Quotes & Notes: Timbers: 4, Fire: 2
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head Coach John Spencer
On the crowd’s energy: “I don’t think you’ll see an atmosphere like that in American soccer history. I think it was tremendous. I thought it was electrifying when the first goal went in, it was pretty incredible.”
On a good start: “I think we’ve been threatening that for the last couple of weeks. I just thought the two forwards were excellent, I thought our energy in midfield — our desire to track (back) and win tackles — I felt that we were there tonight.”
On Jorge Perlaza: “I think he’s been threatening to do it (score goals). The last week in practice, his finishing has been fantastic and he’s got electrifying pace. I’ve said it time and time again that this is a difficult league for foreign players to come and do well in. I think he’s clicking on to it, his pace in the first half at times was magnificent and he showed tremendous composure.”
On Chicago coming back from down 3-0: “I think that once the second goal goes in you want them (Portland) to regain their composure. We lost our composure a little bit and were giving the ball away too easy. We stopped doing the things that put us 3-nil up.”
On what to work on moving forward: “Don’t give goals up. If you win 3-0 or you win 4-0 and walk away it’s a complete game. But to give two goals up in the manner that we did, I think you’ve got to keep clean sheets and win games.”
Forward Jorge Perlaza (in Spanish, translated)
General feeling after the game: “I feel very happy for the great game that we all put together.”
Feeling after scoring two goals in home opener: “It’s very motivating, I was always looking for that goal. I just need to continue like this, keep working hard and keep stacking up those wins.”
On his first log slice: “It’s an indescribable feeling and I hope I can keep working to the best of my ability with the great opportunity that they’re giving me here. I just need to take advantage of every opportunity I get.”
On the crowd: “I’ve experienced several nights like this, but nothing like this being the first game at home for a new team.”
Forward Kenny Cooper
On the atmosphere ranking in his career: “It’s definitely up there with some of the best experiences I’ve ever had, just a magical atmosphere. It was a great privilege to be on that field.”
Comparing his two MLS stints: “I had a great time before in MLS and I just feel very blessed and privileged and lucky to have landed here in Portland. It’s just a magical atmosphere, these fans are something special. ... I think the league is certainly better now than it was when I left it.”
Defender Rodney Wallace
On his first goal with the Timbers: “It was a set piece, I followed the play and I struck a good ball.”
On the overall performance: “I think today we came out with a lot of energy and a lot of heart and it paid off and we got the result.”
More on the win: “It’s a great win, it’s a historic win. Being in the first year as an MLS club, it’s an amazing feeling to be in front of the fans that came out. We’re really happy to be in this situation, but we can’t dwell on it because we’ve got to look forward to Dallas on Sunday.”
Chicago Fire Quotes
Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos
On 4-2 loss to the Portland Timbers: “I was satisfied with the team when we were losing 3-0. We reacted very good, we were close when we scored the second goal. It’s a shame because our players made a great effort. We played much better in the second half and we need to learn off of this.”
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field: “It was a very good atmosphere, really fun atmosphere. Very nice field, it was difficult to play in because of the rain, but the atmosphere was very incredible and the fans were supporting the whole time.”
On halftime deficit 2-0: “We were down two goals, my message to the guys was we have time to recover. We gave up a very early goal in the second half, but even then I liked the personality of the team to try and recover but the four goals killed us.”
Captain Logan Pause
On disappointing loss to the Timbers: “Obviously disappointing, we came here to get points and we dug ourselves a deep hole going down 3-0. We made a late push but it just wasn’t enough.”
On the start of the second half: “We knew the first 15 minutes was going to be key, we were making a big push to get the first goal on our end but a couple minutes into the second half we gave up a third, which makes it a daunting hill to climb. We made a chase, we pushed it, we just really need to start learning from some of the mistakes we’re making.”
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field: “It’s a top notch stadium, the fans are fantastic. They definitely put a lot of emotion and energy into this game in opening a new stadium, a new expansion team in the MLS, they did enough and more to win and get three points.”
- Following the match, Timbers players took to a stage in front of the Timbers Army as Perlaza and Wallace received their log slabs, a tradition for Timbers goal scorers dating back to the NASL era.
- Timbers defender Futty Danso and forward Eddie Johnson each made their MLS debuts in the club’s home opener. Danso started and played the full 90 minutes.
- During halftime, the club inducted Timbers NASL greats John Bain and Jimmy Conway into the Portland Timbers Ring of Honor, joining Portland NASL star Clive Charles and club icon “Timber Jim” Serrill.
- Perlaza’s 29th minute goal marked the first time the Timbers had had a lead in a regular-season match. His strike was also the quickest goal scored in the club’s first four MLS matches.
- For a second straight game, the Timbers wore their green kits with white shorts and green socks.
- Before kickoff, the Timbers supporters group, the Timbers Army, sang the national anthem. Their pre-game tifo display spanned seven sections across the north end.
- MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Timbers Owner Merritt Paulson and Portland mayor Sam Adams addressed the crowd during pre-game ceremonies.
- Wallace scored his first league goal since Sept. 12, 2009, when playing for D.C. united against Seattle Sounders FC.
- The Timbers inaugural home opener matched an MLS season high with a combined six goals scored.