Will Johnson, Timbers @ RSL, 8.7.13
(USA Today Sports Images)

U.S. Open Cup: Quotes & Notes | Real Salt Lake 2, Portland Timbers 1 - August 7, 2013

Quotes: Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake

Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On what he told the team after the result:
“I told them that we’re disappointed. We wanted to go further. I think we believe that if we got through this game, we could win the Open Cup; obviously, I liked our chances going back at home. It’s tough. You have to come and play one of the best teams in the league on their home field, that’s a tall order. We’re disappointed, but, at the end of the day, we still have everything to play for in the league and this game, this loss doesn’t change that. We’ve made it further than we’ve ever made it. I think, again, the group’s not satisfied, that made it further than we’ve ever made it; they wanted to win it. But you have to keep that in perspective. And the other thing I told them is, you know listen, if we weren’t playing as well as we were, in terms of the boxes – the box-to-box – then I’d be concerned. Possession doesn’t win you games, shots don’t win you games, but if you look at those trends and the stats of how we’re playing and the flow of the games, there are not major issues, there are not major things to be alarmed with. Then I told them the things that we do need to correct, and that’s making sure that in the boxes that we’re better. In the final third, we certainly had enough chances to win that game. We had 13 shots, they had nine. They had nine shots, they scored two goals. We have 13, we score one. We were in as many positions as they were to score just as many goals as they did. It’s just they finished theirs and we didn’t. We finished one, they finished two. That’s why we need guys individually to step up and make plays there. And defensively, we got to make sure on their nine shots that they don’t get two goals. That’s the difference … Clearly, with the way that we’re playing, with regards to the flow of games and our control of games and the fact that we’re in typically more positions to score goals and the opponents in less positions to score goals, means that we are always going to have a chance to win every game no matter who we play.”  

On the team’s response to the opening goal:
“I thought we got a little rattled by it, overall, but then we recovered. In the end, to come in here, to play Salt Lake, who is the best possession team in the league – we’re a close second – but, I think, it was 60-40 in possession. So, clearly we had as much and more of the game than they did, and we had 13 shots to nine. Those things tell a positive story, but none of us are looking for the moral victory. We’re looking for the victory. And yet, if we have guys that make a few more plays, we have 13 shots, they have nine, then we’re the one winning two-one. So it’s that simple. If we weren’t getting shots, if we weren’t controlling games, if we weren’t playing well enough to win games, if we were losing games by multiple goals, if we were getting dominated, those are all things that happened last year. They’re not happening this year. But, at the end of the day, if we want to be in the playoffs, if we want to have a chance at the Supporters’ Shield, we’ve got to start making plays in the boxes, plain and simple.”

On what the team can do moving forward:
“We’re learning to be a winning club. I think what’s happened is that we’ve had success, people are talking about us. We know we’re a good team. We know we can take the field and have a chance to win against anybody, but in some ways, I think maybe we’ve gotten overconfident. I think in some ways, maybe we need a dose of reality and to be humbled a few times to know that, yeah, we’re a good team, and, yeah, we can take the field and have a chance to win against anybody, but we won’t win against anybody unless we start games with more hunger, more aggressiveness. We can’t be waiting to go down a goal, to then turn it up. Against good teams, you’re not always going to be able to do that. And especially when you are down two goals, which, obviously, in San Jose and this game, we were down two goals. In both games, we pulled a goal back, but you’re not going to pull two goals back against good teams late. It’s unrealistic to think that.” 

Timbers midfielder Will Johnson

On how it felt to be back at Rio Tinto Stadium:
“Yeah, of course I wanted to win the game; from that point of view, disappointing. But the reception I got from 90 percent of the fans was fantastic. They really treated me with class and respect and I appreciate that.” 

How the team feels after the match: 
”Yeah it’s disappointing. Obviously, we’re a bit young, a bit inexperienced and learning how to win. So we’ve stumbled here, we had enough chances, we had enough of the ball, it comes down to making big time plays. [Saborío] made a big time play for them. We haven’t defended as well as we would have liked – to win the game. But our box defending and our final third play was not worthy of getting to the final of the cup.”

Timbers forward Rodney Wallace
On the start of the game:
“Yeah, unfortunately we didn’t come out as strong as we usually do. I don’t know what it was, but we weren’t all there in the first 10 minutes and that cost us. We simply just can’t keep giving up goals like that. We’ve just got to build from it. It’s the game and it happens, but the good thing is we’re creating chances still, the group is positive still. It’s a big game that we let get away but, at the same time, we can’t hold on to this for too long, we’ve got to keep going in the league and we play these guys a couple more times, so we’re going to go out there and try to get that win.”

On outshooting out-possessing RSL:
“Yeah, we out-possessed them, we out-shot them. It just didn’t come today. We created the chances, but it just wasn’t falling for us. Outshooting them and out-possessing them is good, but at the same time we have to execute and we’ve got to stop giving up goals. We’re a good enough team to win games and we know that at any minute we’re going to score a goal. We have to stay as positive as possible to come up from this.”


  • The Timbers’ run to the semifinal of the 2013 U.S. Open Cup marked their deepest run in the tournament in the club’s history.
  • Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe and defenders Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Ryan Miller played in all four of the club’s matches in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup. Jean-Baptiste played all 360 minutes of the club’s U.S. Open Cup run.
  • The Timbers outscored opponents 11-5 during the 2013 U.S. Open Cup. Forward Frederic Piquionne was Portland’s leading scorer, and one of the leading scorers overall, during the tournament with five goals.
  • The goal by Diego Valeri was his second goal of the 2013 U.S. Open Cup. He also scored in the quarterfinal victory over FC Dallas.
  • In their history, the Timbers are 6-3-0 all-time in U.S. Open Cup matches on the road. Portland had won four straight away games in tournament play entering the semifinal against RSL.
  • After making his MLS debut against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Aug. 3, defender Alvas Powell made his U.S. Open Cup debut as a second-half sub in the 77th minute against RSL.
  • The Timbers and Real Salt Lake, two of the best teams in MLS’s Western Conference, will meet twice more during the month of August in regular-season play.
  • Real Salt Lake will play host to D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup final at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 1. United defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 in the other semifinal Wednesday night.
  • The 14,742 fans on-hand marked a record crowd for a U.S. Open Cup semifinal match in the modern era (1995-present) of the tournament.