Quotes & Notes - Timbers: 2, Fire: 1, May 20, 2012
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head coach John Spencer
"We've been asking the guys for a couple of weeks now to put better service in the box, and I think we got that today; I'm happy. I think it was a fair result. I think there was probably a 10-minute period in the game in the first half where they scored an equalizer and tied the game up that they were on top of us, but apart from that, I felt the guys were pretty much in control of the game."
On scoring the first goal:
"I wouldn't say it was a relief. It's nice when we score goals. We love scoring goals here. It's just at times, we don't score as many as we want to. It'd be nice to score four goals a game. But with the run that we've been in, I think we've looked really solid in the last month at the back, midfield players have been protecting the back four and not giving away too much. I've been happy with that. The final thing that always comes is scoring goals."
On Diego Chara wearing the captain's armband with Jack Jewsbury out:
"He's an experienced player. He's played in big games. I had no hesitation. I think he leads by example, rather than leading by talking. I think the energy and the work rate that he puts into every single game is tremendous."
On holding on for the win:
"I think the guys do look fitter, do look stronger. I think mentally we've got over that hump like we did early last year; we had the same last year, conceding goals early. I think that we had to leave men back [tonight] because they were leaving men high, and obviously we were knocking the ball into the channels at the end of the game for Boyd and Jorge to hold the ball up. I think defensively, we've been sound since the Montreal game. We've looked good at the back.”
Defender Eric Brunner
On bouncing back after recent scoreless results:
"It happens. It's part of the game. You just got to deal with it, and you know it's going to be coming. We've got quality players on this team, and we've done a great job of keeping the goals out the last couple of games. Tonight was nice that we could put them in."
On the first goal of the match:
"You set the tone when you get the first goal, and I think that was one thing we wanted to do when we came out in this game. I think you get confident, but you don't get relaxed. You know that they're going to be coming, and they're obviously going to be fighting for a goal, and unfortunately one happened, but I think we battled the rest of the game. I think we put ourselves in good positions to get goals - just plain, gritty soccer."
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On the relevance of the win:
"It's a huge win, especially with some of the results that have come this weekend. It puts us really close to being right in the middle of the pack, so we get another win, and a couple results go our way, we're right up there."
On closing the game:
"We were smart [today]. When we had the ball on their half, we didn't try to go to goal, we maintained possession. We made sure they were limited in their attack options."
On team's mentality:
"We've had a chance to gel as a team. We've come a long way since last year, we've matured a lot. We're finally, I think, sorting ourselves out and finding an identity."
Chicago Fire Quotes
Head coach Frank Klopas
Overall thoughts on the match:
“It’s a little frustrating for us. I thought that we didn’t deserve to walk away with a loss. I felt that we had a five-minute start in second, but we made a few mistakes. After we gave up the goal, I felt that we were chasing from behind the rest of the game. Overall, I thought it was frustrating because I feel disappointed when we lose, but when you feel that you should have walked away with points from here it’s hard to take the loss.”
Thoughts on second half:
“I thought we had a good first half, of course we gave up a goal on a set piece; the key was to limit those opportunities. We gave up the goal but we got it right back. I felt we finished the game strong, however giving up an own goal does change the feeling of possession. I think we made it a little more difficult, but I didn’t think we had the amount of looks we wanted.”
On the own goal:
“We started to make mistakes and the key to start each half is important. We had opportunities to play up field and when we start in the back and work our way up, we can’t let the set pieces get to us. [Kris] Boyd got onto it and flicked the ball, but it hit our own player. I mean, what are you going to do? There was nothing we could do. Things like that happen and the key was to just attack the ball and not give them the opportunity to get to it anymore.”
On Jalil Anibaba’s goal:
“Sometimes you’re in the right spot for the rebounds. It’s important to know you have numbers around your ball. I thought Anibaba finished it really well.”
