Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson
Thoughts on the match:
“I thought the guys came back very, very well. It was a huge positive to see us get the draw against the top team in the league. To end with the draw is a good positive for the organization. Having the second-half pressure really gave our guys some chances.”
Personal lessons from this season:
“There are a lot of lessons. As a club and organization, we are continually trying to manage the character of the group. The mentality of building on that is something we will look forward to. This team had a lot of adversity with this season, but winning the Cascadia Cup and coming back for the draw really puts this club at the top of what they can be this year. Again, we are never going to be happy until we can win the whole thing. With that, we are constantly learning and constantly developing as an organization so we can to reach that goal.”
Thoughts on Wondolowski tying the record:
“I just want congratulate Chris on achieving this feat. He has had a tremendous season and take the [penalty-kick] decision out of the way; he scored. Give him a big pat on the back. He tied the MLS record. It’s gone to a very good player.”
On tactical changes in-game:
“We really wanted to add more in the middle with Wondolowski dropping in for goals. By overloading the back and getting an extra body in there, it made Darlington Nagbe more involved. Overall, Nagbe and Diego Chara were fantastic and I thought we had a lot of players that did great jobs. What we tried to do is nullify one of their strengths. When we brought in Kalif Alhassan, it really gave us a chance to open up the way we want the game to go. Mike Fucito was also a big person for us tonight. I wanted to reward him for a great mentality and great work ethic. With Brent Richards coming in, we wanted to pound things into the goal box and with Richards, he is our best player to do that.”
On not having midfielders Jack Jewsbury and Franck Songo’o in the lineup:
“Going into the offseason, I wanted to give those guys some congratulations for their work well done. They have put in a lot of yards this the season. Jack scored one of the best goals of his career and Songo’o set him up. It was a way of saying, ‘thank you for brining the Cascadia Cup home, take the night off and I want you back stronger than before next season.’ With Songo’o coming into the league, in the second half of the season he did a great job. Jack is always known to be there for us when we needed him to.”
Thoughts on Dike this season:
“He is a bull in the China shop at times, you can’t fault him for trying things he wants to do, and our players really like being beside him. He puts defenders under pressure and I don’t know anyone who likes playing against him. I hear stories of players taking three to four days off after playing against him. A big pat on the back for what he’s done after coming back from loan.”
What did you tell the guys after the match:
“I tipped my hat to them. It was a tough second half to the season and not once can I say they didn’t give it their all in training or on game day. Their desire to succeed by and large really shows especially with the result tonight. I keep saying we’re not far away. We do need some new pieces but there are positives. We are not going into the offseason seeing a loss against the best team in the league. We had two good results, which was important, and having the Cascadia Cup was something great.”
Timbers defender David Horst
Thoughts on the way the season came to a close:
“Coming into the game, we knew they would play the first team and give Wondolowski the chance to break the record. We wanted to give our guys the chance and I think they lived up to the chance. In the first half we were falling a bit and in the second half we came to them strong.”
What is the approach towards Wondolowski tonight:
“He’s one of those guys that will go everywhere, backline, forward, doesn’t matter. With that everyone needs to stay on their toes to watch him at all times. He won’t run by you or beat you with speed. He will kill you with his cleverness and that’s where you have to watch out for him, because just like that he will score a goal. I thought the guys did a great job with that approach tonight.”
Thoughts on how you did against teams all season long, including playoff teams:
“I can’t put my finger on it, but we get up for the big games. We always have to prepare for the games next year. We have a young team and we have to find ways to be ready for what’s to come next year. Hopefully we learn from this season.”
On wearing the captain’s armband against San Jose:
“This is a great honor. With a storied franchise and for me to wear this armband is something special.”
Timbers forward Bright Dike:
What happened on the goal:
“It was great defending on Eric Alexander’s part, he picked the defender’s pocket. I got on the end of it, and I just tried to tuck it into the back post. The keeper spilled it and I got the goal.”
Thoughts on the season:
“This team has to look at what we want, of course it didn’t go the way we wanted. But if you look at how we faired against San Jose, the best team in the league, we have a win and two ties this year. So this team is not really far off. I hope next year we can grind out better wins against teams we should have beat.”
San Jose Earthquakes Quotes
Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop
On the end of the season and thoughts on the game:
“It’s been a long season. It was nice to, obviously, finish it with a good result. Obviously, a win would be a lot better than the tie, but to tie this game today I think it was probably a fair result. Both teams tried to go for the winning goal, and I think on a difficult night, surface-wise and in the conditions, I thought there was some pretty good football played. And to get through it unscathed, no one’s got any injury issues at all, I thought we did a nice job to make sure that we took care of some players that are important to us, and get them out of the game and let some of the younger guys get on.”
