Quotes & Notes | Seattle Sounders 1, Portland Timbers 0 - Aug. 25, 2013

The Timbers’ four losses this season are the fewest in MLS

Quotes: Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders FC

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Overall thoughts on the game:
“Well, we played well. It was a very even game. For us to come in to this environment and basically go toe-to-toe with one of the most talented teams in the league and control large periods … we had chances. They had a few as well, but it was a very even game and it was a real credit to our guys, especially with the fact that we had several guys out. For us to come into this game and play as well as we did and perform as well as we did is commendable. We’re, at this point 25 games in, not surprised it was a tight game, and that’s part of the reason why we played as well as we did, because this team takes the field believing that we can beat the Seattle Sounders with 70,000 fans and with three or four guys out. That’s the expectation and that expectation is there because we’ve shown that, proven that home and away. I thought the performance was good, the mentality was good. I thought especially in the first half, we controlled large periods. I thought at times we were the better team. But, in the end, we’re going to keep suffering if we don’t find goals and if we don’t continue to sort out set pieces. This game will continue to be cruel and we’ll continue to leave games feeling disappointed unless we find goals and unless we box defend. With the way we play, with the way we built this team, with depth we have, with the mental toughness we have, with the fighting spirit we have in this locker room, we will go into every game, we will have the ball, we’ll be tough to break down defensively and we’ll be in positions to score goals. And yet, we won’t win unless we find goals and we won’t win unless we stop teams from executing set pieces. We’ve made a jump as a club and we’re pleased with where we’re at, but at the same time, we’re not satisfied and we want to continue to get better because moral victories for me, for these guys, for our owner, for our supporters, they’re empty because we’re good enough. If we weren’t good enough, we’d be saying ‘next year,’ we’d be saying ‘we’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet.’ We’re there. That was an even game. We’re right there. It’s not good enough – for me, the guys, anybody – for us to be saying at the end of games that we played well and lost, because we are good enough to win these games. And we were good enough today. I thought we played well enough to win, but in the end, you don’t deserve to win unless you find the goal, and you don’t deserve to win unless you stop guys from scoring on set pieces. And the guys know that, and they realize that. These guys just have to step up individually and they will, I have no doubt. We’ll go into the game against Salt Lake, and like most games, we’re going to have the ball, we’re going to control large periods, it’s going to be a tight game, an even game. And if we find the goal, we’ll win the game. If we don’t, then we’ll suffer again.”

On how he thought the Portland midfield performed and how the game changed after the goal:
“I thought they looked good. Very few teams probably come in here, especially with 70,000 fans and guys out, and control periods of the game, and I thought we did that, especially in the first half. When they found the goal, then it becomes a different game. Now we’re chasing, now we’re gambling, now we’re getting stretched. You don’t want to be in that position against this team because they’re very athletic and talented. With time and space they can hurt you. So I thought once they scored the first goal, to some extent, they now had more time and space to operate, which is to be expected, because we’re now pushing to try and level it. But up to that point, we really looked to be a team that was in control, a team that was pushing the game, the team that was going to be in a position to win the game. Next thing you know, there’s a set piece and the whole game changes. This is a game of moments. You lose a moment, you lose a game. You get punished. It’s cruel. I thought we had good performances across the board really from everybody. These guys played well, but they know that they have to find goals somehow. And that’s the next step in this club’s evolution.”

On if he sensed a change in the way things were going just before the goal:
“No, not really. Not at all. It was a counterattack and then a foul, a set piece. It was the type of play that happened a lot. We had a ton of those situations – we had corner kicks, we had free kicks. Again, it was a very even game and for us to be able to do that at this stage of this club’s evolution is a real credit to how far we’ve come. But none of us are satisfied because we are capable of winning these games. We’ve just got to take it up another notch.”

Timbers forward Darlington Nagbe
On the overall performance against Sounders FC:
“Overall, I felt like we had good possession during the whole game and had some chances first half. The first half was big for us. If we just would have put one away and got a goal in the first half, I feel like we would have come out in the second half and got more control of the ball and controlled the game, but when they got that first goal, it changed the game a little bit.”

Seattle Sounders FC Quotes

Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid
On his thoughts of the match: 
“Obviously we are happy with getting the win. It was a hard-fought game. It was an exciting game, for sure, for the fans. I thought it was a little more physical than it needed to be. That took a little a bit away from the quality of the game, but obviously we are pleased with being able to get a clean sheet. We are pleased the one goal was enough to give us the three points, because that was the most important thing.” 

On Eddie Johnson’s goal:
“Every player gets up to play in front of crowds like this. It was a good kick from Mauro [Rosales], Eddie rose well to get a little redirection on it to beat Ricketts with it. He’s one of the guys we look for on set pieces because we know he jumps well, along with some of the other guys going in there. Obviously it’s the set pieces that sometimes make the difference in a tight game and any player is happy score in front of a big crowd.”

On the importance of the win:
“It’s the three points, it’s winning against our rival. Those things are important. We still have games in hand on people, so we continue to gain. But it’s also just the team, the confidence, it’s the first time we had Clint with Eddie up front.”  

Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson
His thoughts of the match:
“It was a difficult game. The beginning of the game they made it difficult for me. They did a good job of making me play with my back to the goal and capitalizing on too many touches. The game opened up in the second half and we got Mauro on the field, who is a good crosser of the ball, and we’ve had a good relationship since last year. It shows how important he is to the team. For me, I did what I get paid to do—score goals in the box.”

Notes:

  • The Timbers remain tied for third in the Western Conference with the Colorado Rapids, but have a game in hand. Portland has two games in hand on first-place Real Salt Lake.
     
  • The Timbers’ four losses this season are the fewest in MLS; all four have losses have been by just one goal.
     
  • Portland is 6-2-8 against Western Conference clubs, sustaining just its second loss of the season to an in-conference opponent.
     
  • The loss was the Timbers first in Cascadia Cup play this season (0-1-3). Three of the club’s first four Cascadia Cup fixtures have been on the road.
     
  • The goal by Sounders FC was just the 12th goal allowed by the Timbers in the second half of games, second-fewest in the league.
     
  • Portland attempted nine corner kicks, matching a season-high for corner kicks on the road (9 – July 27 at San Jose). The club has recorded nine or more corner kicks in three of its last five games.
     
  • The Timbers defense allowed just three shots on goal against Sounders FC. The Timbers have held opponents to five shots on goal or less in nine of their last 10 regular-season matches.
     
  • Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe started his 39th consecutive MLS match. He is the only Timbers player to start all 25 regular-season games this season.
     
  • Nagbe and Jack Jewsbury have started all seven matches of the all-time MLS series between the Timbers and Sounders FC.
     
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts recorded two saves against Sounders FC. His second save of the night, in the 70th minute against Seattle’s Eddie Johnson, marked his 100th save as a member of the Timbers (in league play).
     
  • Midfielder Kalif Alhassan made his ninth regular-season start of the season, playing all 90 minutes.
     
  • Portland was without the services of midfielder Diego Chara due to a one-game, league-imposed suspension for caution accumulation.