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Quotes from MLS Cup

By Nick Webster



The Los Angeles Galaxy celebrate the win after defeating the Houston Galaxy to win the 2012 Major League Soccer (MLS Cup) at The Home Depot Center on December 1, 2012 in Carson, California
The Los Angeles Galaxy celebrate the win after defeating the Houston Galaxy to win the 2012 Major League Soccer (MLS Cup) at The Home Depot Center on December 1, 2012 in Carson, California

MLS Cup 2012 is consigned to the history books. The defending champions, the LA Galaxy triumphed 3-1 over the Houston Dynamo is a highly entertaining encounter at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California. Here are some of the best post match quotes...

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DAVID BECKHAM

On winning MLS Cup:

“It was our goal at the start of the season. I spoke about it before, we always want to win a championship at the end of the year. Last year, we were amazing and we did it. This year, we didn't start very well, but we became good when it was the important time. Today is a special day for us to win another championship in front of our fans at home. In front of our friends, family ... it was really special. Today's a good day.”

On Volkswagen MLS Cup 2012 MVP Omar Gonzalez:

“Omar isn't just a special player, he's a special person as well. He works hard, he listens. He's a young player with a lot of talent. I hope someday that he will play for the U.S. national team more regularly because he deserves it. He's been dancing around in there [locker room] naked, so he definitely deserves it after that. He deserved the MVP today and are very lucky to have a young player with his talent on this team.”

On the second penalty kick:

“I told Landon to take it and he told me to take it because he was too tired. I told him to have Robbie take it. I didn't want it. At the end of the day, all I want is to win the game. It's not about me taking a penalty to top things off. It's about winning the game and winning the championship. The discussion was simple – I told Landon to take it, but I don't think he could even walk up to the penalty spot, so Robbie took.”

On the season:

“I think we made it easy last year because we were exceptional the whole year. This year was different because we made it hard for ourselves. We didn't start well. Good teams and good character in teams become good at the right time. I think we should that this year. Being successful doesn't come easy. You have to work on it. I tell my children every single day that if you want to be success its hard graft. It doesn't come easy. I think we provided that this year. All the way through the season, we had players out of games and young players and players that weren't in the starting 11 come into the game and perform. This game and this championship is about the whole squad, not just the starting 11.”

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

On what helped the Galaxy turnaround:

“When the season ended last year, we had an endless tour of obligations and we couldn’t put this 2011 season behind us. And I think, as I look back on, it finally came to a close when we went to the White House in May. I just said ‘let’s put’ – I want to watch my language here – ‘this past us.’ And not only that but start focusing on getting things right. And the guys responded well, but oddly enough in June we still had a horrible run, but you could see things were getting better. There was an important game, I think a lot of guys mentioned it, when we won in Salt Lake, which was just a character test. You could see that we kind of got that back and then we literally battled every day.”

On coming back from a deficit and the Houston Dynamo’s performance:

“Our guys are used to this stuff. You should have seen us at halftime, we were fine. We were just catching our breath, getting a little bit reorganized and understanding that the first 15 minutes of that second half, we needed to keep ourselves in the game. I told them at halftime, we get the first goal, we win the game, there were more goals to come. The guys kept their composure, the experience certainly helped and they did what they had to do. I do want to mention, I thought Houston played real well today. They deserve a lot of credit and I’m sure they feel it was some tough calls, but a penalty is a penalty and they were both penalties. Our guys responded well, I give Houston a lot of credit but certainly my hat’s off to our team.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN

On the feelings and emotions of finishing the season with a championship:

“It’s a little surreal to be honest. I think in any sport, to repeat is really hard to do. The playoff run was great, but what got us here was the turnaround in July and we have to give ourselves a lot of credit for how we did when we were down and that’s the sign of a champion and we showed that again today too.”

On how this championship feels compared to winning in 2011:

“For me personally, this felt more satisfying. Last year there was a heavy expectation I think, with the uncertainty about David’s future and we hadn’t won a championship, from the beginning MLS Cup was in LA so there was a lot pressure to get there. This year we could enjoy it a little bit more I think. To finish where we were, in fourth place, and then kind of unexpectedly move through the playoffs that was way a little more satisfying I think.”

On his mindset after missing a chance in the first half:

“A lot went through my mind, to be honest. When you’re in a moment like that, you feel like you let the team down because it’s not just what they do today, it’s what guys do over the whole season. … We were able to rest our starters for significant minutes through the year by having a group of players that could play in the Champions League and the Open Cup, the Reserve League, that I think really helped us as the year went on. And you feel like you let everybody down. Candidly, it sat with me ‘til halftime and I took a few minutes at halftime, sort of collected myself and tried to stay present because we can’t change it. And when the penalty came, I’m not going to fool anyone and say I was calm about it, I was pretty nervous. But you have to keep going and every one of these guys after that said ‘forget about it, keep going, keep going’ and I’m very appreciative of that.”

On the momentum shift after the tying goal:

“I think that was obviously the moment where things changes, and from there we just kept putting pressure and it felt almost inevitable that the second goal was going to come.”

