Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On the various personnel changes and how the changes were successful in this match:
“The credit 100 percent goes to the players. Coaches can make decisions but they’re never good decisions unless the players execute. I thought from start to finish, both sides of the ball, it was the most complete performance of the year. Maybe the most complete performance since I’ve been here, against a very good team on the road. It feels good to be above the red line. A lot of teams would have quit grinding, a lot of teams would have unraveled, this team hasn’t. We kept fighting and we kept pushing. And here we are, above the red line where we feel we belong. But now we have to stay there.”
On the victory:
“This was a real statement game. I think it was an important one to get confidence from as well. It was an important one to get a clean sheet. We had some great performances out of some guys who haven’t played quite as much. I thought Alvas Powell, Jorge Villafaña and [Pa Modou] Kah were tremendous. And Rodney Wallace is back. It’s the first game I can honestly say he’s back 100 percent. He showed what he’s capable of doing in terms of goal production. It was a team effort.”
On the decision to push Powell and Villafaña forward up the flanks:
“I think a lot of it was predicated on the last game they played, which was a really good performance in Guyana. For me, I knew I couldn’t play them the next game because they were going to be fatigued. But I always in the back of my mind thought based on that game that I would have some tough decisions regardless of how that [Seattle] game went. I’m real happy that we’re able to get back to playing the way we want to play. And we looked like the team that I want my team to look like. I was real proud of them.”
On keeping a clean sheet:
“I thought it was a real team effort defensively. Obviously the back line and the goalkeeper get the bulk of the credit and the brunt of the blame, but they need help. And I thought today that they got help. But I also thought the back line really did a nice job defending some really talented attacking players. Hurtado, Mattocks, Kekuta, Rosales, Morales, these guys are very good players. And we didn’t give them much. But it helped having the front guys chip in.”
On why they didn’t sit back against the Whitecaps:
“That’s just not who I am. I’m not going to put a team out that sits back. Obviously we were smart with how we managed our lines. We talked this week about being okay if we do end up dropping deeper. But fortunately we were threatening them so much and we had so much of the ball that we didn’t end up having to drop much. I think that was the real key. But when the ball did turn over, we were organized. I think the key is that we got numbers behind the ball and we weren’t stretched.”
On shutting down Morales:
“I thought [Diego] Chara did a really nice job on Morales. I can’t remember Morales doing much on the day. We sat Chara a little bit more and locked him in on Morales. I thought that was a key because in some games we haven’t had that protection in the hole. I thought Chara did a really good job on Morales, who I think is one of the best attacking mids in the league.”
Portland Timbers defender Jorge Villafaña
On what it means to be over the red line:
“It means a lot because we were always fighting to get on top of that red line and finally we did it today, with a good performance. This is going to help boost our confidence going forward and we need to keep building on this and turn to the next game.”
On whether it was their best performance of the season:
“I think we played a great game. In the first half, we had the ball, and in the second half, we completely shut them down. I think they didn’t create anything, maybe once, but it was out of our turnover. I think we dominated them on both sides of the ball, attacking and defending, in the second half, and this win gives us confidence going into the next games.”
Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe
General thoughts on the game:
“I think it went well, first half we kept it tight, 0-0, which is what we wanted. You always want to be either ahead or tied at halftime. Second half, we kept the ball out and the goals fell for us.”
On the message from head coach Caleb Porter:
“He just told us to come out and try to deny them getting service and cut off their wide game, which is what they’re good at. So, we did the best we could to stop them from getting forward on the outside and try to counter, which worked out for us.”
On what they’ll take from this match into next week’s game against San Jose:
“Well, we kept a clean sheet, which is something we haven’t done in a while. I thought we defended really well this game. We need to do the same against San Jose, defend well, play like we did today, and we’ll have success.”
On what it means to get into a playoff spot, especially jumping Vancouver in the process:
“It feels good. Both of us are right there, they were right above us, right above the red line where we wanted to be. We knew this game was going to be close, and to finally get above that red line, where we’ve wanted to be all season, it feels great, and now we’re looking forward to San Jose.”
