Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On the importance of the third goal late…
“It was big. It’s an extra goal, obviously. A win, any way you would have hashed it out, would have been good, but to win by a two-goal margin puts us in a good spot. We know how explosive and dangerous Dallas is and what they are capable of, so we will stay very humble and grounded and we will get back to work and prepare for this next game. We need to be very mature in how we manage this next game tactically and mentally. But I thought our guys showed a lot of composure after giving up the goal. We’ve made a lot of progress since 2013. I think the biggest thing you’ve seen is just more seasoning, more experience, more maturity. If you remember that 2013 series with RSL in the first leg, we scored the first goal and then gave up four unanswered. This was a much different story. I think ultimately that’s what’s going to carry us hopefully to the Cup, that maturity and experience.”

On tonight’s performance…
“The first half was pretty electric. We know Dallas is explosive. I thought we looked even more explosive and that’s exciting. I can’t say enough about the guys. They are the ones who won it; it’s been seven games now. Like you said, I think there is still another level in there.”

On if he expected the team to come out like they did…
“Yeah. I mean we talked about pragmatism, or you guys did, but that was never what we were going to do. We came out aggressively, that was always the game plan. Come out and press and attack. I also knew we could do that because of how organized we are in the back. That didn’t worry me tonight that approach. We felt that we needed to capitalize on our home game and score goals, and we did.”

On the continued improvement of Dairon Asprilla…
“He’s settling in. He’s figuring it out. The more a player settles in the more he figures it out. He understands his role, understands his teammates, his coach and starts to trust everybody. I think you are seeing that in Asprilla. He was great today.”

On the team’s depth being tested and the performance of those players who stepped in tonight…
“We are a team. It’s the first thing I always say at a new club and when I took over this team. It’s not first team, second team – it’s one team. I need all of you, and that’s been the case this year. You see when guys come in the game for us, whether it’s off the bench or starting when they haven’t been starting, they always look hungry, they always look bought in because we really follow through with that idea of we are a team. Not 1-11, but 1-20.”

On what Darlington Nagbe’s role is going forward…
“That’s pretty easy, just play him and stay out of the way. I thought he was unbelievable tonight. He didn’t score, but the amount of times he got out of pressure. He’s always a threat, always. It’s exciting to see.”

On how he approaches the next game with several players being available for the next leg…
“We will approach it like we do every game. We will take some time to think about it. We know now we have Rodney [Wallace] and [Diego] Valeri back in. We’ve got to factor in this result and come up with a plan just like we do every game. They [FC Dallas] will make some adjustments, we will make some adjustments. We’ve got a few new pieces. So we will sit down together in our war room, my staff and I, and we will figure it out.”

On Norberto Paparatto coming into the game tonight after Ridgewell went out…
“We know that Paparatto can go in and do the job, which he did tonight. He set up the third goal with the header on a set piece. We don't miss a beat when Paparatto has to go in.”

On Nagbe taking corner kicks…
“He was good. This time of year a lot of times results come down to set pieces. We worked a lot on set pieces. We had seen some things on film, some areas we thought we could exploit. I thought our execution on set pieces was tremendous. Credit goes to my staff on that, because I kind of throw those things to them and they've done a nice job with the set pieces this year.”

On Asprilla’s goal…
“I’ve got to watch it again to be honest with you. It was a great goal obviously. He hit it well. He’s capable of that. He can hit a heavy ball. Sometimes it’s not always the most accurate or precise, but I’ve seen him in training get ahold of that type of shot before, so fortunately it came at a good time.”

On why the team came out the way they did tonight…
“I don’t want to divulge too much because we still have another game against them. A part of the plan was predicated on who we had healthy but we wanted to set our team up in a way where we had good protection from our holding mids that’s why we went with Jack [Jewsbury] and [Diego] Chara, two holdings mids, because we felt we needed that extra cover when the ball got wide to [Fabian] Castillo and [Michael] Barrios. And also because we knew we had Asprilla and [Lucas] Melano having that protection for them allowed them to play a little bit more aggressively like a true three front. So we had those guys play higher and get in 1-v-1 battles with [Matt] Hollingshead and [Je-Vaughn] Watson. I thought those two guys did a good job of creating on the flanks. So it was little bit different setup for us but we felt it fit the players in the game and it also fit playing Dallas because they are team that if you don’t get an extra number covered over on the flank if there is 1-v-1 and at times 2-v-1, Castillo could carve up three or four guys. So having that double pivot to be able to slide out we felt in this game made sense.”

