Quotes & Notes | FC Dallas 2, Portland Timbers 1 - Mar. 29, 2014

Johnson: "We have to keep building and realize we’re four games in to a 34-game season"

Quotes: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas
Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Overall thoughts:
“It’s tough. We’re disappointed. I can’t fault these guys, their effort, their fight, the character they showed, their spirit. That second half I thought we gave it everything we had. We obviously fought hard to get the goal back. Credit again to the guys, the mentality they had. We had chances to go 2-1. But at the end of the day, I credit Mauro Diaz. He pulled off a play. Players win games, and that play was the difference in the game.”

On the straight red cards to Watson and Harrington:
“I don’t like to dwell on things or make excuses. To be honest with you, I don’t know what the play was, I haven’t seen the tape. I haven’t gotten an explanation. But it was two players [both] getting a red. Now we go 10v10, even numbers. It was a bit unfortunate we also lost [Darlington] Nagbe at the end of the first half. That didn’t help the situation. But in the locker room, the guys weren’t going to make excuses. This team has a lot of character and what I told them was if we keep playing like that second half we’re going to end up coming out on the right end of these results. It would be easy to get down and frustrated and start worrying, but we’re not going to do that because we know we have a good team and we know what we’re capable of. It seems like I keep saying that but, at the end of the day, if we weren’t playing well I’d be worried. But we’re playing well and I thought that second half, our guys showed everything I want to see out of my team. It’s disappointing that we don’t come out with at least a point because I thought we deserved a point with the effort that they gave and yet that can’t get lost in the shuffle with not getting the result. We need to build on that and they need to keep playing like that because I thought they played with a ton of heart and that will eventually lead to results. But again, the difference on the day was Mauro Diaz pulling off a play. We had some moments, and maybe more, to pull off a play ourselves and go up 2-1 in that second half. But he scored a goal and I thought it was a special play out of a quality player. At the end of the day you’ve got to credit the kid because they got three points because of him.”

On playing 10v10 after the red cards:
“It’s a bit more of a chess match. I prepare for it mentally, because you never know when it’s going to happen. Again, we’ve had two of them in four games. Makes it very difficult, but I thought we handled it well, managed it well tactically. I thought the guys executed the second half exactly how we wanted them to. I thought, honestly, in the second half we were the better team. But we leave empty-handed. We have to move forward, and the best way to erase this feeling is to get three points versus Seattle at home in front of our supporters. We come back with two games at home now, and this thing can turn around quickly if we get a couple results.”

Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
Thoughts on the match: 
“Tough result; thought we deserved better. Give credit where it’s due, guy made a great play. We had opportunities to win the game ourselves and again we didn’t convert. You never feel great after a loss. A loss is a loss, and that’s tough to take. We have to keep building and realize we’re four games in to a 34-game season.”

Timbers defender Michael Harrington
On the play that resulted in red cards to both clubs: 
“It was basically just a little shoving match, nothing really serious. I think we had a goal kick and Watson (and I) were pushing, and Watson took a little shove at me – not sure why. I just kind of pushed him back. (It) wasn’t anything too serious, and we kept playing. I saw the assistant wave the flag and he called the center ref over and said we both needed to be kicked out of the game.”

FC Dallas Quotes

FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja

General thoughts on the match:
“It was a very exciting game for the fans who came out to support us. You could feel the energy from the fans and the energy they provided from the stands was awesome. Another thing was that the character and effort displayed from our players today was outstanding. There were also some beautiful goals that the audience enjoyed in front of a very good rival with a coach who we respect. They were a team that did a very good job last year and they measured us now to see where we are.”

On Watson’s red card:
“It happened too fast from where we were [to see]. The explanation from the referees was that there was retaliation, but I did not see anything. I have to see the video. I spoke with the player and he said that he did not do anything. We have to respect the law and sometimes we may disagree, but that's the way it is.”

FC Dallas defender Kellyn Acosta
On the physicality of the game:
“(With) both teams fighting for three points, of course it's going to be like that. Both teams were working hard, 10-on-10, so there was a lot of space. It was kind of a back-and-forth game, and we kept pushing and pushing.”

On his assist to Blas Perez in the first half:
“I just recognized their spacing at the back post, usually that would be Je-Vaughn's position, so I just found my moment to step forward and luckily the ball found me and I headed  it across the goal and Blas got onto the end of it.”

FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Diaz
On the play that led to the game-winning goal: 
“The ball bounced around in the box, and it was just there for me. I didn't have any doubts about taking the shot.”

On the team's performance:
“The first 15-20 minutes, it was a little difficult. We struggled a little bit trying to keep possession, but after that we played well, found our game, found our goal. And in the second half, it was a lucky bounce and they got their goal, but we never put our heads down. We kept fighting and then we got our second goal and the whole team fought.”

Notes:.

  • The Timbers had a four-game unbeaten run in the all-time MLS series against FC Dallas come to an end in the 2-1 loss on Saturday. The last time Portland lost a match to FC Dallas was July 21, 2012, in Frisco, Texas.
     
  • With the win, FC Dallas levels the all-time MLS series against Portland at 3-3-3. The Timbers have earned a result in six of the last eight league matchups against FC Dallas.
     
  • The Timbers held FC Dallas, the league’s highest-scoring club this season, to their lowest shot total at home (9 shots) since March 2, 2013, when the club attempted eight shots in a 1-0 win against Colorado.
     
  • On Saturday, Portland’s defense did not allow FC Dallas their first shot attempt until the 27th minute.
     
  • The game’s opening goal by Blas Pérez was the first goal conceded by the Timbers this season from the run of play.
     
  • Midfielder Diego Valeri attempted a team-high five shots, putting three on frame. He has attempted four or more shots in three of the club’s first four games of the regular season.
     
  • Valeri’s three shots on goal Saturday tied a Timbers MLS single-game record, a mark he has achieved on four previous occasions. It also ties a single-game high by a Timbers player against FC Dallas.
     
  • For the first time in the club’s MLS history, which spans 106 regular-season matches, the Timbers were issued red cards in back-to-back matches.
     
  • Defender Michael Harrington was issued the first red card of his MLS career in the 39th minute against FC Dallas, which ended his consecutive minutes played streak at 1,749 dating back to the 2013 season.
     
  • Portland’s Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe each made the 90th start of their respective MLS careers on Saturday against FC Dallas.
     
  • Saturday’s match marked the 52nd consecutive start for Nagbe, who has played in 71 of the club’s last 72 games dating back to the start of the 2012 season.
     
  • With Donovan Ricketts serving a league-imposed suspension for his red card last weekend, goalkeeper Andrew Weber made his first MLS start for the Timbers against FC Dallas and recorded a save in each half.
     
  • Midfielder Kalif Alhassan made a substitute appearance Saturday against FC Dallas; it was the 80th appearance of his MLS career.