Quotes & Notes - Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo, Oct. 14, 2011

Jewsbury: We've got to pick up our heads

Portland Timbers Quotes

Head Coach John Spencer
On where to go from here:
"I'm still telling them, we're going to try to get maximum points in the next two games whether we're 20 points out of the playoff race or not. We'll not be changing our philosophy. For us, we're going to try and look to get as many points this year as possible."

On the overall result:
"I think we never came out and started with the zest and the enthusiasm and the mobility that I expected us to, which was a little bit disappointing. We gave up one cross, a set piece that I didn't think was a foul to begin with. They had one shot at goal in the first half and one shot at goal in the second half, apart from that we were basically playing in third gear, second gear. I thought it was one-way traffic the whole night. At the end of the day, when they went two-nil up, they sat everyone back which is what you do at this time of year - you see out the game in a professional manner. I still don't think we're playing to the best of our ability."

On whether or not the pressure of a big game is affecting the club:
"Every game here is a pressurized game. We don't play small games, no disrespect to anybody, we're one of the best clubs in the country off the field. We, as players and a coaching staff, need to make us one of the best clubs in the country on the field. Great teams win championships, win trophies. We have a great fan base, a great club, a great owner, we need to bring greatness on the field and create history for ourselves. This is what we're trying to build here."

On the game's physicality:
"I know Houston very well. It's a big part of the modern game. If you're not physical and you don't have desire and hunger to close your opponent down and win tackles, then you aren't going to win games. That's a big part of Houston's game that when you don't have the ball you're going to have to be aggressive."

Defender Mike Chabala
On the overall result:
"I don't think we, as a group, would say that we played our best. It was a massive game. We got ourselves so close with all the points over the past two months, but I think Houston's a good team and they've had a lot of experience in these types of games. I think it wasn't a lack of effort, I don't know if it was, maybe, too much pressure that some of the guys felt at not having experience in these types of situations. It's disappointing. The positive side is that we have two games left that are going to be very difficult on the road. Who knows what will happen? All we can do is make sure we prepare and get ready for our Wednesday game at D.C."

On the high-pressure atmosphere:
"How many games have we said that was a must win? You guys have been saying a 'must win' since August. It's just the way it is. Every game we want to win. Every game, I think, this city and the organization and the players want to win. Some days you're going to play your best, some days you're not, and I think, collectively, we can all raise our hands and say this wasn't our best game."

Midfielder Jack Jewsbury
On the result:
"I think any time you lose it's disappointing, especially in a match-up this big. We knew there was a lot to it, we knew they were going to be a tough team, they're a battle-tested team. I don't think it was a lack of effort by us, it wasn't by any means our best game today. We still had some chances, some close calls, that can change the momentum of the game. We've got to pick up our heads and we're not out of it yet."

On the players responding to the pressure:
"I think for the last month people have been telling us every game we've been playing is a must-win. When those have come up, we've done well. I thought the effort was there, but for whatever reason we didn't play our best soccer. Sometimes we're going to do that and in the beginning of the year we still got the result and that's not what happened tonight."

On the expectations and the playoff hunt:
"At the beginning of the year, a lot of people didn't have expectations for us, but this group in this locker room did and the coaching staff did. On any team, that's your goal to make it to the postseason. We're knocking on the door, it's not over yet. Obviously, this one hurts a bit more, but we're still around. We'll see what happens."

On the fan support in Portland:
"I think that's the way they've been all year. It has been unbelievable. It's something I don't think this league has ever seen before in terms of fan support. It's something I think we're all proud to be a part of. Even after a loss, it's important for us to shown how much it means for them to be there game-in, game-out."

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On the expectations placed on the team:
"That first day (John Spencer) said from the get-go that we're going to make the playoffs. That was the bar and that is what is still expected out of us. To be a successful club, you have to set your standards high. The bar is set and every year we've got to extend that bar and set it higher and higher."

On the loss and the fan support in Portland:
"It's like letting your family down. There are people, not only do they spend their hard-earned money to come see us, but they spend their time to support us and they deserve the best. Every day we come and fight for them and they do the same for us. Our heart and our thanks goes out to them."

Houston Dynamo Quotes

Head Coach Dominic Kinnear
On 2-0 result:
"It was a bit of a grind out there, there wasn't much chances either way so I'm obviously extremely happy with the win and the way the guys fought. This is a tough place to play, especially in the second half, they were chucking balls forward like crazy and bringing some pressure, but I think Tally (Hall) and the back four did a great job of not giving too many chances away and our goals were good goals and it was enough for us to get the win tonight."

On Danny Cruz's strike:
"It was a great goal tucked inside, I don't know how far out it was, but it was perfect and I'm happy for Danny it's definitely one of the good goals we've had this year."

On ties to Coach Spencer:
"Tonight, with what was at stake, obviously John and I are great friends and remain great friends, but heading into this game once the whistle blows it's an opposing head coach that you know very well. But we're both competitors and we want the same thing.

