- Match: LA Galaxy vs Atlanta United
- Location: Stubhub Center, Los Angeles, CA
- Date: April 21st, 2018
- Final Score: LA 0-2 ATL (Recap | Highlights)
Gerardo "Tata" Martino - Atlanta United manager
On tonight's game:
"We were very attentive, very precise. We circulated the ball very well and created a lot of scoring chances and aside from a few ball in the air they didn't have too many chances on goal and I think all the major components from a soccer game the team handled well tonight."
On the match being physical:
"Physical is one thing but what happened to Miguel [Almirón], maybe another thing. It depends on the ref, nobody else. In the first half there were three plays on Miguel including the penalty that were probably orange."
On Ezequiel Barco's first start:
He played very well to be honest, I thought he played very well. He was very precise, very good with his movements. I thought he was combining well with Miguel [Almirón] and Josef [Martinez] and we just had to take him off because I thought he was looking tired.
On the Josef Martinez's goal:
"We had a little bit of bad luck of bad luck in the first half. Luckily on that play we were able to get the goal and that kind of allowed us to calm down a little bit. He plays very well but that is a great strength of his, always being in the right place at the right time."
Michael Parkhurst - Atlanta United defender
On the team's performance:
"I thought defensively it was a near perfect performance from the entire team. Everybody dug in and did their job. We blocked crosses, we defended in the box. Guy up top put pressure on the ball when we needed it. It was just a very, very good performance. Offensively we created enough chances to score a few more goals. If we couldn't bag that second one we had to stay strong defensively. We were able to do that and obviously we seal it late so a fantastic victory and a near-perfect game for everybody."
On what was the team's plan against Zlatan Ibrahimovic:
"To keep him away from goal. We know that they like to get a lot of crosses into the box. They like to target him on a lot of long balls and we just said let's keep the line as high as possible. We wanted our wing backs to make sure that we get pressure on their crosses so that they weren't picking them out easily. I thought that they did a fantastic job of that. I thought that we executed that very well I am not sure he had any big chances. I think Ola [Kamara] had a big chance early in the game with a bicycle kick but other than that they were half chances."
Josef Martinez - Atlanta United forward
On how important it was to score a goal after missing a penalty kick:
"It was important because I had just missed the penalty, I didn't have the luck on my way in the penalty but then I was able to be in the right place to convert but more than anything just happy to help out the team. Happy to help us get this important victory on the road which is what we wanted."
On tonight's game:
"They are a really good, they are really good players above all in the air so we knew that was going to be a tough spot for us which was controlling them in the air. We wanted to take control of the game have possession and just show what we did against New York last week we could come out and do it again."
On combing with Miguel Almirón and Ezequiel Barco:
"You guys already know how I combine with Miguel but I thought Ezequiel looked good. it's his first start for the team so he just needs to get a little bit more rhythm but I think for being his first start we are combining well and we just need to keep improving as a team, keep working on the things we want to do and continue on this right path we are on."
Ezequiel Barco - Atlanta United midfielder
On starting his first game:
“I felt really good thanks to my teammates, it’s a great result in our favor and I am very happy.”
On if he’s starting to feel more and more part of the team now that he’s healthy:
“Like I said before, my teammates have been doing a great job getting me involved. The truth is I am adapting to the rhythm of the game which is hard and lucky everything is going great.”
On how physical the game was and if that was also the style of play in Argentina:
“I think soccer is physical everywhere but you have to get used to that. The truth is that I am very happy with the result and we have to enjoy this.”
Sigi Schmid - LA Galaxy manager
On the game:
“Obviously, it’s disappointing, but I think they were the better team tonight overall; especially in that period of time where they dominated the game and they created opportunities. I thought there was a period of time where we carried the game as well, but I don’t think that we got enough shots off in that period. We were looking for one extra pass all the time, and there’s times where you’ve just got to say hey we’re going to hit it.”
