Quotes & Notes - Timbers: 1, Crew: 0, May 21, 2011

John Spencer, Timbers vs. Crew, 5.21.11

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head coach John Spencer
On starting the game flat:
“I thought we were very flat at the start of the first half, I don’t think we played well in the first half at all. I told the guys they need to stop believing the press, We have no divine right to win games here at home. We need to keep having the underdog mentality. When you’ve got the underdog mentality you’ve always got something to prove, you’ve always got a chip on your shoulder. We lost the chip on our shoulder in the first half. In the second half I thought we started well.”

On Eric Brunner’s goal:
“It was great thinking. On set pieces people turn their backs and switch off. Another good little flick, cross, goal.”

On Brunner scoring against his former team and the overall result:
“I think it’s special for him. Obviously coming up against your old club it was probably good for him to get a goal and get the winner. We’re really happy with the result. It was a great result, I don’t think it was a great performance. We can play better. Don’t think we’re going to come here every week and win games. It’s tough to win games.”

On the Columbus Crew:
“This is a very experienced (Columbus) team. You don’t have success and finish top of your conference (in the past) if you’re not a good team. They weren’t over-awed by the atmosphere and they handled us pretty well in the first half and we handled them too.”

Defender Eric Brunner
On the result:
“It was good that we got a shutout. It was good to get the win at home and keep the unbeaten record (at home).”

On his game-winning goal:
“We talked about maybe getting a quick one to catch them off-guard. I was looking for it and Kalif (Alhassan) sprung loose and played a great ball back post and floated back a bit and I got a good header on it. It’s a good feeling. It’s nice to get on the scoresheet as a defender. It’s good to get the three points and to get the shutout.”

On scoring against his former team:
“(Portland) picked me up in the Expansion Draft and had a lot of faith in me. It’s one of those things you can’t really script. It’s just weird how it happens.”

On his relationship with Columbus defender Chad Marshall:
“I played with him for two years and I learned a lot from him. It’s a mutual respect (trading jerseys after the match). I looked up to him when I was in Columbus.”

Forward Kenny Cooper
On the early goal in the second half:
“It was great timing early on in the second half. The team did well to go on from there and finish the game off well defensively. Columbus are a tough team and it’s another great win at home for us.”

On the crowd’s energy:
“The home opener was something special. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced anything like that. It’s just been (there) week after week, every time there’s a home game they just continue to bring the same energy and I think it’s really a privilege for us to be able to play in front of them. Hopefully, we’re making them happy with these home wins and hopefully we can get some more.”

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On the defensive back four helping record another clean sheet:
“It’s a good chemistry, it’s a good communication. It’s a good base, everyone knows what the next guy is going to do.”

Columbus Crew Quotes:

Head coach Robert Warzycha
General thoughts on the match:
“I don’t think we deserved to lose. Obviously we came here (and played the team with) right now the hottest (home) start in the league, with the fans and the (team) 4-0-0 in their previous (home) games. But we came to play so we didn’t sit back and just defend. I think we could have scored a couple goals early. We missed our chances and then obviously the quick free kick cost us the game.”

On the JELD-WEN Field atmosphere:
“That’s what a stadium is supposed to look like. (It was a) pretty good crowd. It seems like they’re very educated. It was great. Really the stadium is very nice, and it seems like the people around here know how to support the team.”

On forward Emilio Renteria’s injury:
“We’ll see (what the diagnosis is). It’s a muscle injury, so he probably pulled something.”

On Renteria’s absence affecting the game:
“(It means) you’ve got to make a sub early in the game. It’s like you’re wasting a sub.”

Midfielder Robbie Rogers
General thoughts on the match:
“Overall I thought this was a really tough place to play. Obviously no team has been successful here. So we were all really excited to come here and hopefully at least get a point. I thought we battled and fought, and in the end made a really dumb mistake in allowing that set piece, allowing them to score. I know that’s one of their strengths, but that’s just something that you can’t allow. Hopefully we’ll learn from this and we’ll move on. We have a game next weekend at home and we need three points.”

On the Crew’s offensive chances in the match:
“Yeah, we hit the post at the end. I thought we actually had the better of the game and created more chances. They’re a good team, especially at home, but I really thought we could get away with this one. We can use that to move forward. We’ll learn from our mistakes.”

On the JELD-WEN Field atmosphere:
“It was what I expected. I’ve watched some (previous) games (at JELD-WEN Field) on TV. It’s great for soccer. (This atmosphere) in the Northwest is something I didn’t expect and it’s pretty amazing. I think it’s really cool. I think that the fans here just have so much passion. Even before the game, when you see them walking out in the city, it’s pretty amazing. It’s somewhere any soccer player would love to play.”

On the newly implemented 4-4-2 alignment:
“I thought it was good for winning balls in the air. It was a very direct game. On that end it was helpful. But I enjoy playing more of a 4-5-1. I like more passing and more movement off the ball. But I think this game called for a 4-4-2.”

Notes:

  • The Timbers have recorded three straight shutouts in regular-season matches at home and have a run of 273 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal at JELD-WEN Field. All three shutouts have been posted by Perkins and overall the Timbers have allowed just one goal in their last four league games.
  • Portland has been the first team to score in each of its MLS home matches and is the only team in the league with a perfect record at home (5-0-0).
  • The home team has scored the first goal of the match in each of Portland’s 10 games this season.
  • Saturday marked the Timbers’ fifth straight sellout at JELD-WEN Field for an MLS match.
  • Jack Jewsbury and Kalif Alhassan both rank among league leaders with five assists a piece. The two combined have assisted on eight goals this season.
  • The Timbers scored their league-leading ninth goal from a set piece on Saturday. In total, nine of the team’s 13 goals (league-high 69 percent) have come from set plays.
  • Columbus was held scoreless in the first half for an MLS-record 10th consecutive match to start the season.
  • Timbers defender Futty Danso committed his first fouls of the season Saturday, ending his run of consecutive minutes of MLS play without a foul at 606 minutes.
  • The Timbers raised nearly $1,700 through their “Lose the Boot” auction, benefitting Mercy Corps and Grassroot Soccer. The in-game auction featured Timbers players’ game-worn boots.
  • Crew forward Jeff Cunningham is two goals away from setting the all-time goals scored record for MLS. He entered the match as a sub in the 75th minute.