Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 3, D.C. United 2 - May 3, 2014

Johnson: "It’s why you play the game. It’s the best feeling in the world, it’s fantastic."

Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On the importance of getting the win:

“It’s big. We knew going into this we had 26 games [left]. Obviously we know where we want to end. We can’t miss steps on the road to where you want to end. Every game is an opportunity for three points, which puts you in a position to make the playoffs, which puts you in a position to win MLS Cup. We’ve dropped points, so we knew the urgency was greater. We knew, especially being at home, that the urgency is even greater because we have to take care of business at home. We can’t always count on points on the road. I’m confident we’ll get points on the road, but we need to get more threes in the last 12 [home] games than we get zeros or ones. I think it was big. Obviously it’s three points, but sometimes it feels like more and I think this is one that feels like more and I think it’ll lift the group. I think they’ll play freer, more confident. I think we’re going to continue to get better and better. We’ve been playing well, but I think sometimes when you feel that weight of a bit more pressure because you’re not getting results and you get frustrated. We showed right until the end, getting the result, that this team believes. We’re a mentally tough team…all the things we showed last year. But this will definitely unlock us a bit more, and it’s a type of result that really catapults a team in a season. It’s a season-changing result.”

On the team’s performance:
“I thought we got some great performances tonight, especially out of the attacking group. That group has been challenged. I’ve challenged them, people have questioned them and I think they showed what they’re capable of when they’re clicking on all cylinders. I think, individually and collectively, the front four guys in particular were very good. I think that was a big reason, obviously, we won the game.”

On the chemistry of the front four and Fernández’s role:
“The thing I really enjoy about this group is when you work on things on the training ground, you see it in the game. We’re going to keep getting better. We have had to tinker a little bit with the chemistry, we’ve had a couple new pieces, we’ve had some guys out with injuries. We didn’t have a full preseason with [Diego] Valeri or [Steve] Zakuani. So there’s a bit of [chemistry] that plays into it, but I thought we got it right tonight. A big part of that is that we had some time together. Zakuani is healthy and I think he’s a piece that helps us. Obviously he’s very dynamic individually. He’ll continue to get better as he gets more fit and in form. You got a goal out of [Maximiliano Urruti], you got a goal out of Gastón [Fernández]. I thought, honestly for me, man of the match was Valeri tonight. Even though he didn’t get a goal, he was, for me, the guy carrying us at the end and it was, maybe, the best performance I’ve seen out of him since I’ve had him here. He’s a big-time player and he brought it. Tonight we needed our big-time players, our attacking guys like him to bring it, and he certainly did.”

On the drama of Urruti’s goal compared to Damian Lillard’s series-winning buzzer-beater for the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night:
“It’s interesting. Maybe that’s the way we like to do it in Portland. Who knows, maybe some Blazer magic [from their dramatic win] rubbed off on us last night.”

Timbers forward Maximiliano Urruti (through a translator)
On his game-winning goal:
“I’m very happy, we haven’t been winning recently and luckily today I scored the goal and we got the three points.”

On the Timbers attack generating more chances:
“We found more open spaces than the previous games, and today we were able to take advantage of those open spaces and take the three points.”

On Gastón Fernández’s presence in the Portland attack:
“He’s very important to us, he scores when he’s in the game and we know that we can count on him. Any player that scores is going to be important for us throughout the season.”

Timbers forward Gastón Fernández (through a translator)
On scoring the quickest goal in Timbers MLS history:
“For me it is very special, I didn’t know it was the fastest goal, but I’m always happy to score.”

On getting the win:
“Emotionally, it felt great. We knew the next three games were at home. Starting the game, we pushed forward and it was great to get the win.”

On how the win helps propel the team forward:
“Every player knows that this is going to push us forward, but we still have to look at the things we’ve done wrong in the past and correct them and continue to move forward.”

Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
On getting the win:
“It was huge. The relief and the feeling that you feel when you score a 94th-minute winner like that is something that is hard to put into words. It’s why you play the game. It’s the best feeling in the world, it’s fantastic. You kind of black out, nothing else matters and you just start running around going crazy. It’s a blur, but it’s fun. That’s why we play.”

Timbers defender Michael Harrington
On getting the win in front of the home fans:
“It was fantastic. We’ve been wanting to get this ‘W’ for a while now and obviously it came in front of our fans and we wanted to celebrate that with them a little bit and just enjoy the moment.”

On if the win can be a spark:
“Absolutely. Two more games at home and we’re going to be looking for the same result.”

D.C. United Quotes

D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen
On the result:
“We pissed that game away. There was a lot of good in regards to this group. A lot of good. Today, starting the game wasn’t good enough, set-pieces weren’t good enough for us, and the way we managed the game, once again, in the end was amateur. We take a game where we definitely should get a point, if not three, and turn it into a loss. Again, there’s a lot of character and a lot of positives with our group, but we cannot go on the road and have these cardinal sins.”

