Sounders Insider

LA's Donovan sees win simply as three points in long climb toward Sounders

Here's some of what the Galaxy had to say tonight after their 3-0 win at Seattle:

Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy Midfielder(On whether this win was the one they needed to kickstart the season…) “Let’s not be so dramatic about it. It’s just one win and when I look at the standings, Seattle are still far ahead, so we have a long way to go, but more than the win or the score line, I think the way we played was important. We always say that when we play that way, we’re hard to beat, and so I thought we were excellent tonight. We probably should have scored a couple more goals and when you look around the field, you can say every guy really competed and we were a real team tonight and that felt good.”

(On how the team came out of the gate really strong…) “We had a really good week of training. Obviously we were a little disappointed with what happened on Wednesday and the Saturday before, and it was important for us to play well tonight, to start well. I think our attitude was great. Obviously having Omar [Gonzalez] back was important, but more than anything, it was just competing. When we compete like that, we have talented enough players where we’re generally better than the other team we’re playing, and that showed through tonight.”

(On the way they played wide tonight…) “We had been playing in a diamond, which was putting a lot more numbers centrally. This week, it was very straightforward. You were playing against one guy and at the end of the night, you want to look at our lineup and theirs and say who won each matchup and I think tonight there’s at least nine or 10 check marks in our column, probably 11, and that was important. We were able to open the field, we moved well, we passed well, and when we do that, we create a lot of chances. We have a lot of talented players and tonight was very enjoyable for us.”

(On him and Marcelo Sarvas playing a hand in all three goals scored…) “Marcelo was excellent tonight. He has a little more freedom when Juni is in there to roam forward and there was a lot of space in the midfield. I think those two completely overran [Osvaldo] Alonso and [Gonzalo] Pineda and I think they were excellent in there. When you take control of the midfield like that, it helps you get control of the game. They were excellent. When we won the ball, they went forward, Marcelo went forward, he got some shots off, some good passes, and it was a good night for him.”

(On how he felt playing out wide, instead of more centrally…) “It was more about my demeanor and my attitude than anything. I had a good week in training. I felt like I hadn’t played well lately and that bothered me. I got myself to the point in early May where I was playing very well, and I was at the top of my game, and then the last month or so has been difficult for a lot of reasons and I think my performance dropped off, so I wanted to get back to getting to the top of my game and I felt that way tonight.”

(On how having the first team lineup together helped…) “Of course it helps. When you have guys out or injured for a long time, it hurts. Getting Robbie Rogers back helped a lot; obviously having Omar back helps a lot. We were able to really do what we wanted to do, so it was very helpful.”

(On whether their system really is as simple as putting the right 11 guys out there at the right time…) “Well tonight it was, because it was straight up 4-4-2 against 4-4-2. When you play different teams – you know, next week we play Portland, and they play a different style, so the numbers don’t match up as well. But tonight, it was ‘am I going to get the best of DeAndre [Yedlin]? Is Robbie Rogers going to get the best of [Marco] Pappa or [Lamar] Neagle? Is Omar going to get the best of Clint [Dempsey] or Obafemi [Martins]?’ It was very simple, so that’s what our mindset was. Obviously there are other things that come into it; you have to play well and pass well and take your chances when they come, but at the end of the day, I think just from a competitive standpoint, we were very good.”

(On their defense, especially in the first half…) “Seattle has scored a ton of goals this year; they are a very, very good team. They have excellent players. Clint is one of the best, if not the best, player in the league and Obafemi has been great this year, so to keep them shut out is an excellent accomplishment. To keep them from having really any super dangerous chances is excellent, and I thought those guys were great tonight.”

(On the intensity of the match tonight…) “It’s enjoyable. It’s competitive, and our team wasn’t going to back down and we don’t want guys to back down. We don’t want to be stupid, but we want to be competitive and Seattle is the same way. Sigi [Schmid] is an excellent coach and he always has them ready to go. All that stuff happens after the game. You shake hands and you move on, but it was a good game, it was a competitive game, but a clean game.”

(On whether it’s too simplistic to attribute his dip in performance to not making the USMNT…) “Of course. I mean, it’s not too simplistic. That’s not an easy thing for any player to handle, but mentally it’s my job to do what’s right for this team and to be at my best. I felt really good this week. I feel like I’m starting to play well again. I really pushed myself to be playing well in April and May of this year, and I was, and then I just dropped off a little bit. It’s important for me to get back to that. Again, this is only one night and it’s got to continue. That’s what’s expected of me, and that’s what I expect of myself.”

Bruce Arena – LA Galaxy Head Coach(On the game…) “The team played well. It was a good performance on the road and a good performance if you were at home. Our guys played well tonight. They looked sharp.” (On Marcelo Sarvas’ play…) “He played well. He played a good 90 minutes on both sides of the ball. It was a really good performance.” (On what he said at halftime…) “Win the game. Our objective is to win the game and we did a pretty smart job in the second half. It could’ve been a little bit better, but good enough to get the win.” (On why they dominated so much in the first half…) “We played well. We looked sharp and, you know, it’s mid-year right now. Everyone is still finding themselves. We’re just beginning to get our team on the field. After a half a season of misery, having to deal with the injuries and the absences and all that, hopefully we’ll get a little bit more of a solidified unit.” (On the return of Omar Gonzalez…) “Omar hasn’t played with us for three months so it was great to get him back on the field.” (On Robbie Rogers and Dan Gargan’s play…) “They played well. Our entire team played well tonight. It was a good performance and it was nice to get that group on the field. It was probably the first time they’ve played together this year.” (On if the slow schedule at the beginning of the year helps with getting momentum now…) “The schedule at the beginning of the year helps nobody. It was a terrible schedule and made it very awkward and difficult to get our team moving in the right direction. That’s all part of it as well. We’re trying to catch up now. We’re only 18 games in at this point in the season and we’d like to have a few more. We have a real challenge ahead of us going into the second half of the season.” (On the intelligence of his team’s play…) “We didn’t have to be pretty in the second half. Our goal is to win the game and I thought they played a smart game. Getting a clean sheet was important.” (On if Chad Marshall playing would’ve made a difference for Seattle…) “Everybody misses players. It’s all part of it. He certainly is a good player. Would he have made a difference in the game? I don’t know.” (On the team’s play as of late…) “I think over the last 10 games, we’re like 6-1-3 or something. It’s not like we’re playing bad.” (On if the result against Manchester United may have motivated the team…) “It has nothing to do with anything. It’s just an exhibition. We could’ve cared less whether we won or lost that game. It’s an exhibition. It’s good for Manchester United. It’s good for the Galaxy. It’s good for the fans that came to the game, and that’s the most important thing. If you read anything more into exhibitions, then you probably don’t know what you’re watching. Having said that, if we play them 10 times, there’s a good chance they’ll beat us 10 times so let’s be fair about that.”