Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 3, Sky Blue FC 1 - July 31, 2013

Meleana Shim has scored in four straight matches

Portland Thorns FC vs. Sky Blue FC Quotes
July 31, 2013

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone
On the team’s offensive against Sky Blue FC:
“I think our offense is doing a great job. I was just told the stats on my way in here — 25 shots, 13 on goal. We’re moving in the right direction. I think we had some good finishes tonight. We showed a little bit more composure in front of the goal, which we’ve been working on, and just a little bit more focused. Scoring three goals in each of the past two games is huge for us.”

On the differences between tonight’s game and other games against Sky Blue FC:
“I think a lot of things were different. We have different people on our rosters, and obviously Sky Blue’s got a ton of injuries right now, which is unfortunate, and it looks like they sustained another one tonight. And then I think we are coming into our own now. We’re more organized defensively and our attack is putting great performances together game after game. I think the past three games we’ve had over 20 shots in every game.”

On defending the lead against Sky Blue:
“I’ve said it before, that the team, we all felt like the tie [against Chicago on Sunday] felt like a loss to us, and I love that mentality, that a tie is losing. I know everyone was ultra-focused tonight, ready for it and we were prepared for what Sky Blue was throwing at us. We held strong, we were alert on all the set pieces, and we defended in numbers, which we weren’t doing as well against Chicago.”

On the play of midfielder Meleana Shim:
“Mana is playing great. She just keeps getting better. She’s like a sponge out there in practice and in games, she just wants to learn from everyone. She and Alex and Sinc are always talking, and Tobin, and she’s just learning so much this year. I feel like every time she’s out there she’s looking to see how she can contribute to the game and how she can grow as a player.”

On the team’s preparation for its next game against FC Kansas City:
“I think we’re in a much better spot now than when we went to Kansas City and suffered the 2-0 loss. Obviously, we are going to be a little bit more fatigued than Kansas City because they didn’t have a midweek game, but having said that, we still have a few days off. We have time to rest and recover, and we’re looking forward to putting together the best match that we can against Kansas City.”

Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan
Overall thoughts on the match:
"I think last game was very physical and a physical game sometimes can mentally take you out of a game because you can't get a rhythm with the team, you're fouled every time you touch the ball and it's just not good soccer. I think today we played good soccer; it was pretty soccer. We played the game that we wanted to play and I was happy about that. Obviously, I didn't finish all my chances today but the final score was us with a win with three points and I'm happy about that. I think after getting that first goal and getting on the board and coming back after they scored early helped boost my confidence a little bit."

On the team’s offensive performance:
"I think that having the threat of Sinc playing now as forward definitely puts the opponents back line on their heels a little bit more. Also, having Tobin's energy – her ability to play-make in the midfield and thread those final passes through that we've been missing, I think – really helped us out today and the last couple of games. Coming into the end of the season I think we realize that it's must win games for us now or else we're not going to host and we're not going to get into that championship game and host in front of this amazing crowd."

On breaking down Sky Blue FC:
"Typically Sky Blue plays a high line, so knowing that, we tried to get in behind a little bit – get in behind the outside back and center back – and I think we were successful at times and fortunately that time we finished off the goal."

On the team’s response from the draw against Chicago:
"I think that tonight we were just mad about the last game and we wanted to put it behind us and we were just really thankful that we had another game a couple days later to forget last game and get after it on the field this game and that's what we did. We went down 1-0 after the first couple of minutes which was very unfortunate but we never hung our heads low, we always kept them up and got a couple goals after that and I think, as the game wore on, got a little bit more confidence also."

Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long
On her goal-scoring play:
"Basically, it was a throw in. Tobin Heath had it and I saw a space in front of me so I checked into the space and, before she threw it, I saw that Jill Loyden was off her line and my intention was to open up my body and hit it far post – a little bit lower – but it worked out perfectly."

On the team offense starting to click:
"It feels so much better. I feel like we're flowing and I think Tobin in the midfield, she just has a sense of the game where we can pass and move and you can't really teach that type of skill. She tactically just knows the game so well. Also, just playing. I like to possess it and play quick and I find [Tobin] open, so I think me holding and being able to start that is helping our midfield flow a little bit more … Also , we're just flowing as a team – Mana is playing better, Dani is great in there with possession – so they're doing a great job and I can only see it get better. It's definitely starting to settle and right at the time we need to peak, I think we're going to peak."

Thorns FC midfielder Meleana Shim
On the win against Sky Blue FC:
“It’s huge. I think that some people were critical of us because we were dropping some games at home, and obviously we let the last game slip. This time we played with the crowd in mind. We’re used to them cheering the whole game, but this time when we went up, it was like ‘no, we’re not doing this just for us, it’s for our city. They’re behind us,’ and I think that really helped.”

On the team’s emotion following the win:
“We’re just thinking one game at a time. That was a huge win for us, obviously we know we need to win out to host, and that’s a big deal for us, so we’re ecstatic.”

On the source of her four-game scoring streak:
“I think the universe is just being very kind to me; I have no idea.”

On preserving the two-goal lead:
“I think you could see that in everyone’s play. We knew that we couldn’t let them even bring one back because that would put us in a tough position. We kept the ball better. We were composed, but we also sat in a little bit and took care of the game. We had good gamesmanship towards the end.”

 

Notes:

  • Midfielder Meleana Shim has registered a goal in four straight games, a single-season record streak.
     
  • During the month of July, Shim has tallied four goals and one assist.
     
  • Forward Alex Morgan has notched a point in three straight games for the second time this season.
     
  • Morgan attempted a season-high six shots on goal on Wednesday.
     
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath has earned three assists in the last two games.
     
  • Portland's 25 shots and 13 shots on goal are both season-high marks.
     
  • Thorns FC have attempted 15 or more shots in five consecutive matches, going unbeaten in four of those five games.
     
  • Portland has scored nine goals in the last four games, including five in the second half of games.
     
  • Wednesday's win was Portland's second win this season after conceding the first goal. Thorns FC are 2-4-2 when the opponent scores first.
     
  • Thorns FC are 9-0-1 when scoring two or more goals in a game this season.
     
  • Portland is the first team in the league to record at least five wins at home and on the road.
     
  • Defender Kathryn Williamson has played every minute of all 18 games this season (1,620 minutes).
     
  • Defender Casey Ramirez made her first appearance since June 22 in a scoreless draw against Sky Blue FC. Ramirez entered Wednesday's match in the 84th minute for defender Marian Dougherty.
     
  • Thorns FC signed NWSL Supplemental Draft pick Tina Ellertson at Wednesday's roster freeze deadline. Ellertson dressed and was an available substitute against Sky Blue FC. Additionally, midfielder Nikki Washington was placed on the disabled list.
     
  • Thorns FC finished the regular-season series against Sky Blue with a 1-1-1 overall record.