Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 4, Seattle Sounders 4 - Apr. 5, 2014

The Timbers extended their regular-season, home unbeaten streak to 18 matches

Michael Harrington, Timbers vs. Sounders, 4.5.14

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Overall thoughts on the match:
“The competitor in me is dejected, and I’ve got a locker room of guys that are competitors and they’re used to winning and that’s what they knew last year, 29 games out of 34, we got a point or better. We got another point, that’s the positive and we’ve got to remember that and remind yourself that we didn’t lose, but you can’t be satisfied being up 4-2 and giving away two points late in the game. The coach in me is very encouraged by a lot of the things I saw today. The game comes down to both sides of the ball, two sides of the coin, you’ve obviously got the attacking side and the defending side. I thought the attacking side was electric and the chemistry was as good as I’ve seen. The frustrating part, on the other side of the coin, is that I thought we actually pressed Seattle very well on the day. I thought we were pretty organized the majority of the game. Any game against good teams and good players you’re going to give up some looks, but I thought for the majority of the game we defended well, but we made big individual mistakes that cost us three points. It’s tough, because we had our foot on their throat at 4-2, could have got the fifth goal. We had several chances, but you shouldn’t need to get the fifth goal when you’re up 4-2. For me, the way we played in the attack was encouraging, but the mistakes that we made in around our box, in around our backs, as encouraging as our performance was, that part of our team was very discouraging and concerning. It’s one thing if your organization is leading to mistakes; I don’t think that’s the case. I thought, overall, the way we played allowed us to score four goals and allowed us to dictate large portions of the game. The way the game was going, at 4-2, there was no feeling, with the flow or what you’re feeling, that the game was going to turn. A game sometimes turns when players make mistakes around the goal, and I thought the third goal, for me, has nothing to do with organization, it has to do with making plays, stopping a service and tracking one of the best players on the field – Clint Dempsey. We made some mistakes individually that led to us giving up four goals, and you should never give up four goals and you should never tie a game when you score four goals. Obviously, a bit unlucky [with] another PK, but again, I’ve said this – you make your own luck.”

On the positive takeaways from the match:
“Again, the coach in me is very encouraged with a lot of things to build on, a lot of positives. Diego Valeri, I thought was back to himself, absolutely tremendous today, got his first goal, he will be unlocked now. Maxi Urruti, I thought really had a solid game, got his first goal. I thought Kalif [Alhassan] and Darlington [Nagbe] were very threatening today. I thought the midfield, Will Johnson and [Diego] Chara, were also tremendous today. Alvas Powell brought something today as well. I thought there were some other guys that underperformed and who made plays and made mistakes. That’s me being honest. That needs to change, because you can’t win games if you’re going to make individual errors in critical moments. We’ve got to be able to shut that game down, and shutting it down means you’re making plays, stopping guys from serving, you’re tracking runners, because late in the game you know guys are going to get a little bit more reckless throwing numbers forward, throwing balls forward. To win games, we have to stop guys from getting service in the box and be able to cut off crosses, because late in games, this is what teams will do.”

On conceding a late penalty kick against Sounders FC:
“I haven’t seen the call, so it’s hard for me to say if it’s a good call or a bad call. We only gave up, last year – in the entire year – [five] PKs and we’ve already given up four through five games, so why is that? Part maybe on some it’s questionable calls, part maybe it’s why are we in that situation and why aren’t we stopping guys and moving our feet instead of diving in and putting the ref in a position to make a call. Unfortunate to have to pull Darlington out of the game, he was cramped up. I don’t think that helped us. But we’d all be undefeated managing Hindsight United. You wish you can go back and change things. These are things that you reflect on and, at the end of the day, it’s my job to sort it out. Every game you’re sorting things out, mistakes, by one of three things: you’re either changing personnel, you’re either changing your organization, structure, system, game plan, or you’re reinforcing things better in training. Those are things that I’ll look at and reflect on. I think we made some good moves for this game. I thought Alvas [Powell] really helped us and brought a little bit more team speed and more width. I thought Kalif was very good today. Like I said, there’s a lot of really encouraging things to build on.”

On Seattle midfielder Clint Dempsey:
“We talk about every opponent and the key players. For me, it’s about managing his movement. I thought we did that pretty well, but he got loose a few times and he punished us. You can’t let that happen. I thought overall he was mostly effective late when they pushed a bunch of numbers forward, and we didn’t pick up his runs out of midfield well enough. I think it comes down to are we tracking him, are we picking him up as he gets into the back line. He got himself freed up there late by playing a little bit more direct. I think for the majority of the game, we managed him okay, but he also showed why he’s one of the best players in our country.”

