Below are postgame remarks following Saturday's game between the Dynamo and LA Galaxy, a 3-0 Houston win.
Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle and forward Will Bruin
Coyle's opening remarks on the win:
Yea, well I think we knew that we were going to play against the champions. Robbie was on two consecutive hat tricks and they scored five last week and have been in outstanding form, so we knew that it was going to be a tough game. But we also knew as well that when we're at our maximum, we're capable of beating anybody in the league and we showed that tonight. I've said before and I said it to the players tonight after the game - the key to us moving forward is the consistency. I mean we're missing eight players tonight. We knew we played very well during the week at Kansas, even though we were obviously down to only ten men. But coming into tonight, it was important that we show everybody the qualities that the Dynamo have and we did - we scored three tonight, I'd say we could've done five or six. We kept out some very talented players - world class players in my mind, but that's a bit of a catalyst for us moving forward. It's one game, not two or three. After the Chicago game, a game we thought we could win. What we did do was we turned the 1 to 3 at San Jose. We never, I think, performed to the level we needed to. It was nice to win back home. What? Seven of the last ten on the road. We've been in fantastic form. But again, those players tonight, and Will Bruin led the line again, as he does and I'm so pleased with him because he's developed into a real top class [player] in my mind. He scored a wonderful goal and ran himself into the ground. We talked about some fresh legs coming in in Erick "Cubo" Torres and I get Giles Barnes back. I believe I can find a front three in Barnes, Bruin, and Torres that can compliment with the other quality that we have. It was a big result that we craved and one we needed to give everybody a lift.
Will, nine goals for you - congratulations on that.
The one thing I think about is - for thirty minutes in Kansas City, coming off a bad result in Salt Lake, the staff said at half time for those thirty minutes before the red card, we set the standard now. That's how we should play. Like [Owen] said, you can't play great and then play awful, play great and then play awful. We're certainly not where we want to be right now. But what we've down is in the past. All we can control is every game, week in, week out, and if we play like that, then I think we're going to be looking at making a run for the playoffs come October.
Will, you are a guy that a lot of people talked about and kind of dismissed before the season with the addition of Torres. You've now scored nine goals. How much pride do you take in your production this year and have kind of proven some of that wrong.
My whole career, I've proven people wrong, so it's nothing new to me. I've always said I play with a chip on my shoulder. That's how I am. There's always something else, something that's coming at me. I control what I can control and that's how I play on the field. Everything else that comes with it is just outside noise and if I take care of myself, I know I can be a top striker in this league and score goals. I just let my play speak for itself.
Coyle, in response to same question.
I think he does himself a disservice. He's been outstanding. I think it's nine league goals. He also scored in the Cup during the week. As you know, even in the start of the season when he would come out for a few games, I was speaking to him on a daily basis because I really believed in what I had. He's a far more rounded player. I'll tell you what - even when he hasn't scored, he's been a delight to me. From day one, I've told him, he's a huge part of what we're doing and I believe I can compliment them all together. Alex Lima did well tonight - as did Leonel Miranda. That's a young kid who we spoke highly of during the summer. And of course people think "well, why has he not played as much?" It's an adaptation period. He comes from a different culture, a different style of football, but I saw him four weeks ago and you and I spoke about this - the development of his game. His goal tonight was the icing on the cake. His performance, not just tonight, but over the last four or five games. He's come out and he's really shown a real flare.
Dynamo midfielder Leonel Miranda (translated from Spanish)
How sweet of a moment was it to score that goal?
Everything happened so quickly. I was actually dead. I was trying to finish the play as quickly as possible because I was so tired. So you know, it was one of those things - the adrenaline drove the play. I put out the fastest shot that I could and luckily it went in.
Owen talked about you progressing. He said he's something a little different in you in the last four weeks. Has something clicked for you or changed for you in the last month?
The Open Cup really helped me out in terms of confidence and allowing me to develop a rhythm. Those ninety minutes that I played really helped me out in terms of getting into a particular groove and of course scoring that goal also helped me out a lot.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena
Dealing with that heat and humidity, do you think that was the cause…?
The other team dealt with the same conditions.
Talk about what Houston did. They seemed to play a lot of high pressure on you guys and…
Yeah and obviously they’re a little more adjusted to this environment than we are. When you’re on the road and you concede a goal in the first eight minutes you put yourself behind the eight ball and we certainly did that.
