Quotes & Notes: Timbers @ Vancouver Whitecaps, Oct. 2, 2011

Spencer: One of our best performances on the road this season

Quotes: Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head Coach John Spencer
Thoughts on the match:
“I thought first and foremost this stadium was fantastic. Congratulations to everyone that has been involved in bringing the team here. I thought it was unique, unbelievable atmosphere. I thought the fan support that you guys had here today was magnificent. I have to thank our fans for making the trip up, it was a good game. It was a very difficult place to come to. Most expansion teams don’t lose their home opener and after getting beat last weekend by Seattle, they didn’t to come here today to lose, so it was a big incentive.”

On performing on the road:
“I think that was one of our best performances on the road this season. I’ve just tried to keep the guys focused on what we have to do. If we can go and win two or three of our next couple games, we have a good chance to make the playoffs, if not, we won’t get there. The table doesn’t lie at the end of the year. We deserve to be where we are. We haven’t walked through 30 weeks of the year, we have quality.”

On missing players:
“When you pick players to play for your club, you think they are good enough to be here and when you are missing players due to injury or suspension, you have to roll with the punches. You can either start pointing fingers or keep going, but our job is to make the playoffs, so we don’t give excuses.”

On fans throughout the match:
“I don’t think we took the crowd out of the game. I thought the fans cheered during the whole game and it was great to see because it’s been a difficult season and nobody likes to lose games. I’ve watched a lot of Vancouver games this season and I think they have been very unfortunate not to win more games.  For us, I thought we played well, I thought we controlled the game after the first seven to eight minutes. We settled down, got rid of the nerves, and then we started passing the ball. By the end of the game, I thought we were unlucky not to score a couple more goals.”

On upcoming matches:
“We have to play Houston, and [Dominic Kinnear’s] team is going to come well prepared and we need to start better than we did against San Jose. It’s going to be another tough game after our bye week and then we will look forward to the Dynamo game.”

Forward Kenny Cooper
Thoughts on the match:
“I thought it was an incredible team performance. Defensively, the boys were so strong back there; Troy and the back four were really strong.”

On his goal:
Diego [Chara] did a great job to find me. I’m not sure how he saw me. He is such a good two-way player. He really showed his quality, especially his offensive qualities with that pass.”

On rounding into form:
“My hope is with each week to get better and with not many games left in the season, I hope I can put in a better performance each time. It feels good to get a goal. It’s one of the best moments out there in the game. I’ve been on the right end of some really great service, so I have to credit my teammates.”

Defender Mike Chabala
Thoughts on the match:
“It’s just one of those things where Vancouver is playing for everything right now because their jobs are at stake. What can you say about these guys, it may not have been the prettiest soccer game but it was effective and the 1-0 win gets us three points.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Quotes

Head Coach Tom Soehn
Thoughts on the match:
“You come away frustrated for sure, disappointed. I didn’t think we had the best of energy in the first half and it’s hard to explain when you look at this venue and the excitement. You don’t get too many opportunities to open up a new stadium of this quality, especially against a rival.”

On the turnover that led to the goal:
“That’s just a mistake and teams punish you for mistakes.”

On the team’s energy:
“I’m just disappointed with the energy in the first half. We saw John came in and gave us a lot of life and at the end we found it, but you have to be able to do it for longer periods.”

“We created some stuff late, but we didn’t do enough in the offensive third early. I felt like Eric (Hassli) was high and we didn’t get enough support underneath him from our centre mids. When we did get isolated I don’t think we did enough in the final third to be creative.“

On falling behind:
“Well you never make it easy for yourself if you let a goal in because obviously then your trailing, and especially for us who lack experience as a first-year team. Getting behind the eight-ball isn’t good in this league; scoring first brings a lot more positive attitude to it.”

Goalkeeper Joe Cannon
Thoughts on the match:
“On that big field, you know it’s going to be difficult because they’ve guys that can play and they’ve got a lot of weapons. Looking forward, it’s just going to get tougher. Tonight I thought if we were going to come out with emotion and passion and something different, it was going to be today, but unfortunately I don’t know what happened.”

On a lack of energy:
“To be honest, I think with the whole building, it was kind of contagious from us. We had the crowd there, everyone excited and I can’t even remember the closest we got to goals in the first half, with a shot on goal. It was unfortunate, and it frustrating and disappointing all at the same time. You understand what’s going on with a long year, but to put that out in front of the greatest fans in the league is irresponsible of us. I think in the future we’ve got to find out who’s got that heart, who wants to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps. I’m not going to point any fingers and I’m no different from any guy on this team, but we just need more heart and that’s the bottom line.”

Notes:

  • Now with nine shutouts on the season, Perkins surpassed his previous career mark of eight in a single season, which he accomplished twice (2006, 2007) during his time with D.C. United.
     
  • Perkins made his 125th career MLS start on Sunday in Vancouver. He’s made 26 straight starts for Portland, which leads the team in consecutive starts.
     
  • Portland improves to 2-9-4 on the road this season.
     
  • The club’s last road win was July 16 at the Chicago Fire, which also finished in 1-0 result.
     
  • The Timbers were without the services of midfielders Jack Jewsbury (yellow-card accumulation) and Kalif Alhassan (red card) on Sunday due to one-game, league-imposed suspensions.
     
  • Central defender Eric Brunner wore the captain’s armband for the Timbers in place of the suspended Jewsbury.
     
  • With their 11th win of the season, the Timbers move into a tie with the Houston Dynamo for fourth on list for wins by an MLS expansion side in its inaugural season.
     
  • The Timbers finished their season series with Vancouver with perfect 2-0-0 record.
     
  • In matches against Cascadia rivals, the Timbers were 2-1-1 during the regular season.
     
  • Portland has just one loss in its last seven games, posting a record of 4-1-2 in that span.
     
  • With his seventh goal of the season, Cooper is now tied for the Timbers’ team lead in goals scored with Jewsbury.
     
  • Forward Jorge Perlaza returned to the Timbers’ Starting XI for the first time in four games. He has played in all but one game for the Timbers this season, missing the Sept. 16 match against New England due to illness.
     
  • The Timbers played their fifth day game of the season on Sunday. In afternoon matches, the Timbers are 2-3-0. Portland now has a record of 2-3-1 in matches played on Sunday this season.
     
  • When scoring the first goal of the match, the Timbers are 11-1-3 in 2011 and the club’s remains unbeaten at 9-0-3 when taking a lead into halftime.
     
  • The Timbers play two of their last three matches of the regular season on the road – Oct. 19 @D.C. United and Oct. 22 @Real Salt Lake.