On the play of midfielder Diego Chara:
“I haven’t really talked to him about taking more shots. Will [Johnson] and Chara, they pick and choose their moments to bomb on and get in the attack. With the front three and the attacking mid, we need the fifth number there – or fifth number with the outside backs – so we talk about them picking moments to make late runs and get forward. He gets forward quite a bit. He’s missed some chances over his career, but for him to smack two goals from the top of the 18, that’s a real positive. If we weren’t getting good performances out of guys I’d be really worried, but if I’m rating my players, the majority of them, you’re getting an eight or a nine today, but the problem is there’s a couple guys who are a five or six, or less, and that ultimately led to goals given up.”

On his patience with the team:
“They know when I’m not happy and when I am happy. I try to have an honest dialogue with them where they know when I tell them it’s good, it’s good and when it’s bad, it’s bad. There is a trust there, because I’m honest and I don’t spin it too positive or too negative, but try to be spot on. They listen and know that it’s accurate for the most part and needs to change. You’ve got some guys over there hanging their heads that know they didn’t do good enough and it’s a big reason why we didn’t get it done today. It’s not that I’m going to abandon them, but there also needs to be accountability at this level. To be a professional player, you’re looking for certain things in certain roles. Just like the attackers, it’s their job to create goals and I thought they were tremendous in the attack. Not even just in the attack, but in terms of their pressure and our overall play and organization, I thought was fantastic. But, there were too many times where guys got loose in and around the box, and we’re not getting guys making plays enough there.”

On the lineup changes:
“I think winning and creating in the attack a lot of times comes down to chemistry and there have been some games where my hands have been tied as far as decisions because of injuries and things. This was another game where I had my hands tied a little bit with a few guys, but overall I felt like we needed a bit more width, a little bit more team speed, a little bit more 1-v-1 ability wide and it has nothing to do with me ‘demoting’ anyone, it has everything to do with me trying to have a sense and a feel of what the best chemistry would be. I thought the moves helped. We played better in the attack and pressed better as well, and that’s a big part of our DNA. It’s being dynamic, it’s being skillful and intelligent in how we connect and combine, but you have to be dynamic 1-v-1 and you have to be dynamic in penetrating and threatening off the ball. If you don’t, you die in beauty, you have too much of the ball, you don’t penetrate enough and you don’t have enough purpose and you don’t create enough. I think having two wingers that run at guys and wingers that get in behind helped us today. I also think the pressure and the energy there – which is another part of our DNA, the defending side, the pressure – was better today. There’s not much that I’m worried about, but there are a couple big things that I’m worried about. It’s my job to correct those things, and I will correct them.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (through a translator)
On scoring two goals: 
“I feel good, but obviously, not completely happy with the game. We should have won that game. So to score two goals for me is good, but I’d rather see a win than see two goals.”

On scoring on his birthday:
“It is definitely special to score two goals on my birthday, but like I said earlier, to win the game would be greater satisfaction. We have to keep working hard until we do that.”

On the team scoring four goals:
“The offense was clicking today. It’s been coming along the last couple of games and today, fortunately enough, it did come along. The offense was good, but I’m also a defensive player so I’m also thinking of the defensive lapses and how we can correct those.”

Timbers defender Pa Modou Kah
On the team’s performance: 
“As a whole team, we played well. We conceded an early goal, but we came back to get a 2-1 lead. Then we conceded another one, but we had the belief. In the second half, we scored two goals, but to give away two goals at the end … The good thing is we scored four, but we’ve got to win this game, we have to make sure that they don’t come back.”

On conceding two late goals: 
“I think everybody is disappointed. We conceded two late goals, but on the other end you also have to credit them for not giving up and trying to score goals. It was a crazy game, and I think the fans really loved it and it was a nice TV game for everybody. As for us, we lost two points. But we still have work to do. We will keep working. The belief in this team is high and we will continue doing our job every day, every minute and just try and focus on the next game now that this game is past, and the next game is Chivas USA.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On the team scoring four goals: 
“Yes, we are glad about that, but we know that the most important thing is to win. We know that is most important. Now, we have to rest tomorrow and start thinking about Chivas USA and try to fix some mistakes to get a win next Saturday.”

On Diego Chara contributing two goals:
“I think it was the best game for him. I said to him, ‘it’s your birthday.’ That made me happy; two goals. He is very important for us.”

On the play that led to his goal: 
“A play with [Michael] Harrington, he crossed to me. Just a control on my left, turn to the other side. The only space to kick was high, so I did.”

Sounders FC Quotes

Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid
Initial thoughts on the match:
“Exciting. Great game to be a fan. Not a great game to be a coach, because it’s hard on your heart. Fantastic game for our fans, for their fans, for national TV. I think it was a great advert for soccer.”

On Clint Dempsey’s performance:
“He stepped up and played well. You know Evans and [Dempsey] are our two captains. He stepped up into the breach today. Obviously, a good first goal in the first half. He was unlucky on the one that he turned and spun the guy. Should have had maybe an assist on [Obafemi Martins]’s header, but that went wide. But he stepped up, as our team did. We were down 2-1 and we came back and we were down 4-2 and we came back. So that speaks well on our team.”

