War of words between Galaxy, Red Bulls continues ahead of second leg

DonovanRodgers (Getty Images)

The on-field battles between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls include some of MLS' marquee names, but the off-field war of words between Landon Donovan and Luke Rodgers is arguably just as entertaining.

After their regular-season meeting in May, Donovan was criticized by Rodgers for complaining to officials too much and failing to shake Thierry Henry's hand after the game. Donovan responded to those remarks with a subtle "I'm confused, who is Luke Rogers?" tweet. 

Following a chippy Western Conference semifinal first leg that ended with Rafa Marquez throwing the ball at Donovan after the final whistle and a postgame skirmish breaking out, Donovan told reporters, "In all my years in this league I've never played against a cheaper team, and they've been doing it all year."

A couple of days later, Rodgers has his response.

"We're not a cheap team," Rodgers said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. "If calling a team cheap is the will to win and tackling and putting everything into the game, I don't call it a cheap team."

After defending his side, Rodgers made sure to include a little dig at the Galaxy, as well. 

"People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," Rodgers said. "A lot of their players were doing the same things."

Rodgers referred to hard tackling throughout the match and he specifically mentioned a gash on New York left back Roy Miller's leg that was the result of a challenge from David Beckham. Nevertheless, Rodgers did not make excuses one way or another, instead just calling the physical style and trash talking part of playoff soccer.

"No one's moaning here," Rodgers said. "I don't understand why everyone's complaining. I personally just think it's part of the game. I don't think anyone expects two big teams with players that really want to win just have it be a really pretty game and shake hands after the game. Certain things will get said. In my eyes, it's part of football."

The two teams meet Thursday night at the Home Depot Center with the Galaxy nursing a 1-0 aggregate lead.


What do you make of Rodgers' comments? How do you see Thursday night's match playing out?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls. Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to War of words between Galaxy, Red Bulls continues ahead of second leg

  1. The Dude says:

    Red Bulls will prevail!

  2. Vince Clortho says:

    Well said Mr.Rogers…It’s a physical came played by fierce competitors…

  3. Joe G says:

    Kudos Luke. Donovan is a complainer and a cry baby. Read Grant Wahl’s book. Donavan hardly even factored into the game.

  4. Dan in New York says:

    I like Luke’s passion and spirit. MLS needs more of it.

  5. kpugs says:

    For the national team Landon Donovan is a world class professional, respectable and a leader. His reputation for the national team is well-earned.

    Also well-earned is his reputation in MLS as a whiny little bitch who needs to get the crap beaten out of him. That is all their is to say. He encourages his teammates to dive (AJ Delagarza…pathetic dive, Donovan screams at the refs and med staff to come out, pisses and moans for 5 minutes. Delagarza gets up, jogs off, has a sip of water and comes right back on the pitch) and then has the balls to complain about other teams.

    Landon Donovan is a whiny little punk, I hope he gets punched out. But even if its a phantom missed punch I KNOW he will react as if he just took a bullet to the face.

  6. Aaron says:

    I don’t know that the Red Bulls are going to come back and win, but it is going to be an exciting match. I’m anxious to see which of the two teams RSL will face, and how many players are eleigible to play after the red card frenzy that is sure to occur.

  7. Lukewho? says:

    ok so trying to head butt and punch a player after the game is over is not CHEAP? How about Kneeing a person in the back while he is down?? or Injuring a GK after a cleared ball? Luke Rodgers is an idiot, there is a diffrence between rough play and taking cheap shots. He may have not taken any cheap shots but his teamates did.

  8. MemphisRogues says:

    I’m waiting for the Vince McMahon :5 spot promoting the er um footie game.There’s alot of off-field posturing and talking that’s all…

  9. Lisa NYC says:

    Love Luke Rodger!

  10. Lisa NYC says:

    Luke Rodgers, I mean.

  11. lukewho? says:

    I think Kpugs is talking about Marquez??lol if you call Donovan a punk then what is MArquez? you did see the video of his dive right? Am I the only one that saw it?

  12. klinny says:

    Luke Rodgers plays recklessly. He scratched the hell out of Perry Kitchen’s neck.

  13. klinny says:

    He also punches players and doesn’t get sent off.

