Quotes: Portland Timbers at Toronto FC
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson
What are your thoughts on the game?
Toronto created some chances in the second half, but I think we controlled the tempo and the rhythm for a majority of the first half. When you do that, I think you have to finish teams off, but Toronto responded very well. After they scored two, I think we did well to get ourselves back into the game, keep the ball, move the ball, create chances and equalize.
We had the lead and then we made it difficult for ourselves. You can question a couple of calls and even one of their goals, there was a foul on David Horst where we disputed the call. We were looking for a way, we applied a lot of pressure and this is part of the maturing process. We lacked a bit of confidence and you can see it in the players. It’s a draw on the road, we scored two goals, it’s a good thing for us and we have a lot to look forward to.
That is two straight games where you have come from behind in the final 15 minutes, what does that say about your team?
It shows a lot about the urgency and belief that these players have. I think it is a good sign because we put ourselves in that situation and I think we were our own worst enemy where in isolated incidents we had given Toronto chances.
What did you think of Donovan Ricketts and the back line?
Good, I think there are always areas to improve on and I think if the backline play as well individually and collectively as they can we will be fine.
Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe
First goal for you since the end of March, quite the breakthrough…
It definitely feels good, but I wasn’t thinking about it too much. I am just focused on playing and working hard and getting the result.
What does coming back in two straight games do for your team?
It’s very good for us as it shows we are a determined bunch, but we need to keep fighting hard to get a result.
Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
What are your thoughts on the result?
When you play on the road it is always good to come away with a point, we would have liked the three points but we are satisfied with one point.
What did you think of your Timbers debut performance tonight?
I feel I can do much better and as time goes by I will be able to play at the highest level I can.
Did you feel like you were on the same page as your defenders?
For most of the night. A couple of moments there were minor slip ups but for the most part there was a good connection.
What did you feel was the difference in the second half?
I felt we made the mistake of sitting back on the lead and gave them too much space to play and they gained confidence from that.
Toronto FC Quotes
Toronto FC head coach Paul Mariner
Do you attribute the play in the first half to the 11 players out there not being familiar with one another?
I think if you analyze the back four, Ty (Harden) and Adrian (Cann) haven’t played for, I don’t know how long. Anybody who has played the game knows full-well that you can train your backside off but as soon as, Adrian knows better than anybody, that whistle goes the tempo is totally different, the level is different, the whole energy is different. But I thought we equipped ourselves well. I thought the second half, we played actually decent in the second half. We changed the system, we matched up with what they did and I’m not saying we deserved to win it, I’m not saying that, but I think it was a decent game for the fans.
Will everyone who is away on international duty be available on Saturday?
Hopefully without any travel problems, I’m hoping, so yeah. And then you know injuries, Darren (O’Dea) came through okay against Serbia, we talked to him. Most of the other lads are playing now so, Dicoy (Williams) is playing tonight, Ryan (Johnson) is playing tonight and I didn’t see the Canadian team but I’m hoping that the lads played. Hope they come through unscathed.
On the play of Hassli and Silva…
Yeah, totally different players as you can see in stature but when you look at the feet that Eric has gotten and the feet of Luis, they’ve got beautiful touch on the ball. Eric is such a strong guy, he holds people off, he keeps the team playing and if we can get a rapport going with Ryan Johnson and Eric or Luis and Eric or combinations of those people then you start to get something going. Then you can start to read that when the ball goes in to Eric you know it’s going to stick so you can make runs and it can make an enormous difference in the way you set up and the way that you play.
Toronto FC defender Richard Eckersley
Do you think it was a fitness issue in the dying minutes?
Yeah, I think in the dying minutes of the first half we looked a bit tired and then we came out, got up and did well and then at the end we slipped. It was just a mental slip up. You know, like I said, they did not play in a long while some of the lads and it came in an important shift tonight.
Thoughts on how Ty (Harden) played considering he hasn’t played in a while and does not play outside right back…
It’s a tough position, especially on this team you are up and down constantly, I know personally. I think he did well. It’s tough coming in not having played in a long time. But I thought he put up a good shift tonight.
What kind of shakeup was delivered at half-time?
