Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 3, Chicago Red Stars 3 - July 28, 2013

Heath: "We're not just looking to get into the playoffs. We want to host"

Portland Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars Quotes

July 28, 2013

Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone

On the match:
"Obviously, Chicago is a tough team to play against. They play a very disruptive style, very physical and a lot of long balls. And I give them credit, they stuck with their game plan and they kept fighting, they fought the entire time. We were up 3-1 and they fought back and got a tie. They keep doing it. They did it against Kansas City a few games ago and then they did it again today. Obviously, we've got to be better down the home stretch, we've got to be able to hold a 3-1 lead."

On what led to Chicago's comeback:
"We lost marks in the box and just continued to allow service, and couldn't get good clearances on the ball. We had a lot of chances; we had more chances to score goals that we didn't put away. We had some open nets that we missed, we had great opportunities and we should have had four, five, or six (goals) today. Three should have been good enough, but it wasn't today because Chicago kept fighting back and fought hard and was able to get two more goals. We've got to clean that up."

On moving on to a difficult next two games:
"We'll take a look at the tape with the team and look at the things that broke down. Obviously, I'm happy that we scored three goals, it's great that we scored three goals, but you can't give up three goals when you score three. We've got to clean that up defensively and then obviously I think we had more chances where we should have scored more goals. We've got to put those chances away." 

On midfielder Mana Shim's play in the last three games:
"She's been fantastic. She's scoring goals for us, but she's also defending well, she's helping set up plays, she's winning headers as short as she is, she's winning headers in the midfield. I couldn't be happier about her play in the midfield."

On Christine Sinclair's impact in the game:
"Christine is an impact player, she impacts the game regardless of what position she's playing and whether she's scoring goals or not. Today was great, she was scoring goals, I know she wishes she had that one shot back where she missed it when the goalkeeper was out. But she's just tremendous, she helps us out in the air, she helps build up play, she's good with her back to goal, she can finish with either foot, she can finish with her head. She's just a fantastic player and had such a great impact on the game today."

On Tobin Heath's impact offensively since joining the team:
"Tobin is a world-class player. She's so technical and so clean and just so composed on the ball, she helps us get the rhythm that we need in the game and she can pass the ball, she can make the final pass. She's an all around great player. She can finish as well and she has a shot I know she wants to take back again as well." 

Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair
On her play two-goal performance against Chicago:
“Obviously as a forward it’s nice to score goals, but I would like to change the result. I can take a few positives out of the game, and I think our team can take some positives out of the game. We created a lot of chances; we scored the most goals we’ve scored in a long time. It was just a little unfortunate the last 10 minutes of the game.”

On dealing with Chicago’s aggressive push towards the end:
“I thought we were playing pretty well. We were possessing the ball, creating chances, but it seemed like every time we gave the ball away, they were just launching it forward, playing with four or five forwards and just trying to pick up anything. They’re a desperate team right now, trying to pick up points to make it into the playoffs. We need to understand that those are some teams we’re going to come up against and they’re going to fight to the end. We’re a little bitter right now with how the game ended.”

On the developing chemistry between the team’s attacking players:
“We’re finally starting to click. But Mana [Shim] has come in there these past couple of games and played tremendously. She’s gotten some important goals for us, and obviously adding a player like Tobin is only going to increase the effectiveness of your attack. She’s a tremendous soccer player. Her vision is incredible—you could see that just with the couple of assists she got today. She’s a workhorse in there for us.”

On entering the final stretch of the regular season: 
We’ve got a lot of games in a short amount of time so it’s a matter of trying to save some legs, but at the same time getting results. I think these next 10 days are going to dictate where we are in the season and what happens come playoff time. Right now, we’re battling to finish first and to host. That’s our goal.”

Thorns FC midfielder Tobin Heath
On the match:
"It's difficult. The three points were definitely there for our taking. It's a little bit frustrating and we should have done better especially towards the end of the game."

On starting to fit in with the team:
"I feel pretty good. I have a good understanding of my role and of the players around me. I think we still have room to grow and we still have areas that we can improve on and I think we'll just continue to do that. We're definitely not satisfied with where we are, so we have to get better every day."

On the right time to peak and start thinking about playoffs:
"I think right now we have to start peaking because we're not just looking to get into the playoffs. We want to host, we want to finish first, and these were a critical three points that we let slip and I think we're all going to go away from this game and feel a little bit pissed off, to be honest. I think we need to go into Wednesday's game and make sure we seal those three points."

On what the team could have done differently to manage a two-goal lead:
"I think we knew what to expect, especially with Chicago. They're really making a push for the playoffs. They need those three points, so they obviously were going to come out and give it all they had. Like you said, we kind of played into that and we made it a battle out there when we should have put the ball on the ground and played a little bit more and played through them. They're just an extremely disruptive team who has nothing to lose so that's difficult to play against, but we have to figure out a way to impose our style rather than just making it a battle out there."

On developing chemistry with Christine and gelling with teammates:
"I'm really happy with the chemistry that's starting to happen with me and Sinc. I think that's a good thing because obviously we had never played together coming into this. Obviously, Alex and I have played together, but everyone knows what to expect from them so every team is going to be focused on those two players. So, that's going to be up to us to figure out a way to get them in in difficult situations, but also to involve other people who maybe the focus isn't on and try and make our attack a bit more dynamic and less predictable - as in, going to those two players all the time."

Notes:

  • Forward Christine Sinclair is the first Thorns FC player to record two goals in a match this season.
     
  • Sinclair's four points (2 goals) is tied for the most points in a match by a Thorns FC player this year.
     
  • Midfielder Mana Shim has registered a goal in three straight games.
     
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath is the second Thorns FC player to earn a multi-assist game this season (Alex Morgan was the first, tallying two assists in a 4-3 win over FC Kansas City on June 6).
     
  • The teams’ five combined second-half goals are the most scored in the second half of a match in the NWSL this season.
     
  • With the draw, Thorns FC is now 8-0-1 when scoring first. 
     
  • Thorns FC have attempted 15 or more shots in four straight games. 
     
  • Forward Danielle Foxhoven started her second consecutive match for Portland.
     
  • Portland and Chicago completed their regular-season series on Sunday, with Thorns FC finishing with a 2-1-1 advantage.
     
  • Thorns FC's three goals on Sunday is the club's second-highest goals total this season.
     
  • The 26 combined fouls on Sunday are tied for the most aggregate fouls in a Thorns FC match this season.
     
  • Defender Kathryn Williamson has played every minute of all 17 games (1,530 minutes) for Portland this season.
     
  • Defender/midfielder Emilee O'Neil made her first appearance for Portland since June 22.
     
  • Sunday's game marked the first Thorns FC match to be broadcast nationally on FOX Soccer.