On the second-half performance:
“I thought in the second half, we realized that we’re good soccer players. We were confident in the way we pass the ball. I think, more than anything, that helped. I thought we were physical. I thought some of their key players were nullified and, again, just very disappointing to come out of here with nothing. Credit [Portland] to keep on pushing. It’s a great place to play. Again, I’m not taking anything away from Caleb [Porter] and this group and this atmosphere and the way this city has gotten behind this team because it’s a lot of fun to play here. But I do feel in the end, we lost points today.”

On the reversed penalty decision:
“I didn’t have a good view. I think when we look at it again, we’ll see it hit his face and not his hand, so credit the referees that they got it right. They didn’t get a few other ones right down the stretch, but I won’t get into that.”

D.C. United midfielder Davy Arnaud
On the match:
“Disappointed right now because I think we were worth at least a point tonight. To give up a goal that late after you’ve battled back twice, in a tough place to play, against a good team, is not easy to swallow.”

On the reversed penalty decision:
“I hear it wasn’t a handball. [The referee] was pretty adamant it wasn’t a handball. In fairness to the referee, I was on the same angle as him and it looked like a stone-cold [penalty kick]. I think, talking to some guys, he got it right. I haven’t seen it, but if the linesman sees it and the right call is no [penalty], then it’s the right call.”

On his goal:
“[Portland] was dropped off a little bit. I think it was Perry [Kitchen] played one square and it was in my mind to shoot the whole time. I hit it well and, initially, I was a little disappointed that [Diego Chara] had got a touch on it, because I hit it pretty well. But it looped over him and worked out.”

On the second-half performance:
“We gave up a couple goals in the first half that were kind of unlike us. We did well to get back in the game at 1-1. We gave up the goal before half to go 2-1. We just said to keep going. We felt like our chances were going to come if we stayed solid defensively. We felt like we were going to get chances. We did well to get the goal. Like I said, I think the performance wasn’t a bad one. If we don’t concede there at the end, I think we’re pretty happy with the performance and the result. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that.”

D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell
On the result:
“We’re a bit disappointed. We’re unhappy with the way we started and to go down a goal and then to come back and then two goals and then come back. We thought we played well enough to earn a point. We’re not able to see the game out. Credit to them for continuing to push. We have to learn from what we did tonight and make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s what good teams do. They learn from their mistakes.”

On the second-half performance:
“I think [Portland] put a lot of effort into the first half and we weathered the storm somewhat. Obviously, they scored two so we didn’t weather it enough. We were pushing more than they were. [Portland] were absorbing, looking to counter. Then when we scored, it went the other way. We were trying to absorb and they were trying to score to win it. It’s a funny game of soccer. Like I said, the biggest thing we can do now is watch video and learn from the mistakes. It felt like we could have done more and gotten more out of this game. That’s what you want out of your group, but it still stings right now.”

On the approach to the match:
“We knew [Portland] were susceptible to goals late in the game, but obviously we don’t ever plan on giving up goals. We play to the final whistle. Unfortunately [Portland] did too tonight and they were rewarded and we weren’t.”

On the reversed penalty call:
“There were too many guys. I don’t know. I was trying to ask [the referee] but he was just pushing everyone away. I knew right away when he called it, I looked over and the assistant was already calling him over, so I had a feeling that he was calling it off. It is what it is.”

Notes:

  • Forward Gastón Fernández scored the quickest goal in Timbers MLS history, tallying the game-opening goal just 34 seconds into Saturday’s match against D.C. United. The goal is one of 22 in MLS history scored in 34 seconds or less.
     
  • Forward Maximiliano Urruti’s game-winning goal came at the 93:32 mark, 15-seconds shy of matching the latest game-winning goal in Timbers MLS history (93:47) set against the LA Galaxy on July 13, 2013.
     
  • Saturday’s crowd of 20,814 marked the 56th consecutive sellout at Providence Park. The Timbers have sold out every regular-season match at Providence Park since 2011.
     
  • With the win, Portland extended its MLS-club record home unbeaten streak to 20 consecutive matches, dating back to April 6, 2013. The Timbers are 12-0-8 in their last 20 regular-season matches at Providence Park.
     
  • Fernández becomes the first MLS Timbers player to register a goal in consecutive games two different times during the regular season. Fernández tallied a goal in Portland’s first two matches of the season (March 8-16), while also scoring in back-to-back games April 27-May 3.
     
  • Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe made his 57th consecutive regular-season start for the Timbers dating back to the 2012 season. Nagbe has appeared in 76 of the team’s 77 games since the start of the 2012 season.
     
  • Nagbe, defender Jack Jewsbury and midfielder Diego Chara each made their 95th career starts for the Timbers on Saturday.
     
  • Midfielder Diego Valeri recorded the fifth multi-assist performance of his MLS career and moved into first-place as the Timbers MLS-career record holder with 15 assists.
     
  • Valeri, the 2013 MLS Newcomer of the Year winner, notched his 40th career MLS appearance on Saturday.