Quotes & Notes: Timbers @ D.C. United, Oct. 19, 2011

Spencer: We were very unfortunate–as they were–not to score three or more goals

Quotes: Portland Timbers at D.C. United

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head Coach John Spencer
On Dwayne De Rosario:
“If [Dwayne De Rosario] doesn’t get MVP of the League there’s something wrong. Plain and simple. For the last three months of the season since he came here, he’s been the best player in the League by far – a country mile. He needs to win MVP.”

On the game:
“I think there was obviously a lot of chances at the end of the game. Two teams were just gambling trying to get that win because both of us felt that we needed it. [D.C. United] probably needed it a little bit more than us obviously because they had to win to keep their season alive. We have to go to Salt Lake this weekend and try to get a result there.”

On his team’s performance:
“I thought we played well. I thought in the first half we controlled the game. I think it was the middle of the game where we lost three or four minutes of possession, which was expected. [D.C. United] was the home team and they were fighting for their lives. Apart from that I felt that we were well worthy of the 1-0 score line at halftime. And then obviously we came out in the second half and [D.C. United] was a little bit more impetuous and went after us and got the goal to get them back into it. From there I think we were very unfortunate – as they were – not to score three or more goals.”

On officiating for game:
“I thought the officiating for tonight’s match was first class. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Jair Marrufo (referee) and thought he managed a terrific game, especially considering what was at stake for both clubs.”

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On D.C.’s final push to score in the closing minutes:
“It was expected to be honest. [D.C United] was coming out, leaving four or five guys up high, and just trying to defend with three or four guys. We knew it was coming. It was a big hectic and a bit crazy, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

On playing his former club:
“I wanted to win obviously. It would have meant a lot to the club and the guys in this locker room. A point on the road is a point on the road, but now we just have to go and hopefully the result tomorrow [between New York and Philadelphia] goes our way and we can go and get a result against [Real] Salt Lake.”

Forward Kenny Cooper
On the game:
“We got off to a good start going up 1-0 into halftime. Obviously we wanted to get three points out of this game, we’ll take the one point and keep pushing forward and keep believing and continuing with the same attitude and approach that we applied to the game tonight.”

On players stepping up:
“I think this team has a lot of depth. We lost two quality players in Darlington [Nagbe] and Sal [Zizzo] not being here, but Eric Alexander stepped in and did a fantastic job. Rodney [Wallace] came in and played incredible and had a good assist. So, this team is really strong and really deep and is capable of doing different things and playing in different formations.”

On D.C. United:
“[D.C. United] is obviously a quality team. With De Ro [Dwayne De Rosario] they have a really special player and they’re a good team. They have a lot of dangerous players, so you know the game’s not over until the final whistle is blown and I think we’re aware that with every game you play you’ve got to play the full 90-plus minutes.”

D.C. United Quotes

Head Coach Ben Olsen
On his team’s effort:
“It’s funny; it was basically my pre-game speech. Let’s go down and swing it, let’s show the people that we are completely committed out there and we’ll need to push it to the limit to get this result. [Portland] did too. I think both teams tried to give it their best effort tonight.”

Overall thoughts on the match:
“It was a bit of a blur those last 20-30 minutes, and the whole second half. But I am extremely proud of the guys tonight – I can’t believe nobody scored down that stretch. The amount of chances that were gone in the end were pretty remarkable. I have to look at it, but it seems that we had the better ones. It just wasn’t our night. Troy [Perkins] came off with a couple of saves, and they did well to put their bodies in front of us.

“I am extremely proud of the guys. Extremely disappointed that we haven’t made the playoffs. Again, I apologize to the fans and the organization. I’ll take the blame for it. I can promise you I’ll get better as a coach, and this team will get better.”

On Dwayne De Rosario:
“He’s a pretty remarkable player. I don’t know many guys with his commitment and sense of the game – it’s amazing. He took a knock, and it’s been a recurring theme in the last couple of weeks. It seems like it’s a new one every week – they are just kicking the [expletive] out of him. I would do the same thing if I was playing Dwayne De Rosario. It’s what [other players] are doing, and they [the referees] have to protect him a little bit. He’s taking all these knocks, and he labored through the first half, and somehow he found a way to put us on his back.”