What was your impression of David Romney and Ariel Lassiter?
Romney did a good job. Lassiter, he’s a young kid but Romney, on the night could have been our best player.
How would you rate how Steven Gerrard did in this heat?
Just okay. It’s not a good game to have to put him through. Obviously he’s trying to get himself fit and these conditions are very difficult for that. You could see he was fatigued at the end of both halves and maybe we could have utilized him in a reserve role as opposed to starting him tonight.
You took out Bradford Jamieson IV in the 45th minute. Was that just your decision…?
It just looked like he struggled physically. He looked to be pretty tired and he had a difficult time out there the last 15 minutes of the first half.
Can you share your strategy going into the match?
This is not the first time you’ve played a game in Houston, in the conditions--
Right, well the strategy was not to give up a goal in the first eight minutes. That was the strategy.
When that doesn’t work, what adjustments do you make?
Try to get a goal back. It’s not rocket science out there. Anyone else??
Galaxy defender David Romney
Bruce said after the game that he felt like you were the team’s best player. How do you respond?
I was kind of thrown into the fire right there. Especially playing in the heat; I’m not really used to that. I actually cramped in the 49th minute so I just had to muscle it out and just play as hard as I could. I played pretty conservative, in my eyes, in the first half. Just played as simple as I could so that I could find my feet and then started to make more risky moves in the 2nd half which was far more fun.
You say you played conservatively but you made a few blocks to stop them. how’d that make you feel?
I think I did pretty well. Definitely not as good as I would have wanted but I think I did pretty good for a rookie.
You’re the first Galaxy II player to start for the first team. How does that make you feel?
It means a lot. Growing up in Irvine, this being my favorite team, my favorite club, it’s an honor to play for this team. Regarding the call-up, they’ve had a lot of injuries, Robbie is obviously on suspension, so a lot of things had to happen for me to get this opportunity but I think I’ve been playing well enough to deserve it. I played good minutes against Club America and against Barcelona.
Do you think you’re going to get more minutes as the season goes on?
That’s all up to them. I’m just gonna keep working hard and things will come.
What do you think that they did? They pressured you guys a lot and then this heat only makes things more difficult.
The heat played a pretty big part for both teams. We didn’t really create too much in the final third. I think that had a lot to do with me coming out of the back, I just didn’t get guys in good spots. But that’s just stuff we have to improve on. There were a lot of new guys in there. Me, there’s a lot of guys missing from international duty so it’s kind of hard to get that offensive creativity going without having a lot of time to practice together. That’ll slowly work itself out.
Galaxy forward Robbie Keane
Is that (apparent injury) from when they piled on top of you after that shot?
I don’t know. Not sure. Something happened in the first half. I felt something and then at halftime it started to stiffen up and then obviously after the game I can’t lift it over my head. I can’t remember which incident it was.
Does it feel serious? Is it something that will cause you to miss games?
Obviously, I don’t know. I’ve just seen the trainers. When you can’t lift it over your head there’s obviously something wrong. I’m hoping that it’s not too bad.
They seemed content to just beat you guys up all game. And then the heat: that made things tough.
We killed ourselves. Eight minutes into the game, we conceded a sloppy goal and then another goal. That’s two goals that we could’ve avoided. And then when you’re playing away from home in that humidity, it’s always difficult when you’re chasing the game. Tonight we made it hard on ourselves.
How difficult was it playing in this heat?
Yeah, it was tough. It was tough. It’s the same for both teams. Obviously they’re more used to it than we were. It certainly is tough. But we made it tough on ourselves because you can’t concede an early goal away from home, especially in this heat. They’re more used to playing in this heat so they know how to control the game when they go a goal up and that was the case.
Was it difficult playing with this kind of squad? You had two Galaxy II players in the lineup. Did you feel like maybe the connections weren’t there?
No excuses. I thought Dave did very well at left back. He looked very comfortable. The other lads came in when it was a lost cause really. We were losing the game. Certainly they weren’t to blame. Listen, we’ve only got ourselves to blame. We were sloppy in the first half. The first 20 minutes weren’t good enough and we punished ourselves for that.
You always talk about winning on the road and that streak continues. What’s it gonna take?
I don’t know. Just have to keep plugging away. Eventually it’s gonna happen. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
How do you cope when you lose like this?
As far as I’m concerned it’s over. Finished.