Quotes & Notes - Timbers: 1, Rapids: 0, August 31, 2012

Ricketts: I think we just played for each other. We cover each other, we play hard.

Timbers huddle, Timbers vs. Rapids, 8.31.12

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson

On winning back-to-back games for the first time this season: 
“It feels good. I think we keep asking the players to tick boxes. On a side note, we hadn’t won in the red uniform, either. It was a matter of that. We hadn’t beaten Colorado yet in our MLS existence, so as a group, try to find out what we can do and what we’re about. We’re trying to tick a lot of boxes. And for me, it was very, very important that we kept a clean sheet tonight. For Donovan [Ricketts], for the back four to actually try to have something to build off of, and we’ve kept challenging them, but to get a win and for that to be the first time all year, it’s another box we can tick. Now, my question is, can we go do something in Colorado?”

On the play of the back four: 
“[Colorado] had some chances, but we had some phenomenal chances we should have capitalized on. [David] Horst and [Hanyer] Mosquera, I thought were first class. I think they challenged for everything, their understanding was fantastic, they played with urgency. They played with a lot of maturity. I think the second half, for me, was definitely not the way we wanted to play. It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to win, and we’ve kept challenging the group to play with maturity and find a way to win. It was a good second half in many, many ways, and those two, I think, led by example.”

On taking the win into Wednesday’s match against Colorado: 
“I think we have to look at the momentum and the confidence. For us, we have to go in, we have to play a little bit better than we did in the second half, but I think we’re capable, and for me, it’s another box that as a group and a team we need to tick. We haven’t gone into Colorado and done well, so this is an opportunity for us to show that we are maturing as a team, and that we don’t have to go back to the drawing board, that we can continue to progress as a team, and that’s very, very important for us. That’ll be the main motivation, to say, ‘Can the starting 11 go again, and can we get the job done?’ Because now we’ve got a consistent starting group, with one or two people that can come in. I think the unity tonight, in the way in which we defended in the second half, showed that.”

Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts

Thoughts on the match: 
“It’s important, you know. We won the last game, and we wanted to do back-to-back victories. It wasn’t a pretty game, it wasn’t the way we normally play good passing football, but we got it done. We just got to find ways to win.”

On what was working with the back four: 
“I think we just played for each other. We cover each other, we play hard. Sometimes it’s not pretty, but we keep communicating, keep talking, and we just work out for each other.”

On getting his first shutout with the club: 
“It’s a good feeling. To get a shutout, it’s always a good feeling. It means maybe we’re doing something right. It might not be pretty, but results are being put on the board, and that’s what we want, results.”

Timbers forward Bright Dike

On his goal: 
Sal Zizzo got isolated on the wing, he’s really good at taking players on, so I left him alone and let him be on that side, and let him take him on. He got the early cross in; I was there on the end of it. Just redirected it into the goal. It was a really good pass by Sal.” 

On the match with Colorado next week: 
“It’s definitely going to be a battle. They’re going to be up for the challenge. They’re going to be gunning for us. We just got to be creative, and come up with the win.”

On finding consistency on the field
“It’s a great feeling. I’m so excited. All smiles. It’s just telling me that all this hard work to keep it going and it’s paying off. Keep moving, keep building on each performance.”

Colorado Rapids Quotes

Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja

Overall thoughts on the game: 
“I have to give credit to my players. I think for long stretches of the game I thought they dominated. We have said this many times this season and to get points we need to score goals. When the other team takes the opportunity that they have and that’s the way the game comes to us. But, I thought the boys were organized, they pushed the game all the time and were looking all the time to play soccer on the field, but once again we came out with a very disappointing result.”

Thoughts on playing Portland again so soon next Wednesday:
“At the moment we’re fighting for every game. It’s a quick turnaround for us and we’re looking forward to having them at home because there’s no doubt the boys were much better today. I have said many times and I don’t want to repeat it because it’s a lesson we don’t seem to learn - opportunities come and we have to score. It looks like something is missing on that final touch, that final pass and be accurate and finish. That will change the story of the games, it will change obviously the results. We end up again counting how many times we could have scored. But as professionals the only thing we have is to keep working and take what the game can give us.”

Thoughts on the atmosphere in his first visit to JELD-WEN Field:
“Remarkable. It’s fantastic and I think in every franchise, what we saw today was the fans and that’s the way the league is going. The desire and the passion the people are putting into the game, it just changes what the perception can be throughout the world. With MLS growing this much, especially for us, who have been here since the beginning, it has changed to the point that it is fantastic.”

