Quotes & Notes, Timbers vs. Chivas USA, Aug. 24, 2011

Timbers clinch winning home record in inaugural MLS season

Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head Coach John Spencer
On the overall result and its importance:
"We had a couple of late scares there in the game, but I think we also had a couple of good chances where we might've finished the game off. They're (Chivas USA) a very resilient group."

On having Mike Chabala take corner kicks from the right side instead of Jack Jewsbury:
"I watched their game and they gave up two goals on crosses against Colorado. I just felt that we had a slight advantage height-wise in the box and decided to have two in-swinging corners into the six to see how they dealt with it."

On closing in on the final playoff spot:
"I think that we're formidable at home at times. We need to, now, after the last two performances, get on the road to D.C. and try and put in a good performance there so that we stay in this position. We've got as good a chance as anybody for the eighth, ninth, and 10th positions. I don't think we're hanging on for the 10th spot. We've got a couple of good games coming up here at home and if we perform the way we did in the first half tonight we'll give teams a good run for their money."

On handling the late-game pressure from Chivas USA and hanging on to earn the shutout:
"You've got to remember that (Chivas USA) team has been established now for a number of years. They've got experienced MLS players, they're going to put you under pressure, they know what's required to be successful in this league. We're just learning what is required to be successful in this league. I think we've grown up quickly this year. I think we grew up after we had that slump and I think we came out at the (other) end of the tunnel and I think we've grown up a little bit."

Midfielder Sal Zizzo
On the result against Chivas USA:
"It's huge. I talked about it before: playing at home we're a tough team. Coming back off two road losses and getting two home wins, we're right back in things."

On shaking the road woes that have hampered the Timbers this season:
"The road is tough. I think you can see it with all the teams, their home records are better. It could be the travel, it could be a lot of things, but we've just got to focus on putting that all behind us and get a good result."

Defender Eric Brunner
On his goal:
"Everyone stepped up. David (Horst) had a couple chances tonight, Futty has made some great headers in important games and fortunately I've been able to get my head on a few. It won't happen unless there's good service and we've had great service. It's a whole team effort on that one."

On the run-up to his third goal of the season:
"On David (Horst's) chance, I noticed that they left a huge gap in the near post so I told Chewy (Mike Chabala) on the next one to look near post. He hit the ball there and I made the run there and I didn't think it went in. I kind of did a double-take on it."

On heading into a big match on the road at D.C. United:
"We need to be resilient. We had a little bit of luck tonight and hopefully that luck continues with us. We just need to go in and put in a full 90 minutes of work and stay turned on the entire time."

On the emotions surrounding an up-and-down season thus far:
"It's fun when you're winning. There's definitely ups and downs this season, that's part of being a professional is dealing with that stuff. Things may not go your way but you just have to keep level-headed and just grind through it."

On the defensive effort:
"I thought our shape was really good. I thought we worked for each other. We just need to stay turned on for those looping balls. I think (Justin) Braun had a few of those that we need to recognize. If we do that and know what they're looking for at the end of the game, if we're aware of that, that stuff helps you cement games out."

Defender David Horst
On trying to make the playoffs:
"Every game is a playoff game from here on out. We need three points, we need to come out there, we need to fight and play like it's the last game of the season and if we do that I think we have a great chance of making the playoffs."

On having a few shots come close to scoring:
"As of right now, I'm the only center back that hasn't scored this year. I think it's coming. That's not my job, to score goals; my job is to keep the goals out and hopefully I can keep doing that the rest of the year. It's always good to score some goals, but I think I sold my soul to never score a goal. Hopefully it comes by the end of the year.

On the defensive effort:
"Every team needs luck to win the game. No team goes the whole 90 minutes without some luck and finally some things are starting to go our way. Hopefully this is just the start for us. We keep playing well, keep meshing and ultimately it's the teams that play well at the end of the season that do well in the playoffs. We can't come in not ready to play a game."

Chivas USA Quotes

Head Coach Robin Fraser
On Juan Pablo Angel not being in the 18-man roster:
"We're looking to manage him with what is long-term for us the next nine games. The ability to keep him off the pounding of the turf, we felt would be the best thing for him in the long haul."

On the two substitutions made before halftime:
"Absolutely injury-related. Michael Lahoud injured his ankle and Paulo Nagamura hurt his foot. Both guys were absolutely struggling so it was something we had to do. That's three games in a row we've had to make early changes and tactically that alters your plan."

On playoff atmosphere:
"I think it felt like both teams knew they needed the points. Portland was on the front foot in the first half and got the goal they needed. I thought we played better in the second half and were able to drive them back a little bit but weren't able to get the goal we needed."

On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"One of the best in the league."

Forward Justin Braun
On second-half momentum:
"We tried to be a little more aggressive. [In the first half] we came out flat and weren't able to move the ball the way we wanted to. We just stepped the energy up in the second half and we were pushing for that goal. Unfortunately we didn't get it. We've got to give credit to Portland for keeping the shutout, [and we] can't dwell on it too much. We have to put it behind us and just go into Saturday and try to get three points."

On loss:
"It was probably one of the biggest games of the year. It was a six-point swing – if we had won that we would've been kind of clear of Portland so it's definitely very disappointing." 

On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"It was a great atmosphere. It's always fun to play in stuff like this. It's cool to see a city get behind their team so much. These are the kind of games that as a player you want to play in."

Notes:

  • The 18,627 on hand was the Timbers’ 14th consecutive sellout for a regular-season match at JELD-WEN Field in 2011.
     
  • In all four games (all competitions) in which Brunner has scored, the Timbers have kept a clean sheet and are a perfect 4-0-0 in those games.
     
  • Brunner’s goal was the Timbers’ 10th scored this season off a set play/piece, which leads MLS. It was also the ninth scored by a Timbers defender in 2011.
     
  • Midfielder Jack Jewsbury’s four-game run of recording a goal or an assist came to an end Wednesday. With four points this month, Jewsbury has recorded three or more points in each of the last five straight months.
     
  • Chivas USA defender Michael Lahoud (11th minute) and midfielder Paulo Nagamura (38th minute) were both subbed off in the first half due to injuries sustained in the opening stanza.
     
  • When scoring the first goal of a match, the Timbers are 9-1-2 in 2011.
     
  • Portland has an 8-4-2 record in league games at JELD-WEN Field and clinched a winning home record in their inaugural MLS season.
     
  • With the win, the Timbers finished the regular-season series with Chivas USA at 1-1-0.
     
  • Portland won all three of its home matches in the month of August, marking the second time this season in which the club swept its home games in a single month; the other was in April.
     
  • Against Chivas USA, captain Jack Jewsbury debuted the Timbers’ new fan-created, custom captain’s armband. Through a contest held by the club, fans submitted designs for the new armband and the winning designs and the designers were announced Tuesday.
     
  • Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins made his 120th career MLS start on Wednesday. It was his 21st straight start with the Timbers.
     
  • In 14 home games this season at JELD-WEN Field, the Timbers have scored 26 goals, which ranks among league leaders for goals scored at home.