Quotes & Notes | Real Salt Lake 1, Portland Timbers 0 - Apr. 19, 2014

Porter: "There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to come...we’re going to keep plugging away"

Quotes: Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On if this was one of Portland’s better performances this year:
“Yeah. No doubt about it. We had better possession against the best possession team in the league. We had the better chances on the day. I thought we smelled blood in the water a little bit sixty-fifth to seventieth minute. We had three or four chances that should have been goals, and if we score one of those goals we probably walk out of here with a win. At the end of the day, they win the game because of Nick Rimando. He stands on his head. And they should give him a big bonus or make him a DP because they win that game because of him. He pulls the ball out of the upper corner [on] Gastón Fernández. Saves a point-blank save on Alvas Powell. Those are goals. And we had more. [Darlington Nagbe] had one in the first half he made a save on. And then we missed some breakaways, too, where we didn’t get it on frame. We have to do better with those. The silver lining, even though we didn’t get the result, is we were the better team today. We deserved more. We didn’t get it, but if we keep playing like we did tonight, we’re going to be fine. We’re only a couple wins away from being over the red line. Lot of draws [in the league] today, the race is still very tight. Things will turn and it’s just going to take us getting that monkey off our back and getting that first win. But I’m very pleased with how the players executed the plan. I’m very pleased overall with how we defended. They didn’t get very many chances. And I’m pleased that we had the better of the chances as well. But, we’ve got to make the plays to win the game. But you also have to credit their goalkeeper, it wasn’t always poor finishing, it was a few world-class saves that preserved the win for them.”

On if he felt this was a complete performance:
“Yeah. Especially on the road against a really good team. When you’re on the road playing a team like Salt Lake, you don’t want to be in an open game. You want the game to be tight. And the game went exactly how we wanted it to go, but like I said in the sixty-fifth to the seventy-fifth minute, before they got their goal, we had them on the ropes and we need to finish our chances when we get in that position. That’s ultimately the difference in the game.”

On the chemistry across the back line:
“Salt Lake’s one of the better attacking teams in the league, they’re very good at home, they’re used to opening teams up, they’re used to being on the ball. They didn’t get many chances and they weren’t on the ball as much as they’re used to. And that’s a real positive because we play this team another two times and for our guys to know that the game went according to plan outside of the finishing, we can certainly build on that. Not just playing them again, but playing any team, in any situation. Even though we don’t leave with a win, we should leave with some confidence and optimism moving forward.”

On the message he’ll send the team after a fine performance but frustrating result:
“It’s going to come. I’ve been around this game long enough, I’ve been around teams long enough. I’ve seen games. I’ve seen teams that don’t get results. We’re not not getting results because we’re a bad team, we’re just not making a few plays here or there. You can see our team’s organized, you can see they have a good chemistry, you can see with the flow of the game that we’re playing well enough to win games. It’s going to come. There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to come. We’ve dropped some points, but a couple results in this league and things change quickly and we’re going to keep plugging away.

Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
Overall thoughts:
“It’s all about results and we’ve got to step up and make plays. They’re plays out there that are there to be made. We have to face the reality that we have to be better.”

On if their tactical approach to the match succeeded:
“Defensively, we kept the ball, we frustrated them, but attacking-wise, it’s not good enough. You’re never going to win a game if you can’t score goals, so we’ve got to find a way to do even better than we did. For me, it’s not good enough. Saying that, we did well, but seems to be the case every single week now. So it has to change. It’s just quite simply not good enough.”

On Nick Rimando’s performance:
“I thought we had half-chances that were at him. You know, he’s a good goalkeeper, he makes the saves he’s supposed to make. For me, I don’t think he made any saves tonight that weren’t out of the ordinary for Nick. When you get in those chances, you have to get up there and bury it. You can’t just hit an inside-of-the-foot shot and hope it goes in, because it doesn’t work like that at this level. You’ve to go up there, with confidence, put your foot through the ball and score the goal. It doesn’t matter who’s in goal. If you hit the ball like you’re supposed to, it doesn’t matter.”

Timbers defender Pa Modou Kah
On if he agrees with Will Johnson that he’s tired of hearing “good performance, no points”:
“Absolutely, because sometimes it’s about the win, you know. It’s about getting goals and about getting the win. It doesn’t matter if, sometimes, you can have a bad performance and win, and that’s what happened to us today because I didn’t feel like Salt Lake had something. But you know, at the end, they got a goal and they didn’t play well but they won and sometimes that’s the way football is. So we cannot just keep on saying, ‘yeah we had a good performance, but overall, even though, it’s not looking good,’ but the hope is still there and I refuse to give up.”

