Chara, Timbers vs. Rapids, 6.17.17
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Quotes & Notes | Colorado Rapids 2, Portland Timbers 1 | June 17, 2017

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On his message to the team after the game…
“My message was we have to be very disappointed in the second half. I thought the first half was good. We scored the goal and I thought we kept the ball and we played aggressive. Overall, we defended well and had a good shape, a good way and a good approach. We wanted more of the same in the second half and it didn’t happen, especially in the first 15-20 minutes. We had some guys that didn’t want the ball anymore and because of that we didn’t keep the ball. We invited too much pressure. We knew they were going to come at us a little bit in the second half because we saw that exact same game in their last game vs Columbus Crew. It was like déjà vu. Columbus Crew was up 1-0 and they gave up two goals in the second half and Alan Gordon was the one that scored the second goal coming off the bench late. I thought the first goal Colorado scored was extremely poor. We were caught up the field, one ball through the back line and it’s in the back of the net. That can’t happen at this level. We lost focus. Our reaction in transition wasn’t good in the back and the way we managed that counter was extremely poor. We let our guard down and we got punched in the nose and we have to learn from that. The second goal as well, we have to get pressure on the service and we have to attack the cross. We can’t let Alan Gordon jump over the top of us six yards out for the goal. So, I thought those two goals that they scored were poor on our part and I thought overall in the second half we stopped keeping the ball like we did in the first half and that wasn’t what we wanted to happen."

On if there was a difference in the Rapids’ second-half approach…
“Not really. I think we should have scored the second goal. We had a sitter that we didn’t score and that would have made it 2-0. Then you let them hang around, you keep it 1-0, it gets late in the game and obviously there’s going to be some fatigue with the altitude and they’re used to throwing the kitchen sink at teams if it remains close. We had our hands around their throat, we didn’t get the second goal and we stopped playing. We invited too much pressure and then I think the first goal they scored gave them more life. It took us about 20 minutes before we finally started to string together some passes and look like the team that we wanted to look like. The team that we looked like in the first half and then we concede a second goal off a throw in late where we didn’t get pressure on the ball. It’s just disappointing. We have to learn from it. Learn from the goals we gave up. Learn from the second half and do a better job of managing the game and keeping the ball. Sometimes you need to get punched in the nose and get punished to learn those lessons because I thought we let our guard down in that second half and it cost us.” 

On bouncing back from the result going into Wednesday’s game…
“Well, I think there’s always a balance in a season between confidence and a little bit of tension. I thought we came out bright to start. We came out again with confidence in this game. We had won two in a row. It looked like it was going to be three. The message at halftime was we need to continue to push and do what we were doing in the first half to get the second goal. But, human nature kicked in. A few guys got complacent, a few guys at the back on the first goal, and we got punished for it. We have to learn from it because if you let your guard down it doesn’t matter who you’re playing in this league, you’ll get punished every single time and that happened today. So, we move on. I know there will be a little bit more fire from the guys for sure to make up for this in the next game. But, this is an even tougher window, a tougher turnaround. Because we have to go on the road to Minnesota and then back at home against Seattle, so we’ll need to get some fresh bodies in there as well for Wednesday to hopefully give us that energy that we needed in the second half.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On tonight’s result…
“When it doesn’t come through for the team, it’s tough. We just have to keep working, we have a match later in the week and we need to pick ourselves up.”

On your goal in the first half…
“I was coming already with the intension of shooting. The important thing is to try, hopefully it goes in, maybe it won’t but for me it did today.”

On the game changing after their first goal…
“There was a time in the game where we were losing control of the ball and possession, unlike the first half when we were doing really well.”

Colorado Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni
Opening statement on the game…
“I think it was a hard-fought match going up against a very good Portland Timbers team. We knew we were going to be into a fight. In the early stages, we created a couple good opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on. Gave up a pretty soft goal but not defending the right way. At halftime, we made a couple of changes and at that point got control on both sides of the game. We dictated with the ball and without the ball.”

On the changes made in the second half…
“I think out shape behind the ball, so when we’re higher up the field we are making sure we keep them in cycles. The more perimeters we can set up, especially at home, will put ourselves in great positions to score goals.”

On Alan Gordon’s late goals…
“It’s that psychological advantage that he brings to the game that manifests into reality somehow. Everyone knows that when he’s on the field, we have to get crosses in the box. He sacrifices his body on every play, especially in front of goal. He’s been a real catalyst these last few games along with the mentality that he brings, which is that fighting spirit which fits perfectly with the rest of the group.”

Colorado Rapids forward Alan Gordon
On the game-winning goal…
“It was a great ball. I was just trying to get in the box and be dangerous. It takes a ball like that for a goal. Marlon [Hairston] did most of the work, I was just trying to get it on target and luckily it went in.”

On the team’s recent momentum…
“It’s huge. We’ve been digging ourselves out of a big whole these last few weeks. This feels good – winning like this is contagious. I’ve been a part of it before and I think it will continue if we just keep fighting and stick together. We have a great group here and that’s what it’s all about.”

Notes

  • Saturday’s game marked just the second time the Timbers have lost this season when scoring the game’s opening goal (6-2-2).
  • The Rapids opening goal marked the first goal conceded by the Timbers in 231 minutes of regular-season action.
  • Saturday’s result marks just the second time Portland has lost to Colorado in the last eight games played between the two teams, dating back to July 18, 2014.
  • Midfielder Sebastián Blanco scored his second goal of the season in Saturday’s match against Colorado.
  • Blanco recorded a team-high four shots in the match.
  • Midfielder Diego Valeri recorded his sixth assist of the season, which ranks as the most on the team. As a team, the Timbers have recorded 13 assists in their last nine games played.
  • Defender Lawrence Olum made his 100th league appearance in MLS on Saturday.
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