Sounders Insider

LA keeper hardly grasps some of his saves

Here's some reaction from the Galaxy on their 1-0 win today over the Sounders:

Coach BRUCE ARENAOn Rafael Garcia’s performance: “He did very well, I don’t know how much he has played with us in the past. He put in an excellent shift today; very good 90 minutes. He is fit, and as you can see he is quite capable of switching the point of attacks. His passing distance was good, gets around the ball. He is experienced. He has been with us for a number of years now. So he is quite capable of stepping up.”

On the team’s leadership:“[Jaime Penedo] stepping up today was critical in this result. On the day, Leonardo’s been out, Robbie’s not in today, Jose and Mike didn’t train all week so that was a problem. I thought Gordon was a real man today. He obviously got the winning goal, played strong the entire 90 minutes. I think he played quit well. It was good to see, you’ve got to win these kind of games. Listen, this isn’t going to go down as a classic by any means, but the fact that we were able to grind it out and get three points, it is very pleasing.”

On the lineup: “Well we played a 4-2-3-1 with Baggio playing under Alan. I didn’t think he felt comfortable in that position. I thought Gyasi and Baggio did very well when they exchanged positions. Just a hunch, but obviously Gyasi can play there. But we wanted a little more help in the midfield. To help out [Rafael Garcia], being one of his first games, to join Juninho so I thought it was important to have an extra player there.”

On Alan Gordon:“Obviously on a game like today, where Seattle is very dangerous on restarts, he did a good job there as well. He played a complete 90 today.

Forward ALAN GORDONOn tonight’s performance:“We talked about it all week, just bringing the energy, bringing the fight. We need to do that first and that was my focus and goal. It wasn’t pretty all the time, but we made a difference and we won our battles. I was just getting in the mix, anything I could do to scrap and make it a little dirty and get us the win.”

On starting the game:“I was excited, I knew that this was a big game for us and I was excited to be a part of it. I wanted to have a good performance and help the team get a win. I feel like that’s why I’m here, that’s why Bruce brought me. When guys are out and I’m called upon, it’s my job to step in and do a good job.”

On playing against Chad Marshall:“He is good. He is a really good player so you have to be smart. And if you try to out jump him, you are going to lose so you have to get your body on him. That’s what I was trying to do all day.”

On the formation:“Well I think it helped us out with our spacing up top, we needed numbers going forward. I don’t think Gyasi was getting in the game in the wing so we bought him in. Once he was inside and getting the ball then he was a lot more effective. I thought Gyasi came into the game really well. He started off a little slow, and once we started finding him in the middle with that space, he was able to turn and be dangerous.”

On making his 200th MLS appearance: “I think for most guys, maybe 200 isn’t a big deal. For me, a guy not even expecting to play a game in this league, I think it’s pretty special for me to make it this far.”

Defender OMAR GONZALEZOn Jaimie Penedo:“Well, he kept us in the game. You know when your keeper makes those key saves, those brilliant saves, that keep the game at zero-zero, it just gives you an opportunity to make something happen. Sure enough, after Jaime made those saves we figured out a way to score. We go up 1-0 and later in the game, he makes some more key saves. So I just think tonight, Jaime Penedo played brilliantly, and he just kept us in a striking position and saved us.”

On his assist:“With my size, I’d like to think I’ll win most of my matchups. Sometimes, I don’t win the matchups, but most of the time I’m going to win them. And tonight, I was going up against Brad Evans and I have a little bit of a height advantage on him. Just leap for it and put the ball back in the mixer, found Gordo’s head on the far post. He ended up putting it in. Hopefully that can happen a lot more this season, but it’s never that easy; usually I’m double teamed. So for the first set piece, I was going one on one with Brad so it was perfect. Usually guys double team me or Chad Marshall started marking me after that, so it definitely got a little tougher.”

On team injuries: “Rafael Garcia is a guy who came in, stepped up and played amazing. It was great to see, for a guy who is always giving it 110% in practice and showing the coaches that he is ready to play. When he stepped on the field, we all saw today that he played great so I’m really happy for him. Just the response from last week, where maybe the effort was in question, I don’t think the effort was in question tonight. Everyone fought for each other, battled, and won their matchups. That’s the reason why we came out of here with a win. It wasn’t perfect tonight, but we found a way to win.”

Goalkeeper JAIME PENEDOOn his performance:“It was a very important game for us. During the season, I think there are three or four games that you’re really looking forward to. This was an early game this season, and we got a result.”

On which was the best save:“I think the most important thing was that the team ran a lot and the defensive line was strong. Whichever save I make that helps the team is important to me.”

On whether saves give him more confidence: “Of course, I think it did give me a lot of confidence. As a goalkeeper, the first shot you receive, you want it to be a save.”

On the challenge of facing Seattle:“Seattle is a team that done things the right way and a team that is dangerous up top, so it was a very complicated game.”

On whether any of his saves surprised him: “I think there was one that, if you asked me, I would say I honestly don’t know how I saved it. The player was right in front of me and he shot it and it bounced off of me. I would have never guess I would have saved that.”

On how he’s able to make the save against Andy Rose:“It all happened very fast. You don’t really have any time to think and you just try to be there near that first post. I remember the ball just came and I was standing there to stop it.”