  14. S Sark says:

    Physical play is one thing, but antics like Henry kicking players after the play is dead, or the dive Rodgers took (vs. Franklin) then proceeded to tell the referee to “F- off!” is another. They have some cheap lads over on the NY side and it’s sad they have to knee players while on ground…

    NY is lucky Tianio isn’t suspended for this: link to t.co

  15. TonyT says:

    I’m still waiting for the whambulance to pick up Dana-van!

  16. k says:

    both teams are full of winy little bitches who are paid far more than they are worth: doneOvan, betchem, Ohenry, and Marqimarq. wish they would all leave so the money can be spent on real soccer players instead of has been media hors.

  17. Adam M. says:

    Luke Rodgers throws his arms and hands around too much to have credibility on not being chippy, but he does have a point. Donovan has a long reputation for going unnoticed on the pitch for long stretches of time until he is found complaining, but he does have a point. Settle it on the field, kids, but keep in mind that you win by scoring the most goals, not by getting the most cards. Also, the end of this game could get hockey bench clearing brawl ugly. Me, I’m just happy that everyone seems to care.

  18. Lukewho? says:

    link to youtu.be

    link to youtu.be

    link to youtu.be

    link to youtu.be by the way if you think Hartman is faking, he was subbed out and was out a couple of games, Mistake from a rookie maybe, but a seasoned pro knows what he is doing.

    I have seen Donovan dive before alot, but nothing worse than a henry-Marquez dive.

    Donovan an average diver=yes

    Marquez and Henry=cheapshot artist.

    Marquez=better diver than donovan.

    Luke=not a diver from what i see, and does not cheap shot, but has a huge mouth for an UNKNOWN GUY.

  19. John says:

    Luke Rodgers is pure garbage. This is soccer not rugby.

  20. Swift says:

    hahaha the RB’s are goign to lose to a west coast team just like last years! Lossers!

  21. Joamiq says:

    For what? For shoving Juninho away after he elbowed Keel in the face? Please. You people are such epic whiners.

  22. Dainja says:

    wow. I LOVE IT. Seriously. Can the RBNY – Galaxy series get any better for the league? Its funny, when I found out they were going to meet in the semifinals, I was a little disappointed the league wouldn’t get its “dream matchup” of these two giants teams in the finals. But wait a sec…isn’t playing two legs BETTER? You get a better sense of who the better team is over two games AND you have more chances for chippy fireworks! Even if i wasn’t a RBNY fan, i’d be loving all this as a soccer fan period!

  23. Lukewho? says:

    I might have been proven wrong about Luke not diving or throwing cheapshots. oh well i guess that just proves my case.

    NY=biggest cheapshot team in MLS=YES

  24. Joamiq says:

    That UNKNOWN GUY scored 9 goals in 20 starts this year. He’s only unknown to those who don’t watch MLS. He has as much a right to speak as anyone else in this league.

  25. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, losing to West Coast teams is soooooo much more embarrassing than losing to teams from elsewhere!

  26. Nicole says:

    +1 Lukewho?

    Luke is one of the biggest punks out there. Of course he sees nothing wrong with their behavior. I’m sure Henry’s cheap shot on Beckham when he was down went completely unnoticed by him. I’ll spell it out for you, Luke: LD wasn’t talking about mouthing off and trash talking during the game; that’s fine. But it’s the other punk stuff you guys do when you’re losing.

    And you dudes saying LD had limited impact on the game. You’re showing your soccer ignorance there. Lindpere (the best player on New York) was a nonfactor and that whole side of their attack was a nonfactor due to LD and Sean Franklin shutting them down. But that’s cool, LD isn’t looking for the glory; he’s doing what’s necessary for his team to win.

  27. Nicole says:

    No, for the two-handed choke hold on Juninho. Take off the blindfold

  28. Nicole says:

    Well, they are on “another level.” So says their superstar coach. lol

  29. cj says:

    You think that was a dive by Rodgers? He cleary had his legs taken out from behind. Maybe it was a mistake by Franklin but it doesn’t mean it was a dive, fool.

