Quotes & Notes - Timbers: 2, Whitecaps: 1, August 25, 2012

Songo'o scores his first ever MLS goal, Jewsbury plays in 250th career MLS match

Franck Songo'o, Timbers vs. Whitecaps, 8.25.12

Photo Credit: 
(Getty Images)

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson

On the feeling in the locker room afterward: 
“It’s a lot better than losing. It’s a lot better than tying. I think the boys did well. I think they worked hard, I think they put in a solid effort. I think the first half we should have came in 1-0 up. It was a mystery decision and a mystery call that led to a goal, and those are the things we’ve been dealing with all year, but it’s a lot easier to talk about that when you win. I think the group effort tonight, you can see the camaraderie within the group. You can see what it meant to them to win this game. And I think it’s good for the organization, and it repays the fans for some of the pain that they’ve gone through.”

On the team able to hold on to the lead after giving it up right before halftime: 
“I think we have been maturing as a group. I think you start to look at some of the road performances, I think you look at that Toronto game, we’re unlucky not to get a PK and maybe come away with three points. The New York game, we created a lot of chances, we should have put that game away at the start of the second half. I think as a group, we’re starting to mature. We’re starting to take responsibility for what we’re doing, and I think that’s a positive. I think the guys have responded very, very well. I think when you start to look at the way which we’re playing, trying to keep the ball, trying to move it, trying to create chances and dominate games. I think getting a win like tonight solidifies what we’ve been trying to do, and it’s been a lot of work to get to this stage.”

On being in a good position in the Cascadia Cup race: 
“Winning the Cascadia Cup is something that we’ve got to focus on, to be honest, and every game in the league is very important. But I think the Cascadia Cup is extremely important to our fan base, it’s extremely important to the organization, and the players understand that. They get the rivalries. There’s a lot of games left, and for us to be in this position, I think we’re going to take each game as it comes, but it’s something that’s very important to us, and it’s something that we’ve all put a lot of effort in to.

Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts

On playing in front of the Timbers Army and the home fans for the first time: 
“It’s a good experience. When you play this game, you hope to play in front of support like that. It was good. My first experience.”

On the feeling in the locker room after the win: 
“It’s always good to win, and especially at home in front of the supporters. It’s the final stretch of the season, and you hope to put wins together to move on to get a playoff spot. It’s a good win at a good time.”

Timbers midfielder Franck Songo’o

Feelings after the win: 
“I mean, we are happy, because it’s been a long, long time without a win … In the beginning, we were trying and trying and working hard, and finally today we got the three points, so we’re happy for everyone. I think personally everyone had a good performance, and did a great job, and we have to win the Cascadia Cup, too.”

On whether he was surprised his free kick went in goal: 
“No, I just said I had to take it over the wall and to the target, and if I score, it’s fine.

On lifting his first log slice: 
“It feels nice, because I’ve been jealous of the guys sometimes when I see the log with them in the locker room. Yeah, it’s nice, but like I said, it’s about the team, about the win. So hopefully we can keep doing that.”

Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe

On what’s been working lately: 
“I just feel like everyone is playing better, not just me, and luckily I’m the one getting the end of things.”

On what the win means with the Cascadia Cup and overall: 
“Cascadia Cup, it means a lot. I think we’re ahead in the race for that, so that’s good. And in the league, hopefully we keep it going, and next week come in and get a win again.”

On how the lineup has helped him: 
“Yeah, definitely. Those guys have a lot of speed, so extra attention to them from the outside backs. And also with [Bright] Dike up there, he’s powerful and has a lot of speed, also. They’re dropping the defense, so it’s opening space up for me, Jack [Jewsbury], and Diego [Chara] and Eric [Alexander], just to move the ball around and get chances.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Quotes

Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie

Thoughts on the match:
“It was a disappointing result for us and also a disappointing performance. I don’t think we played anywhere near our best today. Probably an even game except for the way they scored their [second] goal. That cost us today. We’re in a bad spell. We’re not playing to the standard that we were before, so it’s going to be a good test for our character to see how we bounce back. I think the biggest thing today is that we didn’t give our fans a win and that’s disappointing after they’ve traveled so far two weeks in a row. It’s one of those things where we have to dig really deep. We’re going to get criticism and understandably so. I think based on that performance that wasn’t anywhere near the standard we expect from anybody. We have to turn it around.”

Pinpointing what has gone wrong for the team:
“I think over the last couple games we’re not playing quite as well as we were before. In this game today, if we look at that in isolation, I think that first of all it’s a hard place to play; it’s a small field, the ball’s bouncing around a lot, but we didn’t connect our passes and we didn’t really threaten them too much in behind. Whenever we did, we looked dangerous, but we didn’t really do that enough and we didn’t make them defend enough. Any time we did make them defend we had a couple good chances. On another night the game could easily have been tied up with the chance that Camilo had cleared off the line. When you look at the overall performance and the overall game as I did, we didn’t do enough of the things that we wanted to do. We didn’t win enough second balls and duels, we didn’t manage to get the ball under control and get it wide, we didn’t get balls in the box as much as we’d like to, we didn’t stop enough crosses coming in from them. So, that’s a lot of things adding up, and if you don’t get those things right, then you’re going to be in a difficult spot.”