On the pairing of Nat Borchers and Liam Ridgewell…
“They are battle tested. They are experienced. We did feel going into this series that would be a strength of ours. Dallas is explosive, they’re youthful and exciting. We put in a few grizzly vets and I thought Jack, I thought Liam and I thought Borchers, those three veteran guys, kind of in the hub of our team, did a nice job managing the game.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Dairon Asprilla (Translated from Spanish)
On breaking into the lineup…
“There were moments where I felt a little sad and shy because I didn’t have the opportunities to break into the lineup, but I’m finally getting the confidence from the coaching staff and I’m happy breaking into it. I took the opportunity with the goal today and the performance.”

Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell
On scoring his first goal this season in Portland’s final home game…
“It was a big thing, I think, all year coming. It’s been annoying not to get one. But one’s a start and hopefully I can put a couple more in going into the final. It was nice to get one and put us off on the right foot.”

On containing FC Dallas’ attack…
“They’re a very good team. They’ve showed it all year. We had to be on the ball tonight to stop everything they had and I think we defended very well as a team and stopped their attack. It’s only half a job done, so we’ve got to go and do it at their place now where they’ll be looking to attack a little bit more.”

On going to Dallas and getting a better result than last time around…
“I think we learned a lot about ourselves last game and we learned a lot about them. We’re in a good position at the minute. Nat’s [Borchers] goal really sent us on our way. We’ll be looking to go there and get a good result. Hopefully we can change that 4-1 [regular-season loss] to a victory.”

On balancing the confidence coming out of this game without becoming overconfident…
“Obviously we know it’s a two-legged affair. It’s only 45 minutes job done. So we’ve got to go again and press and do what we did tonight. We know we’re 3-1 up with that aggregate score. So it’s a tricky one, so we’ll manage it for sure. We’ll be looking forward to the game.”

On having both Jack Jewsbury and Diego Chara playing defensive midfield roles…
“They were terrific tonight. I think they stopped every attack [Dallas] had and nullified what they did. We’ve been playing with one, we’ve been playing two, back to one, back to two. I think everyone who’s been in there has done the job and Jack and Chara were brilliant tonight sitting in front of me and Nat. I think it was a great performance.”

On the strong relationship with Nat Borchers…
“I think it’s consistency in the lineup with me and Nat playing so much and playing together so much. You get to know each other and you get to be able to read off each other. Every team I’ve been on, when we’ve played well, we’ve had a consistency in the back four or back six. [Norberto] Paparatto’s been fantastic when he’s stepped in. When you get that consistency, you can read and know what the other person’s doing. Long may it continue and we can keep going. Nat’s been around for a long time. He’s been a fantastic defender and when he signed for the club, he texted me and we spoke. Spoke about what we wanted to do. Both of us just look to defend and keep a clean sheet. We’ve had the most clean sheets all year. For us, it’s about keeping clean sheets and other people it’s scoring goals. We feel good about keeping a clean sheet. Tonight it was annoying that [Dallas] scored one goal. That’s the way we are.”

On the electricity coming from the Portland fans...
“I spoke about it a couple of weeks ago. Everywhere has been electric. Anywhere that you’ve been walking or going or whatever you’ve been doing, it’s been loud. You can’t walk down the street without someone shouting something at you. It’s great. It shows how well we’re doing. Tonight they were fantastic. I think they’re great every week, but tonight they were really electric and might have scared Dallas off a little bit. So we might have to buy a few plane tickets for a few of them to get out to Dallas for sure.”

On whether this team is good enough to win MLS Cup…
“We’re a good enough team to do it. Probably for a couple of months now we’ve been in playoff mode. Going into the Salt Lake game, we knew it was a must-win game. Then we beat the Galaxy and started to build confidence. Tonight has given us another piece of confidence and that’s only a good thing for a team like us. Just believing that we can go on and win it and we’ll be doing that. Hopefully we can go get a good result against Dallas and put ourselves in that situation.”

Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers
On his goal to give Portland a 3-1 win…
“It was a big one for sure. After they scored against us we were reeling a little bit, but we kept our composure. Paparatto did a great job to angle that one on goal and fortunately I was there to clean it up. I was told that I had a couple stabs at it and, kind of like chopping a tree down, I finally got it in. I was looking for the ref because I thought maybe there was a foul called and thank goodness there wasn’t. Just celebrations after that.”

On managing the attack of FC Dallas…
“I thought everybody was able to get numbers behind the ball. Our wingers, [Lucas] Melano and [Dairon] Asprilla were fantastic. [Diego] Chara and Jack [Jewsbury] did a great job. I thought Alvas [Powell] and Jorge [Villafaña] managed everything well on the wings, too. Great job defensively for us.”