"I know the ideas he has in the game; it makes it easier for him to look at us because he knows the players. I think as far as a game this late in the season, there aren't a ton of secrets out there, so knowing John I knew one thing for sure, they were going to come out and make it tough for us."

On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"Love it, it's fantastic, it's a testament to Portland, when you talk about atmospheres in the MLS it's very tough to beat. The fans should be proud of what they've done this year so far, the team should be proud, I think it's a good team. It's a great place to play, it may be intimidating but I think the players enjoy games like this because it's great to play in front of fans like this.”

Goalkeeper Tally Hall
On result:
"It's a huge result for us, hats off to the team the defenders especially. I felt like Portland put a lot of service into the box and whipped in good balls and I thought our team fought very well to keep good position."

"It's both ends of the field; us finishing chances that we get, the guys fighting hard I thought. It was one of the hardest fought matches that we've played and we came out on top, so it's a good feeling."

On playoff race:
"We've definitely felt the playoff race. We've known for long that we need results to get in to the playoffs, so the guys have stepped up again hats off to the boys,  I can't say anything else other than they've stepped up, they've done their job and put us in a great spot."

On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"Top notch, stands were all sold out and singing the whole time it makes it difficult to communicate. It's a fun area to come to obviously for me it's a bit like coming home so I've definitely enjoyed the trip."

Midfielder Adam Moffat
On result:
"It's great to get that win, we knew it was a huge game beforehand and our last game was two weeks ago so we've been preparing. Our training's been good and we wanted to get into the best position possible to get in to the playoffs so it's a huge three points for us."

On if there were extra emotions coming back to Portland:
"There always is going against your old team, obviously the guys out there I'm good friends with, but you want to do well. You want to show them what they're missing and obviously the win is the most important thing, so I'm glad we could get that, but it's been a really good year here so I'd like (Portland) to do well."
 

Notes:

  • Midfielder Sal Zizzo left the match at halftime due to a strained left knee. He’ll be reevaluated Saturday by team physician Dr. Jonathan Greenleaf.
     
  • The 20,323 fans on hand Friday matched a club record for single-game attendance, which was first set on Sept. 16 against the New England Revolution.
     
  • In support of MLS W.O.R.K.S.’ Soccer Kicks Cancer campaign and breast cancer awareness, the Friday’s match was played with a special pink match ball and Timbers players wore pink ribbons on their jerseys as well as various pink items, including shoelaces and wristbands. Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins wore a special-edition pink goalkeeper jersey.
     
  • Prior to Friday, the Timbers’ last home loss was July 10 against Seattle Sounders FC.
     
  • Andre Hainault’s goal in the first half marked the first time the Timbers had trailed in a home match since Fredy Montero’s 74th minute goal for Seattle Sounders FC on July 10 – a span of seven home matches.
     
  • Portland finished its regular-season home slate with a record of 9-5-3. The club’s 30 goals scored at home during the regular season are tied for the league lead with Seattle.
     
  • Overall, the loss to the Dynamo was just the Timbers’ second loss in their last eight matches, posting a record of 4-2-2 in that eight-match span.
     
  • Houston became the third team this season to take all six points from the season series with the Timbers; the others are the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City. The Dynamo defeated the Timbers 2-1 on Aug. 14.
     
  • Friday’s contest marked the first time the Timbers were shutout at home since June 11 – a 1-0 loss to the Colorado.
     
  • Kenny Cooper played 74 minutes on Friday against the Dynamo. He needs to play a combined 114 minutes over the final two matches of the regular season to reach the 10,000 mark in his MLS career. He’s the only Timbers player who has played in all 32 games this season.
     
  • Friday’s loss was the Timbers’ first at home since the 2011 MLS All-Star game on July 27. Portland is 4-1-2 at JELD-WEN Field since the all-star break.
     
  • When conceding the first goal of a match this season, the Timbers are 0-13-3.
     
  • Houston was called for 20 fouls, the second-most by a Timbers’ opponent this season. The New York Red Bulls were called for 25 fouls against the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field on June 19.
     
  • All three players – Mike Chabala (Portland), Adam Moffat (Houston) and Lovel Palmer (Portland) – who were involved in the mid-season trade between the Timbers and Dynamo, started for their new respective clubs Friday.
     
  • The Timbers are aiming to become the fifth MLS expansion side to qualify for the postseason in its inaugural season. The others to accomplish this feat: Chicago Fire (1998), Miami Fusion (1998), Houston (2006) and Seattle Sounders FC (2009).
     
  • All five of the Timbers’ recent international call-ups – Futty Danso, Diego Chara, James Marcelin, Steve Purdy and Brian Umony –returned over the course of the week and were available for head coach John Spencer.
     
  • The road matches against D.C. United and Real Salt Lake close out a stretch of three matches in nine days for the Timbers as they conclude the regular season.