Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 3, Real Salt Lake 3 - Aug. 21, 2013

Portland extended its home unbeaten streak at JELD-WEN Field to 10 games

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On the club’s emotions following the game:
“Well, if we’re being honest, I think we’re all pretty gutted not to get that three points. Obviously, it’s in our hands, 3-2. We did a heck of a job in that second half, battling back…In the end, we’re disappointed, but we don’t have time to be too disappointed. We have a big game on Sunday. I told the guys there’s some things we need to address, but mostly we need to put it behind us quickly and get to work on Seattle. We can’t have a hangover in this tight of a window. Psychologically we need to move on quickly, get ready for Seattle.”

On giving up the late goal:
“It happens. It happens all over the league, you see it with everybody. We’re not the only team that’s had it happen. Every team probably has had it happen at least once this year. That’s soccer. It can be very cruel.”

On where the club can improve moving forward:
“There are some things we need to address. The biggest one is we need to continue to play the way we played to get the goals. Obviously there was a clear shift in our urgency in that first half before we got the goal and then after we scored a goal. There was a shift, I thought, in how we played. Second half, you could see a difference in how we played to get the two goals to go up 3-2, and after that you could see a bit of a let-down. The key thing is you can’t play not to lose. When you play not to lose, you usually lose. We’re at our best when we’re proactive, when we’re pushing the game, playing with urgency, playing on the front foot. We played that way tonight to get all three goals, but the other side is when we didn’t play that way, and ultimately those were the periods that cost us.”

On what positives the team can take away:
“There’s a silver lining to this and that’s that we’re still in very good shape. They don’t make up three points on us. As much as it would have been nice for us to be at 41 with them, we’re still three points off the top of the league with games in hand, two games in hand on Salt Lake. When the dust settles, there are some positives with where we’re at. Obviously there’s not too many positives with how this game ended, but there are a lot of positives with where things are at, so we can’t let this get us so down that it affects the next game.”

Timbers defender Michael Harrington
Thoughts on the match: 
“Like any game, you can learn from it. It’s disappointing; we were in a position to win the game in the end, but the reality is that we really didn’t play well enough to win the game. We were in a position to win it but it wasn’t quite good enough for us tonight. We scored the first goal and started the game really well, which was we talked about doing. But after we scored that first goal the mentality went down a little bit, so I think the last few games that’s been a little bit of an issue as we’ve had good spells but our mentality is not there for 90 minutes, and that’s hurt us. At the end of the game when it was 3-2, we took our foot off the pedal and they end up getting back in it again, and we were even up a man. It’s a psychological, mentality thing that we need to fix, and if we do that we’re going to get results.”

On the short turnaround to the next match against Seattle:
“It will be great to move on quickly. It will take tonight and tomorrow to get over this match, and then we need to get back to work on Friday. We need to keep with the same mentality we had starting with the Dallas game, and we said we were going to take one game at a game and we’re going to keep doing that. Salt Lake is a good team, it’s just unfortunate we didn’t get the win. We’re going to take it one game at a time, and we have plenty of time to get the points we need. If the mentality is right, we’re in form, and we’re playing well, that’s what’s important.”

Timbers forward Rodney Wallace
Overall thoughts on the match:
“It’s a game we wanted to win, but it didn’t go as planned. We’re at the stage where we have to bounce back and prepare for the game in Seattle, which is very important. We can’t really dwell on this, we obviously wanted to get the three points, but it didn’t go our way. We just have to fix the things we did wrong and move on and learn from it, and push forward so we can get these three points from Seattle.”

On his goal in the first half:
“It was just a great ball from [Diego] Valeri, so I just created a little space between me and the defender and I put the ball in the net.”

Real Salt Lake Quotes

Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis
The feeling on being down a man and down a goal in second-half stoppage time: 
"I'm feeling a little bit sorry for the guys, I really was. I thought that they deserved more than what they were going to be getting. Had we walked out of here with a loss, I think the guys would have worked harder than that and deserved more. So, I'm really, really pleased that we scored that late goal and have them hold on to maintain the draw."

On the match and the result: 
"I think it's a very dangerous team we were playing there. I think that with that kind of crowd and that kind of momentum, they can get behind them. It's extremely difficult and I have a ton of respect for our opponent. I think when you enter this time of the season, you're always thinking that you want to go places for wins, but if you walk out of places with a draw at this time in the season, that has to be success."

On the tight race for the postseason: 
"I think the beauty of it all, is that typically when you're in August, you're starting to think about ‘How am I going to motivate these players?’ ‘How are we going to continue to give our best every game when there's nothing really there to fight for?’ Typically, there's somebody so far out in front that your chances of catching them are very slim. Typically, there's a lot of people down at the bottom, so your chances of not making the playoffs are very slim. So, you begin to kind of lose your way. But this year, I think every single game is being like [tonight], with that intensity, and I think that's fantastic because it should put us in a really good place for the playoffs."

Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy
On the overall feeling after the game:
"I thought we played some pretty good stuff. Obviously, the PK changed some things in the second half and the red card changed the game as well, but it was a complete battle by everybody, guys who came on as well. It's a real positive for us going forward, hopefully we can take care of business Saturday."

On coming back from a loss to LA:
"I think the loss to LA was one of those games, where you're not clean with the ball. They have two of the best forwards in the league and they punish you when they get their chances. So, I don't think it was overly terrible in that game, but in saying that, you obviously don't want to give up four goals. We gave up three goals tonight, so hopefully we can smooth these things out going forward because we are scoring goals on the other end; but I think it's there. Quickly after that LA game, maybe it's good to have another game right away to get a reaction, and to get a result up here says a lot about this group right now."

On giving up goals on set pieces:
"It could be a number of things. I'm looking sometimes and it seems like everyone is looking around and we're a bit unorganized. It shouldn't be that way, everyone should know where they're supposed to be. We need to clean that up. We can't just keep talking about it."

Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran
On the team’s performance: 
“It was a fantastic effort by Cole [Grossman], by everyone to fight throughout that on this field, on this surface, with a good team like that. At times, it's not going to be pretty. We knew it was just going to be a battle today, so I think the fact that we showed that heart, that effort, that was a big boost going forward. We needed that response after the LA game.”

On the first goal scored by Portland: 
"With set pieces, it's just about commitment, so I'm not really sure what happened on that one – we'll go back and look at it. But we take pride in not giving up things on set pieces and trying to get stuff at the other end on set pieces. So, it's a big disappointment to give up that goal but we have to move forward from it."

On the tight race for playoffs, MLS Supporters’ Shield: 
"Not since I've been in the league. It's a great race. It should be interesting coming into these last eight games. It's gonna be fun, it's gonna be a battle, and I'm happy we're right in it."

Referee Quotes (Questions submitted by pool reporter Mike Donovan)

Referee Ricardo Salazar

What was the decision-making process behind the penalty kick awarded to Real Salt Lake in the first half?

“There was a hold by the defender on the attacker, and that classifies as one of the nine penal fouls, so inside the penalty area the decision is a penalty kick.”

Was that 100 percent your call?

“Absolutely, both of them were tonight.”

 

Notes:

  • The Timbers move into second place in the Western Conference, tied with the Colorado Rapids. The Timbers have two games in hand on Colorado and conference-leader Real Salt Lake.
     
  • Portland extended its home unbeaten streak at JELD-WEN Field to 10 games (7-0-3), tied for the second-longest in MLS this season. The club’s streak is also the second-longest active streak behind San Jose’s current 12-game home unbeaten run.
     
  • Overall, the Timbers are 11-1-4 at JELD-WEN Field across all competitions in 2013.
     
  • Portland improves to 6-1-8 against Western Conference clubs in 2013, including an unbeaten record of 6-0-2 at JELD-WEN Field.
     
  • The Timbers and Real Salt Lake combined for 796 passes during the match.
     
  • With two goals in the second half against Real Salt Lake, the Timbers have scored 25 second-half goals this season, second-most in MLS. Portland’s second-half goal scoring average of 1.04 is tied with Real Salt Lake for the league lead.
     
  • The Timbers are 7-0-5 in matches in which they score the opening goal.
     
  • Portland owns the third-best record in MLS (0-2-5) when trailing at halftime; the Timbers trailed Real Salt Lake 2-1 at the break.
     
  • The Timbers have conceded 11 second-half goals, tied with Seattle Sounders FC for the fewest in MLS.
     
  • Real Salt Lake’s penalty-kick goal in the 43rd minute was the first goal allowed by the Timbers inside the final 15 minutes (30-45) of a first half this season.
     
  • Midfielder Diego Valeri’s assist on the opening goal by Rodney Wallace marked his fourth straight match with an assist, tying a Timbers MLS record for consecutive games with an assist first set by Jack Jewsbury from April 30-May 21, 2011. It was the seventh consecutive goal for the Timbers in which he assisted on.
     
  • Including his penalty kick goal in the second half, Valeri had factored into nine straight goals – either scoring or assisting on – for the Timbers – scoring two, assisting on seven.
     
  • Valeri tied a season-high with six shots, a mark he had achieved on two previous occasions – March 3 vs. New York and March 9 vs. Montreal.
     
  • Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe made his 38th consecutive regular-season start for the Timbers. He is the only Timbers player this season to start all 24 league games.
     
  • Wallace tallied his fifth goal of the season, a new career-high; it was his first-career goal vs. RSL.
     
  • Midfielder Kalif Alhassan scored his second career MLS goal in the 86th minute against RSL.
     
  • Forward Ryan Johnson made his 175th MLS regular-season appearance on Wednesday night.