Quotes & Notes - Timbers vs. New England Revolution, Sept. 16, 2011

Spencer: I don't think anyone could deny us

Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head Coach John Spencer
On the overall result:
"I think we played ever so well in the first 45 (minutes). I thought it was some of the best football I've seen in Major League Soccer this year for 45 minutes. I don't think anyone could deny us. The way we were moving side-to-side, back and wide - I thought we were a very difficult team to play against in the first 45 (minutes)."

On the play of midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe:
"He keeps telling me that his best position is up front and I don't think he's far from wrong, to be honest. His hold-up play, link-up play was superb. His movement was dynamic, lightening quick. From the first minute, you could tell the back four were very wary of his pace. He was head and shoulders above anyone walking on that field tonight."

On the playoff hunt:
"I said to the guys don't worry about it, we've got other games to play. Obviously, people are looking into it and saying our road form isn't the best. We want to win our home games, you need to win your home games in order to make the playoffs, but there's still going to be opportunities if we don't win at home. I think in the Philadelphia game last week, we came out with a lot of maturity from that game. ... Tonight, I thought we showed a lot of flair, a lot of character, a lot of great movement. At the end of the day I think you could say we were well worthy of the three points."

On moving forward:
"We'll rest this weekend, watch the games that are going to be played in Major League Soccer and then we will face a very tough San Jose team that have one of the most naturally-gifted finishers in Chris Wondoloski. When they come up here they're going to pose an unbelievable threat."

Forward Kenny Cooper
On scoring and getting a victory:
"It always feels good to score whether it's yourself or the team. We were fortunate enough to get three (goals) tonight and I thought we created a lot of great chances. The most important part is that win. I thought collectively it was just a great performance from Troy (Perkins) all the way through the team. Another clean sheet, another home win, so it puts us in a great position now. The goal is to be in that same great position come the end of the season."

On playing with Darlington Nagbe at forward:
"I really enjoyed it. Darlington is an incredible talent and we're real fortunate to have him here. He's shown his quality throughout the year. He scored one of the best goals that I've seen earlier on (against Sporting KC), and I'm happy for him that he got another well-deserved goal. You can just see he has so many amazing qualities on and off the ball."

On his embrace with head coach John Spencer after scoring:
"I certainly feel deep appreciation to John for the faith he's shown in me this year. I'm certainly hungry to repay the faith he has shown in me. I wanted to get a goal for him and I was fortunate to get on the end of a great ball from Chewy (Mike Chabala)."

Midfielder Diego Chara (Translated from Spanish)
On the win's meaning:
"It means a lot. We worked very hard during the week to get this victory and we finally got it and we're very happy."

On feeling more comfortable playing now than when he first arrived in Portland:
"Yes, I feel a lot better and now I know my teammates a lot better and you can see that on the field."

Midfielder/Forward Darlington Nagbe
On his goal:
"I saw Kalif (Alhassan) cross it and I just tried to get it on target and luckily it got in the corner and went it."

On the first half:
"The first half was great, some of the best stuff we've done all season, I think we're happy with that. We made sure we came out in the second half and continued to attack."

On playing up front:
"It's just a different position, it's different from my wide (midfield position), different surroundings. I felt like it was just natural and I just went out there and did what coach told me to do."

On his performance:
"I felt that was my best overall performance so far this season and I'm happy that we won."

New England Revolution Quotes

Head Coach Steve Nicol
On playing from behind:
"The one thing we talked about was not backing off and defending in our penalty box. Maybe we didn't understand because that was basic stuff we did wrong. We didn't close the cross and you've got to try and stop the cross to begin with but you can't be standing in your own six yard box that's just suicide."

On attempting to comeback:
"It's too late, you're two-nil down. I think it took us 40 minutes before we actually had a decent line. You can't play away from home and give teams two goals to start and then try and chase the game. Our back four in the first half, that's why we lost the game tonight."

On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"Fantastic, definitely a great advantage for the home team."

Defender Darrius Barnes,
On going down 1-0:
"The early goal hurts us, from that point on we're just chasing the game and it just kind of takes the air out of everybody when we give up a goal like that. I don't think they did anything spectacular to beat us, I don't think they're 3-0 better than us. We just gave up some really weak goals tonight and it cost us."

On trying to respond:
"When they get that goal, you want to have that mental toughness to battle back and fight and get one back. Unfortunately, it didn't come tonight."

On pace of play:
"Especially in the second half we did a good job of closing the ball down and stepping up and not giving them time on the ball. They do have a little bit of pace and some quality, especially up front and I think we did a good job of closing that down it's just unfortunate we gave up another weak goal in the second half off, pretty much a free header and that pretty much takes the wind out of us."

Notes:

  • Friday’s match was the first of two matches this season at JELD-WEN Field featuring an expanded seating capacity of 20,323. The other match will be Portland’s regular-season home finale on Oct. 14 against the Houston Dynamo.
     
  • With four straight wins at home, the Timbers are one shy of matching their MLS club record of five set earlier this season when they won their first five home matches (April 14-May 21).
     
  • The Timbers have sold out all 15 league home matches at JELD-WEN Field this season.
     
  • Both of Chara’s goals this season have come inside the first 10 minutes of a match. His netted his first goal of the season in the second minute against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Aug. 20, at JELD-WEN Field.
     
  • The Timbers went 23 days between matches at JELD-WEN Field; the longest stretch between home games during their inaugural MLS campaign. Prior to Friday, the Timbers’ last home match was Aug. 24 against Chivas USA.
     
  • Alhassan’s assist against the Revolution was his first assist in 17 matches, with the last coming in a 1-0 win over Columbus at home on May 21.
     
  • Lovel Palmer’s assist was his first as a member of the Timbers. He had a shot rattle off the right post in the 38th minute.
     
  • Perkins’ eighth shutout matched a career high for clean sheets in a single season, a mark he reached twice previously while with D.C. United in 2006 and 2007.
     
  • For the fifth time this season, the Timbers took a two-goal lead into halftime. When ahead by two goals at the break, the Timbers are a perfect 5-0-0.
     
  • Friday’s match was the Timbers’ final nationally televised match of the regular season. In all, Portland was 5-1-0 in national TV games at JELD-WEN Field, including a 3-0-0 mark on FOX Soccer.
     
  • With the three goals scored against the Revs, the Timbers have scored 29 goals at JELD-WEN Field, which leads the league in goals scored at home.
     
  • Portland owns a 9-4-2 record in league play at JELD-WEN Field.
     
  • The Timbers wore their “Rose City” red kits Friday against the Revolution. Portland is 2-1-2 when wearing their secondary strips, including a 2-1-0 mark at home.
     
  • When scoring the first goal of a match, the Timbers are 10-1-2. Additionally, Portland improves to 3-0-1 when scoring three or more goals in a match.
     
  • Missing most of the week due to illness, Timbers forward Jorge Perlaza missed his first match of the season; he was available for selection against New England. Cooper is the only Timbers player to have played in all 28 of the team’s league matches in 2011.