GALAXY: In their own words

Some of what was said after the Galaxy's 3-2 loss to Real Madrid in Saturday night's friendly at the Rose Bowl:


On the result: “Our motivation in the game is to put on a good show. To allow people in L.A. to see this fabulous team, Real Madrid. The result is not that important, it's mostly putting on a good exhibition and having the fans enjoy themselves.”

On what he learned: “I learned that Real Madrid is probably a better team than we are. … The first half was most of our first XI, so it was good to get on the field 45 minutes together against a quality opponent, and the experience that our young players received tonight was exceptional.

“It was very interesting to see how well-coached Ream Madrid is. They knew how to come out in the second half and make adjustments to our formation and things we were doing. And obviously a number of exceptional players played well for them.”

On what was most impressive: "I was impressed with (Argentine forward Gonzalo) Higuain in the World Cup, and after watching him tonight, I'm much more impressed. He's a fabulous player. His pace surprised me. He outran a couple of guys who run well, and he went right by them. And (Portuguese star Cristiano) Ronaldo is a great player. Those are among two of the best attacking players in the world. There's no question about that.

“And I think when they get their team organized the way (manager Jose) Mourinho wants them, they ought to be a team that challenges in the (UEFA) Champions League and certainly give Barcelona a run for their money in la Liga. They're certainly one of the best clubs in the world.”


On playing his final game and wearing the captain's armband: “It was a great day for me, a great opportunity to finish my career with the same team in the same stadium where I started (in 1998). It was an emotional game.”


On the night: “Awesome. You expect a team like Real Madrid to have a lot of fans around the world. It was great for us; we got off to a good start, and I think, all in all, everyone is happy.”


On how Real Madrid took over in the second half: “You could tell the coach said something to them at halftime. He said, 'Let's go out, let's take this more seriously, and let's get after them.' … They were gunning.

“They didn't want to get embarrassed, and that was a lot of their first team the second half. They have quality throughout the whole roster. Look at both (lineups they used) -- you would take either of those 11s any day.”

On Clint Mathis' farewell game: “I was happy for him. I was sad for him. It was great to be part of this game because he's meant a lot for U.S. Soccer, he's been here for awhile, and he's been a great player in the history of U.S. soccer.”

On the reception that greeted Mathis as he walked off the field: “That was special. To be able to end your career like this is something special.”

On the Galaxy's struggles the past two months: “I wouldn't look too much into this game. It's not an easy game to win, when you look at their quality, and to have them have 11 fresh players to start the second half. They obviously have depth, and they're a better team. … Our focus is to get back on track in the league. That's our main goal now.”


On Real Madrid: “I wish we could have strapped on some Galaxy jerseys on all those Real Madrid (guys).”


On what he learned: “For me, it's just seeing what it's like at that different level, and knowing that maybe I can get there one day. It was a big confidence booster for me.”


On the experience of playing against Real Madrid: “It's good to play against guys of that caliber, just to kind of gauge yourself against the highest. In anything you do, you want to be able to see how you match up against the best, and it just shows how much room there is to improve.”