U.S. Open Cup: Quotes & Notes | Sporting Kansas City 1, Portland Timbers 3 | June 24, 2014

Weber: "We all believe in each other"

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On the result:
“From our standpoint, it looked like a tournament-type match. When you’re playing in games and it’s win or go home it becomes more of a chess match. The conditions also played into that – it was very hot. We knew we had to be organized. We knew Kansas City is a very good team that likes to have the ball. They get a lot of numbers forward and their movement is good. We came up with a plan of absorbing a little bit and then being a bit more lethal on the counter attack, and I think we did that to a tee. We picked our moments to keep the ball and accelerate the game on the break. I think they had a lot of the ball, but that was a bit by design. We didn’t let them get us in dangerous spots. For the most part, they didn’t get behind us and break us down. They had shots from distance, some of them were blocked, and they had a couple set pieces. Other than that, I thought it was a really mature and professional performance from our group.”

On controlling the game without the majority of possession:
“You can control the game with the ball or you can control the game without the ball. I thought we actually controlled the game pretty well without the ball. That was by design so that they would get numbers forward and then we would hit them on the break. Overall, they didn’t have a ton of dangerous moments. Andrew Weber had a few good saves. We were unfortunate on the PK handball, but we got one, too.”

On how to balance the quick turnaround for Friday’s match:
“You have to figure out what game plan fits your group and fits the opponent you’re playing. We knew it would be difficult going on the road and playing against a good team in the heat. We have a quick turnaround, as well – we were thinking a little bit about the next game. We left six guys back home, and now we have them fresh. It’s going to make for an interesting second match, seeing how many guys they rotate, what the tactics are, how the teams change. For this game, we felt it was best to keep the game tight and use the counter attack. As this team has shown in games on the road, that has become an effective tactic. We did that at Real Salt Lake and New York, who are very good teams. If you look at the top four teams from last year, we’ve beaten three of them on the road which gives us even more confidence moving forward.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Andrew Weber
On Portland’s defensive performance: 
“They were great. They were blocking shots and putting themselves in front of everything. We kept it compact and organized … all 10 of them were awesome.”

On the team’s depth:
“Caleb and everyone have put together a really good team. The group is really tight. Guys stepped up tonight – a rookie like Taylor Peay who is getting his first big minutes right now with the team, you can see that anyone can play on this team and we’re deep. We all believe in each other and it’s good. It’s nice to have.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
On the match:
“We came in here with a game plan, we played well. It was a tough opponent. I think it says a lot about their depth, they’re missing a lot of guys and they put out a good team and a good fight. I thought it was a great match, really. I think it says a lot about two of the better teams in MLS.”

Sporting Kansas City Quotes

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes
On Sporting Kansas City’s performance in a 3-1 defeat:

“We just have to be harder to play against defensively. We weren’t hard enough tonight, by any means.  Defensively we were not hard enough by any stretch of imagination. We were not working. Like I said, when a guy dribbles two or three players, that’s not being hard enough, that’s for sure.”

On why Sporting Kansas City fell short:
“Lack of movement and little things on the field, especially defensively. The defense turns the game into the attack. If you defend well, you find opportunities against the other team. We didn’t defend well tonight.”

Sporting Kansas City forward Soony Saad
On Sporting Kansas City’s loss:

“It’s a disappointing result. We had a couple lapses and Portland had some counters that hurt us. Other than that, we had more chances but we weren’t deadly enough around goal. That’s what proved to be the deciding factor. We were in the attacking third a lot, but we just needed to do better with the final pass or the final shot.”

On playing Portland this coming Friday in MLS competition:
“We didn’t even think about that game (on Friday) before the game tonight. Our focus this week was the Open Cup and Portland at our place. Now we can shift our focus to Friday’s match, but I know for a fact that (Friday’s game) didn’t play any role in the result tonight.”

Notes:

·         Defender Taylor Peay earned his first start for the Timbers and his second consecutive appearance in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night.

·         Six players started their second consecutive match in the U.S. Open Cup for Portland this year (Weber, Danny O’Rourke, Jack Jewsbury, Gastón Fernández, Maximiliano Urruti and Kalif Alhassan).

·         Fernández has scored a brace in consecutive U.S. Open Cup matches and leads the team with 10 goals in all competitions.

·         Fernández has registered at least one goal in consecutive matches three times this season in all competitions (March 8-16, April 27-May 3, June 17-24).

·         Portland is 5-1 in its last six U.S. Open Cup matches dating back to 2013.

·         The Timbers drew and converted a penalty kick in a fourth consecutive match in all competitions.

·         Portland is undefeated in its last three matches (3-0-0) against Sporting Kansas City in all competitions, dating back to April 21, 2012.

·         Portland is undefeated, including four straight wins, in its last five road matches in all competitions, dating back to April 27.

·         The Timbers have earned a result in 10 of their last 11 matches in all competitions.