I think we are all disappointed. We’ve come to expect a standard and we let that standard slip especially giving away another set piece is lazy in a way. But in the second half we came at them and did well and like I said, at the end maybe mental fatigue and we let it slip a little bit.
Toronto FC forward Eric Hassli
Obviously disappointing to see a lead disappear in the last 10 minutes like that…
Yeah, it’s always disappointing to lose the lead. I think we played a great second half and we lost two points tonight in the second half. We did great in the second half so we have to stay positive.
Do you take as a positive that you guys played tonight without six regulars?
Yeah, it wasn’t easy. We missed some big guys and some great players. It wasn’t easy today, but all the guys did a great job so they have to be proud of themselves.
On the play of Luis Silva…
He’s just great. I mean, he is skilled, he runs a lot, his movement is really good. I think he is the best young guy in this league. For me it is really great to play with a guy like that, I’m really happy.
The Timbers and Toronto FC met for the only time during the 2012 regular season Wednesday. Toronto FC is 1-0-2 in the all-time MLS series against Portland; the two sides have played to 2-2 draws in each of their last two matchups.
The match against Toronto FC was the Timbers’ sixth MLS mid-week match of the 2012 campaign. Portland is 2-1-3 in weekday matches this season, and holds a 2-2-3 mark overall specifically in matches played on Wednesday as an MLS side.
Toronto FC was the Timbers’ first Eastern Conference opponent since facing Chicago on May 20 at JELD-WEN Field. Portland is 3-2-3 this season against Eastern Conference clubs.
Making his 50th career MLS appearance, midfielder Sal Zizzo scored his first MLS goal on Wednesday against Toronto FC. Zizzo also made his second start of the season.
Zizzo’s go-ahead strike snapped the Timbers’ seven-match scoreless stretch on the road – a run of 718 minutes without a goal. Portland’s last road goal, and lead, on the road was April 14, when Kris Boyd scored in the 23rd minute against the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.
Zizzo has recorded a goal and an assist in three matches against Toronto FC as a member of the Timbers.
Darlington Nagbe’s equalizer late in the match marked the first time the club’s MLS history in which the Timbers scored multiple goals in a road match. It was also Nagbe’s first goal scored since March 31 against Real Salt Lake.
Nagbe has scored two of his four goals this season on the road, with both road strikes earning the Timbers a draw. The second-year MLS player also scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas on March 17.
Making his 20th start of the season, Nagbe became the third player in Timbers MLS history to appear in 50 games for the club, joining Jack Jewsbury and Troy Perkins. He’s also the youngest of the three to reach the 50-games played milestone at 22 years, 27 days.
The Timbers improve to 4-3-2 this season when scoring the first goal of a match. Also, Portland is now 3-1-1 in matches when it owns a lead at halftime.
With the 82nd minute equalizer against Toronto FC, the Timbers have scored an equalizing goal in the final 15 minutes in two consecutive matches. Midfielder Jack Jewsbury scored the game-tying goal in the 79th minute of a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas in Portland’s last match Aug. 5.
Portland has scored three goals this season in the final 15 minutes of a match.
With five shots on goal against Toronto FC, the Timbers have generated five or more shots on goal in four of their last six games.
New goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves his Timbers debut against Toronto FC. Wednesday also marked Ricketts’ 95th match played in MLS since joining the league in 2009.
Portland midfielder Franck Songo’o was unavailable Wednesday due to a one-game, league-imposed suspension for caution accumulation.
Timbers midfielder/defender Lovel Palmer (Jamaica) and defender Steve Purdy (El Salvador) squared off in international play Wednesday as Jamaica defeated El Salvador 2-0 in a friendly at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Palmer and Purdy were among six total players between Portland and Toronto FC called up for national team duty and unavailable for Wednesday’s league match.
Due to international call-ups, injuries and suspensions, Toronto FC had only five available subs on the bench.
Timbers midfielder/defender Rodney Wallace started against Toronto FC, making his first league appearance since June 30 at Colorado and his first MLS start since May 20 vs. Chicago. He has missed time recently due to national team duty with Costa Rica and various injuries.
- Timbers goalkeeper coach Mike Toshack served as the goalkeeper coach for Toronto FC for three seasons from 2009-11.