On what he’ll say to his teammates, as a leader, after this game:
“For me, you learn from every game and seeing the way we played today, we played good, we had them on the ropes, we got our chances, and in soccer it’s always simple: when you get your chances, you’ve just got to make your chances, you cannot wait because on the other hand they might not have something. And there was not actually something, but [Ned Grabavoy] made something out of it and it became a goal, so at that part, we have to be more focused. But still, it is a long season. Our luck will definitely come and I believe in this team and I know that it will change – our luck will change for sure.”

Real Salt Lake Quotes

Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar
On the club’s play against Portland:
“It seems like this club’s always up for the big games. They really enjoy that battle. With some people picking Portland and some people picking us, they guys feed off those kinds of things.  Obviously, it’s at home, but they’re a good team – a fantastic team. Our guys are always up for that.”

On GK Nick Rimando’s role in preserving the win:
“Nick and I have built up an unbelievable relationship over the last eight years.  Now Daryl [Shore] has come in and is doing a fantastic job.  I’m just so happy for Nick [Rimando]. The saves were world-class, and kept our team in it at, well, timely times. Just couldn’t be more happy for him, especially with everything that’s ahead of him – just so happy for him.”

On the importance of the result:
“Even more importantly, I just wanted us to come out aggressive and play with that mentality at home. Obviously, getting three points against a Western Conference foe in front of our fans. We’ve built up a nice little rivalry with Portland.  It’s always good to get a win against them and try to put as much distance from them as we possibly can because they’re a very, very good team.”

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando
Thoughts on the rivalry against Portland:
“I don’t know. I think we’re always just up for them. They’re a good team – they like to fight, we like to fight. It just seems that whenever we play against them, we’re up for the task especially at home. We want to win; we go forward. We’re not happy with ties and tonight was another example of us really stretching the game and trying to get at them, and trying to go for that goal.”

On his multiple big saves:
“It felt fresh tonight. Two weeks of taking care of my knee, I just felt good out there and felt fresh. I guess I up to the task tonight and a little luck on my side and we can look at the defense as well, and the players in front of me. They played well and helped me out a lot. But it feels good to contribute like that, even with a couple weeks off and get three points in front of our fans.”

Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy
Thoughts on Rimando’s big saves and the energy level of the game:
“It seemed like we were kind of fighting our way through it and trying to battle our way in to their goal anyway that we could. Obviously, at the end about the last 20-15 minutes, Nick makes some unbelievable saves to secure the three points. So almost two or three of them, I’m literally getting ready to turn back with my head down and back to the half line, then it’s a corner kick. He grabs onto it and snags it. Once again, I thought our energy is great. Our energy and commitment has been great the last four or five games. I think that’s why we’re picking up so many points.”

Thoughts on chances and eventual goal:
“I had one in the first half where I was maybe a little bit further out and maybe have a chance to strike one on goal from a longer distance. But I decided to try to split the guys and he [Beckerman] is the one guy who looks at me and says, ‘you got to hit that. When you get a chance to hit it, hit it.’ I think [Joao] Plata makes a great run to really take that outside back. I think it was Jewsbury – he just basically starts to run with him. At that point, I have nowhere to basically pass the ball. I feel comfortable striking it with my left more than my right, so at that point I just thought I’d give it a hit.”

Notes:.

  • Saturday’s match was the first of three regular-season meetings with Real Salt Lake in 2014. The Timbers visit Real Salt Lake once again June 7 before playing host to their conference rival at Providence Park on Oct. 17. RSL leads the all-time MLS series against Portland.
     
  • The Timbers held the advantage in shots on goal (4-3), corner kicks (7-5) and possession (50.5 percent) against Real Salt Lake.
     
  • The Timbers attempted 403 passes against Real Salt Lake, the third-most by the club in a single game this season. The club’s 323 successful passes on Saturday marked the most by Portland in a single game on the road in 2014.
     
  • The club’s passing accuracy against Real Salt Lake was above 80 percent. At 80.16 percent, Saturday’s passing accuracy was the second-best in a game for the Timbers in 2014.
     
  • Portland’s shooting accuracy of 50 percent against Real Salt Lake is the second-highest this season, and the club’s best shooting accuracy on the road in 2014. The Timbers had eight different players attempt a shot against Real Salt Lake.
     
  • Forward Maximiliano Urruti had a shot in the 58th minute hit the crossbar. It was the seventh time this season in which a Timbers player had found the woodwork, which leads MLS.
     
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts surpassed 4,000 minutes played for the Timbers during Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake, which also marked his 140th career MLS appearance and start.
     
  • Midfielder Will Johnson played in his 155th career MLS match.
     
  • Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe made his 55th consecutive league start for the Timbers dating back to the 2012 season.
     
  • Midfielder Michael Nanchoff played 13 minutes as a substitute for the Timbers against Real Salt Lake in his season debut.