MLS Playoffs Western semifinals: Real Salt Lake 0-0 Los Angeles Galaxy

Words from the pitch after the game and the next time in LA next Sunday.

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On getting a 0-0 draw to open the playoff series.
“I thought the players on the field were going to give us the goal that we needed. Everybody had the proper energy, proper movement. On a different night I think we would have four or five goals.”

On being comfortable with the result tonight:
“I’m extremely confident in our team. I thought we played a great game on both sides of the ball tonight. Obviously their goalkeeper had a very, very good night and on a different night we could be in an unbelievable position. But right now we’re in a great position, especially with these away goals. IF we’re going to create this many chances in LA, then I give us a really good chance.”

If the shutout is more important that scoring a goal:
“If you watch the game tonight, I don’t think we sat back at all do you? We created a lot of chances but just ran up against a goalkeeper that played great; hats off to him. I think we’re in a fantastic position. I’m excited and I know the guys are as well. Yeah we’re frustrated that we didn’t put the ball in the back of the net, absolutely, but we created the chances and that’s the most important thing. If we create these chances in LA it’s going to be a good time.”

On the teams 4th consecutive shutout:
“Obviously when you have a home game the goal isn’t just to shutout, it’s to play aggressive. The boys did that tonight. Right from the whistle, we limited them on the counter attack. I think it was from our offense which limited their chances on our end.”

On the one on one defending tonight from Borchers and Schuler:
“They did a fantastic job tonight, I think our whole back line did. I think if you watch the game, the chances that they had to do some one versus one defending in the open field, came off our attacking set plays. They were broken plays, they kind of got off on us. But I thought our whole team played excellent team defense. Our back line was extremely sharp.”

On Penedo coming up big for the LA Galaxy:
“He was fantastic. He was making a lot different saves. He was commanding his box. For us, we have to put it in the back of the net somehow, whatever it is. But we did an excellent job. We followed up rebounds in the first half and almost came close. We created chances several different ways tonight, which is promising. But he was very, very good tonight.”

On tonight’s officiating:
“Listen it was a tough game out there. The conditions were tough, everyone was extremely aggressive. Of course I can say that there were a few different calls that I wanted. But at the end of the day, he didn’t give any penalty kicks, he didn’t give any red cards and let the guys on the field at least dictate that.”

On playing the next game in LA…
“There’s definitely no comfort going in, because they are very good at home. When you’re at home in this league, you have an initial boost of energy, so I think those first 15-20 minutes is really important, so we got to be ready for that. We’ve got to come out flying and hopefully if we get that early goal, we can put that pressure on them.”

LA Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena

Overall thoughts
“Ugly game. Lopsided in calls. The fouls were like over two to one in our favor. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. It made for one crappy game for sure.”

On GK Jaime Penedo’s performance
“Jaime did well. Sloppy game. The altitude, the wind, the field conditions made for a difficult game. To get out of here zero – zero, we lay it on the line next week. We have to win at home.”

If it will be a completely different situation next week in the second leg
“No, it won’t be completely different. It will be, actually, completely the same. We have to win the game, it’s that simple.”

On if their current simple situation is good
“We’ll know Sunday night. That’s when we’ll know that.”

On how they need to adjust for the second game
“I think it was a bad game tonight with the conditions and everything else. Maybe too many fouls were called and just a sloppy, not very good game. I think next week, the game’s going to look a lot different.”

LA Galaxy FW Robbie Keane

On how the conditions and chippiness affected their offense
“It wasn’t the greatest conditions, obviously. I think that’s the reason why the game wasn’t flowing as much. There were a lot of balls in the air. Tough conditions, but it’s for both teams, so we tried our best – both teams did. They tried to play, but sometimes it was hard to do. Overall, we just have to worry about ourselves and it’s not a bad result away from home. It’s a tough place to come, certainly when you’re nil-nil at halftime when is with them the second half. Obviously, it suits them better for the second half. They were going for the goal, but we defended well and really caught them on the counter a couple times.”

LA Galaxy MF Landon Donovan

On the conditions
“I think the wind was a little bit impactful – you saw in the two halves, the team with the wind had a little bit more of an advantage in some ways. It’s part of it. Both teams deal with it, and it made the game probably a little sloppier than a game between these two teams would normally be, but it’s all part of it.”

On how the teams has only scored 3 goals in the past 4 games
“We’re fine on offense. We know how to score goals. It wasn’t crucial tonight that we score. We had some chances where we need to make a better pass or pull off a play that we didn’t, but we have a lot of confidence that when we play at home, we’ll create a lot of chances. It’s creating the chances – which we’ll do – and then hitting the net.”

On Jaime Penedo’s performance
“He was very good. He made the saves you expect him to make, and then he made one really great save on Plata. In the past few weeks, he’s had quite a few similar plays at that angle that I think he would tell you he wants to do better on, and tonight he adjusted a little bit and made a really great save. That was the save we needed tonight. The other ones were some degree of difficulty, but ones you expect a good goalkeeper to make. That one was the save we needed.”

On if they’re confident heading back home needing a win
“Yeah. If at any point you had said that we have a game – one game – at home to advance to the conference finals, then we’ll take it. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, it’s going to be a task against that team, that’s so potent offensively, but if we have a game at home, we expect to win. That’s the mentality.”

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