Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 1, LA Galaxy 1 | May 11, 2014

Porter: "We need to pick it up and we need to change that defensive trend"

Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On the result:
“Disappointed. Obviously, we get a point and keep moving up slowly. But, three points was the goal and we didn’t get that. For me, the real disappointment is Robbie Keane runs through our box, naked, and heads the ball in the goal. For me, I don’t understand how that happens and it’s been a trend. Sounding like a broken record after games because most of the goals we’ve given up are simple crosses and guys running through to head the ball in, and at this level it’s unacceptable to give up those types of goals. I always believed we’d get the goal, disappointing thing is we gave up the goal which meant, when we did find the goal, it was one point instead of three points.”

On rectifying the defensive letdowns:
“It’s got to change. If you look back on the times we’ve been burned and goals we’ve given up to drop points, it’s been the same story. Start with Seattle, third goal it gave them life, it was a ball in the box and [Clint] Dempsey’s free – best player on the field. Chivas, [Erik] Torres, best player on their team, cross, wide open. Will Bruin, best striker on their team, goal-scorer, wide open. You talk about it, you show video on it, you train it. At this level I don’t know how it happens. If we want to go anywhere as a team, we’ve got to defend crosses. Simple. Because a lot of goals in this league are scored on crosses. Set-pieces and wide service. It’s a simple thing to do, you pick up your guy, you head the ball out. We’re not picking guys up. We’re letting guys float free. We’re not making plays in there, and it’s costing us. I thought it was a very tight game, obviously it was always going to be against a really good team. There are positives to this game. We showed once again our mentality, we showed again that we’re up for any game against any team. That’s one of the best teams in the league. There’s a reason why they won MLS Cup twice. We didn’t back down, we were right there until the end, it was a tight game. That’s the way games are against good teams, you’re not going to run away from teams like this. It’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be – at times – chippy, it’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be direct sometimes. It’s the game we thought it would be. We thought it would be a one-goal game. We needed the goal and it shows our mentality and our spirit to respond and pull it back. We do keep slowly moving up, but we’re running out of time and we need to pick it up and we need to change that defensive trend. It’s time to change it, otherwise we’re not going to be the team we want to be at the end of the year.”

On the changes made by bringing Maximiliano Urruti into the match:
“I wanted Alvas [Powell] to play more like a winger. We were a little bit handicapped because we had some injury subs that we had to make so I wanted to have the same shape I had late in the last game, but we had to do it in a different way with Alvas being more of a winger and Darlington [Nagbe] was up with Maxi and [Diego] Valeri underneath. Valeri just naturally floats to the right a bit. In the end, probably a fair result as a draw, but if we don’t make that mistake [to give up the goal], I always felt we’d get the goal at the end, this team has shown that. Bottom line is we’ve not been good enough. We’ve been right there and I’ve said that and you’ve seen that, but if we want to push over the hump and if we want to be a team that’s grinding out three points and a team that’s legitimately capable of doing something this season, we can’t give up soft goals like that.”

On Portland’s lack of possession:
“I think it’s a little bit the way they [LA Galaxy] played. They played very direct. So when teams play direct it’s the ball bouncing around a lot and it becomes a really direct game on both sides of the ball. They were pressing, we were pressing, which means both teams end up bypassing midfield a bit more. That happens in this league. Some games aren’t games where you have a lot of the ball, a lot of the rhythm. I think it’s more both teams not backing down, both teams pressing. When you get pressed it’s hard to play out of the back. We’re pressing them, it’s hard for them to play out of the back. It became very much a ping-pong match.”

On if the mistakes are mental breakdowns or talent related:
“That’s a good question. You look at our games – we’ve only lost three, all on the road – we’ve shown that we’re right there, but we are falling short. We’re not falling short so much where we’re losing every game and we’re getting blown out of games, you see that around the league with some teams. I think it’s a little bit of issues in both boxes. Not making plays in the box defensively, not making plays at the other end. We’ve shown it some games, but not enough to get three points enough. We’ve got six draws, we’ve got one win and we’ve got three losses. So it’s not like we’re losing every game, it’s not like we’re getting run out, we’re in every game, we’re right there, we’re in position to win every single game, but to win games you can’t give up soft goals and you have to finish your chances.”

On if the team is playing with enough urgency:
“Definitely, the urgency is there. You saw the urgency. You can’t question that. They know how important the games are, which is why we were fighting to the very end and were able to pull off the late goal. The season’s not done, but we’re running out of time by not getting three points in this type of game.”

Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
On the takeaway from the match:
“A point is a point. When we play at home we want three points, but it’s disappointing we only got a point from the game, but we just do the same thing either way and look forward to Columbus on Saturday again.”

On the lesson from conceding a late goal:
“It’s always a learning experience, whether you win or you lose. You have got to be focused until the final whistle and mark guys in the box.”

On if the defensive mistakes are habitual:
“No. That’s the human element in every sport. Mistakes are made. This season we are making more than normal, but we’ll sort it out and as the season keeps going hopefully we’ll do fine.”

Timbers defender Jack Jewsbury
On the result:
“I think the one positive we can take from it is that we were able to get something out of it when we gave up a late goal like that. I don’t think we ever got into a rhythm much. It wasn’t really our style of play the way we like to go about things in terms of our pressure, our possession.”

On Robbie Keane’s goal:
“We knew that [Dan] Gargan had a long throw, so it was on their right side. I was close to [Stefan] Ishizaki on that side. Ball gets lofted over. The reality is we know it’s coming in the box. We have to deal with it better. They have some great players that pop up in big moments and you have to be aware of where those guys are at all times.”

