Quotes & Notes - Timbers 1 @ Fire 0, July 16, 2011

Jewsbury: It’s three points on the road, and it’s a great game for us.

Mamadou Futty Danso, Timbers @ Fire, 7.16.11

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Brian Kersey

Quotes: Portland Timbers at Chicago Fire

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head Coach John Spencer
On the team’s first road victory:
“I felt that we started the game very brightly. We controlled a lot of possession and obviously Kevin Goldthwaite went down with an injury and had to be substituted. I felt after that we wobbled a little bit and lost a little bit of our composure. They came into the game the last five or ten minutes of the first half; they were pressing us back and pressing us back. We did a good job defending and we were mentally strong tonight. I thought it was a great victory coming off a massive defeat last week against Seattle.”

On the team’s relief of getting a first road win:
“Of course it’s nice to hear the music going in the background of the locker room. I haven’t heard that in a long time. The guys have been down in the dumps. We want to play well every week and win games, but we are still a young team in the making. We are only 18 games into our life as a professional team. We are learning and making mistakes as we go along. We have some young players playing some incredible minutes for us, whereas if you have a bigger squad of players in more strength and depth, maybe you can bring them out to learn the game a little bit more. But the young guys are learning the game during the game. It’s a steep learning curve.”

On changing the team’s defensive strategy:
“I thought Troy Perkins pulled off two or three unbelievable saves, especially the one he saved with his foot. Obviously they crashed a couple against the crossbar, so you need luck to win in this league, to win any games, especially games on the road. It’s a tough place to come and play - wonderful stadium, good fans and beautiful field to pass the ball in. I felt that when they threw the ball in the box, defensively we handled the first and second balls and headers pretty easily at times.”

On having confidence on matching up to the Fire based on the previous meeting:
“That wasn’t any reflection on the game at all. They actually played well that night [during Portland’s first home game] over at JELD-WEN [Field]. They were unlucky not to get something during the game. For us tonight we knew it was going to be a different game under Frank Klopas. I will say one thing, when I saw them play the last two or three games, home and away, they have tremendous energy. They are working for the coach and they put in some shift tonight, as they did against the Galaxy. Last week, I think they were very unlucky not to get a point from the Galaxy.

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On making seven saves:
“It’s my job, I guess. The last one with my foot was just a reaction. I saw the ball late and that was the only thing I could think of to get out there quick enough. But everything else I think those are saves I should make.”

On keeping a clean sheet:
“We had a couple chances to really put the game away. We didn’t. When you are on the road, and up 1-0, that’s the way it is. You just have to battle. You’re going to get shelled. You have to be able to deal with it.”

On beating the Fire twice this season:
“It’s a double victory for us, getting off a streak here and getting our first one on the road. (It was a) huge confidence builder for the team and winning 1-0 in a place like this is big for us.”

On the defense’s play:
“The guys in front of me ran 90-plus minutes non-stop, and we didn’t give up one chance. Credit goes to them as well.”

Midfielder Jack Jewsbury
On his goal:
“When Perlaza was taken down in the box, I just wanted to step up. It’s been one of the things we’ve been talking about all week: getting the first goal on the road, which we haven’t done. I think it was important for the guys to get the lead. Obviously they had some chances, which is to be expected when you come on the road and go up a goal. They’re going to pressure you, especially in the second half. Troy [Perkins] made some huge saves to keep us in it and get those three points.”

On getting the first road victory:
“I think it’s huge. Not only to get the lead but to get the confidence amongst the guys, you know. We’ve been in a bit of a rut for the past month, month and a half, in terms of getting results on the road. It feels great to get that first one, to get that weight off your chest.”

On the team’s offensive opportunities:
“When you get an early one like that, you seem to sit in more than you’d like. I think coming out in the second half, we wanted to continue to press forward. I think we did a better job of that at the end of the first half. I think all along they’re going to try especially being at home and going to get their chances. But at the end of the day, it’s three points on the road, and it’s a great game for us.”

Chicago Fire Quotes

Interim head coach Frank Klopas
On the game:
“It’s never good when you lose, especially at home. I felt at the start of the game we did not come out with enough urgency. We went down 1-0 early, then we had to play short-handed. After, I felt the guys put a lot into the game. We pushed it and took a lot of risks. We always need to have a better start because we need to make things happen by having that sense of urgency. Playing with 10 guys made it tough. They played with one on top and basically sat back. We were a little bit unlucky. Some of our chances hit the post a couple of times. That’s the game. Even though we lost, there are a lot of positives to look at too.”

