Quotes & Notes | Real Salt Lake 4, Portland Timbers 2 - August 30, 2013

The loss is the Timbers’ fifth of the season, tied with Montreal for the fewest in MLS

Quotes: Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Reaction to the match:
“Well, it’s very humbling. Credit to Salt Lake, they showed why they’re the best team in the league to this point. They punished us and we weren’t good enough on the day. There were certainly some factors that played into the game. The red card at 2-1 was a pivotal moment. That certainly was a factor and with some guys out, we have a younger group that lacks experience. For us to be 2-1 – down a man, in that second half against a team the caliber of Salt Lake who has a lot of the ball, who has dynamic individual players that can hurt you – that was going to be a difficult thing to overcome, and in the end we couldn’t overcome it. But the red card wasn’t why we lost the game. We lost the game because we made mistakes, individually and collectively in our defending, and they punished us. They deserved to win. We need to evaluate this, every aspect of it, we need to take responsibility for it – not just the players, but myself – and then we need to correct it. Again, it’s very humbling.”

On the red card to Ben Zemanski at the end of the first half:
“For me it’s very disappointing. Obviously it was disappointing to be down 2-0 and again, that’s why I’m not going to say that the red card was a reason that we lost because Salt Lake was very good today. For me, to blame the loss on that red card would be unfair. Salt Lake was very good today and they’re a quality team. I tip my hat to them today. When we went 2-1, I thought we started to turn the game and if we get into halftime 2-1 at full strength, that second half is a different game. Anybody that knows Ben Zemanski knows he’s not trying to hurt anybody and he went for the tackle and he got it late but it wasn’t malicious. I thought it was unfair but you know, refs make mistakes, players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes. There were a lot of mistakes today but that was, I think, a turning point in the game.”

On the focus down the final eight games:
“We’re going to have to look at our group and figure it out. We still have eight games, which is 24 points left. So there’s plenty of points to get enough to get into the playoffs. As much as many people thought this was do or die, it’s not the case. We knew that and yet, we’re disappointed, very disappointed and humbled that we lost and the margin was as big as it was, because we’re better than that. We’re much better than we showed today.”

Timbers defender Rauwshan McKenzie
Thoughts following the match:
“With every game there’s going to be mistakes. Obviously, against a good team they’re going to punish you. That’s what happened tonight. We just gotta go back, we gotta look at tape and learn from those mistakes and hopefully they don’t happen further down in the season.”

Feelings after the red card:
“Yeah, we had just scored a goal and it happens right at the end of the first half. We get that red card right at the end of the first half, we’re chasing the game, we’re down a goal. We’re against a good team and it’s going to be hard to score another goal, two goals if you want to win.”

Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
On if injuries played a factor:
“No, we have nothing to blame but ourselves. We weren’t sharp, we weren’t aggressive and against a good team they punish you.”

On the physical nature of match:
“When you find two good teams going at it, it’s going to be a physical game. It wasn’t a dirty game, but a physical game, which is good for the sport.”

Real Salt Lake Quotes

Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis
On what was different about this particular RSL-POR match:
“Obviously, it was a fantastic start with two goals in the first fifteen minutes – the tempo, the play in the first half, what we were able to do to get at them early on – it changed the whole landscape of the match. Interestingly enough, they played with three defenders at the beginning, which I think had some tactical consequences.”

On the fear of a letdown after last week’s 4-0 win over Columbus:
“I really wasn’t [worried], but typically I am. I think, right now, we’re at that time of year where I don’t think you have to be too worried about motivating the players or getting them to respond after too good of a game or too bad of a game. I think that we all know what’s in front of us. The opportunity has presented itself for us, and I think that should mean that every game will get our maximum effort.”

Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman
On the team’s offense:
“Just a lot of movement off the ball. I think the guys are hungry for goals, confident. I think when you score goals it just breeds more confidence to get even more goals and I think that’s what’s going on right now.”

On how this game compared to RSL’s two recent matches against Portland:
“They’re really similar, I guess. They really press. They try to press, press, press. Like the first game we played them in the Open Cup, we were able to get on them early and get some goals early. It forces them to come out, but they’re a tough team. They have a formation that makes it tough to play against. They’re similar games. They’re hard-fought games. We’ve just got to keep trying to improve. Watching tape and continue to have success against them.”

Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil
On his goal: 
“It was good that we got it early in the game, and they kept coming. Overall, I think that is was a good confidence booster for me.”

On how the early goal changed the game:
“I don’t think that it changed it too much. They are still going to be aggressive, maybe a little more aggressive, but we got the second goal and that helped out. Two goals is a hard one to keep, and we got a little loose after the second goal and were not sharp, but in the second half we picked it up.”

Notes:

  • The Timbers and Real Salt Lake met for the third time in a span of 24 days during the month August between league and U.S. Open Cup play. The two clubs will complete their 2013 season series at JELD-WEN Field in the Timbers regular-season home finale on Oct. 19.
     
  • Two of the top scoring teams in the Western Conference, the Timbers and Real Salt Lake combined for 15 goals over their three games in August.
     
  • The loss is the Timbers’ fifth of the season, which is tied with the Montreal Impact for the fewest in the league.
     
  • The Timbers, along with the Colorado Rapids, have the fewest road losses in MLS (4).
     
  • The defeat marks the first time this season in which the Timbers have lost consecutive matches.
     
  • Defender Rauwshan McKenzie made his first MLS appearance as a member of the Timbers, starting on the back line against his former club Real Salt Lake. He played for RSL for two seasons from 2010-11.
     
  • Forward Darlington Nagbe, starting in his 40th consecutive league match, scored his career-best eighth goal of the season and is now tied for the team lead in goals. He is the Timbers MLS career leader in goal-scoring with 16 goals.
     
  • Nagbe’s goal was his fifth scored on the road this season, which leads the team in road scoring.
     
  • Defender Michael Harrington recorded his first assist of the season on Nagbe’s goal.
     
  • Midfielder Sal Zizzo scored his first goal of the season; it was his second-career MLS goal.
     
  • Portland is 6-3-8 against Western Conference clubs in 2013.
     
  • Midfielder Diego Valeri left the match in the 32nd minute due to an adductor strain.
     
  • Forward Bright Dike made his first appearance in the match-day roster this season since undergoing surgery for an ACL injury in February.