On if he’s surprised about the team’s recent success late in matches:
“Not really. I think the mentality amongst this group is that we’re never going to give up. For me, it’s just disappointing. We’re better than what we showed today, even though we get a draw. We’re looking for three points.”

Timbers defender Futty Danso
On the feeling in the locker room:
“The feeling if you give up a goal like that, you definitely have to be disappointed. But that’s something where we’ll go back, work on it, try to stop conceding goals on set-pieces.”

On if he is surprised by Portland’s ability to find late goals:
“No, not at all. You see the character between the boys, even in practice they don’t give up until practice is over. So we know that we have something in our tank that we can go 90-plus minutes and see the game out.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On his dramatic goal to pull even and earn a point:
“We just wanted to tie the game [after going down a goal late]. We were, everybody, in the box, thinking about the long ball. Futty [Danso] headed to Will [Johnson], who had a great game, played me in with the left and I shot and finished.”

On settling for the draw at home:
“It’s a strange feeling because we always want to win at home. We are a winning team.”

LA Galaxy Quotes

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena
On the result:
“Our team played very well. I think you can talk about all you want the referee needs to gives us that call on Juninho. It’s at least a foul. Yellow card, red card, whatever. And then we have to manage the game better at the end. Five minutes of extra time on [Portland]’s injuries and all. You know, listen, we fell asleep at the end of the game. A bunch of guys can do better on the play, but we played very well today. Should have walked away with three points.”

On what he liked about the Galaxy’s performance:
“Our team played very well. We had a fairly dominating performance. They didn’t create a whole lot during the game. We screwed up a set-piece where I think 98 [Futty Danso] hit the post, but we were very good defensively. Created chances, kept the ball pretty well under difficult conditions. We played well today. It’s a shame we didn’t get the three points. We can fault the referee as much as we want, but we were still the team in control at the end of the game where we could have denied a goal-scoring opportunity and didn’t get that done.”

On whether this was the most solid display from the Galaxy this season:
“I’d say so. I’d say so. It’s going to help us to be able to play some games consecutively now and get a little bit of a rhythm.”

LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane
On the result:
“They had some help there from the officials. We can stand here and just make excuses. We shouldn’t have conceded the goal, there’s no question about that. In the last few seconds you have to be stronger and not concede. Some of the decisions today from the officials, not even the referee. Seeing the linesman on the other side for Juninho, he has to see that. There’s no question. He’s right in line with it. So I would actually say more the linesman in that situation than the referee because he is chasing the play like everybody else. Some poor, poor decisions there. We have to accept and take responsibility ourselves as well because the last minute of the game, you shouldn’t be conceding a goal.”

On coming away with one point, instead of three:
“It’s difficult because that’s two games now on the road, against Vancouver and Portland, playing on turf, which is always difficult. We played well both times and deserved to win both times. We certainly deserved to win today, there’s no question about it. We didn’t, so what do you do? Just get on with it and move on and look forward to next week’s game.”

LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan
On the match:
“I thought we played extremely well today. I thought we dominated every facet of the game. They really had no business getting anything out of that game. Our goal at the end was absolutely what we deserved and then still trying to figure out how that wasn’t a foul called on Juninho, which obviously have ended the game. One of those days and frustrating, but we still played very well.”

On if the Galaxy or the referees are to blame for the result:
“Both. I mean, referees are human. They make mistakes and I’m sure when both Armando [Villarreal] and the linesman look at it again, they’re going to feel bad about it. We all make mistakes. That’s part of life. But we can still be better on the last play, there’s no question. There’s probably five or six guys that can make a better play. We’ve been punished for it this year. When those things happen, we’re getting punished.”

On the emotions of the match:
“The only frustration came in the final play there. Other than that, I think we felt great about how we played. There’s not a lot of teams that come in here and completely batter them the way we did today. We can take some positives from that, but at the end of the day, this is a results business and we let two points slip away today.”

Notes:

·         Sunday’s capacity crowd of 20,814 marked the 57th consecutive regular-season sellout at Providence Park since 2011.

·         Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe made his 58th consecutive regular-season start Sunday. Nagbe has appeared in 77 of the team’s 78 regular-season matches since the start of the 2012 MLS season.

·         Midfielder Diego Chara was subbed out of Sunday’s match due to an injury, the first time Chara has been removed from a match since July 20, 2013. Chara saw his streak of consecutive minutes played end at 1,688 minutes.

·         The Timbers struck the woodwork for a league-high ninth time Sunday. Defender Futty Danso delivered a glancing header off the right post in the 59th minute.

·         Portland extended its MLS-club record home unbeaten streak to 21 consecutive matches (12-0-9) with the draw against the Galaxy Sunday.

·         With the draw, the Timbers logged their fourth straight result against the Galaxy. Portland is 2-0-2 in its last four games against LA, including a 2-0-1 mark at Providence Park since 2013.

·         The Galaxy have not defeated Portland at Providence Park since July 14, 2012, a span of one year, nine months and 27 days.

·         Midfielder Will Johnson tallied an assist and surpassed the 13,000 minutes played mark in the 64th minute against the Galaxy Sunday.

·         Portland extended its home unbeaten streak against Western Conference opponents to 20 consecutive matches at Providence Park, dating back to the 2012 MLS season.

·         Chara, Nagbe and defender Jack Jewsbury each made their 96th career start for the Timbers since 2011.