On the PK and the second yellow card:
“The referee makes the call. Am I happy about it? No, but there is nothing I can do about it at that point. You have to live with it. I thought we could have done better before the opportunity got there. They had the ball out wide and we needed to be tighter on our marks. When we are not tight, the ball pops out and creates 50/50 challenges where we need to be more alert and focus to come out on top on those challenges. In the end, it all evens out and there’s nothing I can do. We need to take care of the things we need to take care of, and that is the start of the game. ”

On the same lineup the last seven days affecting the start of the game:
“No, I do not think so. I think the guys had more than enough time to rest and prepare. I do not think the New York game [Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal] was a very tough game. We’re playing at home and we did not travel. Traveling is still not an excuse. European teams play three times a week and they are able to do it. I know that the roster sizes are different and deeper, but I think the guys were ready, prepared, and we did not do much in training. It is not an excuse”

Forward Patrick Nyarko
On the loss:
“I’m disappointed. We lost another home game, a game we thought we should win. This was a very winnable game. We started out a little bit flat, came out slow but as the game went on we picked up speed and had the game in hand until what we thought was a questionable call on the PK, and they went ahead forcing us to climb back. I think we took the game to them, after they sat back, and created some chances. We changed formation in the second half to try and push the game, unfortunately we had a man sent off which it really hard to come back. Even with that I thought we responded really well - created some chances and had some unlucky bounces off the posts that we could have come back from. All-in-all a loss is disappointing, but in the run of play we are definitely improving. Obviously, if you don’t win it’s not enough but we will look at the positives and come back next game.”

Defender Gonzalo Segares
On the penalty kick:
“When I saw the ball coming in I tried and poke it away. I know I felt it and I kicked it.  The trajectory of the ball went inside when Perlaza was trying to come inside, but the referee decided to call a PK. I was pretty frustrated because that was an easy chance that they had and they won.”

On any incidental contact:
“I don’t think so. I know I didn’t kick him, I know he dropped right away but I know I did get the ball. The ball went straight out; it didn’t even go where he was trying to cut it. I guess the referee made the call because he may have felt like I tripped him or touched him. We did create chances to come back in the game, but we couldn’t find the back of the net.”
 

Notes:

  • Timbers defender Kevin Goldthwaite left the game in the ninth minute after injuring his left knee and was replaced by David Horst. The extent of Goldthwaite’s injury is not known and he is to be examined by team physician Jonathan E. Greenleaf at Sports Medicine Oregon on Monday. Goldthwaite made his first start for Portland since the second game of the season, March 26 at Toronto FC.
     
  • Jewsbury, who was named the Timbers’ first MLS All-Star in franchise history last week, leads the club in goals, assists (6) and points (16).
     
  • Perkins, who won his second MLSsoccer.com Save of the Week award of the season last week, has 30 saves over his last seven games after recording 15 in his first six games this season.
     
  • Timbers defender Eric Brunner sat out the match while serving a one-game suspension following his red card in Portland’s last match against Seattle on July 10.
     
  • Timbers defender Jeremy Hall received his fifth yellow card of the season Saturday and will sit out next Saturday’s match at Columbus due to yellow card accumulation.
     
  • Fire forward Orr Barouch made his league-leading 16th substitute appearance when he came on at the start of the second half in place of midfielder Daniel Paladini. Timbers midfielder Sal Zizzo, who entered the match in the 72nd minute, ranks second with 14.
     
  • The Timbers are 2-for-3 on penalty kicks this season; Jewsbury has taken each attempt.
     
  • Portland improved to 1-5-2 on the road.
     
  • The Timbers ended a five-game losing streak in games decided by one goal. Portland started the season 4-0-0 in such games. Overall, Portland is 5-5-0 in one-goal games.
     
  • The Timbers swept their two-game season series against Chicago, including a 4-2 win in their first MLS home game April 14. The Fire are the first team that Portland has beaten twice.
     
  • The Timbers snapped a 229-minute drought without an away goal. They had not scored away from JELD-WEN Field since Futty Danso’s 65th-minute tally May 14 at Seattle.
     
  • The Timbers scored for just the fourth time in their eight road matches.
     
  • The teams combined for seven cautions and ejections, which matches a season high for a Timbers game. Portland combined with New York for seven cards June 19 at JELD-WEN Field.
     
  • The Fire lead the league with 12 ties in 19 contests while the Timbers have drawn an MLS-low three of their 17 matches this season.
     
  • The Fire, with 12 draws this season, are just two shy of tying the MLS record for ties in one season.