On his future plans or any impending decision:

“It’s just been a long two years, for all of us, it’s not a ‘woe is me’ story, but I have to listen to my heart and my gut and right now my gut says to get away for a while.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD ROBBIE KEANE

On winning:

“It's obviously fantastic. It means a lot more this year than it did last year because I was here for the start of the season. It felt like I contributed a lot more this season than last season. Obviously, delighted. Full credit to the team and the attitude that we've shown the last few months. People had wrote us off after the start of the season. The second half of the season was fantastic. We were certainly the best team the last few months and I think we deserved to win it.”

On taking the penalty kick:

“Me and Landon just looked at each other and he pointed. I respected the penalty taker because I've been a penalty taker my whole career. If Landon wanted to take it, he would have taken it but he pointed to me and thankfully I put it away. I think we knew that the game was over then.”

On his two disallowed goals:

“I wasn't really too frustrated. The first one was offside. You half know as a player and then I saw the replay. The second one was not a foul from Omar. We'd be talking about it if we lost the game, but we didn't so it doesn't matter.”

On his game:

“I don't to speak about myself too much. The most important thing about football is the team and being surrounded by players that help you. You can't win a game on your own. I've been very fortunate. We are a good team and we've been helping each other. The team's helped me score goals and if I can help them since I've been here, so great.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR

On the game:

“We had great chances tonight before they scored their goal, so we weren’t sitting back. Sometimes teams have run of play, it’s not all a one-way street. We did good with [David] Beckham, they had their moments when they’re breaking, which they normally do. We just told our guys, when we have the ball that the communication is very smart because when it does turn over, they’re very dangerous.”

On the change of momentum:

“The first goal changed the momentum for sure. Calen [Carr] had a good chances two minutes before that. I’ll give [Omar] Gonzalez credit, his timing today was excellent. Defensively and tactic-wise he was very good. That changed momentum. It was back and forth and chances went both ways. This game could have gone either way. I haven’t seen the replay of the penalties, so I can’t comment on those. Their first goal changed momentum a little bit, but we didn’t back down. It wasn’t like they were completely all over us at that point. We still went and got good looks at goal, some good situations. I think for a neutral bystander it was pretty entertaining back and forth game.”

On the flow of the match:

“Sometimes momentum swings in cumulative little increments and you put pressure on your team. [The Galaxy’s] a good team. They all know that going into the game so you know they have their moments during the game, which they did, so did we, and you just hope during those moments when they’re on top of it that you withstand the pressure and you don’t get scored on. It’s a set piece, it’s a good header by [Omar] Gonzalez and you have two penalties, they made the most of their pressure, got some breaks and unfortunately we were off just enough to let in another goal.”

On home field advantage creating an advantage for Galaxy:

“I don’t know. We were up at halftime, so it didn’t help that much. The first 10, 15 minutes, we created good pressure. I think when you play, and you’re on the field, obviously Brad [Davis] knows this better than me, you don’t hear the crowd, unless there’s pauses during the game, I think you’re so focused and concentrated on it. It can put pressure on some situations and you just deal with it. As far as the final, I don’t mind it. If this game was in Houston I’d think it’s a great idea. But as far as this goes, I think the league is trying home-field advantage for the final instead of going to a neutral site. I don’t think it’s a bad idea.”

On the penalty kicks:

“I haven’t talked to any of my players. I do think that Tally Hall touched the ball before Robbie Keane went down. That was my view on the second one. On the first penalty I didn’t see at all. Our guys protested, not vehemently but they got up and protested so maybe something comes into question. I don’t know.”

On the emotions in the locker room:

“I think this year’s different than last year. We played well. Last year you could hold your hand up and say we didn’t really get going. We played well today. We gave ourselves a chance to win the game and that’s the tough part. In the locker room the only thing I say to the guys is first off, ‘I’m sorry this game didn’t go our way’ and the second thing I said was thank you, totally proud to coach this team and I thought we had many great moments during the year.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO GOALKEEPER TALLY HALL

On going into halftime ahead 1-0:

“Last year was almost the feeling that we couldn't go forward. This year we went forward, I thought Josh Saunders made a couple really good saves when the team needed it, and that is not always easy to make the good save over and over. I thought we were pressuring him well, but Saunders came up big for them. This year I thought we were good enough to beat them anywhere, and I still think that, but today is the day that it matters and we didn't do it.”

On the game:

“I thought that we looked dangerous. Again I thought Saunders made some good saves, we had some close shots, we had some good play and some good chances. For the most part we did what we wanted to do offensively. Defensively it is tough to give up two penalties and still come up with a win, but that is what the game dictated. I think the first one, I saw a handball so I'm not complaining about that, and the second one, I touched it first but the referee can't see everything. I would love for him to believe me when I tell him to trust me, it wasn't a penalty, but the simple fact is he can't see everything. It is a tough game to ref in the final, everyone complains about them, I can't imagine wanting to be a referee, both teams just heckle him all game. You can never blame the refs; it is our job to win the game.”

These quotes certainly tell the story of the match, so now the next question becomes who can stop the LA Galaxy? They are the dynasty.