Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Aston Villa FC
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson
Overall thoughts on game:
“I thought we did well. I thought the first half we kept our shape. We set goals for ourselves, as far as keeping our team shape, not having individual breakdowns. And I think by and large we did that. Troy [Perkins] pulled off one fantastic save, and they ended up getting a corner that they scored from, so a few things we can still learn from. In open play, they didn’t break us down; they scored on two set pieces. There’s always something to improve on, and coming off the Dallas performance, I was very, very happy, to be honest. Now it’s a matter of consistency; can we move on from here. But I think there’s a lot of positives to take. I think some of our younger players showed their ability. I think Brent Richards probably played his best game in and around the first team tonight. Seba [Sebastián Rincón], that’s the first we’ve seen Seba when he came on. Just the confidence that he had to take the penalty. Obviously, the goal was a tap in, but he was in the right space at the right time. I think there’s a lot of positives. I think they’ve [Aston Villa] gone through a tour in the U.S. where no one’s scored against them. We came back from 1-0 down, we came back from 2-1 down, and kept putting pressure on them. So a lot of positives.”
On deciding the match on penalty kicks:
“I think it was still good. These opportunities I think showcase some of the younger players, and one of the comments I made. There’s no doubting we have the technical ability, and you’ve seen some younger players come on tonight. You’ve seen Brent Richards, Sebastián Rincón. You’ve seen Andrew Jean-Baptiste join us again. You’ve seen some good performances from some young players, and the PKs. It’s more mental than anything, and for Charles Renken to hop up there and finish his PK, Sebastián and also Andrew Jean-Baptiste. It says a lot about them as individuals, and mentally, it’s a good building block for them as individuals.”
On taking this game into the next one:
“I think the fact that we scored two goals against a team that hasn’t been scored on in this tour. That this team, even though it’s during preseason, I think their ball speed, their ball movement, the individual movement off the ball; I think they play good football. And we coped with it. We kept our shape, we broke them down. As the game wore on, maybe it was a level of fitness for them, but we started to impose ourselves more and more. In the past, maybe the team’s gone missing a little bit. But I think this is a great reflection, and the guys have regrouped. They’ve been rallying around one another. Before you rebuild, maybe you have to hit rock bottom, and going forward, there’s a lot of positives. I still believe that we’ve got some very talented players.”
Aston Villa Quotes
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert
Thoughts on the game:
“I enjoyed it. It was good experience. I suggested [Portland] would be difficult for us. I’m delighted the way we played and delighted we won the game. I thought some of our football was very good and when the lads made changes I thought some of our football was good.”
Thoughts on the “Support Stan” cheer from the crowd:
“[I felt] Great because I played with him for the best part of nine years at Celtic so I know him really well. Hopefully he’s going to end up OK. He’s fighting hard at the minute in appreciation of the fans.”
Thoughts on the MLS sides Aston Villa faced:
“I think there’s been some really good football matches, I really do. The three games were always going to be hard for us because MLS is up and running. And the standard’s good because you look at the American national team, they’re no mucks.”
- The friendly against Aston Villa was the Timbers’ second exhibition of the 2012 season. In May, the Timbers played host to Spanish club Valencia CF.
- Aston Villa’s visit to the Rose City completed the club’s three-city, preseason tour across the United States, which also included stops in Philadelphia and Chicago to play MLS clubs the Union and Fire. Aston Villa, which opens the 2012-13 Premier League season Aug. 18 against West Ham United, finished its U.S. preseason tour with a record of 3-0-0.
- During a pre-game ceremony, the Timbers and Aston Villa recognized British Consul General Priya Guha, Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, who were all in attendance for the friendly.
- Aston Villa’s Starting XI against the Timbers featured former MLS standout Brad Guzan, who was a goalkeeper for Chivas USA from 2005-08.
- In the 19th minute, the fans at JELD-WEN Field stood and cheered in support of longtime Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with Leukemia earlier this year. Petrov wore No. 19 for Villa.
- The last time a Timbers friendly was decided in penalty kicks came when the club was a second-division side against EPL-bound Burnley on July 25, 2009. The Timbers prevailed on PKs 4-2 after the two sides finished regulation in a 2-2 draw.
- Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland, who started Tuesday’s friendly, has played previously against the Timbers in his career. In 2010, he started and scored a goal against the second-division Timbers while with Manchester City in an exhibition at Merlo Field on July 17, 2010.
- Goalkeeper Andy Marshall, Aston Villa’s backup for the exhibition against Portland, played against the second-division Timbers in a 2006 friendly while a member of English side Coventry City.
- In the friendly against Aston Villa, Homegrown Player Brent Richards and defender Ryan Kawulok made their first starts across all competitions for the Timbers.
- Timbers forward Sebastián Rincón and midfielder Charles Renken made their first appearances with the first team in the exhibition with Aston Villa; both players have seen significant minutes with the Timbers Reserves during the season.
- Portland defender Steve Purdy featured against Aston Villa, making his fourth start for the club this season across all competitions. Midfielder Sal Zizzo also earned the start against the EPL side, making his third start across all competitions.
- Timbers defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste rejoined the club for the friendly against Aston Villa, taking a short break from his loan to the L.A. Blues of USL PRO. Jean-Baptiste played 28 minutes as a sub.
- Since joining MLS in 2011, the Timbers have played host to several international exhibition matches with clubs from around the world, including AFC Ajax (Netherlands), Club America (Mexico), Independiente (Argentina), AIK (Sweden) and West Bromwich Albion (England).
- A number of English Premier League sides have traveled to Portland for friendlies in the Timbers’ recent history, including Sunderland (2005), Burnley (2009) and Manchester City (2010) and West Bromwich Albion (2011).