The gang was all excited last night. And for good reason too. But even with some happy comments there is still a lot to be improved upon (more on that later).
It was a wide open game. Both teams had great opportunities to score, kind of an up and down game. Two good saves by goalkeepers. You don't normally see penalty kicks being saved, let alone two PKs being saved by both teams. On ours, Raul [Fernandez] made a great save. He anticipated Landon [Donovan] going to his left and got an early jump on it and made a great save. That was the difference in the game. You know when you're up a man, playing 11 against 10, you think it's the easiest thing to do, to score. But, it's really not. They're very compact. They're fighting very hard.
They're trying to take the rhythm out of the game. They're trying to do anything to break the rhythm. It upsets you. Because you know you are a man up. You attack often and sometimes too ambitiously and give the other team an opportunity for a counter attack, like their PK. But all in all I thought it showed a lot of fight on our part to go all the way to the end, a fight for the corner kick. It hit the post, it comes back, it might have hit the post again. Then George [John] puts it away. We were able to get a shutout in front of a sellout crowd. It was a good game. Really quite an even game. Both teams could have come away with a win.
On Eric Hassli...
We brought Eric [Hassli] in here because we know he's a strong player. He's a good goal scorer. He holds the ball up very well. He came in with an injury so we've been trying to get him to recover. This was a good game to put him on because we knew we had the opportunity to play with two strikers, being up a man. I think he did fine.
On George John...
George is fine. Last week he picked up a concussion against Toronto so we were scared that somehow, something happened there where he banged heads and was out again. We were prepared to make a change but the fighting spirit that he has and the ambition to win, especially scoring that goal, really shows his level of determination for us to win.
On the team's flare for the dramatic...
We're sitting with a 5-1-1 record. This is the best we've ever started out. You don't start off a season with this type of record without having a fighting spirit. The team works hard for one another. We have spent a lot of time on set pieces and free kicks, corner kicks, because we have the size. It's one of those things that the team really likes one another. They are determined to find success. I challenged them at halftime because I thought too many players were having average games. I challenged them to raise their game to a higher level. We really started off well in the second half. When there was a man ejected, things changed, as I mentioned. I like the fact that we keep fighting.
FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson
Are you just starting to get a sense of how good this team could be?
It's a great win obviously. It was probably a good thing that there were times this season that we weren't that good. It gave us something to build off of. It was never like "oh, ok, everything is perfect" and go out there overconfident. We went back to the drawing board a few times and really looked to get better after seeing what we did do well. We still need to get better. It's too early in the season to be thinking we're sitting fine or anything like that.
Does this team have a streak for the dramatic?
It's just belief. It just happens to be those minutes at the end of the game. Maybe at the end of the game, we are a little more hungry. On corner kicks, we can get our big guys up into the box. There's a lot of spring on our step, guys are going for the goal. Set pieces are another way we can punish teams. Tonight, we felt it. Once they went down a man it was only going to be one or three points.
FC Dallas forward Eric Hassli
Were you a target on the corner kick?
No. I just tried to be first to the ball and flick the ball on goal. The free kick before that, I touched it but I didn't hit it how I would have liked to. The second ball, I was just in the right place... Michel is really, really dangerous on free kicks. I am happy to help out and contribute. George... He scored his second goal. He is a beast. George John... Robocop. He's awesome. I am so happy right now. That's it.
How did you feel out there, did you think you could've played more minutes?
No, I'm happy. I played 30 minutes... I'm really happy. I'm getting better and better, more fit. I have to work hard every week in training with Jonny [Wright, FC Dallas Strength and Conditioning Coach]. I busted my butt all week and it's getting better. It's great. Everyone played well today and we're still in first place.
FC Dallas Defender George John
On the result of the game...
It was good that we got three points. Obviously [LA] Galaxy is two time MLS Cup champion, so it's positive to score three points in front of a good home crowd tonight.
Describe the goal.
Omar (Gonzalez) was marking me all game, its part of the team strategy. We're not going to put Omar out of the mix because he's such a force defensively. All game long I was kind of pulling him out and not really getting involved until towards the end of the game, since we really needed a goal, so I recycled my run. (Eric) Hassli had a great effort off the bar and it was at the right place at the right time for me.
On overall team effort...
Everyone's scoring goals this season. I think we have a few off set pieces this season, so that's great for the team.
Rising up in the Western Conference...
The more points you get earlier in the season, the better. In the past four seasons we usually get off to a slow start, a lot of ties and then slowly make up points. Now, we're finishing off games getting three points so that's great.
On Landon Donovan...
He's a US Soccer legend. The guy is fabulous. It's great to see him back in the game, back with the Galaxy, and I wish him the best. He's a great player.