has been some more adversity for us, just fighting hard games. But it’s been a great year for us and the year is still not over with. There are a lot more important games to be played and we have to keep our heads screwed on tight, because if we’re not focused, even for one bit, we’ll get punished just like we did a couple of weeks ago, so we just can’t let that happen.”

On the first half level of play compared to past years:

“I think we may be playing even better football than we were in the past. The way we played tonight, passing the ball the way we did. Getting teams to come out and chase up, chasing up for two minutes [straight], I don’t think I’ve ever seen us do that. It was very exciting, it was a fun first half and now we just need to make it 90 minutes of that.”


On playing in an emotional game:

“When I step on the field, everything is forgotten off the field just for 90 minutes. Today, obviously I got reminded when people scored goals and came up to me, which was a nice touch and a nice gesture for everyone that has a part in it.”

On team’s defensive performance:

“I don’t know of too many chances that they had, but we have still got to do better on the one they did have. They got back into the game a little bit and had a couple chances after that as well, so we’ve got to lock those down and not let teams back in the game.”

On his play after Fabian Espindola entered the game:

“He’s a good player. He’s having an MVP-type year, he’s tough to defend and he’s a hassle. So when he steps on, he’s going to bring 110 percent.”

On whether this is the best the team has played in his time here:

“I think we’re playing good soccer. I think in years before, we might have played direct a little too much… I think we like to connect and combine and [tonight] we got after them after the first whistle and that was the game plan.”

On team wearing “Luca Knows Heart” shirts for the team’s warm-up:

“It was emotional. It was a good touch and class from not only this team and my teammates, but the League and allowing us to do it and Marcelo [Sarvas] and [Juninho] for thinking of the idea.”