Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Toronto FC
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head Coach John Spencer
On the overall result:
"I thought offensively at times we were magnificent. We scored two very good goals and could've had another. Defensively, at times, we looked not good enough. I told the guys in the locker room that you can only keep papering up the cracks for so long. Individually and collectively you have to stand up and be a man and at times we did stand up and at times we weren't there to be seen. They came back into the game and got a couple goals. It was a bitterly, bitterly disappointing end to the game."
On starting off with a strong offensive performance, but conceding down the stretch:
"I felt that we carried our form from midweek over into the game tonight and passed the ball ever so well and kept possession. I just felt we were causing them problems in the first half especially. In the second half, once they go that goal down, they start to throw men forward and leave men high because they know they're going to lose the game if they don't. They kind of gambled and it definitely paid off for them."
On needing to manage the game better with a lead:
"Everybody is trying to drive forward and get that goal and get a log of timber. At times you've got to try to put your foot on the ball, knock it back, keep the ball, get them to run instead of trying to go and score. You don't need to score the third one and the fourth one when you're 2-nil up. I think it's inexperience and a lack of maturing, not as people, but as professional soccer players."
On preparing for the LA Galaxy on Wednesday:
"Tomorrow we'll look at the LA Galaxy, who had an unbelievable performance up in Vancouver. The best player in the country played ever so well tonight and so Landon's coming (to Portland). Everybody talks about David (Beckham), everybody talks about Thierry Henry, I worry about Landon Donovan because he's the best American player by a mile."
On closing out games:
"I think anybody that was paying to watch the game tonight would've said at times (we) looked a quality team, but the game lasts for 90 minutes and we've been struggling to do that this year — play for 90 minutes. If you don't hit the ball on frame, you're never going to score a goal. Any good striker will tell you if you consistently hit the target, you'll be a consistently good goal scorer. There's no point in trying to bend the ball into the top corner. If it keeps missing the top corner when do you change and try to put your laces through it, hit the target and make the goalkeeper work?”
Midfielder Darlington Nagbe
On the overall result:
"It's on us, no one else. We've just got to come out and perform well. We scored two goals at home and it should be enough to get the win. We've got to perform better as a team."
On losing a two-goal lead late in the second half:
"I feel like we could've managed the game a little better in the second half, maybe slow it down since we were up 2-0. I don't feel like we were pushing too much, just need to manage it better."
Midfielder Sal Zizzo
On the second half performance:
"As a team we could've managed it a little better. At 2-0, we need to close out the game a little better. Guys are sick to their stomachs that we come in 2-0 (ahead) in the 70th minute and can't get a win."
On preparing for LA:
"The Galaxy is the best team in the league. We've got to watch the game tonight, see what we did wrong and try to correct that. We need three points. The goal is the playoffs this season. I think offensively, you score two goals, we need to win. Defensively, it's not just our back four, it's defensively as a team. It's pressuring the ball from the goalie all the way up to the forwards and we've got to do a better job with that."
Forward Eddie Johnson
On his first career MLS goal:
"It was a quick breakaway. I think Sal (Zizzo) played the ball to Diego (Chara) and Diego played it out wide to me and I cut back inside and hit the shot. It is nice for me personally, but the shine is rubbed off it a little bit with the result."
On looking ahead to Wednesday's match against the LA Galaxy:
"Guys will watch tape tonight, review personal performances and the team performance. We've got to come back in Monday ready to work toward the Galaxy because it's going to be a tough one."
Toronto FC Quotes
Head coach Aron Winter
On coming back from two goals down:
"We're used to doing it, when you come back and make it 2-2, it's very good but honestly you have to win the game because we've lost two points. The first half we didn't start sharp. After 20 minutes when they've scored a goal then we can wake up but the big difference is after 25 minutes we started playing the way we want. After 2-0, the team reacted very well."
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"It's great; it's just like overseas; great compliments to them."
On state of the team:
"Very good. Of course we have a completely new team and you need some time to practice with each other but I'm very satisfied about it."
Forward Peri Marosevic
On scoring a goal in his Toronto FC debut:
"Words can't really describe that. First of all, I've got to thank Toronto FC for giving me that opportunity, having that trust in me and taking that chance. Obviously coming here to Portland it's a tough environment and we knew we were going to face a good side. But we grouped ourselves together well and this team has great character and it showed – we worked hard for each other and we never gave up and it showed in the second half."
On his new team:
"There's a lot of heart, a lot of spirit and it's great to see. Coming in my first day, I've seen it just sitting around with the guys talking. You see it in the mood, you see it in the people and we transform it on the field and I think that showed today."
On coming back from the 2-0 deficit:
"We're a group of guys that never gives up. We have that spirit, we have that fight and we want to play well for one another. We want to play well for Toronto and show them that we have not given up on this season. There's a long way to go, there's a lot of games to play and we want to do well and hopefully we can keep up the momentum."
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"It's a great atmosphere. Every player wants to play in this atmosphere. It brings you up, it gets you pumped, it gets you ready for the game both mentally and physically. You don't even feel tired out there because of the great crowd. It's an away crowd for us but you still get that emotion you need to play well and I think the guys grasped that and we came out with a tie."
Saturday’s match featured just four starters – two from each side – that started in the first matchup between Portland and Toronto FC on March 26 at BMO Field. Those four were the Timbers’ Eric Brunner and Jack Jewsbury and Toronto FC’s Stefan Frei and Ty Harden. In all, there were a combined 18 different starters for the second leg of the regular-season series at JELD-WEN Field.
Timbers head coach John Spencer made four changes to his Starting XI from the squad that faced Columbus last weekend. With the changes, defender Mike Chabala made his first league start for Portland since joining the team in a trade July 21, while defender Rodney Wallace and forward Jorge Perlaza missed their first starts of the season.
When scoring first in a match, the Timbers own a 6-1-2 record against MLS opponents and remain unbeaten (4-0-1) when taking a lead into halftime.
Against Toronto FC, the Timbers put 11 of their season-high 20 shots on goal (55 percent).
The Timbers have scored the opening goal in seven of 11 regular-season matches at home.
Frei’s nine saves were the most saves recorded by an opposing goalkeeper against the Timbers this season. The previous high was six and last accomplished by Chicago’s Sean Johnson on July 16.
The second goal conceded by the Timbers was the 10th allowed by the team in the final 15 minutes of a match, which now ties them with San Jose for the most goals allowed in that interval in MLS.
Jewsbury’s penalty-kick goal was the seventh goal scored by the Timbers in the opening 15 minutes of the second half this season.
Toronto FC defender Richard Eckersley previously played at JELD-WEN Field with then-English Premier League side Burnley FC during an exhibition against the second-division Timbers on July 26, 2009. He’s currently on loan with Toronto FC from Burnley.
Toronto FC defender Ty Harden is a native of Junction City, Ore. He played his collegiate career in the Northwest at the Univ. of Washington.