Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On coming away with a draw…
“Not only did we get a point, but they lost two points. It gives us a lot of belief moving forward. This team has a lot of mettle. I’m most proud of our effort defensively. We dug deep. We gave up a goal and obviously it was a counter again and we got punished for it. But overall, for 90 minutes, we defended very well against that team. That’s a very dynamic team.”
On Rodney Wallace’s goal…
“He came off the bench for us and made a goal so I’m real happy with him, but it was a team effort. Everybody, at the end of the game, I thought really went to another level. It wasn’t pretty, but they dug deep, they battled, they fought, never gave up, never quit. In the end, to score that goal, it was fair because they were rewarded for their effort.”
On what he told the team at halftime…
“I was very composed and even-keeled with them because I really believed we’d come back. There was evidence of that in the first half with the way we were playing. I thought it was a very even half to be honest with you. In terms of flow and rhythm, we probably had the better of it. That’s one of the nice things about the way we play, if we go down a goal, nothing changes, we’re still going to have the ball, we’re still going to push the game. You’re going to see an even better level once we’re up goals. But I never underestimate this team, I really don’t.”
On if he got the sense that the team was going to come back…
“Very much. Part of that is that we’ve been down in games and we have a lot of belief. We’ve come back in games. Even in the Montreal match, we were pushing the game and had chances to tie the game. This team, they have that ability to come back so I think we were all very composed. We knew we had at least 45 minutes to score a goal and at least get a point out of it.”
On including Jack Jewsbury and Ben Zemanski in the starting lineup…
“We wanted a couple more guys on the field that bring a little bit of fight and bite and grit. Those two guys certainly bring that. I thought they both had good games.”
Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace
On coming off the bench to score the tying goal…
“Obviously we were 1-0 down and my whole thing was just coming in to the game and trying to make a difference, trying to make a play. We were attacking at the moment. We had a few chances prior to the goal. When I saw the first deflection, I saw that [Andrew Baptiste] had an opportunity to cross the ball, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t in an offside position, so I got in the right spot, the ball came, and I finished.”
On what coming back to tie means to the team…
“It’s a huge win for everybody involved with the Portland Timbers. Coming into this game, we obviously wanted to get a win, a first win here versus Seattle. A point, coming back, it means a lot, and shows again the character that this team has.”
On how the tie shows the team’s character…
“It just shows that everybody’s tuned in. Everybody is ready to compete, from the starting 11 to the guys that come in, the coaching staff, the training staff, everybody is on the same page. This year we want to be successful and points like this is what gets us there.”
On whether he realized how open he was…
“I was in a good position. That’s why I wanted to make sure I was onside. I was pretty open and I wanted to make that sure it went in. It was a good ball by [Andrew] Baptiste.”
On why he’s the leading Portland scorer against Seattle…
“I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to get the goal. It’s a good result for the team.”
Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
On getting the draw…
“It’s a step in the right direction. We’re fighting ourselves. We’re fighting a lot of adversity. We could easily be 0-3 right now. This group could be sitting on zero points, getting ready to blow this thing up. We never panicked, we never wavered. We understand that we made mistakes, still, and there’s a lot of improvement that we can still make. When you get a point out of a game like this, it’s very, very promising and positive and takes us in the right direction, so we’re excited.”
On how the team felt about the game and getting the draw…
“We thought we were playing well. That’s the frustrating thing. We think we’ve been playing well throughout the three games; others may disagree, but the feeling inside this locker room is that we have guys who know how to win and we have guys that… we feel like we’ve been playing well. We just had to keep going, stay positive, understand that we made another mistake, but put it behind us and salvage a point out of the game, and we managed to do that.”
On if he expected the game to be a bit “chippier”…
“A little bit. Kevin [Stott], the referee, did a pretty good job of keeping things under control. It had its moments, but it’s early in the year and these kind of things take a little bit of time. When the playoff’s on the line in September or October, I think it could be ever chippier. But it was still a hard-fought game and they’re a good team, so give them credit.”
On whether it’s “too early” for a rivalry game…
“Yeah, maybe. That might be a good way to put it. I don’t think it’s ever too early, but I think the closer you get to October, the more the games mean in one way or another. Obviously you have to pick up points along the way, but there’s definitely an intensity-level that changes once July and August kind of pass.”
Seattle Sounders FC Quotes
Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid
On the game…
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the result, giving up a late goal. I thought the first 20-25 minutes were good. I thought we stretched them and I thought we created some chances, got our goal, as well. After that, I think we let them into the game a little bit. I think our play was a little bit too slow. Our movement to the ball was too slow. It seemed like they were obviously pressing and were more ambitious in terms of winning 50-50 balls than we were, and that certainly turned the tide of the game. In the second half, we really didn’t turn that around as much as we should have, maybe Tuesday was still in our legs a little bit. As a whole, we could have walked away tonight winning one-nothing, even though it wasn’t a good performance. The good news is the group is here now, the team is here, so it gives us a chance to start working together and getting our cohesion down. We’re still throwing out different people at different times, so it makes it hard to get that cohesion.”
On Portland’s equalizing goal…
“Wallace was a wide player who made a run inside so he goes unmarked a little bit. He’s coming from DeAndre [Yedlin’s] side. When you’re in the box there you’ve maybe got to follow because it’s a dangerous time to pass players on because other people maybe have marks and already have responsibilities. We didn’t get pressure on [Andrew Jean-Baptiste], who played the ball in, and then Wallace runs through naked.”