  30. Joamiq says:

    Oh please. That’s only a “two-handed choke hold” in pro wrestling, where nothing is real. Epic whiners, the lot of you. Shame to see you’re all taking after that twat Donovan. Even Beckham has more balls.

  31. Lisa NYC says:

    Hmmm..losing to the Supporter Shield holders when you are the #10 seed? I”m sure Dallas and Columbus would have liked 2 more games.

  32. dcm says:

    this all just makes for a more exciting game. sweet!

  33. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Read the book. That’s not the impression of Donovan at all.

  34. dgoshilla says:

    As a Galaxy fan I know we play with an attitude. We’re the biggest franchise in MLS with the most marquee players. That comes with some downsides. The major one being that MLS officials never want to be viewed as biased towards the Galaxy. They tend to overlook a lot of chippy fouls other teams commit. In return the Galaxy get frustrated and often retaliate with dirty fouls. That’s how my eyes have seen it this season.

  35. TomG says:

    Hate some of the RBNY ridiculousness and the L.A. whininess, but love the acrimony. You can feel the hatred and intensity. This kind of tension is what I’ve been craving in MLS. It makes people want to watch games.

  36. Dashiel says:

    Luke Rodgers is like John Spencer, but without the talent, humor, achievements, money, national team appearances … he is taller though, which I hear is important for people like that.

  37. Soccer Guru says:

    Yes, it is.

  38. Nicole says:

    You put your hands around a player’s neck, it’s a red card. Don’t know how to explain it to you any simpler. And you’re talking the talk of your thug team, which isn’t surprising.

  39. ... says:

    Players on both teams have done stupid and/or cheap things. Players on both teams whine to the referee. Players on both teams have taken dives.

    And players on both teams get more attention for it because they’re in NY and LA.

    It’s not like the same things aren’t happening everywhere else in this league and every other league in the world.

    Everyone needs to calm down a bit.

  40. Cairo says:

    I can’t stand Luke Rodgers, but love that he’s in the league.
    I can’t stand Landon Donovan (except for USMNT Duty) but love that he’s in the league
    I can’t stand Beckham, but love that he’s in the league
    I can’t stand Henry, but love that he’s in the league
    I can’t stand Rafa Marquez–he I won’t miss when he’s gone

    MLS needs characters, cheap verbal shots, and physical games if it’s going to grow. The Galaxy-Red Bulls match-up is def. good for the game.

    With my Sounders near death, I’m rooting for a Galaxy-Sporting KC final. Sporting KC is easily the most entertaining product on the field. Would be happy with a Seattle miracle tonight, though

  41. Joamiq says:

    First of all, it’s absurd to claim that merely putting your hands around a player’s neck is automatically a red card. Obviously it requires more than that. But secondly, when you find this supposedly simple rule in the FIFA laws of the game, please do let me know.

    You talk the talk of your band of whiners, which isn’t surprising.

  42. dantheblue says:

    All season long, I’ve enjoyed watching most of the games on FSC and ESPN2 and, most importantly, almost all the Galaxy games at HDC in section 136 so I can say with authority that I enjoy watching the NYRB and have a healthy respect for how dangerous Luke what’shisname is. To that I say, Mr. Luke, don’t make us go get Dema and bring him back to “kill, kill, kill, Dema, dema dema, kill kill kill” you.

  43. Soccer Guru says:

    I can’t stomach Landon Donovan anymore. I wish the Galaxy would get rid of him. He’s a joke. It’s sad that so many fans and soccer announcers continually make excuses for this, as someone else so aptly described him, “whiny little girl”. He’s a legend in his own mind. No wonder his wife left him.

    Does anyone remember the special done on him during the last world cup describing his career and personality from an early age? They talked to Bruce Arena and everyone who was around Donovan when he was growing up and at the beginning of his career. Everyone seemed to agree that he “used to be” a whiny, trash talking, jerk. It’s quite clear now that there is no “used to be”, he just is, and always will be. He will never make it overseas as a player, and he knows it, which is why he stays in the U.S.. No one overseas will tolerate his behavior. (Please don’t mention a very short stint at Everton! I was proud of Donovan’s time there but it would never of lasted.) People need to stop honoring this jacka*s.