Portland Timbers defender Alvas Powell
On how it felt coming in and scoring his first goal:
“It’s a great feeling. I have always wanted to score, and it finally came true tonight. Hard work paid off.”
On how important his performance was in such an important match:
“It’s very important. I’ve been working really hard in training and scored goals in training, so when this opportunity came, I was ready.”
On how his spell in Sacramento helped his performance:
“In Sacramento, it was good. I worked really hard down there so I could come back to Portland and start playing.”
On what he was thinking after scoring:
“A lot of things were running through my mind. I wanted to do a little dance or something, but I was really happy.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Quotes
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson
Thoughts on the match:
“I think we got a do-in today for the first time this season. I just said to the guys in there ‘I don’t think we were at our top performance levels.’ We have been most of the games this season at home. It’s unfortunate because it was a fantastic opportunity for us, a fantastic crowd, they were brilliant as always, and we sort of let ourselves down a little bit. Not from effort but just maybe from concentration in certain points of the game.”
On the state of the team’s offense vs Portland:
“I’m not sure. I think it’s something we’ve got to look at because you’re right they (the Timbers) have conceded a lot of goals. But today they didn’t seem in any danger. Even if we would have hit our levels of attack in play I still don’t think we would have scored three goals. It’s something we have to look at individually and collectively and as a staff as well and find a solution because we’re not going to win games if you keep conceding goals.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Kendall Watson
Thoughts on the game:
“Well this is difficult, because when you lose you’re always trying to find out why you lose, but really now we have to wait and see, and look forward for the next game because we have nine more games, so this is not it. We are thinking that we can do it. We have faith that we can do it. You have bad days, and this was a bad day. We weren’t playing bad, we were playing good, but football is making goals, and they scored so now we have to look forward to the next match, and hopefully we can win.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Jordan Harvey
Thoughts on the match:
“Obviously disappointed. Any time you lose at home you’re going to be disappointed, three- zero. I think collectively as a group it just wasn’t good enough, they outplayed us tonight.”
On dropping out of a playoff spot with the loss:
“You know, it’s frustrating for a number of reasons, losing three-zero at home is one, them being a Cascadia rival is another. We didn’t really step up to the plate in terms of that, it’s a massive game and we just didn’t do well enough. There are a lot of reasons, obviously dropping points to them is another. You know I could go on and on, but overall it was just a bad night for us.”
Portland ranks tied for third in MLS with 44 goals, just one behind the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas (45).
The Timbers remain unbeaten on the road against Vancouver (3-0-2), improving to 5-1-4 all-time during the MLS era against Whitecaps FC since the two clubs joined MLS in 2011.
Portland has outscored Vancouver 9-4 at BC Place in four seasons and 18-12 overall in the all-time MLS series.
The Timbers improved to 5-5-3 on the road this regular season, earning at least one point in five of the last seven road matches. Only two teams have earned more wins on the road this season (Sporting KC, Seattle).
The Timbers have earned at least one point in five of its last seven matches (4-2-1), claiming 13 points out of a possible 21.
Portland earned its third clean sheet of the season and the third in 10 all-time MLS meetings against Vancouver.
Defender Alvas Powell (20 yrs., 44 days) scored his first career MLS goal on Saturday night while becoming the second youngest player in the MLS era for Portland to score a goal.
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts earned his 17th clean sheet with the Timbers and the 49th of his MLS career on Saturday night.
Forward Maximiliano Urruti scored his second goal in three career matches against Vancouver.
Midfielder Diego Valeri has tallied an assist in all five appearances during his career against Whitecaps FC.
Valeri tallied his ninth assist of the season, tying him for fourth most in the MLS this season.
Valeri has registered a point in six of the last nine regular-season matches for the Timbers.
Saturday’s match against Vancouver marked the 78th all-time meeting between the two sides since the 1975 North American Soccer League (NASL) season and the 10th MLS regular-season match since 2011, when both clubs began their MLS era.
Midfielder Diego Chara made his 110th career MLS start for Portland on Saturday.
Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe made his 119th career appearance, moving him three games shy of eighth place on the Timbers all-time appearance list across all eras.
- Midfielder Will Johnson made his 34th consecutive regular-season start for Portland on Saturday.