Thought’s on the red card to Darren Mattocks:
“I think the thing is that discipline has been a big topic and we’ve been addressing that. The thing that’s very frustrating is there’s a point players need to take accountability too because I think it’s only three players that have over 20 cards. An issue that we’ve talked to Darren [Mattocks] about, I don’t think he’s ever malicious, I don’t think there’s any intent, but if he’s challenging and his arm is up and he connects then that can happen. He’s a young player, but he does need to learn from that because that’s something that could hold him back from being a very good player and we can’t have that. Hopefully this can be a big enough wakeup call that he can learn from it. I think all the time with us that we’re developing our team and learning and improving, but that’s a sore lesson for us tonight and for him as well.”

Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon

On the Timbers’ second goal:
“It was kind of lucky. Obviously, a mistake in goal; pretty straight forward. Honestly, it just kind of came and I’ll have to look at the handling again. I was probably a bit too casual on it. I don’t know if I took my eye off it, my grip wasn’t good, but it’s just part of being a goalie.”

Overall thoughts on the team:
“We possibly could just be in a little funk right now and mistakes are starting to get magnified with it coming to the end of the year. I think we’ll find it. I think this is one of those things where it’s time to find out who we are character-wise. It won’t define us, this game, we’ll build on it.”

Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit

Thoughts on the game:
“It’s a tough one. I think we came here with a game plan to start getting back to our original form and it didn’t happen tonight. There are a lot of disappointed people in there because of the way the game went. We had a chance to get back in it, which we did and I thought we’d come out a bit better in the second half. Sometimes things don’t go your way and we weren’t able to bounce back tonight.”

On the error that led to the Timbers’ second goal:
“It’s hard to put blame on that because sometimes that happens. Unfortunately tonight it did happen and it happened at the wrong time. I thought at that time we were starting to get into the game, keep the ball a little bit more and then all of a sudden it goes in. But, that’s the game we play, sometimes individual errors can cost you. We live and die as a team, and lose as a team, and win as a team for that matter. There’s many games where Joe [Cannon] has kept us clean and made some good saves to keep us in games. Unfortunately it didn’t go his way, but we all have to take that hit and not just blame it on him. We had other chances to tie the game and subsequently go on and win the game. There’s a lot of things you can put excuses on, but ultimately it comes down to us making sure we have the character to bounce back and that’s the only thing that matters right now.”

 

Notes:

  • Saturday’s match marked the 72nd meeting all-time between the Timbers and Whitecaps FC in a rivalry dating back to 1975 in the original North American Soccer League. The Timbers are 19-10-9 all-time against the Whitecaps in Portland.
     
  • It was the fourth MLS meeting between the two Cascadia rivals; three of the first four matchups in the MLS series have been played at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers are unbeaten against Whitecaps FC as an MLS club with a 3-0-1 record in the MLS series.
     
  • Saturday’s match counted towards the Cascadia Cup, a fan-based derby contested between the three Northwest MLS clubs – Portland, Vancouver and Seattle Sounders FC. The Timbers lead the current Cascadia Cup standings with seven points from three games (2-0-1).
     
  • Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury appeared in his 250th career MLS match on Saturday, joining a list of just 15 other active MLS field players to have reached the milestone.
     
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe became the first Timbers MLS player to score in three consecutive games when he struck for the opening goal against Whitecaps FC. The previous club mark of scoring in back-to-back matches was achieved five times all by different players – Kris Boyd, Kenny Cooper, Futty Danso, Nagbe and Rodney Wallace.
     
  • Nagbe has six goals on the season, which ranks second on the team, scoring three at home and three on the road.
     
  • On Nagbe’s goal, the Timbers have scored the opening goal in three straight matches – at Toronto FC on Aug. 15, at New York on Aug. 19 and vs. Vancouver on Aug. 25.
     
  • With the win, Portland ended an eight-match winless stretch. The Timbers have earned points from three of their last four matches, with just a single loss in that span.  
     
  • Midfielder Franck Songo’o scored his first MLS goal – the game-winner – against Whitecaps FC on Saturday. He becomes the first Timbers player in 2012 to record both a game-winning goal and a game-winning assist.
     
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who won MLS Save of the Week for Week 24, made his JELD-WEN Field debut against Whitecaps. He recorded six saves – one shy of his season-high – to pick up his first victory as a member of the Timbers.
     
  • With Ricketts’ six saves and a team save from defender Steven Smith, the Timbers matched a season-high with seven total saves against Vancouver.
     
  • Midfielder Eric Alexander logged his team-leading sixth assist Saturday against Vancouver. He has an assist in each of his last two appearances, also earning an assist on a goal by Nagbe in a 2-2 draw at Toronto FC on Aug. 15.
     
  • Alexander’s start Saturday was his 13th of the season and his first since July 21.
     
  • Midfielder Sal Zizzo made his third consecutive start this season Saturday against Vancouver. It was his first MLS start at JELD-WEN Field since Oct. 14, 2011.
     
  • The Timbers were without the services of midfielder Diego Chara due to a one-game, league-imposed suspension for caution accumulation.
     
  • Defender Kosuke Kimura made his eighth consecutive start on Saturday, wearing a protective mask over his face. He suffered a fractured nose in Portland’s last match Aug. 19 at New York and was forced to leave the pitch in the second half.
     
  • Prior to kickoff, singer, songwriter, actor and author, Storm Large, sang the United States and Canada national anthems. She attracted national attention as a contestant on the reality television show Rock Star: Supernova.