  44. Alex says:

    That’s violent conduct, so yes, it is all it takes, and violent conduct is clearly outlined in the FIFA laws. Take the Red Bulls glasses off. Both sides have a point here. Donovan is whiny. A few Red Bull players took cheap shots last game. There’s honestly no debating either.

  45. Alex says:

    Calling Rodgers an unknown guy is ignorant. You’re talking about him. You know him.

  46. Alex says:

    Should have been a reply to Lukewho.

  47. Joamiq says:

    As I said, violent conduct requires more than the mere touching of hands and necks. It’s not simple until you can articulate a bright line principle that clearly separates offenses that merit a sending off from those that don’t. And there isn’t one. It’s all in the ref’s discretion (aside from things like spitting, which actually are in the rule book).

    Of course, Galaxy fans refuse to admit that Juninho’s elbow on Keel might possibly have been violent conduct.

    I wouldn’t actually dispute that Marquez is a moron. And I wish Henry would control himself more. But when you’re crying for a post match red card on Teemu Tainio, you’re just pathetic.

  48. Camjam says:

    My thoughts exactly. Except the whole Galaxy in the final. GO RSL!

  49. BB says:

    My sentiments exactly. While I admire Landon’s speed and soccer IQ, and always cheer him on in his USMNT appearances, he is a complainer.

    After the incident here in NY when Marquez threw the ball at him and the brawl breaks out – watch what Landon does. He doesn’t get in Marquez’s face, he bee-lines for the ref. He talks up his teammates who defended him but he runs to the ref away from confrontation.

  50. BB says:

    Freeze frame doesn’t tell the story. Tanio was pulling Juninho away after he just elbowed Keel in the face. Tanio is a class player, get over it.

  51. Kaiser says:

    That last comment was totally classy. You come across as “whiny little punk” after that post.

    Galaxy win 3-0 on aggregate and shut New York up.

  52. Primate says:

    David Beckham is as guilty as anyone of nasty play and he almost always gets away with it.
    I despise NYRB as much as anyone but LA is just as bad, worse because they whine when they get their own medicine.

  53. Kaiser says:

    I think you mean band of winners, since the Galaxy are gonna control things back at the HDC. The real whiners are Rodgers, Marquez, and Henry.

  54. FSegaud says:

    and OJ didn’t do it.


  55. HoBo says:

    don’t forget about Keels theatrical performance too, lol

  56. HoBo says:

    for the effn joke hold, or is that what your into? :)

  57. Troy says:

    Henry does take cheap shots, I am first to admit it as a NY fan. He clearly has a chip on his shoulder and red carding him and embarassing him is the best way to get him to stop.

    Rodgers is a physical player but the guy can score. Talking him down doesn’t help your point.

    Marquez isn’t a cheap shot artist. He is a very good player who has his low moments, but those are mostly dives.

    Donovan’s attitude is annoying, as is his way of handling these situations. Which is, to play aloof even when he didn’t really contribute all that much to the game.

  58. FSegaud says:

    Guru my @ss

  59. HoBo says:

    that doesn’t even make sense, a loss is a loss if you weren’t so bias, lol

  60. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, Rodgers was whining all over the place in those comments.


  61. Joamiq says:

    Uh, OK. OJ. Right.

  62. Joamiq says:

    I have no idea what you’re even trying to say

  63. Goalscorer24 says:

    kpugs, I think you just described Marquez. As he was the one that took the dive when nobody actually hit him.

  64. Joamiq says:

    Uh… that’s exactly what I was saying.

    Wait… did you actually not get that that comment was sarcastic? Really? Wow.

  65. Nicole says:

    I’m a Galaxy fan and Juninho deserves the red card. Cristman deserves one too for shoving Marquez in the back. We don’t refuse to admit anything.

  66. marco says:

    Landon, after you saw Rodgers take Saunders into the goal net, you must know that Luke is a hockey player without a stick, and you’re lucky Henry and Luke don’t carry.

  67. Nicole says:

    You are absolutely ridiculous.

    Of course he doesn’t get in Marquez’s face. He’s not going to instigate something; he’s keeping a cool head out there. Before Marquez threw the ball at him, Donovan was ALREADY walking to the ref to shake hands, as he does after every game. Marquez hits him with the ball, he still continues his walk to the ref, to shake hands. Of course he didn’t want confrontation – he doesn’t want red-carded out of the next leg. It’s called being a captain and being smart.

