Meghan Klingenberg, Thorns vs Pride, 07.14.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 4, Orlando Pride 3 | July 14, 2019

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons

General thoughts on the match…
"General thoughts; give me a seat, give me some air con [air conditioning], some water, bring my heart rate down for a moment. ESPN better send some commission to Portland and Orlando because that was a heck of a way to open up your TV games. It's always special Providence Park, it always seems to be this stadium that gives the absolute best games in this country. And then you throw in a bit of TV and I think it adds a bit of extra spice. Credit to Orlando, I thought they showed a lot of character. Look at their individual talent, they've got so much quality and talent on their team. You give them an inch, they're going to take it. They had three or four looks and they put three of them away, which is obviously a problem for us but credit to them for... they kept pinging us back in our stadium. My thoughts on our performance; in between the 18's is that we took giant leaps today. But we were much, much better in many areas that we wanted to be better in. You know, we wish we could have made a couple of small steps last week. It didn't happen and we took care of that this week. We should've scored a lot of goals in the first 30 minutes, it could've been three or four by the end of the half, could've been five or six. That obviously gave Orlando hope so we’ve got to be better at putting the ball in the back of the net still because we started this season electrifying in putting the ball in the back of the net, we just lost a bit of momentum. And then defensively, it's the second week in a row that we haven't blocked a ball from outside or near the 18-yard box; so that's a problem - we need to fix it. Between the 18's, I thought we took massive, giant steps and we were playing like the Portland Thorns again. We were controlling and dominating every area of the field until we got into their 18 and then just need to tidy up, tidy some things up."

On set pieces throughout the match...
"I thought we should've scored off a couple of set pieces in the first half, the delivery was great. But also the organization - Rich Gunney does all our set-piece work and everything was on fire today in the restarts and [Meghan Klingenberg] Kling's delivery was back to being great."

On reasons for conceding so shortly after scoring today...
"Yeah, I think lack of focus. It's been - we emptied the tank last week against Seattle [Reign FC] and we came up short. We hit it really hard this week and we trained really hard and probably did too much. And I think you go into a game in the heat, massive game you have to win, you grab a goal and you make the mistake about going 'we're alright,' you can't do that in the NWSL. We keep talking about it, if you stand still or switch off for a split second, anyone can hurt you, especially when Marta is on the pitch."

On today's match being broadcast on ESPNEWS...
"I think Portland, the Riveters, the community comes in here and gives everything when they support, creates the best atmosphere in the world and what Merritt Paulson has done to build this and give this the opportunity it deserves. The game of soccer today showed you everything. The reasons we love football: world-class talent, young players that keep developing and showing that they can play on this stage, end-to-end action, tactics, change of tactics constantly through the game, almost a chess match out there trying to find different areas both teams, drama, it had it all. And look, the World Cup, we all tuned in and watched the World Cup. And the World Cup was incredible, the best we had. No one's heart rate went as high as what we did, everyone in this stadium today watching NWSL soccer. This is out there every single week in all the nine markets because the talent, the grit, the coaches that are in his league, the nine clubs and you look at previous coaches who have been in this league. Everything has so much quality. At the same time, I think we have huge, huge steps that we want to and need to take. The product and everything is great but we've got to keep supporting on the backend and I'm glad to be at a club where Merritt is and the people, the way they support here and the fans come in, we can keep raising the standard, not standing still and making sure that we keep pushing the game forward."

On Hayley Raso's impact on the match...
"Yeah, I thought Raso had a big impact. You know, last week she wasn't in the game at all when she came on because we didn't get her in the game, we didn't give her the ball. And this week we spent a little bit of time reminding people what Raso can do. And she's very important, very dangerous. And when she has those sharp movements, we need to get her in the game. Yup, it was brilliant, it was fantastic to see Raso, I think she has an energy and a glow about her right now that reminds me of 17', when she led the charge for this team for large periods. She came back from injury late last year and just took off. We see that glow and we're just going to try to keep that going and keep developing it. She's been here a week or two. She's obviously very important to us and you guys saw that today."

Portland Thorns FC forward Tyler Lussi
On scoring the game-winning goal in stoppage time…
“That was amazing. Just the fact that [Meghan Klingenberg] played a perfect ball and she’s been playing perfect balls the entire game, the entire season and every season she’s on the field. So the ball dropped in and I just followed it and had to redirect it in. Nothing special on the header, just make sure it ended up in the back of the net. It was a great feeling. We all had a feeling once [Orlando] scored the tying goal that we were going to win this game. This team is built on that fight and desire to win every play. No matter what. If we’re in stoppage time, we know we’re going to win, especially at home. Especially in front of our amazing fans.”

On the game being televised nationally on ESPN
EWS
“Having ESPN is truly special. We need that for the women’s game. We need that. The U.S. team just won the World Cup and they’re incredible. More people should watch, not only women’s soccer, but women’s sports in general. To have ESPN is a great platform. We just need to keep growing and growing the game. Especially for the little girls that watch this game and want to be us and can be us one day. Because everyone is paving the way on this team and every team in the NWSL.”

Portland Thorns FC Haley Raso
General thoughts on the match…

“It was an exciting game. A good attitude by us I think. We went up, they came back, we went up, so to finish it off like that was great.”

On scoring the opening goal…
“It was exciting. Just a bit of a confidence builder I think. It’s only my third game, maybe, back. So to get that, I’m hoping I can get a few more this season. I could just hear Mark [Parsons] screaming, ‘Press her! Press her!’ So I just went and it paid off for me.”

On what has been her focus coming back from injury and the FIFA Women’s World Cup…
“Just fitting back in with the team. Obviously
, going away and coming back, going away and coming, so just gelling with the team. Building those relationships and continuing to work on that.”

On reintegrating with the team after coming back from the World Cup…
“It hasn’t been too bad. I think initially while the World Cup was still going on it was a bit hard. We’re still watching games and we’re here to play as well. Now that it’s all done, I think everyone’s got 100% focus on the Thorns and we know that we have a job to do here. So everybody’s bought into that.”

Notes:

  • Christine Sinclair surpassed 10,000 career minutes played in the fifth minute of the match. Sinclair is the 10th player in league history to reach this milestone and only the fourth to play 10,000 minutes with just one team.
  • Making her first start of the 2019 season, Hayley Raso scored her first goal of the 2019 campaign.
  • With the goal, Raso became the 11th different player to tally a goal for Thorns FC this season.
  • Portland has scored 11 goals in the first half of matches in 2019, which is tied for the most in the NWSL.
  • Since the beginning of 2017 season, Thorns FC have the most first-half goals in NWSL play with 53, three more than North Carolina Courage.
  • Purce tallied her sixth goal of the season in the match. Her six goals rank tied for third in the NWSL in 2019.
  • Purce has scored six goals in her last seven matches for Portland, including three goals in the last four home matches.
  • Meghan Klingenberg tallied her fourth assist of the season, which is tied for the league lead. The assist was the 12th of her career, which ranks as the fourth most in Thorns FC history.
  • Caitlin Foord registered her second assist of the season. Foord is one of two players, along with Klingenberg, to have recorded multiple assists this season.
  • Portland improved to 9-1-1 all-time, including playoffs, against the Pride with the win. Thorns FC are 8-1-1 all-time in regular-season play against Orlando with a record of 4-1-0 at Providence Park.
  • Tyler Lussi has scored two goals in her last three games. Both goals came as a substitute.
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