LOS ANGELES GALAXY 2, COLORADO RAPIDS 0 (GALAXY ADVANCE TO MLS CUP 2005)
COLORADO RAPIDS HEAD COACH FERNANDO CLAVIJO
On the game:
"First of all, congratulations to the Galaxy. They came out to do a job and they did it. We just missed a little bit. We were not as sharp as we should have been. Give credit to the Galaxy."
On first half concerns:
"Our left side, which is where the goal came from. Cobi Jones and Dedi [Ben-Dayan] and Chris Albright was exposing us a little bit. We missed an opportunity but we need to open up. They executed and we had a couple of chances. The goal was disallowed, I don't know what happened there, but it's been that way the whole season."
On conceding the first goal:
"I think it shocked us a little bit. We knew they were going to come that way. We should have fouled [Jones] before but we didn't. We talked about Cobi Jones and Landon [Donovan] and we just didn't do the job quick enough to close him down. We knew exactly what they were going to do but we just couldn't execute to stop them."
On play of Landon Donovan:
"You have to give him credit. He is a very good player, we all know. We talked about it. Pablo [Mastroeni] was marking him well, unfortunately he [Mastroeni] got a yellow card right away, like [Nat] Borchers did the last time we played L.A., and he played handicapped the rest of the game. He had to be carefully, any fouls that he committed could be another yellow card and red. Give him [Donovan] credit: he is in to score goals and he scored them when they need it."
On key absences:
"Yeah, of course (we did miss Nat Borchers) but I think the biggest miss we had was Alain Nkong in the midfield. No excuses, like I said before, they won, and congratulations and good luck in the final."
COLORADO RAPIDS DEFENDER MIKE PETKE
On the play of Landon Donovan:
"He had the best defender in the league on him and he still just [got] away, hats off to him. Pablo played him well, that's just Landon Donovan, he one of the best players in the league. The second goal was a garbage time goal, not taking away from them but we were pushing forward. They should have been a better result today, there should have been a better product on the field. We made it to the Western Conference finals so I'm not complaining."
COLORADO RAPIDS GOALKEEPER JOE CANNON
On the game:
"I think tonight was frustrating. I think you could say we had the better end of the play but towards the end of the game they dropped back and let us have the play. They didn't mind us trying to have possession and that's football - you give up the first goal and the other team is going to drop back especially during the playoffs. It was an interesting night. I'm a little disappointed; the effort as a team, we were a bit flat tonight. The result is fine but the effort is what I'm disappointed in."
On the Rapids' slow start:
"There are a lot of reasons. I think you have to look at it individually and collectively but for the most part, maybe it was just bad nerves or lack of experience at this level. I don't really know to be honest."
On play of Landon Donovan:
"I think Landon is definitely the difference, if you look at the game. He is just a player that when he decides to turn it on he can do things that other players can't. My hat goes off to him. L.A. came in with a great game plan. They knew we were going to come out at them and they waited and counter-attacked and I thought both guys worked pretty hard up top."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY HEAD COACH STEVE SAMPSON
On importance of first goal:
"We talked all week long about how important it is to be assertive and start out being very positive without losing our shape early. We talked about Cobi going at [Eric] Denton and Ned [Grabavoy] going at [Leo] Cullen. Almost to script Cobi took the ball at midfield and was very direct in getting behind. It was a great service to Landon and a great timed run by Landon and a perfectly one-touched ball in the back of the net. You couldn't ask for a better sequence and action. I think it lifted our confidence and it certainly forced Colorado to, over time, make some adjustments and take some more risks which opened up the game for us. It was critical for us to get the first goal."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN
On combination between himself and Cobi Jones:
"I know that when he gets the ball that I should get myself in a good position to score. I know he is going to put it in a good spot and then it is up to me to get on the end of it and make something of it. "
On his first goal:
"When you play away from home getting the first goal is absolutely crucial. This team doesn't play well when they are a goal down."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN
On emotion coming into the match:
"I think that this is a team that has really learned from some of the games during the regular season and one of the things the leadership said before the game was that a lot of times when we come here the first 20 minutes we kind of just try to get through it and today our focus was to make sure we played a bit so that we didn't have to defend for 20 minutes straight. We were able to posses the ball a little bit and play out of the back and we were first at a ton of second balls tonight which is huge for us."