Quotes & Notes - Timbers 0 @ Crew 1, July 23, 2011

Warzycha: I think Portland is a good team...It was difficult for us to break them down.

Quotes: Portland Timbers @Columbus Crew

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head Coach John Spencer
Thoughts on the game: 
“I thought it was a very even game, it comes down to us making a mistake. When you control a ball in the six-yard box and you take a bad touch generally you are going to get punished and that’s what happened to us.”

On the performance of his players: 
“Well you’re never happy with their performance when you lose, but I think we played well enough to get something from the game.”

Defender Eric Brunner
On getting to the 80th and then giving up a goal: 
“It’s kind of been the story for us, we are getting punished by mistakes, some of our efforts there. We are working really hard and it’s just one little thing and we are getting punished for it and if we clean that up we have the talent, and we have the right players, and the right system, it’s just those little things.”

On the second half:
“You know they probably changed some things at half time but we did well controlling the first half and I thought we had a good amount of possession, we had some good opportunities, we just need to finish some chances.”

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On his defense in front of him in the first half: 
“I think we did an ok job most of the game of denying service and keeping everything outside 30 yards for them, in all honesty, I think 90 percent of the game was played in the middle of the field. It’s not a fun game to watch for anyone on TV or in the stands but you know it was going to be down to who made the mistake and obviously we did.”

On the goal: 
“I got a tip to it, just a finger. I think it was enough to keep it on the bar or on the post, from going back in the goal obviously, but I think it was one of my own players that actually ran into me as I was getting up, so we just have to do a better job clearing the ball off the post.”

On coming back to Ohio where he is from: 
“You know my relatives and parents still live here so you know I still have a lot of ties here.  It’s nice to come back and see my parents and take them out to dinner and enjoy some time with them.”

Columbus Crew Quotes

Crew head coach Robert Warzycha
General impressions on the game: 
“I think it was a very difficult game to play for us. I think Portland is a good team and they played well in the first half as it was difficult for us to break them down. In the second half, the game opened up a little, we switched the formation and started getting a little more crosses in and created more chances and obviously we got rewarded with a good goal.”

On the ability to get more crosses in the box in the second half than in the first half: 
“I think they had more players in the box in the first half. They had Futty [Danso] and Brunner in front of Troy Perkins all the time inside the six-yard box. I think our cross selection wasn’t the best. Sometimes we should’ve crossed on the ground instead of in the air or a soft cross instead of a whipping ball in the first. I think our crosses in the second half were much better and that’s why we were more dangerous.”

On being in first place in the Eastern Conference: 
“If you look at some of the games we played, we should have some more points. I am not surprised because when the core guys we have produce, we do very well. I think Robbie [Rogers] was very active, Eddie [Gaven], Manu [Ekpo] was active also as was Chad [Marshall]. Renteria changed the game when he came on and we have a few more who are injured and when they come back we are going to be a very good team.”

Midfielder Eddie Gaven
On the play leading up to the own goal: 
“I was kind of running towards the goal, so I wasn’t able to stop and get a clean shot off so I just kind of threw my leg out at it and made some contact and fortunate it went in.”

On being in first place in Eastern Conference: 
“We’ve shown signs that we can definitely be right up there this year, but it’s just going to come down to coming out every single day and working hard and playing like we played tonight and uh, just trying to keep that going.”

Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum
On having tough saves: 
“The guys did a really good job of limiting shots.  Chad is a monster, Julius made a big kick save, which you know I’m a fan of, I love kick saves, I complimented him on that, the guys always limit what we have to do, you know there are few games where you know you have to come up huge for the team and Will [Hesmer] has done that a few times this year, but even he will tell you that the guys up front battle.”

Notes:

  • Acquired Thursday in a trade with Houston, defender Lovel Palmer made his Timbers debut Saturday against the Crew and forced Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum into a save with a shot from 25 yards out in the first half.
     
  • Defender Eric Brunner returned to the Timbers’ Starting XI and started against his former club. He missed the Timbers’ road win over Chicago last weekend due to a one-game, league-imposed suspension for his red card against Seattle on July 10. Brunner played two seasons for Columbus (2009-10) before being selected by Portland in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft.
     
  • The own goal in the 79th minute was the ninth goal allowed this season by the Timbers inside the final 15 minutes of a match.
     
  • The Timbers fall to 0-2-2 when tied with their opponent at halftime while on the road. Portland was held scoreless on the road for the fifth time this season.
     
  • The own goal was the second committed by Portland this season. The first was committed in a 4-2 win over Chicago on April 14.
     
  • After making a season-high seven saves in the club’s first road win last weekend, Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins only had to make one save against the Crew, coming in the 70th minute; Columbus had just two shots on target.
     
  • Portland was without the services of defender/midfielder Jeremy Hall, who was serving a one-game, league-imposed suspension for yellow card accumulation.
     
  • The Timbers’ Starting XI against the Crew featured three native Ohioans – Perkins, Darlington Nagbe and Brunner. Both Brunner and Nagbe played their collegiate careers in state, with Brunner suiting up for Ohio State and Nagbe playing at Akron.
     
  • Portland is now 1-6-2 on the road in 2011.
     
  • The Timbers and Crew split their two-game, regular-season series. Portland claimed a 1-0 win over Columbus on May 21 at JELD-WEN Field on a game-winning goal by Brunner.
     
  • Timbers midfielder Peter Lowry played in his first League game since March 26, missing the last 16 regular-season games as a result of various injuries, including the last six weeks with a quadriceps strain.
     
  • Timbers midfielder Sal Zizzo, who entered the match in the 75th minute, ranks second in MLS with 15 sub appearances this season.