Quotes & Notes, Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Aug. 20, 2011

Spencer: Tonight we showed a real strength of character.

Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Portland Timbers Quotes:

Head Coach John Spencer
On the overall result:
"I think we scored a great goal to go 1-nil up. From there, I think the Whitecaps came into the game and pushed us back a little. We managed to dig deep. It wasn't about tactics tonight, I don't think it was about coaching. It was just about really digging deep and finding that extra yard or two to make a run or to make a tackle."

On the play of midfielder Diego Chara:
"I thought Diego Chara was fantastic. He looked, no disrespect, like a man amongst boys tonight. In my humble opinion, he looked like a Premier League player tonight."

On the goal giving the Timbers some early adrenaline:
"I think it gave us that shot of confidence and adrenaline. Two losses is two losses and it does take a dent out of the guys confidence wise. We all want to make the playoffs. It's not just the fans, it's not just the owner, the players really have the desire, the coaching staff has the desire to make the playoffs. When we go around the country and we have fans at every stadium and we lose, it kills the guys. We're so well-supported that we want to try and win every game ... Tonight we showed a real strength of character. Some guys didn't play at the maximum, but they worked to over the maximum and I was so proud of them."

On containing Vancouver forward Eric Hassli:
“It was a difficult game. Eric Hassli, I think, is as good as Conor Casey who is probably the best big man in the league. He's got great feet, unbelievable power. I thought our two central defenders handled him for most of the game and they eventually subbed him out. I think Futty (Danso) and (David) Horst played well and we did what we had up until the goal. Sometimes you get beat by good goals and we've been beat by a few good goals this year."

On sitting midfielder Darlington Nagbe and defender Eric Brunner on the bench:
"We've played a lot of games recently. I just felt that Darlington was getting a little heavy legged. We just felt that after the two games it was time to bring Kalif (Alhassan) back in. Young players struggle to find consistency. There's not many young players around the world that come in in their first year and play every single game. We just felt that it was time to freshen up the group a little bit. I thought Futty (Danso) did well until he got his injury and then Eric Brunner comes in and performs well. I'm very proud of the group. It was a great team effort tonight."

On the team dealing with the physical play:
"They're big games. The Cascadia rivalry, you don't want to get beat by your local rivals. We had a real bitter taste in our mouth when we lost to Seattle here. We felt tonight could be a catalyst for the rest of the way. I don't think we looked energized until we got the first goal and then it kind of kicked us on a little bit."

Midfielder Diego Chara (Translated from Spanish)
On his goal in the 2nd minute:
"It was a play where I received the ball from Jorge (Perlaza) and I got a good strike on the ball for my first goal."

On the chemistry between himself and forward Jorge Perlaza:
"It has come from a long time playing together. We've been together in several teams and you can see that on the field. I already know where to put the ball (when Jorge is on the field)."

Defender David Horst
On containing Vancouver forward Eric Hassli:
"He's a DP (Designated Player) for them, he's one of the top forwards in the league. I think he's the second-leading goal scorer and we knew we were going to have our hands full tonight and I think the back four and the whole team did a fantastic job with Hassli tonight."

On managing the game with a 2-0 lead:
"Our mentality has been from the beginning of the season that we'll bend but won't break. I thought we did very well tonight. There were a lot of corners for them, a lot of free kicks, but the guys dug deep and we were strong in the box."

On conceding Vancouver forward Camilo Sanvezzo's goal:
"I thought he was offsides, I played it and the ref didn't call it and I was late and he already had me beat. There was nothing I could do about it, it was a mistake on me."

Forward Jorge Perlaza (Translated from Spanish)
On Portland getting an early goal:
"It was a very early goal and that filled us up with a lot of confidence."

On teammate Diego Chara:
"He's a very explosive player. He works constantly, he works in the middle and that's where he distributes."

On his chemistry with Chara:
"We have a long time that we've know each other. Little by little we've been bringing what we know we could bring to the team and getting into the scheme of things."

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Quotes:

Head Coach Tom Soehn
On the 2-1 result:
"The way we started out, giving a goal that early, so disappointing. We knew the first fifteen [minutes] were going to be energetic from them, but we lost the first half in that regard so much as competing. Second half we did a much better job but ultimately the stat that counts is the 2-1."