  68. marco says:

    Look at Luke’s career, his honors, awards, trophies, England appearances, wait,

    don’t look.

  69. Joamiq says:

    Fair. I wouldn’t use “we” though. These comment sections are rife with Galaxy fans claiming Juninho didn’t do anything.

    I personally am not a fan of post-game red cards at all, but whatever happened happened.

  70. LA til i die says:

    everyone associated with NYRB can run their mouths once they win a cup of any significance. so until then shut it. you have punks up and down the roster. Henry, Marquez, Rodgers to name a few. The most tolerable guys are the ones that never see the field. cant wait to see your team pissing and moaning back to new york after the game tomorrow night

  71. Nicole says:

    Did you watch the game? You think Rodgers doesn’t whine out there? He’s constantly – constantly – yelling and bitching to the ref. How many times did he yell at the ref to “ef” off? Should have been carded. He’s a thug in a soccer uniform.

  72. Bryan says:

    It was a ridiculous dive. Anyone with eyes could see that

  73. Kaiser says:

    You said it for me. Thanks.

  74. primoone says:

    I have love for both Us and Mexican national teams…I have seen quite a bit of games from Rafa and I think we can be just a little bit honest with ourselves and admit that…Marquez is always one tumble, header, elbow and 50-50 ball away from a cheap-shot.

  75. Joamiq says:

    Yelling does not equal whining. Sorry. Seriously, in what universe is telling someone to “ef” off whining?

  76. primoone says:

    So by what you are telling us, LD should not be honored for what he has done for the US and The MLS. Because…he whines…and he let you down for not competing for a spot in europe. Is that about the size of it?

    Theres quite a bit of hate going on in your post Guru. No one is perfect. I am sure that everyone has something going on with them personality-wise that just rubs people the wrong way. However, doesnt mean we shouldnt acknowledge their accomplishments.

    LD may rub people the wrong way…however, you can’t take away what he has accomplished throughout his career. He may have not chased european success like others however, he certainly has cemented his place Domestically. What wrong with that?

    Don’t hate…it just never ends well.

  77. John says:

    Galaxy fans are soar losers.
    Sincerely, next door neighbor.

  78. This Guy says:

    I’m rubber, you’re glue! Na, Na, na boo-boo.

  79. This Guy says:

    You need to take your meds.

  80. Kaiser says:

    so he just whines louder and with more profantity…got it…now it makes total sense.

    Pull your head out of your rectum, dude.

  81. This Guy says:

    You’re a turd, leave the Internet….

  82. This Guy says:

    Your comment is outrageous. He grabbed him by the throat. The video shows that along with the “freeze frame” aka screenshot.

  83. Scott A says:

    To put some of New York’s players’ gamesmanship on the same level of the thuggery of other MLS teams is rich. Landon, you seem like a good guy and I love your contributions for USA, but you are a whiny little man.

  84. bryan says:

    the comments in here are as entertaining as this whole LA vs. NY thing!

  85. abc says:

    Donovan does complain too much, but Red Bulls are a bunch of idiots, from Backe and Soler down to Marquez, Henry, Ro(d)gers, Rost… they are a disgrace to the league.

  86. Joamiq says:

    Thank you for demonstrating that you don’t know what the word “whine” means. Everyone can now safely ignore your comments.

  87. Joamiq says:

    Thanks for your contribution

  88. FredMacMurray says:


    the interesting thing here that both sides complaints seem perfectly valid.

    Henry and Marquez are dirty, (sort of in different ways) Donavan is a whiny little girl, Becks is – well no need to go on really right?

    But to suggest that we should stop honoring Landon – probably the best US soccer talent ever- is just silly.

    now if you want to keep score, i think MArquez is really trashy, and Henry is the worst kind of dirty(taking shots when your back is turned, then actsLuke on the othedr hand is what you might call the “good kind” of dirty- hard tackles, playing all out, maybe going a bit too far at times but nothing sneaky about him.

    if you had to say who was dirtier, no contest- NY by far.