On Wondolowski tying the single-season goal record:
“Amazing … He’s been great all year. Once it got pretty close that he’s going to do the record, we were really hoping he was going to do it. Proud of him. Now we’ve wrapped this season up, the regular season, we’re just really looking forward to the playoffs now. Finding out who we play on Thursday, and then move forward from there.”
Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski
On tying the single-season goal record:
“It’s a true honor to even be linked with Roy Lassiter, a true legend. To have my name even mentioned with him, it’s a true honor and I’m full of glee right now. I appreciate all the teammates that have done so much, and such hard work, so a lot of credit goes to them.”
Thoughts on the game and his performance:
“I feel happy. Once the game started, it was fun. I enjoyed it. Glad that the 34 games are over, and we get to go into the playoffs now. Love this team; they were definitely looking for me. Wish I could’ve gotten one in the run of play, but I’ll take it for what it is.”
On going into the playoffs:
“We feel confident in the locker room. We know it’s going to be a battle. We know anything can happen, we know we have to continue to play well. You have one bad game, and you could be out, just like that. It’s going to take hard work, a lot of preparation, and we have to execute, as well.”
Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart
On taking a first-half lead, different than previous times against Portland:
“The game plan every time is to try and score first. We treat all teams the same, so we’ve gone up in other games before. We try and hold them off, and playing here, it’s a great stadium to play in, and the fans are behind them. So we were trying to bunker in and hold them off, but they finally got their goal. I thought it was a good back-and-forth game, and it’s always fun to play here.”
On Wondolowski tying the record:
“I know when I play with him or when he’s on the field, that he wants to win and that he’s going to give everything he has, so it makes me give everything I have. He keeps me sharp. And it’s just a joy to be a part of, and know him, and be buddies with him. He’s a cool guy.”
The Timbers capped their second MLS season with their 34th consecutive sellout at JELD-WEN Field. Over their 20 home matches this season (17 regular season, 3 other competitions), the Timbers drew 392,937 fans at JELD-WEN Field in 2012.
Portland finished the 2012 MLS season with a six-match unbeaten streak at home, posting a 2-0-4 record in that span, which included results against four playoff-bound clubs.
Portland’s season finale was the club’s breast cancer awareness day as part of MLS and MLS W.O.R.K.S.’s Soccer Kicks Cancer campaign. The match was played with a pink adidas PRIME match ball and Timbers players and the referees each wore pink MLS W.O.R.K.S. ribbons on their jerseys. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts wore a pink kit.
With the draw against San Jose, the Timbers are 0-0-2 in regular-season finales as an MLS side.
Portland and San Jose squared off for the third and final time during the 2012 season, with the Timbers finishing with a 1-0-2 record against the league-leading Earthquakes.
Overall, Saturday marked the fifth MLS meeting between Portland and San Jose in the all-time MLS series between the two clubs. The Timbers are unbeaten against the Earthquakes, with a 1-0-4 record. Four of the five MLS meetings between the two clubs have finished in a draw.
With his first-half strike, San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski tied the MLS record for goals in a single season (27), a feat first set in 1996 by former MLS forward Roy Lassiter.
Wondolowski’s penalty-kick goal in the first half marked the first time in the five-game MLS series between the two clubs in which the Timbers trailed the Earthquakes in a match. Portland had scored the first goal in each of the four previous matchups. It also marked the first game – in all competitions – between the two MLS clubs in which San Jose scored in the first half.
The penalty kick attempt by Wondolowski was the first PK faced by goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts as a member of the Timbers.
With the second-half equalizer, forward Bright Dike scored three goals over the final five matches of the season to finish his second MLS season with a career-best five goals.
Dike scored the equalizing goal in back-to-back home matches. He also scoring the game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw against D.C. United at JELD-WEN Field on Sept. 29.
Timbers midfielder Eric Alexander made his 14th start of the season Saturday against San Jose; it was his first start since Aug. 25 against Vancouver.
Defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste made the fourth MLS start of his rookie campaign, filling in for the injured Hanyer Mosquera on the backline. It was Jean-Baptiste’s first regular-season start since April 7 against Chivas USA.
Portland’s bench against San Jose included forward Sebastián Rincón, who appeared in his first MLS match-day roster.
The Timbers finished the 2012 MLS campaign with a 7-4-5 home record at JELD-WEN Field.