On the contributions from players coming in off the bench…
“That just tells you how special this group is. For guys to be able to come in and start for us, who maybe aren’t considered regulars and get the job done. I thought Lucas did a great job for us tonight. So proud of how he played tonight. Confidence is what this sport is all about. [Confidence] is 90 percent of soccer and you can just see Dairon growing in confidence with every ball and his runs. He’s getting smarter every game. He was coming inside a lot and making [Ryan] Hollingshead decide ‘Do I go with him? Do I stay?’ Alvas is overlapping and they made things difficult for sure. What a goal from Dairon. I’m happy for him.”

FC Dallas Quotes


FC Dallas head coach Óscar Pareja:
On the overall match…
“Poor start for us in the first half. I thought Portland got a great first 50 minutes and they created some chances. After that I thought we’d react well and then the second half was pretty even. We gave up the result in a place we can’t control. The set pieces play for us today wasn’t good enough and fortunately we scored a goal and I think we leave the series open. We take the game to Frisco. We have done it before and I believe in this group. I know this group can do it. We have the talent and the energy and the character to do it. Sometimes we put ourselves in a spot that aren’t necessary but that’s the game. Once again this is the team that I trust and we’ll do it. We’ll do it in Frisco.”

On how important getting an away goal is for the team…
“You will see how important that goal was in Frisco.”

On how it’s been for him returning to the team after an emotional week…
“It has been a difficult week. I don’t have the words to tell you how difficult it has been but I was very happy to be with my players today and I’m very proud too. I’m a person that admires these players a lot, in the good times and the difficult times. After a terrible week and a week that created a lot of emotions in my family I came back and found a group that is willing to do what we do and that relieved my spirit.”

On Jesse Gonzalez’s performance tonight and his performance this season…
“He has been [under pressure]. Every game brought him different problems and difficulties and he has found a way to sort it out. For me, it’s sometimes unfair to ask him to [do that] but he stands out for us and makes himself bigger and that’s the foundation of his growing. Today was a big one for Jesse and another big one for Kellyn [Acosta] and Victor [Ulloa] and Ryan [Hollingshead]. These guys that are developing, we are proud.”

FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead
On the overall match…
“I think we came out a little bit slow. They had a couple chances at the beginning and then we settled in to our rhythm and settled into some more possession for us. Again, set pieces for us, they capitalized on their set pieces and we didn’t. We didn’t do well defending them and gave up too many goals. Luckily we got that away goal so that helps us in the long run but we have our work cut out for us, for sure. We still feel confident that we can pull it off but we were expecting more out of the first leg.”

On how much a blow it was allowing Portland to score a third goal…
“2-1 you’re thinking it’s the same situation we had with Seattle so we’re in a good spot here, we go home and win it and a one goal win will take it for us. Giving up that last goal is a bummer for sure but we also feel confident with our record at home. We score more goals at home than a lot of teams so we feel like at home we’re going to score two goals no matter what. If we keep that shutout 2-0 we’ll be fine.”

FC Dallas forward David Texeira
On his second-half goal…
“I was just waiting for the ball and trying to move to anticipate so that’s what we practice during the week. During the last week of practice, that was the same. That was exactly what we practiced so I’m happy with the goal.”

On how much confidence the team has going back to Dallas…
“It’s frustrating because we didn’t get the result today but we are still confident. We still believe in this group and we believe that we can make it and we can turn around the game and we can win in Frisco.”


Notes:

  • With Sunday’s sellout crowd of 21,144, Portland has sold out all of its regular-season home games and playoff games since joining MLS for a combined 90 straight sellouts.
  • The win on Sunday marked Portland’s first MLS Cup Playoffs match against FC Dallas and their 15th all-time meeting across all competitions since 2011.
  • Sunday’s match was Portland’s eighth MLS Cup Playoffs game since 2011.
  • The Western Conference Championship first leg marked Portland’s third, and final, home playoff game of 2015.
  • The Timbers improved to 5-0-2 at home against FC Dallas in all competitions since 2011.
  • Including the regular season, the Timbers are unbeaten in seven consecutive matches (5-0-2), including four straight at Providence Park. Portland has scored 17 goals in that span, while conceding six goals.
  • Sunday’s match marked Portland’s 37th playoff match, dating back to the 1975 NASL season.
  • Defender Liam Ridgewell recorded his first goal of 2015 on Sunday. He becomes the second Timbers player in the MLS era to score a goal in the postseason after not having scored in the regular season (Futty Danso, 2013).
  • For the second consecutive match, a Timbers player has registered a goal and an assist (Dairon Asprilla against FC Dallas on Sunday; Fanendo Adi against Vancouver in the second leg of the conference semifinals on Nov. 8). 
  • Asprilla now has two assists in 2015 postseason play.
  • Ridgewell, Asprilla and Borchers are the 11th, 12th and 13th Timbers to score a postseason goal for Portland since 2011. 
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe is the only Timbers player to start all eight of the club's postseason matches since 2011.