On Ola Kamara’s recent performance:
“Ola is doing so much dirty work for the others. Ola [Kamara] has sacrificed his game for the team. He’s coming back and he’s playing in midfield. He’s defending for others who aren’t coming back, and as a result of that he’s taking himself out of position. He still had a couple of headers where he was very close to where he was almost through on another opportunity. So, I mean he’s still creating chances. He’s sacrificing himself for the team, which is something that as team we have to do in order for us to play our best. But, every week right now it’s a different cast of characters. It’s a different offensive grouping, and until we get all of that clear and that understanding.”
On the team’s offensive performance:
“It’s not clicking, because the rest of the service isn’t quite there. We haven’t been able to step on the field and have all ten players have a good game at the same time. So there has always been missing pieces, and Giovani [Dos Santos] is a good example tonight. He comes on with the best intentions, but then he puts himself 60 yards from goal. When he’s 60 yards from goal, he’s not going to help us win games. I’ve got others who can play 60 yards from goal. I need him to play 30 yards from goal, 40 yards from goal. But that’s something that, it’s his first game back, and so now if we’re playing, and he’s in the line-up then we can start talking about that, saying hey get up the field, this is where we need you at this time point. But, when you have situations where you have Rolf [Feltscher] playing ahead of him, that’s not going to produce offense for us. So, it’s those mechanizations, the understanding of each other, that only happens from them playing together, and we haven’t done that enough. Take nothing away from Atlanta [United]. They’re a good team.”
On Giovani Dos Santos’s return:
“His first game back, you know it was tough for him to find a rhythm and coordination with the rest of the guys.”
Romain Alessandrini - LA Galaxy midfielder
On the team’s performance tonight:
“It wasn’t enough to win and to score tonight. It wasn’t the game we expected. I think the first 15 minutes were good because we were aggressive and that’s why we created chances. But after that, I think they played very well. Almiron and Martinez are very good players. I think we have to stick together. We are better than that. We have to move forward and we have to give more. It’s the beginning of the season, but we need to work hard to move forward.”
On how the absence of Jonathan dos Santos affected the team’s gameplan:
“Obviously Jonathan dos Santos was missed tonight. He’s a very good player. We haven’t played 4-4-2 before, but now we have Zlatan and Ola so, two strikers. So we need to get used to playing 4-4-2 and I think we’ll work everyday to be better.”
On the return of Giovani dos Santos:
“Giovani [dos Santos] is also a good player. I like to play with Giovani. I need someone like him in the middle to play with. Hopefully next game he’ll play more. We’ll see.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - LA Galaxy forward
On the team’s performance:
“When you’re losing 1-0 you need to chase the game. It’s a different game when you chase goals because you take risks and the space becomes different. You risk much more and the opponents can punish you if they’re good and they’re intelligent, which they did. Now we’ve played three games at home and every game we’ve been chasing the game. It’s not easy. The first half wasn’t good. We were disorganized. We made too many simple mistakes. The second was much better, but still we chased the game. It’s different when you chase the goals.”
On the team’s chances on the night:
“We had chances in the first half. We had a couple of chances. Sebastian has a chance. Romain had a chance. Then in the second we tried to push even more but when it doesn’t go in, it doesn’t go in. It’s not like we had clear chances to be honest.”
On what fell short in the team’s offensive effort:
“I think it’s the collective. If you get collective organization, then everything else will work. We work hard. We had a good week. The outcome of the week today wasn’t the best. We need to focus and continue. Tomorrow is a new day.”
Ola Kamara - LA Galaxy forward
On the team’s offensive performance tonight:
“It was a huge disappointment. We had a really good training week and I think we were up for it in the game, but we didn’t do a good enough job this time.“
On his positioning tonight:
“Usually I’m standing a little bit more between the two central defenders and now I’m running a little bit more. I want to do that, but I think still I have to score goals. For me it was frustrating today, I had a couple of shots. Half-chances like you said, but they didn’t go in and for me that’s very frustrating.”
On the return of Giovani dos Santos:
“I think it’s fantastic that Gio’s back. Of course we were unlucky that Jonathan [dos Santos] went out with injury in the warmup because he’s a good quality player. So hopefully he’s not injured for too long and hopefully he’s back for next game.”
On the team’s offensive mindset:
“We always want to go out and create chances and score a lot of goals. That’s something we’ll address this week. We’ll get together because we have to start scoring goals.”