On reaction to early goal:
"On the road it's always difficult, we still generated a lot of set pieces but we also talked about on both sides of set pieces we have to be aggressive. Whatever corners we had, we have to get on the end of them I don't think we were very dangerous and those are quality opportunities that we're passing up."

On focusing on the Cascadia Cup:
"Right now we're focused on our next game, and getting through this game and learning from it."

On mentality of players:
"Some of it just comes down to making plays and defending. That first play I thought we could've stopped it a couple times, it's about making plays there's no x's and o's for that it's just coming down and making plays."

On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"It's a great atmosphere, it's a fantastic advertisement for MLS and when they come (to Vancouver) they're going to get some of the same."

Defender Michael Boxall
On the 2-1 result:
"Obviously a very disappointing start, that's not the way you want to come out in these environments. We paid for a few mistakes and were too slow out of the blocks and we got punished for our mistakes."

On improvement in 2nd half:
"A little bit more lively in the second half, which is how we should've done from the first whistle."

On first goal:
"I had my eyes on the two forwards and as it got past me I just had flat feet, it was just poor defending really."

On Cascadia Cup:
"That was obviously one of our goals that we set out at the beginning of the season and it's still very much alive. We've got the Cascadia Cup at home so it's in our hands and we've got to pick ourselves up for it."

On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"It's a pretty good atmosphere, definitely one of the best I've played in in this league."

Notes:

  • Chara’s opening strike was the fastest goal scored in the Timbers’ MLS history, finding the back of the net just 76 seconds into the game. Before Saturday, the fastest had been scored by Jewsbury, scoring in the 13th minute of the match against FC Dallas on April 17.
     
  • Jewsbury has scored a goal or recorded an assist in each of the last three games for the Timbers. His assist against Whitecaps FC was his eighth of the season. With four points this month, Jewsbury has recorded three or more points in each of the last five straight months.
     
  • Portland and Vancouver rekindled a rivalry that dates back to 1975 as members of the original North American Soccer League. Saturday marked the first matchup as MLS opponents after spending the last 10 years competing as second-division foes. The Timbers own an 18-10-8 record in the all-time series against the Whitecaps in Portland.
     
  • The lineups for the Timbers and Whitecaps FC featured six players who played in the final match between the two sides as second-division clubs in October 2010 – Portland: Kalif Alhassan, Futty Danso, Bright Dike, James Marcelin; Vancouver: Gershon Koffie and Davide Chiumiento
     
  • When scoring the first goal of a match, the Timbers improve to 8-1-2 in 2011.
     
  • By facing Whitecaps FC on Saturday, the Timbers have now played all 17 opponents in MLS at least once this season.
     
  • In 13 home games this season at JELD-WEN Field, the Timbers have scored 25 goals, which ranks among league leaders for goals scored at home.
     
  • Central defenders David Horst and Futty Danso were paired together for just the second time this season in Saturday’s match against Vancouver. The previous occasion was the away match June 4 against Chivas USA.
     
  • Danso was taken off the field in the 76th minute due to a right hamstring injury and was replaced by defender Eric Brunner.
     
  • Coming on late in the match, Brunner made his first substitute appearance of the season. In total, Brunner has missed just two matches this season – due to illness and a one-game suspension – and started 25 of the Timbers’ 31 matches across all competition in 2011.
     
  • The Timbers were held without a corner kick for the first time this season in league play. On three occasions, Portland has been limited to one corner kick in a match – all three of those matches ended in loss.
     
  • After two straight matches wearing their all-green kits, the Timbers donned their green-white-green kits against Whitecaps FC, in which they have a 6-3-2 record.
     
  • The Timbers have scored in nine of their last 10 games.
     
  • In a weekend of Cascadia action, the Timbers Reserves and Whitecaps Reserves square off Sunday in an MLS Reserve League match at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is 12 noon (PT).
     
  • On loan assignment with the Montreal Impact (NASL), Timbers midfielder Ryan Pore scored a goal in the Impact’s 2-0 win over the NSC Minnesota Stars on Saturday. In five games with Montreal, Pore has recorded a goal and an assist.