Quotes: Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson
Thoughts on results:
“I think you have to give San Jose full credit there. They are a very talented team; they have a lot of self-belief and a tremendous coaching staff. You start to look at what they bring game in and game out, and they feed off that emotion. When Wondo [Wondolowski] got that first goal, they could smell a little bit of blood and they went after it. I was very proud of our guys and how hard they worked.”
On forward Danny Mwanga:
“He was, for various reasons, very short on confidence coming out of Philadelphia, but he has worked hard in training and preformed very, very well off the bench the last few games. He deserved to start tonight, and his second goal was fantastic. He is a good finisher and he showed that tonight.”
On goalkeeper Joe Bendik:
“I think he did well. When you go up against San Jose, they have nothing to lose and they have three, four or five players forward, and with Bendik in the box, he had lots of knockdowns and created havoc. I think Joe did well to manage the game.”
On midfielder Franck Songo’o:
“Frank has really started to take on a leadership role and I am really happy with him. He controls the ball and tempo of the game well and is technically gifted. It’s a matter of keeping him fit and healthy and continuing to develop him. But again, he has done very well the last few games.”
Timbers forward Danny Mwanga
On San Jose’s goal in stoppage time:
“I think we did a good job. Our back line did a good job battling, but at the same time I think some of the calls, there is not much we can do about it. But at the same time, we had a chance at the last minute, and I know for a fact that our team did a really good job and we just have to keep doing that.”
On his second goal:
“I think that Steven Smith made a really good run, which made the defender make a decision. He stuck with him so it made my job easier. I had a clear shot on goal and I just had to make sure I caught it right.”
On his confidence level:
“Whenever you come to a new team, there are a lot of new things going on and you have to adjust, not only physically and mentally. Not playing as much gets to your head, but I was just trying to do my best and stay positive and the coaching staff did a good job of talking to me. I feel really good and hopefully I keep playing well.”
San Jose Earthquakes Quotes
Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop
“Over the balance of the game, we created a number of chances and could have scored some more goals. It was tough to give up that goal right before halftime and have to fight our way back into the match. Our spirit was great again and the teamwork and reaction to adversity was nice to see.”
On team’s depth:
“I think we have a pretty strong squad all the way through and you saw that again tonight. The subs made a difference in the game and that is true almost every match. Whoever comes into the game will create a spark, whether it is Alan [Gordon] and Wondo [Chris Wondolowski] or someone else. This team just pushes on to the end with a never-say-die attitude.”
Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski
On the team’s effort:
“My goal was just trying to add a spark. To be honest, I wanted to give a 90-minute performance in a 30-minute period. Anytime you play a Western rival, it’s going to be a battle and will get heated. With 60 minutes on the bench, I could study the game and you get to come out fresh. The coaches told me to compose myself and do as much as I could.”
On the result:
“Portland’s a good team. Given the circumstance, we will take the point. It was a playoff atmosphere and we knew it would be a battle. We can’t make bad mistakes and get down like that. Especially at home, you want to get the three points, but given the circumstances we are happy with the point. On Saturday, we have another playoff atmosphere waiting for us and we will be looking to get the three points and keep the momentum going.”
Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon
On last-minute goals:
“I didn’t do anything. The guy in there [Chris Wondolowski] did it all. Honestly, it’s all about spirit. It’s something special to see this team battle. It’s a thing we have up top. We have a confidence about us. I thought we were going to get the winner to be honest.”
On team’s spirit:
“We didn’t start with the energy that we wanted, but you have got to give us credit. We have a never-say-die attitude. We do it and we’ve done it all season. It’s hard work, determination and belief. As Frank [Yallop] said, it’s a disappointment to go down 2-0, but we always move forward quickly and respond. We have a battle this weekend in Seattle and we have to go on their turf and try and get three points.”
The Timbers and Earthquakes met for the fourth time in MLS play on Wednesday. The Timbers are unbeaten in the MLS series with a record of 1-0-3 against San Jose.
The Earthquakes are one of four MLS sides that the Timbers are unbeaten against in MLS play. The others are the Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
With Wednesday’s draw, the Timbers improve to 2-1-3 over their last six matches against Western Conference opponents and are now 3-2-3 in weekday matches in 2012.
San Jose attempted 23 shots against the Timbers on Wednesday, the most by a Portland opponent the season. The Earthquakes attempted 11 of their 23 shots from inside the box.
The Earthquakes’ nine shots on goal marked the most by a Timbers opponent since July 14, when the LA Galaxy recorded 10 in a 5-3 win over Portland at JELD-WEN Field.
Timbers forward Danny Mwanga recorded the club’s third multiple-goal performance of the 2012 campaign with two goals against San Jose; it was the second brace of his MLS career. Mwanga’s first brace came as a member of the Philadelphia Union on May 28, 2011, against Toronto FC.
All three of Mwanga’s goals this season have come against the Earthquakes; he scored in Portland’s 2-1 win over San Jose on July 3 at JELD-WEN Field.
Mwanga’s second goal of the night in the 62nd minute marked his 15th career MLS goal. Additionally, Mwanga made his 75th career appearance and his 40th career start on Wednesday.
Mwanga’s first goal in the 45th minute marked the first time in seven matches (since July 28 against Chicago) in which San Jose conceded the first goal of a match and broke a run of 216 minutes of shut-out play by the Earthquakes defense.
The Timbers backline kept the Earthquakes, who lead MLS with 60 goals scored this season, off the board in the first half. The last time San Jose was held without a first-half goal was Aug. 11 against Seattle.
Midfielder/defender Rodney Wallace earned his first assist of the season on Mwanga’s first-half goal. He has recorded one goal and one assist over the last two matches.
Wallace played in his 40th match for the Timbers on Wednesday, becoming the ninth player in the club’s MLS history to make 40 or more appearances.
Midfielder Franck Songo’o committed a season-high seven fouls against San Jose, topping Diego Chara’s six fouls committed against Columbus on May 5.
The Timbers matched a season-high with seven saves against the Earthquakes’ league-leading offense; a mark first set May 15 against Houston.
Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik made his first MLS start Wednesday against San Jose. He has made two other league appearances this season coming off the bench.
Bendik made five saves in his first MLS start, matching the most saves by a Timbers MLS goalkeeper in their first start with the club. Goalkeeper Adin Brown recorded five saves in the Timbers’ debut MLS match March 19, 2011.
Forward Kris Boyd, making his first start since Aug. 15 at Toronto FC, left the match in the 18th minute after sustaining an injured groin in the 13th minute while challenging for a header in the box; his shot missed just wide of the right post. He was replaced by forward Bright Dike.
Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury made his 200th career MLS start on Wednesday, and joins a list of 59 other field players in MLS history who have made 200 regular-season starts.
Portland’s Lovel Palmer made his first start at right back on Wednesday against San Jose since April 7. Palmer recently returned from international duty with the Jamaica National Team, where he features as a right fullback.
With Palmer in the Starting XI, defender Kosuke Kimura had a run of 12 consecutive starts come to an end on Wednesday. However, Kimura did play in a 13th consecutive match, coming on for Palmer in the 83rd minute.
Due to injuries to goalkeepers Donovan Ricketts and Jake Gleeson last weekend, the Timbers called up MLS league pool goalkeeper Scott Angevine, who served as the backup to Bendik against the Earthquakes.
- The Timbers play three of their remaining five regular-season matches on the road.