On the young players:
“We got three rookies out there and two guys younger than that. Perry [Kitchen], [Chris] Korb, and Ethan [White] all played like men today. Andy [Najar] was terrific; one-on-one he is still as feared as anybody in this League. It was just that final piece that was missing tonight. It’s disappointing because there was some pretty good stuff.”

Midfielder Dwayne De Rosario
Thoughts on the match:
“It was disheartening. It is but it isn’t [disheartening] in the sense that we showed some fight… It was another learning opportunity for a lot of us. We’re happy that the supporters stuck with us through the whole game, which means a lot to us as players.”

On his shin injury:
“I’ve actually been kicked in the same spot about three games in a row now, and at halftime I didn’t think I would be able to make it. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and play for your team.”

On Blake Brettschneider’s disallowed goal:
“At the end we were unlucky to have that goal called offside – I don’t know if it was or wasn’t [offside], but it’s frustrating. It’s been a long year.”

On the game’s frantic finish:
“Yeah it was basically both teams having chances at the end. We definitely had some great opportunities, and if we had a little more hunger and a little more fight, we finish those chances. Those are things we really need how to learn – to commit to that final ball and get your body behind it… In saying that, our guys did try 100 percent tonight.”

Notes:

  • The Timbers recorded points in back-to-back road matches for the first time this season. Prior to Wednesday’s draw, the Timbers defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 on Oct. 2; a match which also featured a goal from Kenny Cooper.
     
  • Wednesday’s match was originally scheduled for Aug. 27, but was postponed due to the expected impact of Hurricane Irene, which hit the East Coast at the end of August.
     
  • The Timbers faced Dwayne De Rosario for a third time this season – each time with a different club. Portland first played against him March 26 at Toronto FC and then had De Rosario visit JELD-WEN Field with the New York Red Bulls on June 19. De Rosario recorded two goals and an assist against the Timbers in 2011.
     
  • Defender Rodney Wallace made his first start for Portland since Aug. 17 at Sporting KC; he’s started 21 matches this season at left back.
     
  • The combined 48 shots between the Timbers (22) and D.C. United (26) was the highest combined total in any Timbers match this season. Portland’s 22 shots was a season high and marked the third time in 2011 in which the club recorded 20 or more shots in a match.
     
  • Cooper has found the back of the net in four of the Timbers’ last six games. Since his recent goal-scoring run started on Sept. 16, the Timbers are 2-0-2 when he scores.
     
  • With 84 minutes played against D.C. United, Cooper is just 30 minutes shy of reaching the 10,000 minutes-played mark in his MLS career. He’s the only Timbers player in 2011 to have played in all 33 games of the campaign.
     
  • The 26 shots taken by D.C. United on Wednesday was a season-high by a Timbers opponent, and marked just the second time in 2011 in which an opponent attempted 20 or more shots against Portland; the other club – FC Dallas on June 25.
     
  • Midfielder Eric Alexander made his second start of the season for the Timbers; both of his starts with the club have come on the road.
     
  • Midfielder James Marcelin made his second start in the last three games for Portland. When Marcelin is in the starting lineup, the Timbers are 5-3-3.
     
  • Captain Jack Jewsbury made his 225th career MLS appearance on Wednesday against United.
     
  • Portland wore its “Rose City” red kits against United. Overall, the Timbers are 2-1-3 this season in their secondary strips, including an unbeaten 0-0-3 mark on the road.
     
  • When the Timbers score the first goal of a match, they have an 11-1-4 record in 2011. The Timbers also remain unbeaten at 9-0-4 when holding a lead at halftime.
     
  • Portland is 1-1-2 in its last four road matches, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Oct. 2) and drawing Philadelphia (Sept. 10) and D.C. United. Overall, the Timbers are 4-2-3 in their last nine matches (since Aug. 20).
     
  • Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins and defender Rodney Wallace made their first returns to RFK Stadium on Wednesday. Both players were members of D.C. United in 2010, and were acquired by the Timbers in separate offseason trades.
     
  • The Timbers were called offside five times in the opening 30 minutes of the match against United.
     
  • The goal by D.C. United was the 13th goal allowed by the Timbers this season between the 61-75th minute of a match, which is more than in any other 15-minute interval throughout the course of a match.
     
  • The Timbers are aiming to become the fourth MLS expansion side (created from an expansion draft) to qualify for the postseason in its inaugural season. The others to accomplish this feat: Chicago Fire (1998), Miami Fusion (1998) and Seattle Sounders FC (2009).