On conceding four goals:
“You’re never happy when give up four goals, but I think some of the goals that we gave up were individual mistakes. Obviously, a tremendous shot by [Diego] Chara, a tremendous shot by [Maximiliano] Urruti. We didn’t step up and close the space on Chara’s shot and Urruti’s, we lose the ball, Anibaba loses the ball. He thinks maybe it’s a foul; it wasn’t. So the guy comes through on that. Another one, I think the first goal, we gave the ball away in midfield as well to them. We have to eliminate those turnovers in bad parts of the field, so we don’t give away opportunities like that. When you score four on the road, you should come away with a win, but I’m sure they feel when you score four at home, you should have a win as well.”

Thoughts on how wide open the game was:
“It’s just that kind of game. When you look at the game, you’d say ‘[Portland] probably had a little more of the ball than we did,’ but at the end of the day we had more possession than [Portland] did. It was basically 50-50. It’s just the way they play. They try to get to the flanks. We play our game, right now, maybe a little more centrally. Both teams found opportunities and it was an open game because of the fact, I think, that there were some defensive mistakes on both sides of the ball, their side and our side. That lead to the openness as well.

“Execution is always important. When you get chances, you have to finish them. For a while I was ruing that we had some good chances that we didn’t finish. At the end of the day, defensive execution is important as well.”

Sounders FC midfielder Clint Dempsey
Thoughts on the match:
“It was good. We started off well and then they took the game to us, 2-1. We got back into the game and then in the second half, conceded two, obviously, and that was frustrating. Had a mountain to climb to try and get back into the game. Credit to our team, we showed a lot of character fighting to get a point away from home against our rivals, an important point. I think it’s a building block and something that will give us a boost going into our next game.”

On scoring a hat-trick:
“Always feels good to score goals. A little bit sweeter to score against your rivals. But, like I said, at the same time, the most important thing is points. We got a point today and we need to make sure we win our games at home. Make it a fortress and that we’re getting those three points that we need because we need to make sure we push up the table. We have the quality in ourselves, that’s where we should be.”

Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin
On earning the penalty kick:
“I saw the ball just kind of rolling and I saw, I think it was Zemanski, kind of jogging after it. So I thought it’s kind of a last chance so I figured I’d sprint for the ball and I’m glad he touched me because I was trying to draw a penalty either way. Either way, if he fouled me or didn’t foul me I was going to try and draw a penalty. Glad he touched me and got the penalty and Clint had a great penalty, great game overall, a hat trick, which is what we love him to do.”

On going up against Darlington Nagbe
“There were times where I was a little overaggressive with him and he’s a guy you can’t do that with, because he’ll slip you pretty easily. There were times where I thought I did okay and times where I was in a 2v1 situation, so there’s not a lot you can do about that. That’s stuff we need to work on in practice and what I need to work on, on my own, is defending players like that. Those are the kind of players that, at the national level, are going to be there every game and maybe even better than that.”

Notes:

  • With the result against Sounders FC, the Timbers extended their regular-season, home unbeaten streak to 18 matches dating back to April 6, 2013.
     
  • Saturday’s match marked the 85th meeting in the rivalry between the Timbers and Sounders dating back to 1975.
     
  • Saturday’s match marked the 54th consecutive sellout at Providence Park since 2011.
     
  • As a result of the 4-4 draw, the Timbers improve to 4-3-4 against Sounders FC in the all-time MLS series. Portland is unbeaten in four straight games against Seattle in all competitions.
     
  • The Timbers are unbeaten in their last five home games against Sounders FC (3-0-2), and have not lost to their Cascadia rivals at Providence Park since the 2011 campaign.
     
  • The eight combined goals between the Timbers and Sounders FC ties the most scored between two clubs in the Timbers MLS history. Portland and LA Galaxy combined for eight goals on July 14, 2012, at Providence Park.
     
  • Portland’s four goals on Saturday were the most scored against Seattle as MLS rivals (since 2011). The last time the Timbers tallied four goals against the Sounders was July 17, 2004, in a 4-3 victory in overtime, with midfielder Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar providing the decisive goal in the 110th minute.
     
  • Saturday marked the fourth time in Timbers MLS history in which the club scored four or more goals in a single game. 
     
  • Midfielder Diego Chara recorded the first two-goal performance of his MLS career. His tally in the ninth minute was his first goal since Sept. 16, 2011, a span of 69 regular-season appearances between goals.
     
  • Chara becomes the eighth player in Timbers MLS history to score two goals in a single game.
     
  • Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe became the first Timbers player in the club’s MLS history to play in 100 games. Saturday marked his 53rd consecutive MLS start.
     
  • The one-minute, 33-second span between Timbers goals in the second half set a new MLS-club record for shortest span between consecutive goals.