  89. Kaiser says:

    please define it for me, oh enlightened one.

  90. Joamiq says:

    If you think that a player yelling angrily on the field is the same as another guy whining to the media post-game about a team being “cheap”, then no amount of explanation can enlighten you.

  91. Kaiser says:

    New York is cheap! (please see Rafa Marquez for more info) If Donovan wants to call them out post-game so be it…let NY step up in the game and shut him up with thier play (they won’t). You criticize Donovan for what Henry and Rodgers do just as much. Maybe not to the media, but they yell and cry to the refs (and anyone who will listen) just as much as Donovan and Beckham do.

    Be it on the field or post game, whining is bitching when a call or situation doesn’t go your way.

    Your definition is very narrow minded.

  92. Kaiser says:

    BTW this whole thing started when Rodgers criticized Donovan for complaining to officials (in a post-game interview). Now we see that he does the exact same thing.

  93. Joamiq says:

    Again, if you don’t see the difference between yelling on the field, during the competition, in the faces of opposing players, and airing your grievances post-game to the media, you’re hopeless.

  94. Lee from NYC says:

    LA are a bunch of whiners and are always “poor us” all the time.

    NY likes to hit you when you’re not looking. Ghetto style almost.

    I think we’re about even when it comes to dirty play.

    Loving the passion for which both sides are fighting.

    Thursday is going to be intense. This is what playoff soccer is all about.

    Let’s go Red Bulls!

  95. lprevolution says:

    Diving???? Seriously? Franklin clearly clipped Rodgers’ leg. Albeit accidentally it was a breakaway opportunity and should have been a yellow.

  96. lprevolution says:

    Rugby is not garbage. You should have watched the world cup this past month.

  97. Soccer Guru says:

    I just can’t top that.

  98. Soccer Guru says:

    Guru your own A$S.

  99. Soccer Guru says:

    Ah yes, one of those “hater” idiots. I bet you have the bumper sticker. Usually a person who hates but goes around calling everyone who disagrees with him a hater. Stop being a hater!

    You’re also one of the common breed who posts here who never wants to respond to what was actually said or to what you know was meant by the person commenting. Master of the straw man argument. Would a person who really hates someone and doesn’t want to give them credit or honor them, as you put it, say they were proud of something they had done. You are a childish imbecile.

  100. Soccer Guru says:

    You are silly my friend. Stop honoring and making excuses for Donovan when he doesn’t deserve it. Did you read my post? I said I was proud of him when he was at Everton. I honestly believe a lot of people like you have your response ready before you even read what you are responding to. Don’t be a hater man. :)

  101. Ach says:

    True be it! LA hasn’t won it with Beckham yet! Until then shut the hell up.

  102. Ryan says:

    for all of u talking about landon u have to be red bull fans every soccer player complains about fouls… rafa marquez is the picture of classless… i agree with rodgers that it is just a physical game but when the game is over to throw a soccer ball at another player yeah real classy the guy is a punk and thinks he is above everyone on his own team at least LD sticks up for the players on his own team.

  103. Lil' Zeke says:

    Ah violence… the first resort of the otherwise incompetent

  104. Lil' Zeke says:

    Meh, how bout they find some more socially redeeming way to grow

  105. Lil' Zeke says:

    You should see somebody about that

  106. primoone says:

    Way to keep it classy Guru…your parents must be so proud.

    You know, after reading your comment, its appearent You too also suffer from Whiney little B-ch-itis.

    If you havn’t been told this, and quite frankly, I suspect that you hear it quite often, Grow Up…at some point in your life junior, you have to start acting and thinking like a grown up. And yes, this means having a discussion without slinging insults at other people. Its time you graduated from Time-outs and throwing yourself on the floor to acting like a contributing member of society. You can start by making this forum like your own personal proving ground for learning how to interact positively with your peers. And for your own sake, here is some advice for you, when you finally go out into the world and get a big boy job and hang around other big boys, don’t get jelous over the promotions and acolades that are given to those employees that have more going for them because they probably worked harder than you. Instead, use that as motivation to get ahead in life. Believe in yourself and in your ability and be thankful for what you have in your own life and acknowledge the good that others have accomplished. Be positive. Not negative.