Jake Gleeson, Timbers vs. Alpha, 9.23.14

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

Overall thoughts on the game:
“A lot of positives, I don’t know if it could have gone any better. First and foremost we got the win and three points, but we were also able to build some goal differential, that does come into play in the seeding. It doesn’t come into play getting out of the group because the tiebreaker is only between the two teams that would be tied, but it does play into the seeding if you get out into the quarterfinals. We’ve got a plus-11 goal differential going into the last game, so that’s a real positive. We got through healthy. We have a fresh group for this next league game, which is very important. We got some guys minutes that need minutes to stay sharp. Obviously they performed well. We got some young guys, George Fochive, Taylor Peay and Jake Gleeson, in there that did well. It never hurts to score a bunch of goals at home. And our spirit continues to be, from top to bottom, the first player to the 28th player, very strong and that never hurts as well.”


On being in a good position going forward in CCL:
“Obviously we are 3-0 and nine points and we’ve got a plus-11 goal differential, so it’s hard to be in a better position. We would have liked to not give away a couple of away goals, but you can’t be too greedy. We’ve done well. You can see we’ve done well with some different guys. That continues to reinforce that we have depth, and that’s massive. To be able to manage the competitions that way and not sacrifice the league or the Champions League, so we’re in a great spot. We’ve got to shift gears. We’ll be in tomorrow and back to work. We’ll prepare our group to play versus Toronto. We’ve got six, the way I see it, big steps to make. We’ve got five league games, those are big steps. We can make three-point steps, or one can make point steps, or zero-point steps, but in every game we have the opportunity to make steps towards our goal of making the playoffs again. That will put us in a position if we do where we can raise a trophy and then we have one more big step in the CCL; if we are able to get out of the group that’s a huge positive to be in the quarterfinals. So we have the chance, you know this season has been trying at times, we have the chance to end on a real positive here making the playoffs and getting out of CCL and into the quarterfinals. If we do that it’s a very successful season. Obviously if we get into the playoffs I think we can win it. We’ve got a good enough team to do it. It won’t be easy depending on where we get in, but we are going to take it one at a time. We’ve got the five league games. We know we are only two points clear, the work is not done. Our goal is to chase Dallas; we are not going to be satisfied just getting into that five position. We want to put some pressure on Dallas and continue to build a buffer between ourselves and Vancouver and the other teams.”


On whether a win like that can carry over to the league games, morale-wise:
“Yeah, I think you’ve seen that last week when we won on Tuesday I think it carried over. Winning is habit. When you’re winning you start scoring goals and you get guys unlocked. It was huge to get Gastón [Fernández] a goal, [Fanendo] Adi even coming in and getting another goal. That just continues to build confidence. Maxi [Urruti] didn’t get a goal, but he got an assist. Those are huge things. So I think, yeah, it does, like I said, build more spirit and confidence. Right now we are scoring a lot of goals at home and getting results and clean sheets. Those things don’t hurt.”


On the team’s mentality and approach to the game:
“Sometimes these types of game are tricky because you know you are the superior team and it’s human nature to just do enough to get by so you have to fight almost that natural tendency to cruise and coast. In soccer you see it time and again, teams that should win don’t come out with the right mentality and they’re not focused and they get burned for a goal, whether it’s a set piece or a counter attack that could change a game. You see teams lose these types of games you never should. I thought our guys approached the game really professionally. Obviously an early goal helped. Jack [Jewsbury] getting that first goal really helps. That’s key. From there we really kept putting our foot to the pedal, which that was the goal. Not just do enough to get by, let’s get three goals and then from there have some fun. That was kind of the goal going into it. Make sure we get the first, second and third and then from there have some fun, which you could see at the end the guys did.”


On the decision to play some of the younger players in particular Jake Gleeson:
“You have to look at these situations and if you have the chance to get a Taylor Peay or a guy like Jake Gleeson in there. He’s obviously done really well on loan with Sacramento; he’s in the championship game Saturday. We just felt like it made sense to get him a game for the Timbers, for us, he’s gotten 21 or 22 games with Sacramento, but I think you saw today that he’s made progress. He looked comfortable. He’s got a great presence to him. He didn’t have a ton to do, but he had a couple things and he managed those situations very well, had a good save on a breakaway. So like I’ve said all along, we are going to focus on the now, and getting results the next game, now, this season now, but we have to always continue to build succession planning with our players, our young players. That’s something I feel very strongly about. I looked at this as an opportunity to get Taylor, Jake and George [Fochive] a look and a run, build some confidence, some experience, but those guys earned it. For me you’ve gotta earn it. We don’t just throw guys in to throw them in. I’m really carefully with when I get guys minutes because there’s a right and a wrong way to develop players. You can throw them in too early sometimes. You can throw them in when they haven’t earned it, and those guys have earned it. Obviously Alvas [Powell] has earned it. Taylor is kind of that next in line, he earned it. I felt he deserved to start today and get 90 minutes. He did will in the Kansas City game in the Open Cup. And George Fochive looked really good. He did well on loan as well. He took an injury and brought him back and he’s been really good in training. I think you saw again when guys earn it they go into games and they do well. So that’s really the way we looked at this game.  We knew we could win the game, but we felt we could do it with some younger guys and get them some experience.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury
On getting the first goal of the match:
“In Guyana, we didn’t think we started as well as we probably should have. So we wanted to make sure we got that first goal. Felt good to get that one, but knew we still had some work to do. I saw the ball kind of roll out to [Michael Harrington] and was just trying to make a run in behind their back four. He played a great ball, got the first touch down, and didn’t get all of it, but got enough to sneak it in the corner.”


