Quotes & Notes - D.C. United: 0, Portland Timbers: 2 - May 25, 2013

Timbers lead MLS in goals scored (22), second half goals (17) and goals on the road (12)

Frederic Piquionne, Timbers @ DCU, 5.25.13

Photo Credit: 
(USA Today Sports Images)

Quotes: Portland Timbers at D.C. United

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On if tonight’s win makes a statement:
“No we’re not in it to make statements. We’re in it to move along and be at the top of the table and hopefully be the last team standing at the end of the season. So we’re going to go about our business and put our shift in each and every week and every game. We’re going to remain business-like. In the locker room we’re going to remain humble. We are happy. So we’ll move on and move on to Wednesday’s game and the U.S. Open Cup.”

On Darlington Nagbe’s role with Diego Valeri out of the lineup:
“Well, we played [Nagbe] wide and then brought him inside as the game wore on. He scored the goal when we brought him in and I think he did well. I thought he was one of the better players on the day and he really gave D.C. [United] a lot of trouble when he was on the ball and was able to drive and create things.”

On Pa Modou Kah’s play in his debut: 
“He reads the game well. He’s a smart player and he knows how to read the line. He’s a good communicator. You saw his experience at times. You saw a few times as well where the chemistry wasn’t there. But overall I think they played great for the first time out.”

On getting results on the road even as the scheme changes:
“It’s a great sign. We got a great locker room and these guys have taken ownership of this team and as much as I’m leading the ship, they’re also driving the team internally as well. And that’s always important in any winning team; actually having a group of guys on the field that are internally motivated and driving the group. We’ve got that great leadership and a lot of maturity in our team as well. And we try to build it that way, and so far so good. But it’s a long season and we’ve not done anything yet and we got to keep going and this is just three points. It’s nothing more than that. So we’ll move on and get back to work.”

On the recent performances from Rodney Wallace:
“[Rodney Wallace] is having a tremendous year. To win games you’ve got to have guys that are performing and we’re getting guys that are performing well. You won’t get results consistently unless you get guys that are coming to life and Rodney is one of them. Rodney’s a great kid. He’s a wonderful player. He’s really coming to life. I always felt he had the talent to be a tremendous player in MLS and he’s really showing it this year.”

Timbers defender Pa Modou Kah
On his MLS debut: 
“It’s a team sport, and the back line and the whole team we did our job. Sometimes it’s not pretty, but you dig in and you got to get a win. So that’s most important thing. And we kept a clean sheet. And that’s always important when you’re a defender and a goalkeeper to feel the confidence that we can keep a clean sheet.

“It was nice to get a game in. It’s been some time now. But we won the game as a team.  And that’s very important because I think the Portland Timbers have something very special and I feel very lucky to be in the organization.”

Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace
On the game:
“It’s a good win. It’s yet another win that is going to take us up higher on the table. We’re not content with these results. We want to keep going forward and we want to be in first place. So we got to keep working, but we’re obviously happy with the result.”

On Portland’s ability to win on the road:
“We have a fighting spirit. We never want to give up. We wanted to come up in this game and be a goal up on these guys the first half and we were able to get that and we were able to get the second goal. I think that we took our foot off the pedal in the second half a little bit, but we made a good play with Ryan Johnson and Darlington Nagbe was able to get the second goal.”

On his goal:
“It was a great play from [Frederic] Piquionne. He found me open and I was able to finish near post.”

Timbers midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe
On getting a result on the road:
“It feels good. It means the team is doing well in the system and everything is working. Our guys are happy about that. We had guys come off the bench today and do a good job.”

On the timing of his goal:
“It was good timing. We talked about getting the second goal. If we got the second goal then we had a good chance to win this game. So once we got the second goal and kept the ball a little bit better, not as much as we wanted to, we killed the game a little bit.”

On Portland’s unbeaten streak:
“I don’t think it’s a big deal. We’re happy with where we are and we know we can still do better, but I feel like that’s the greatest thing. We didn’t play our best game, but we had a good sequence and still came away with the win.”

D.C. United Quotes

United head coach Ben Olsen
Thoughts on if there was a handball in the box and if it affected the outcome of the match:
“That wasn’t the reason why we lost the game. It certainly didn’t help us out. That doesn’t excuse us for giving up goals the way we do. It’s embarrassing how soft we are, everywhere around the field. The lack of anger that a few of our guys play with, the lack of a chip on some of our guys’ shoulders is mind-boggling to me. Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon? Any day of the week. Carlos Ruiz? Any day of the week. But I’ll tell you what: we have a long way to go.”

On giving the start to Carlos Ruiz tonight:
“Everybody else has gotten a shot on this team. He deserved it, and I thought he did well. For 45-50 minutes, I thought he brought some real soccer up there. I think he held up some balls. I thought he had a real positive match, and I’m happy he got out on the field. He’s knocked down my door numerous times saying, ‘Give me a chance.’ It certainly wasn’t on him tonight. Yeah, we didn’t score a goal, but I still believe that offensively at some point, we’ll get our guys on the field. We’re going to get new guys in here to help us because we’re not good enough. It seems like we’re always a player or two short every time I fill out my starting lineup. You can put that on me, but that’s not going to continue.”

On how he views the Open Cup game on Tuesday:
“I look at it as an opportunity to win a cup – that’s how I always look at the [U.S.] Open Cup and we’ll go after that as vigorously as we can. We’ll evaluate who’s healthy and ready to go. Yeah, we take that very seriously.”

D.C. United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario
On if not starting tonight was tough on him mentally: 
“No, definitely not. I am a part of the team, so I am going to continue to work hard for these guys.” 