On allowing Portland to equalize…
“We have to manage the game through to the end of the game. A lot of times we brought pressure on ourselves in the last 15 minutes of the game by, instead of going forward with the ball, we’d come backward with the ball, when we could have put more pressure on them. They were tight defensively, which we knew they would be, and we knew there would be space behind, but we kept trying to play the feet and a couple of times it looked like we were getting behind. We were almost there, but there was a lot of physical play there, as well.”
On what was the difference in the second half…
“I think our wide midfielders were too wide in the second half, and as a result of that it gave Portland the room inside and outnumbered our two central midfielders. We knew that was the case, but we knew we could shut that down, and we did at the beginning of the game. Like I said, we forgot to back to that and then they started connecting passes. As I said, the 50-50 balls went their way because they were a little better in terms of trying to win those balls back. Our team had a tough game on Tuesday, an emotional game. We came back, I thought we started well. We haven’t started games well this season, so I thought this was our best start to a game and we got the lead. Normally we make that stand up. Now there’s something that went right and you have built on what went right and eliminate what went wrong.”
Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson
On 13th minute goal…
“I don’t even remember how the play developed. Steve got it out wide and we were countering. Steve got it and was 1 vs. 1 on the guy, so I know 9 times out of 10 that he is going to beat the guy off the ball, and I was 1 vs. 1 with my guy, just trying to take him in and out. I faked like I was going in and Steve put it to the back post and I was wide open. It was one of those goals where we have the relationship and understand how each other play. I know when he gets the ball I have to find the seams inside the box and get free.”
On being unbeaten since last season in front of 40,000+ crowds…
“I think that energy of playing in front of 40,000 plus, if that doesn’t get you pumped up and looking forward to the game then you shouldn’t be on the field. I’ve had a taste of playing in Europe and our fans compete with the best of them. It’s a great statistic and hopefully we can keep it that way.”
Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani
What’s the feeling like after a game like this…
“We just have to close games out. It would’ve been a much better feeling waking up tomorrow with three points. Especially when you fight that hard, and run that much, and coming off of the game on Tuesday with a lot of miles on our legs so you want to close it out. But it’s football, it’s football, it happens. It’s a long season and you have a lot of ups and downs, and we have to go over everything that happened tonight and see what went wrong, but we know we were close to getting to three points and that’s what hurts so much because we were so close to it. We live to play another day, and we do take some positives from the game and we build from there.”
Saturday’s meeting marked the 80th all-time meeting in the history between the Timbers and Sounders, dating back to 1975 and the original North American Soccer League (NASL).
In MLS play, the Timbers improve to 1-2-3 against Sounders FC, including a 0-1-2 mark at CenturyLink Field.
With Saturday’s draw, the Timbers and Sounders FC are tied at the top of the Cascadia Cup standings for 2013 with one point. The Cascadia Cup, won by the Timbers in 2012, is a fan-based derby contested between the three Northwest MLS clubs – Portland, Seattle and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Saturday marked the first of six games for the Timbers in Cascadia Cup play this season.
As an MLS club, the Timbers have an overall record of 5-2-4 in Cascadia Cup matches.
Portland’s Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury and Darlington Nagbe have started all six of the MLS meetings between the Timbers and Sounders FC.
The opening goal scored by Seattle’s Eddie Johnson was the earliest goal scored by either side in the six-match, MLS series between the Timbers and Sounders FC. Johnson has scored three goals in four career matches against Portland.
The Timbers completed 500 passes against Seattle, marking a third straight match to open the campaign in which the club has completed 500 or more passes. Portland recorded 500 passes in a match just twice during the 2012 season.
Only two other clubs around MLS on Saturday completed 500 more passes in their match – Sporting Kansas City (609) and Real Salt Lake (597).
Portland’s defense held Seattle to just seven total shots on Saturday, marking the fewest attempted by an opponent in 2013. The Timbers have yet to allow an opponent more than 10 shots in a match through the first three matches of the 2013 season.
Entering the match as a sub in the second half, Rodney Wallace scored his second game-tying goal against Sounders FC as a member of the Timbers. He also tallied the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Sounders FC on Sept. 15, 2012, at JELD-WEN Field.
Wallace is now the MLS Timbers all-time leading scorer against Seattle with two goals.
The Timbers share the league lead in goals scored (5) with the Montreal Impact through their first three games of the regular season.
Through three matches, the Timbers lead MLS in shots (53) and corner kicks (20) and share the league lead in shots on goal (18).
The Timbers wore their Rose City Red kits for the first time this season – red jersey, red shorts and white socks.
Of the six goals allowed by the Timbers through their first three regular-season matches, five have been scored in the first half.
Recovered from a preseason hamstring injury, midfielder Jack Jewsbury made his first start and appearance of the 2013 season. Jewsbury is the MLS Timbers career leader in games played (64) and has appeared in all but seven of the club’s matches since it joined MLS in 2011.
Ben Zemanski made his first start for Portland on Saturday, featuring at right back.
Timbers forward Ryan Johnson made his 155th MLS appearance, his third with Portland, on Saturday against Seattle.
Arriving in Portland on Monday, new forward Frederic Piquionne made his Timbers debut Saturday, entering the match as a second-half substitute in the 71st minute.
Following Saturday’s match, Portland’s Futty Danso (The Gambia), Ryan Johnson (Jamaica), Will Johnson (Canada) and Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica) leave for international duty with their respective clubs.
- The Timbers Reserves and Sounders FC Reserves open their 2013 MLS Reserve League schedules on Sunday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.; kickoff is 5 p.m. (Pacific).