Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Valencia CF
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head coach John Spencer
General thoughts on the match:
"I thought it was a very good game. Getting the chance to see a top, top European side up close in person was a good experience for the coaching staff and a great experience for the players."
On playing against Valencia CF:
"It's a tremendous learning experience for myself and the staff, and also the players. Everybody always thinks, from afar, that you can go coach in Europe; you can go and play in Europe. It's a different level completely."
On Valencia CF’s play in first half:
"I thought we put in a decent performance first-half. We got a real good introduction to European possession football – movement off the ball, movement from wide areas into inside channels to receive the ball. I think it shows when you don't communicate and you ball-watch, you can get picked off at the highest level and there was certainly some quality football played by [Valencia] in the first half."
On Portland’s second-half play:
"Especially in the second-half, I thought we played ever so well. Especially when we went to [Mike] Fucito and [Bright] Dike up front, we were causing problems the last fifteen minutes and we're very, very unfortunate, through no fault to our own, to not score a couple of goals tonight."
Valencia CF Quotes
Captain David Albelda (through Spanish translator)
“I think for us it was difficult because of the trip from Spain. We are not used to playing on turf; it was something new. I think in the end, the result was fair. However, [the match] could have ended up in a tie because they had their chances. Overall we’re really happy with the result.”
Thoughts on the atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
“I think it was a wonderful experience. It was nice to see the fans encouraging the team to do better. We are used to something different in Europe, and that is when the team is down, the fans take a different tone. Here the fans were just encouraging the team and trying to make it an enjoyable game. We really enjoyed it.”
Thoughts on playing an MLS team:
“We knew it was going to be difficult. The league is known in Europe because of players such as Thierry Henry and David Beckham and their previous presence in the European leagues. We knew it was going to be very competitive and we just tried to compete with them. It was a strong effort from [the Timbers] and we just did the best to our abilities to put our best effort on the field.”
The friendly against Valencia kicked off the Timbers’ exhibition slate in 2012. Portland will also play host to English Premier League club Aston Villa at JELD-WEN Field on Tuesday, July 24.
Valencia arrived in the Rose City Monday fresh off the 2011-12 La Liga season, in which they finished third behind Spanish giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Valencia’s finish also qualified the club for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League.
Since joining MLS in 2011, the Timbers have played host to several international friendlies. The club welcomed Dutch side AFC Ajax, Mexico’s Club America, Independiente of Argentina and England’s West Bromwich Albion to Portland for exhibitions in 2011.
Valencia’s Starting XI against the Timbers featured captain David Albelda, who has over 300 La Liga appearances for the club, Spanish youth international standout Daniel Parejo and one of its leading scorers in striker Aritz Aduriz. Coming off the bench was forward Jonas, Valencia’s second-leading scorer with 10 goals and five assists last season.
Portland forward Bright Dike rejoined the club for the friendly against Valencia, taking a short break from his loan to the L.A. Blues of USL PRO. Dike played 32 minutes as a sub and attempted two shots.
Defender David Horst saw his first action of the 2012 season on Wednesday against Valencia, getting the start and playing 86 minutes. Horst missed the first 10 matches of the regular-season while coming back from offseason hip surgery.
Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson was unavailable for the match against Valencia due to national team duty with New Zealand. He was an available reserve for a friendly against El Salvador, ending in a 2-2 draw, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Forward Mike Fucito had his longest outing since joining the Timbers in late April. He came on at halftime and played all 45 minutes of the second half, finishing tied for the team high with two shots.
- Portland rookies Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Ryan Kawulok and Brent Richards all saw action against Valencia as second-half subs.