Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena offered no excuses for his side’s 3-0 defeat to Dallas in their Major League Soccer Western Conference championship game.
“We had no excuses,” said Arena. “We were outplayed. We were certainly in a position in the first half to get a lead, maybe take control of the game, and failed on that.”
Dallas’ David Ferreira opened up the scoring on 26 minutes with a strike from just inside the area. However, Los Angeles thought Dallas had committed a foul in the build-up to the goal.
“There was that play in the sideline where Eddie Lewis got fouled,” explained Arena. “The play went on and I’m not certain what went on between [AJ DeLaGarza] and [Omar Gonzalez] on that.”
Referee Jair Marrufo was lenient throughout, but the Galaxy club felt they received the raw end of the deal.
“(Edison) Buddle was fouled an awful lot. He got kicked in the head, got cut in the box, he was clotheslined on one play. I think he got frustrated certainly,” added Arena. “I think Edson Buddle was the most fouled player in the league this year, and very rarely got a call in his favor.
LA Galaxy skipper Landon Donovan was frustrated that the opening goal was allowed to stand.
“When things don’t get called and lead to goals, it’s frustrating,” said Donovan. “In the first goal, I think [Lewis] gets pushed in the back and fouled and they continue on and score, that makes it frustrating.”
“We’re disappointed obviously, in the result. I think the effort was fine, I think the willingness to put everything in this was good. I think at the end of the day it was pretty simple. They made the plays they needed. They had five shots on goal and scored three, we had a bunch more and didn’t score.
“Their goalie played out of his mind. In soccer, a goalie can be a great equalizer and he certainly was tonight.”
David Beckham, who recently returned from an Achilles tendon problem, strained his groin early in the game, but played all 90 minutes.
“We should have kept playing our football the way we’ve played all season, but we panicked a little bit and couldn’t get back in the game,” admitted Beckham.