Rapids midfielder Hendry Thomas

Thoughts on his first MLS match:
“It was very good. I am happy to make my debut. The truth is I am happy with my teammates, unfortunately the result wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted three points, but it’s important to focus. We have more games and those are things we need to be conscious of because we need to get better.”

Thoughts on the level of competition:
“Like always it’s very difficult. It’s a league, a very dynamic league that you have to be strong physically to get the maximum points. It’s important that it’s clear that’s the type of league I came to.”

On the atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
“A great atmosphere. I never would have thought that fans could support a team like this. It’s beautiful and it’s motivating to see a stadium like this.”

On playing Portland again so soon on Wednesday:
“They’re a very difficult team. They were a little more concentrated in the middle of the field than I think we expected and we just have to keep working to get the best out of ourselves.”

Rapids defender Drew Moor

Overall thoughts on the game:
“It was a good game. We’re unfortunate to not have anything to show for it. I thought other than the last five, seven, maybe 10 minutes of the first half where Portland were probably the better team. I thought it was a pretty even game. They always make it tough here, they certainly did tonight, but I thought defensively we were very solid. Like I said other than maybe five minutes of the first half when they got their goal... and at the end of the day we had a couple pretty good opportunities to tie it up, which I think if you look at the overall game, it would have been more of a fair result. But, when you don’t put the ball in the back of the net you get punished for it.”

On the quick turnaround between the next match with Portland on Wednesday:
“We got to put it behind us. We came into a tough atmosphere and played well, played better than we did the past couple weeks, certainly better than we did last weekend in San Jose. But, you got to put it behind you and they have to come to our place. Quick turn arounds are usually good after performances like this where you play well and you don’t get the result because you get to put it behind you quick and move forward and look forward to it.”

 

Notes:

  • The Timbers and Rapids met for the fourth time in the all-time MLS series between the two clubs on Friday; it was the second matchup of 2012. Portland and Colorado will square off again on Sept. 5, playing twice in a five-day span, to close out the season series.
     
  • The Timbers picked up their first win in the all-time MLS series against the Rapids (1-3-0). They also scored their first goal against Colorado since the very first matchup on March 19, 2011, ending a 235-minute scoreless run against the Rapids.
     
  • With the win, the Timbers earned back-to-back wins for the first time this season and for the fourth time in the club’s MLS history. Portland’s last set of consecutive victories was Aug. 20-24, 2011.
     
  • The win also made the month of August the Timbers’ most successful month of the 2012 campaign, earning eight points from the club’s five matches during the month. Portland finished August with a 2-1-2 record.
     
  • The Timbers wore their Rose City red kits at home for the third time this season. The Timbers picked up their first win in their secondary strips and remain unbeaten in Rose City red (1-0-2) at JELD-WEN Field in 2012.
     
  • Forward Bright Dike scored his second goal of the season, and second in three games, to open the scoring Friday against the Rapids. It was the first game-winning goal of his career and he becomes the fifth different Timbers player this season to score a game-winning goal.
     
  • On Dike’s goal, the Timbers have scored the opening goal in each of their last four matches (Aug. 15-31).
     
  • The Timbers are 6-2-1 in matches at JELD-WEN Field this season when they score the match’s first goal.
     
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe logged his first assist of the season. His last assist came Sept. 21, 2011, against San Jose.
     
  • With his assist, Nagbe has now recorded a goal or an assist in each of the last four matches – the longest consecutive point streak by a Timbers player this season. He is one match short of matching the Timbers’ MLS mark of five consecutive matches with a point set by Jack Jewsbury April 30-May 29, 2011.
     
  • Midfielder Sal Zizzo picked up this third assist of the season – and third in the month of August – on Dike’s first-half goal. Since being inserted into the Starting XI on Aug. 15, Zizzo has recorded one goal and three assists over the Timbers’ last four matches.
     
  • Defender Kosuke Kimura faced his former club for the first time since joining the Timbers via trade in early July. Kimura appeared in more than 100 matches over six seasons for the Rapids.
     
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts earned his first shutout as a member of the Timbers. The shutout against the Rapids was the Timbers’ first in 16 matches, with the last clean sheet coming in a scoreless road draw against the Houston Dynamo on May 15.
     
  • Ricketts played in his 98th career MLS match Friday against Colorado. Only 19 goalkeepers in MLS history have reached the century mark in games played.
     
  • Following Friday’s match, Timbers midfielder Lovel Palmer (Jamaica) and defenders Steve Purdy (El Salvador) and Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica) will depart for national team duty with their respective countries for upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
     
  • The match against the Rapids was the Timbers’ first Friday match of the 2012 campaign.
     
  • The Timbers will play three of their next four matches on the road; the club has just three remaining home matches in the 2012 regular season.