On playing against a team where the expectation was always to win:
“We expected to win the game, that’s for sure. We knew that at the end of the day, we’re a better team. But a lot of times, these are some tricky games because mentally, you have to make sure you’re up for it, even though you’re supposed to win. We’ve seen in the past that these aren’t easy ones to take care of. So to get a shutout and six goals, we’re very happy with the performance and the result.”

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi
On the team’s build-up during several of the goals:
“As I say every time, we’re just understanding each other’s movements more and more. As much as we train, when the game starts up, we just try to understand ourselves. I was just right with my back to the man. All I can do is either stop the ball and wait for [Rodney Wallace] or I can turn and shoot. I had two options and I took the right one.”


On what the Timbers can take from a game like this ahead of Saturday’s league match:
“Very much. We came into the game to win and score a lot of goals, which we did today. It’s a lot of momentum for us. We know we’re getting the goals and we’re playing very well. I think we just need to go to Toronto and do the same.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson
On coming back to Portland from his loan spell at USL PRO club Sacramento Republic FC:
“Coming back up here and getting a game midweek is great, especially in front of the fans here at Providence Park. It was definitely all focused on tonight and now I’ll go back and build on this performance and look forward to Saturday down in Sacramento, which should be another exciting time. So it’s been a big week and a good week.”


On the team’s defense:
“Just staying organized. The boys did a great job. [Norberto] Paparatto and Rauwshan [McKenzie] were great. Danny O’Rourke had a great sweeping role. [Michael] Harrington and Taylor Peay were great going forward and coming back. Like you said, there weren’t too many opportunities [for Alpha United] and that’s all a testament to how they played. They did their job and made my job a little easier.”


On making an important one-on-one save in the second half:
“Obviously you have to stay sharp the whole game and when you’re called upon, you hope to make the save. I was lucky enough, when the guy cut inside, I kept my feet and it hit me and bounced away. It’s one of those ones where you come up and make the save or it can easily be scored, but today was good. I made myself big and made the save. I was happy about that.”

Alpha United FC Quotes

Alpha United head coach Wayne Dover
On the overall experience and playing in Portland:
“First of all I want to take this opportunity to say good night to you guys and it was a pleasure to travel down to this side of the world. We appreciate all that was done with regards to accommodations. This sojourn has been a difficult experience for us. We come up against a very difficult team to play against, a professional unit. I have taken from these games, we look at the professional approach of the team and the intensity they play with and the composure to score those goals. Those are the things we looked at as a team, a mature team going forward.”


Notes:

  • The Timbers rank second among all 24 teams in CONCACAF Champions League group play with 14 goals, trailing only Club América (17).
  • Portland has scored 11 unanswered goals across their last three games in all competitions dating back to a 4-2 in over C.D. Olimpia on Sept. 16, recording consecutive shutouts.
  • The Timbers are unbeaten in six consecutive matches in all competitions, dating back to Aug. 30.
  • Portland has tallied two or more goals in eight consecutive games in all competitions and seven consecutive home matches in all competitions.
  • Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson made his CONCACAF Champions League debut for the Timbers on Tuesday against Alpha United FC, making three saves. The match also marked Gleeson’s first competitive match for the Timbers in all competitions in 2014.
  • Portland registered its first-ever shutout in CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday.
  • Defender Taylor Peay made his first career CONCACAF Champions League start on Tuesday. Peay appeared as a late sub on Aug. 19 against Alpha United to make his CCL debut.
  • Midfielder George Fochive made his Timbers debut on Tuesday, entering the match as a substitute in the 79th minute.
  • Midfielder Jack Jewsbury tallied his first career CONCACAF Champions League goal, opening the scoring for Portland in the 11th minute. The goal also was Jewsbury’s first of the year for Portland in all competitions.
  • Forward Gastón Fernández netted his first career goal in CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday night. In his professional career, Fernández has tallied a goal in the Copa Sudamericana, Copa Libertadores, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.
  • Midfielder Michael Nanchoff registered his first career CONCACAF Champions League goal in the second half of Tuesday night’s match.
  • Defender Norberto Paparatto tallied his first two career goals as a member of the Timbers, netting a pair of headers off corner kicks in the 61st and 88th minutes.
  • Portland has received 14 goals from 10 players in three CONCACAF Champions League matches.
  • The Timbers are 2-0-0 at Providence Park in CONCACAF Champions League play and 3-0-0 at home in competitions outside of regular-season play.
  • Portland has registered 10 goals, conceding just two, in two CONCACAF Champions League matches at Providence Park.
  • Tuesday’s result marked the second time in CONCACAF Champions League play the Timbers have seen four different players tally goals against Alpha United FC.