Steven Smith, Timbers @ Rapids, 9.5.12
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Quotes & Notes - Colorado Rapids: 3, Portland Timbers: 0 - Sept. 5, 2012

Quotes: Portland Timbers at Colorado Rapids

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson

On the difference between tonight and the last few matches:
“If you analyze the performances and how we played, you can pick some positives. I think they had four or five chances, and scored three goals. Individual errors cost us tonight. That’s not identifying any one player, but when you go on the road you need everyone to get their jobs done and win their individual battles. You can’t come on the road and give up chances and make individual errors, and that’s what cost us. We weren’t aware of players coming into the box, and I think you can isolate individual errors for the goals. I think the previous times we’ve come to Colorado we haven’t kept the ball. Some of the football [tonight] we played a little bit better, and on a different night maybe it’s a different result [if we get] different performances from one or two key players.”

On adjustments Colorado made during the quick turnaround from Friday’s match:
“They didn’t make a lot of adjustments. [Jeff] Larentowicz played a little bit higher. [They] made a couple personnel moves. I thought they were lucky to keep 11 on the park to be honest. No excuses, but we seemed to be on the unfortunate side of some decisions.”

On the attacking game plan coming into this match:
“We were looking to play forward, we were looking to find runners and made a couple passes where we were trying to thread the needle and get on the end of things. By and large I can’t fault the effort or the work rate of the guys, and that’s an improvement from last time we came here, where we sat back and didn’t play much and the other team had 60 percent of the ball. Tonight I think we kept the ball a little bit better, we did try to create chances. It’s still a young team. We’re looking for maturity and we need to learn from this.”

On week and a half before next match:
“They’ll get a couple of days off, but the Cascadia Cup is extremely important to myself, the fans and the players. We need to focus on that.”

Timbers defender Steven Smith

On what was different tonight:
“We lost the goal early on, and I think when you lose a goal early you have to open your game plan. We maybe lost the shape a little bit, but I don’t think [the result] was a fair reflection. I think we had a lot of possession and a few chances ourselves. Maybe if we took one of them when it was 2-0, we could have got back in the game.”

On team’s mindset on the road:
“I think because of the results on the road, people maybe make a lot out of their performance than what it actually was. I think we’ve played well recently. I don’t think we played well in the second half at home against Colorado, so maybe that kind of got a little bit into the game tonight. There’s something that’s maybe dragging us down a little bit, the form on the road, and we’ve got to get a result somewhere.”

Timbers defender Kosuke Kimura

On the return to Colorado:

“The first 10 minutes I wasn’t on it. [Tony] Cascio had a chance to score a goal; he had an assist on one goal. It was an individual mistake I think. I thought we played good enough to create chances to get some points, but like I said an individual mistake let the team down. We played well in the second half; everyone came out with a really good mentality. I thought we kept the ball, and created good chances. When those chances come, we have to finish it. Otherwise, the momentum doesn’t go our way. It was a little emotional game for me. That’s how it is as a professional, so I’ve got to suck it up and I’ve got to keep moving forward.”

On if there was any extra pressure on him tonight:
I wanted to play well. Coach told me not to be too emotional, but I got caught up in the moment a little bit. I can’t let that happen in a game. It’s just 90 minutes, but if for just one minute you lose focus, it’s just going to kill you at the professional level. I put pressure on my shoulders today, but it didn’t come out well. Like I said, it’s a professional game and you can’t fix the past, but you’ve got to try to fix the future. I think if we keep the ball like we did in the second half we can get more points the rest of the season.

Colorado Rapids Quotes

Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja

General thoughts on the win:
“When we spoke to the players before the game, we were looking to have them face the game with special concentration and attention. The boys have been creating options for many games, and we couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. In the end, the goals give you the points and the results. Today, we finally found the net. It was something very positive. We're very proud of the young guys because they came in and helped us.”

On the importance of getting that second goal:
“It didn't happen much during the season for us where we had the accuracy and the precision to score goals, but today it was very good that we scored the first one early, and then we came out with the second goal before halftime. With the second goal, the guys could play with more confidence.”

On being eight points behind Vancouver with six games to go:
“It’s there [the opportunity to make the playoffs] for the people that want to push. One of the things that I have seen from this group is that I haven't seen this group quit for one minute.”

On the play of Tony Cascio:
“Tony had a very good game in Portland as well. He brings that energy. He gets himself in positions to score very easily. Finally he put the ball back in the net, and early in the game he hit the post. Those are highlights for him.”

Rapids forward Andre Akpan

On getting his first start in a while:
“It was good. It felt really good, I think for the young players when you get a chance you’ve got to take it. That’s what we were able to do tonight and we got a win. Hopefully we can keep that going.”

On his goal:
“I think it was [Drew Moor] who hit it back post to find Tony [Cascio] and he got up above his defender. I think the keeper made a save and it fell to me and I reacted, and tucked it away.”

Rapids defender Drew Moor

On winning after a tough stretch:
“It's nice. Obviously any time you win at home, any time you get a shutout and get three goals up on the board, it's a positive result. I didn't think we played as well as we could have, but we finished our chances, which we've had trouble doing this year and we got the shut out which we've had trouble doing this year. Overall, it's a very positive night. It's something we want to look to build on these final six games and see what we can make of it.”

On the importance of the final six games:
“We won tonight. If you win LA and in Vancouver, those are two very tough tasks. We haven't been to LA yet this year. We feel like we gave a game away at Vancouver earlier in the summer. If you get something out of those two games, you never know. We're not out of it till we're out of it. We still believe we can continue to win games like we did tonight. Our belief right now is still the playoffs.”

On getting two assists:
“I think that tied my career number maybe. It's always nice to get on the score sheet whether it's a goal or an assist. Playing outside back, I like to play forward as much as I can to support the attack. It's not my specialty. I'm more naturally comfortable playing in the middle, but anytime you can get balls into the box and go forward, it's a big help for the attack.”



  • The Rapids claimed the 2012 season series against the Timbers (2-1-0) and improve to 4-1-0 in the all-time MLS series against Portland.
  • The last time the Timbers were shutout in a match was July 28 in a 1-0 loss to Chivas USA.
  • The goal by forward Andre Akpan in the sixth minute was the second-quickest goal Portland has allowed this season.
  • Akpan’s goal ended a streak of four consecutive matches in which the Timbers were able to score the opening goal of a match.
  • By playing the full 90 minutes against Colorado, midfielder Jack Jewsbury is within three minutes (4,997) of becoming the first MLS Timbers player to reach the 5,000 minutes played mark for the club.
  • Rookie defender Ryan Kawulok, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., was on the match-day roster for the Timbers.
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts appeared in his 99th career MLS match on Wednesday.
  • Defender Steven Smith was issued his fifth caution of the season in the second half against the Rapids. Smith will miss the Timbers’ upcoming match against Seattle due to a league-imposed suspension for caution accumulation.