On the team’s defensive lapses: 
“We had a different defensive lapse, defensive mind, and it’s frustrating.”

On if the team will stick together: 
“There’s always hope, that’s the beauty of this game. There is talent in this locker room, but I don’t know if they’re using that talent to the best of its ability.” 

On the possibility of himself and Ruiz starting together: 
“Well, if you look at our track record, as goal scorers, as creators, I think it’s not a bad thing to try at least once.”

D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius
On the lineup:
“It’s just the coaching staff making chances and trying to find something that works. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t good enough tonight – just mistakes, missed chances. I look at myself first, and I didn’t think I was good enough tonight.”

On Carlos Ruiz:
“I felt Carlos [Ruiz] did pretty well holding up the ball for us and trying to get other people involved. I thought he did pretty well.”

On Dwayne De Rosario not starting:
“I think, DeRo he’s…Go ahead and look at his numbers. Go look at what he’s produced in his career. I just think it’s just the coaching staff trying to switch things up. I don’t have really much else to comment on that.”

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid
On the team’s performance:
“It was just another poor team performance and it sucks, man. It feels like we’re doing all we can, but we have chances and we don’t put them away. Defensively, we’re not doing well. I should have made some saves. I made some saves, but not enough. All around, I don’t know. I feel like we’re doing everything we can, but we’re not coming off.” 

On if he had a look on either goal:
“The first one deflected off of Korby [Chris Korb], that was shot by Rodney [Wallace]. The second one, he was 10 yards out. I tried to stay big, tried to stay up. I was put in the most difficult spot for a goalkeeper, so I don’t know. I want to make those two saves. I feel like I have a chance on every goal that comes in. That’s how a goalkeeper thinks.”

On if he is worried the team won’t stay together:
“No, I’m not worried about that. We’re still together. We approach every game with the right mindset. We’re always focused. It’s always a focused training. We’re always prepared for the matches. I don’t know. We come into the game with the right mentality, but it just doesn’t come off. Game time, things just look a little hurried, a little scattered and it just doesn’t come off right.”

On where the team goes from here:
“I don’t know. It’s the most frustrating position I have ever been in in my career. All I can do, all the team can do is keep getting better. It eats away at every single person in this locker room; it’s not a fun position to be in. Somehow we have to get ourselves out of this. We just have to keep working. It’s the only thing that we can control. Obviously, with our play, especially when you’re not playing confidently, it’s tough, but we have to get ourselves in a groove somehow.”

Notes:

  • With their second road win of the season, the Timbers extended their MLS-club record to 11 matches, which is the longest unbeaten string in MLS. Portland also owns the league’s longest unbeaten streak on the road this season at seven matches.
     
  • The Timbers’ current unbeaten run is one game shy of Sporting Kansas City’s season-long, 12-game unbeaten streak in 2012. The MLS record for longest unbeaten streak is 19 games set by FC Dallas in 2010.
     
  • With a 2-0-5 record away from home, the Timbers own MLS’s best road winning percentage at .643, and is the only club in MLS that is unbeaten on the road this season.
     
  • Portland’s overall unbeaten run on the road is eight games, dating back to Oct. 21, 2012, which is a club record.
     
  • The Timbers have scored an MLS-best 12 goals on the road this season.
     
  • The Timbers’ record of 5-1-7 (22pts) is the club’s best start to an MLS season through 13 matches. Portland is the only team in MLS with one loss.
     
  • With the win, the Timbers recorded their first win over D.C. United and the club’s first road win in the Eastern time zone since joining MLS in 2011. Portland is 1-1-2 in the all-time MLS series against United and has earned results in each of their last three meetings.
     
  • The 2-0 score line marked the Timbers largest margin of victory on the road as an MLS side.
     
  • Portland has scored two or more goals in three straight matches and in seven of their 13 matches in 2013.
     
  • The Timbers have scored 22 goals this season, which leads the league.
     
  • The Timbers are unbeaten at 4-0-2 when scoring the first goal of a match this season.
     
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and the Timbers defense recorded their first clean sheet on the road; it was their fifth shutout overall on the campaign.
     
  • Portland recorded shutouts in three of its five league games during the month, finishing with a 2-0-3 record in May.
     
  • The two shots on goal by United was a season-low by a Portland opponent this season.
     
  • Midfielder Rodney Wallace scored his fourth goal of the season in the 21st minute, setting a new career high in goals. He played his first two MLS seasons with United from 2009-10.
     
  • Wallace has provided the game-winning goal in each of the Timbers’ two road wins this season. Three of his four goals this season have come on the road.
     
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe notched his fourth goal of the season in the second half against United. He is the club’s MLS career leader in goal-scoring with 12 career MLS goals.
     
  • Nagbe’s strike in the 57th minute was the Timbers’ 17th goal scored in the second half this season, which leads the league. It also was Portland’s league-leading seventh goal scored in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
     
  • Forward Ryan Johnson recorded his fourth assist of the season and is now tied for the club lead in assists with midfielder Diego Valeri, who missed the match against United due to a hamstring injury.
     
  • Defender Jack Jewsbury recorded his first assist of the season; he is the Timbers MLS career leader in assists with 13.
     
  • Forward Frederic Piquionne made his second start of the season and recorded his first MLS assist in the match against United. Nine of Piquionne’s 11 appearances this season have come as a substitute.
     
  • Defender Pa Modou Kah made his MLS debut Saturday for the Timbers, starting and playing all 90 minutes of the shutout against United.
     
  • Defender Futty Danso was unavailable Saturday, serving a one-game, league-imposed suspension or his red card against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 18.