Paul Riley Quotes, Thorns FC vs. Sky Blue FC, 7.3.15
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 2, Sky Blue FC 1 | July 3, 2015

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Paul Riley
Overall thoughts on the match…
“It was good. Second half was great. First half we just couldn’t get started. Talked about a lot of things prior to the game and just never got going. We changed formation at halftime, just changed it up and went to a 4-4-2, threw a diamond in there and crossed our fingers. Alyssa [Kleiner] got going down the left-hand side, Rachel [Van Hollebeke] got going down the right-hand side, the midfield got a grip, and we flipped Allie [Long] into the 10. Allie got a grip of the game and Sinead [Farrelly] started to get into the game and Kaylyn Kyle did a good job on [Katy] Freels in the second half which helped us too because Freels caused us a lot of problems in the first half. Just happy to get the win, it’s been two months since we’ve got a win. I’m just glad May and June are over and we’re in July.”

On getting a win without players still at the FIFA Women’s World Cup…
“It’s not so much the league table for us, it’s more that we’ve been through the process and worked so hard the last couple weeks and everyone is saying that the cavalry is coming back, but I think they’ve worked so hard that they wanted to prove that they could win without [the national team players]. I think that was on most of their minds in the second half and we talked about it at halftime – just getting out there and digging in and getting the job done for us and I thought they dug in. It’s a great result for us. We’ve got another one against the same team [next week] again and obviously the way things played out with the red card and the penalty, they’re going to be gunning for us in New Jersey.”

On the play of midfielder Kaylyn Kyle…
“The one thing is we challenged her at halftime, challenged her to get Freels out of the game. I said that you just have got to take care of Freels, you’ve got to get into her, be physical with her, don’t let her turn, don’t let her get her head up and I thought she [Kyle] did a really good job. She was settling on the ball. She did well for us tonight. It was good to have her, let’s be fair. She’s the only one from the World Cup contingent that’s back playing and it was really on her own shoulders that she came back and played. We’ve got to give her a lot of credit. I thought second half she was key to us.”

On Michelle Betos’ save in second-half stoppage time…
“It was a brilliant save late in the game like that. Freels is a good free kick taker and [Betos] read it well. Michelle did well and it was a huge save. We hadn’t won in a while and we got a little bit jittery in the last three or four minutes. Everybody was getting a little bit jittery. Having spent two months not winning, it’s not an easy thing. [The win] is a good feeling for everybody.”

On the FIFA Women’s World Cup…
“It’s been unbelievable for women’s soccer, the TV ratings and everything else. I feel like it’s a watershed moment for women’s soccer. It would be more of a watershed if we can win the tie, and I think we will end up winning. I think we have enough juice up front to win it. …I think the biggest impact is what it’s done in Canada, England, Africa, Australia, all these countries and continents that have been iffy on women’s soccer. In England, it’s front-page news. It’s unbelievable to think that. …It’s created this buzz and we already have it here [in Portland] almost from the 1999 World Cup, but I think this might be bigger. This is the new generation and there’s a lot of young players in the group – people like Morgan Brian and Christen Press they’re the next big stars for us. I hope to heavens they win it and bring home the cup. It would be great to have Alex [Morgan] and Tobin [Heath] back as well. I’ve got to wish Jodie [Taylor] and Nadine [Angerer] good luck too. They’ve enjoyed the World Cup and whatever they can bring back to us will be phenomenal for us.”

Portland Thorns FC Midfielder Sinead Farrelly
On what it means to get the win…
“It feels good and I think we all came together after the game and said, ‘this is just the start’. I think we needed a little kick start. June was a weird month. We only had two games with the World Cup break and then our bye week. We trained really, really hard so it feels really good to get that win and it paid off. We just want to keep riding the wave.”

On her goal on Friday…
“Second half we played so much better positionally. I think we were knocking it around, making space for each other and Kleiner was putting in some really good balls. I saw her about to cross it and I kind of just came up from all the way far post and headed it across the goal.”

On when she knew she would be able to head it
“I don’t know. It was one of those ones where everyone ran passed it already as I saw the space and I kind of knew it was coming to me. I was like, ‘this is going in’ and I just made good contact. I’m a good header of the ball so I felt like if I just made good contact it was going to go in.”

Portland Thorns FC Forward Allie Long
On what she saw on her penalty kick goal…
“I just stepped up and there was a long wait, they were giving her a red card, but I knew where I wanted to go. She kind of stepped one way so I took the other side.”

On what the win means…
“That was big time. That’s exactly what we needed. The second half of the season is starting and so that really was hopefully the catalyst to the best part of the season. Players are going to come back and I think we’re only getting better and we needed those three points at home, starting the second half of the season.”

On if there is still belief they can do something big…
“Oh ya. We never lost doubt from any situation. Obviously we had to turn it around at some point. We couldn’t just keep tying and not getting points but we never had doubt. We know how good we are and we’re just looking forward to getting to the playoffs. Our main goal is to win a championship and we’ve never taken our eyes off that.”

On if she changed her mind on the penalty kick…
“Yes. I was set on going one way and I saw her take a step so I just slotted it the other way.”

On if the return of the World Cup players will make it feel like a new team…
“I mean it’s definitely going to be refreshing with new players, new faces and different types of styles. There is going to be an adjustment period but we train tactically and technically enough that it shouldn’t take a while to adjust. But it’s exciting when the whole team will be back and experienced players and big time players that I think we’ve missed during this time but I’m excited for them to come back and I know everyone else is.”

On seeing Michelle make the save at the end of the game…
“I mean Katy Freels is really good at free kicks so I knew she was going to have a good take. I didn’t think it was going to be that good and Michelle had just come up huge. That was a ridiculous save. She’s just proving to everyone how good she is every single game and how valuable she is which is awesome. She’s really taken this time as the starting keeper to prove how good she is. I’m happy for her. She kept us in that game, again.”

Notes:                                                                                               

  • Portland improved to 7-1-3 in its last 11 home matches with the win, including a record of 3-1-2 this season.
  • Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 27-12 in their last 11 home matches.
  • Portland has scored two or more goals in six of its last 11 home matches.
  • Thorns FC are 18-1-4 when scoring two or more goals in a match since 2013.
  • With the win, Portland improved to 2-3-2 in the all-time series against Sky Blue FC.
  • Midfielder Kaylyn Kyle earned her first career start for Thorns FC in the match.
  • Defender Emily Menges started her 18th consecutive match, dating back to the 2014 season.
  • Midfielder Sinead Farrelly is the only player this season to start and played 90 minutes in every match.
  • Midfielder Allie Long tallied her 17th career goal, moving into sole possession of first place on the all-time career goal-scoring list for Thorns FC.
  • Midfielder Alyssa Kleiner tallied her first career point and assist on Farrelly’s game-winning goal.
  • Long has now tallied a goal or an assist in eight of the last 11 home matches and five of six home matches in 2015.
  • All five of Long’s goals this season have been scored at Providence Park.
  • Long has scored three goals in seven career matches against Sky Blue FC.
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