Thoughts going into Wednesday’s match:
“We have a quick turn around with not a lot of time. We have to asses everyone and how they’re feeling. We are going to put this game in the past and focus on what we have to take care of for Wednesday and how our guys are going to regroup to see what we need to do for our match against Dallas at home. We really miss playing [at JELD-WEN Field] with its incredible atmosphere, and it’s a pleasure for our players to experience something like this here.”
Midfielder Marco Pappa
On the result:
“I think it was a good game. We tried to play well and move the ball the best we could and Portland had their chances. When you lose you don’t feel good, and we’re looking forward to our next game.”
Midfielder Logan Pause
Overall thoughts on the match:
“I was disappointed that we dropped points because I felt that we played well enough for the win. This is a tough place to play with its great atmosphere and environment, but Portland is a tough team to play against. We have a game on Wednesday at home so we look to bounce back and get the win there.”
What to take away from the result:
“We did give up the two goals off set pieces. Portland is a handful with their set pieces and we will look to correct what we did wrong. We will quickly put it behind us.”
Thoughts on the second half:
“We were chasing the game most of the second half with being down a goal, but we felt that we could get back into this. We just needed the right opportunity to make something happen. Unfortunately, what we wanted didn’t come.”
On the own goal:
“It came quick and my first reaction was to just get something on it. It was a bummer that it went the way it did and giving up not only an own goal, but two goals off set pieces were a bit disappointing. It is part of the game of soccer, there’s not much you can do with the way the ball bounces. You just now have to shift focus and move on to the next match.”
Defender Jalil Anibaba
On the play that led to his goal:
“It came off a broken play a bit, but I saw Marco Pappa had the ball out wide and I made a short run to the box. Fortunately it landed at my feet and allowed me to take a shot towards the far post.”
Thoughts heading into Wednesday:
“We have a quick turn around and so we have to stay positive. We do have Dallas Wednesday and we are still in a good position as far as the table is concerned.”
The match against Chicago completed a run of five straight matches against Eastern Conference opponents. The Timbers are 3-2-2 against clubs from the East in 2012, and 7-10-7 overall as an MLS club.
The Timbers have won all three matches against the Fire (3-0-0) in the all-time series between the two clubs.
Portland played its first Sunday match of the 2012 campaign. In four Sunday home matches during the 2011 season, the Timbers scored 10 goals, the most of any day of the week. Overall, the Timbers are 3-3-1 in Sunday matches since joining MLS.
Portland is unbeaten in its last three home matches (2-0-1) at JELD-WEN Field, earning wins over Sporting Kansas City (April 21) and Chicago.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins set a new Timbers MLS mark for the number of consecutive minutes played without allowing a goal at 377 minutes. Entering Sunday’s match, Perkins had not allowed a goal since April 14 against the LA Galaxy. His 377-minute shutout run is tied (with Vancouver’s Joe Cannon) for the third-longest in MLS this season.
Perkins made his 40th consecutive start for the Timbers on Sunday.
The Timbers’ 11 corner kicks against the Fire set a new season high. The previous mark in 2012 was seven, reached March 12 against Philadelphia and April 21 against Sporting KC.
When scoring the opening goal of a game Timbers are 13-3-4 as an MLS club.
Portland’s nine shots against the Fire marked just the third time this season in which the club did not record double digit shot totals.
Returning to Portland’s Starting XI for the first time in two games, defender Eric Brunner made his 80th career MLS appearance on Sunday.
Brunner’s goal, the sixth of his MLS career and fourth as a Timbers player, marked Portland’s 50th goal scored as an MLS club.
The Timbers’ 341 minutes without scoring a goal was the club’s longest as an MLS side.
With captain Jack Jewsbury unavailable Sunday due to a pelvic strain, midfielder Diego Chara wore the captain’s armband against the Fire.
After starting the last two matches, Portland defender Futty Danso was unavailable for Sunday’s match against the Fire, serving a one-game, league-imposed suspension for an incident in Tuesday’s match with Houston Dynamo forward Calen Carr.
- Timbers Home Grown Player Brent Richards celebrated his 22nd birthday Sunday.