HARRISON, N.J. -- Los Angeles Galaxy captain Landon Donovan has called the New York Red Bulls the dirtiest team he has ever played against in his Major League Soccer career.
Donovan's comments come after the Red Bulls' Rafa Marquez threw a ball at Donovan's back at the end of his team's 1-0 victory in the Eastern Conference semifinals, causing a scuffle to break out on the Red Bulls Arena pitch.
"In all my years in this league, I've not played against a cheaper team, and they've been doing it all year," said Donovan. "It's a disgrace. We're here to play soccer."
Seconds after the match, Marquez acted and Adam Christman and Juninho retailated. Both Marquez and Juninho received red cards and will miss the second leg of the semifinals. Donovan was proud of his teammates for sticking up for him.
"The whistle blew and Marquez picked up the ball and threw at me. I was lucky I saw it and Adam [Christman] saw it as well and stood up for his teammate," said Donovan. "It's unfortunate that the guy who reacts always gets in trouble, but I'm glad that my teammates stuck up for me."
When asked whether or not something happened on the pitch that resulted in Marquez's action, Donovan said the action came out of nowhere but he wasn't surprised considering the Mexico international defender's reaction after the loss.
"I don't think anyone is surprised by what happened," Donovan said.
Donovan also called out the Red Bulls for having several cheap shots throughout the match. He dismissed the fact that teams generally play more physical in the playoffs. He pointed to past incidents to prove his point.
"You saw it a few weeks ago when Henry kneed someone in the back. We've seen that stuff all year," said Donovan. "It's happened all year. I think its just part of their makeup."
Despite the game being physical on both sides, Donovan is glad that his team was able to pull out a victory away from home.
"In the end the cream rose to the top and the better team won," said Donovan.
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