Quotes: Portland Timbers at Chivas USA
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On his team’s performance and thoughts on the regular season:
“I think we all realize that it has been a good year. It’s been a fun season, but I think we are all going to continue to remain grounded, humble, and hungry and keep business as usual because that’s the process we have been following all season long. We don’t want to celebrate or reflect too much because we are focused on not just being in the playoffs, but we want to win it all. I think we have a group of guys in that locker room that believe that we’ve got a good chance to do it.”
Thoughts on the game:
“Obviously, our style of play, our philosophy is to press. It’s not just a couple of guys, it’s 10 guys. I thought we were very aggressive and really set the tone with our pressure. I think two of our first three goals came off our pressure. We are going to find goals, but my message lately has been: if we defend well and we are disciplined and we play like a team and we are cohesive and organized and have the right mentality, that’s the common thread in winning teams. They are always organized and are always a team. They always have the right mentality and we’ve had that recently and that’s why we are getting results.”
On Diego Valeri’s play, and the way the pieces fit on this team:
“I think that chip was world class, no doubt about it. He’s a guy that is special. He’s a very good player, but we have a lot of good players that just do their job. We put this team together like pieces of a puzzle and all we are asking is for guys to do what they do well. That is how we have put the group together. We don’t want anything more or less, just do your job and be who you are and play the role that we ask you to do. You put those pieces together and the puzzle fits. We look like a well-oiled machine right now.”
On being in first place:
“The feeling that I have, and the guys have right now, is what it is all about. We play soccer because we want to have moments like we have right now, which is after a win. It has been a great regular season. It’s a big reason why we do what we do. We want to have moments like we have right now, but I told them that there is a much better moment ahead if they can get through five games and beat three teams.”
Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On tonight’s match:
“I think we played a great game. We had an advantage over Chivas USA, who played during the week. We played a great first half that gave us the lead early in the game, and thanks to that we were able secure the game.”
On scoring against Chivas USA this season:
“I’ve been lucky to have the opportunities to score. I think the most important thing is to be productive and be practical for the team. Luckily, the goals have always helped us tally points. Today more than ever we had to win in order to stay in first place.”
On the team heading into the playoffs:
“It’s a whole different tournament. This victory helps us gain confidence, knowing that we have had a great season and stayed in first against a lot of great teams and I’m happy for our work. I think the team deserves it.”
Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
Thoughts on the match:
“We pressed well and created a few turnovers. We got off to a really good start, so I think that gave us a lot of confidence to press forward. The early goal is key. If you let a team like Chivas USA hang around they start to gain more confidence and get involved in the game.”
On the victory motivating team for the postseason:
“I don’t know if it motivates us any more than we were. We are excited. We are ready to go. Obviously, it gives us a little boost of confidence. Valeri gets a few goals and Rodney Wallace gets another nice goal, and these are guys that we need scoring goals in the playoffs. I think it just gives the team a good boost and a good shutout for our defenders as well, so everybody is going in nice and confident into the biggest games of the year.”
On preferences for playoff opponent in conference semifinals:
“No, I don’t think so. LA, Seattle and Colorado are all quality teams. We have had great battles with all of them throughout the year. I don’t think anyone is more advantageous to draw than the other. I think it’s a total even fill this year.”
Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
Thoughts on the match:
“We started off on the front foot and we got the first goal and we dominated the game from there, so overall it was a good performance.”
Thoughts on finishing first in the Western Conference:
“That was the regular season, now the tough part is ahead with the playoffs. We have five good teams from the Western [Conference] and we’re focused on that now. The regular season is done, we did well, and now it’s time to focus on the playoffs.”
On Portland’s chances in the playoffs:
“I think we have a strong team. But football is played on any given day, so with that aside we have to come out and perform just as we did in the regular season.”
The Timbers clinched first place in the Western Conference and will enter the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference semifinals as the conference’s No. 1 seed.
- The Timbers finished the regular season with a conference-best record of 14-5-15 (57pts), and will finish the regular season with one of the top three records in MLS.
Portland’s five losses during the regular season were the fewest in the league in 2013 and tied for the fewest in MLS history (with the 2011 LA Galaxy) during a 34-game regular season.
The Timbers recorded their first-ever win at StubHub Center, helping the club finish the regular season with a .471 winning percentage on the road, currently ranked tied for second-best in MLS.
The club finished the regular season with 25 goals scored away from home, currently second-most in MLS, and with a 1.29 goals-against average on the road, currently tied for third-best in the league.
With a 5-0 win over Chivas USA, Portland recorded the largest margin of victory by a road team in MLS this season.
The five-goal output also set Timbers MLS club records for largest margin of victory, most goals scored in a game and most goals scored in a road game.
The five goals and two assists on the night matched the Timbers MLS record for points in a single game (12), which was achieved twice previously this season on May 12 (3-0 win vs. Chivas USA) and June 23 (3-0 win vs. Colorado).
The Timbers finished the regular season on an eight-game unbeaten run, which is tied for the fourth-longest in the league this season. The club has out-scored opponents 15-3 over the last eight games.
The Timbers finished the 2013 regular season with two of the longest unbeaten streaks in the league at 15 games (March 16-June 23) – one of the longest in MLS history – and eight games (Sept. 14-Oct. 26).
Portland set an MLS record in 2013 with four different players – Will Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Darlington Nagbe and Diego Valeri – recording nine or more goals during the campaign.
Portland recorded its 15th shutout of the season in the match against Chivas USA; it was the fifth in the last six games. The club’s shutout total is tied for third-most in MLS history for shutouts in a single season with Real Salt Lake in 2010 and Sporting KC in 2012.
Four of the club’s 15 shutouts this season have come on the road, including two at the StubHub Center (June 19 vs. LA, Oct. 26 vs. Chivas USA).
Only twice in their last eight games (since Sept. 7) have the Timbers allowed an opponent more than three shots on goal in a match.
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was credited with his 14th shutout of the season, which leads the league and is a new career high.
The Timbers posted a 12-0-6 record during the regular season in games in which they scored the first goal of the match. Portland has scored the opening goal in five of its last six matches; the one match it did not was the scoreless draw vs. Real Salt Lake on Oct. 19.
Midfielder Diego Valeri recorded two goals and one assist in the match against Chivas USA – all coming in the first half. He finished the regular season with 10 goals and 13 assists, and became the first Timbers MLS player to record 10 or more goals and assists in a single season.
Valeri’s 13 assists leads the league and he is now tied with Jack Jewsbury as the Timbers MLS career leader in assists.
It was the first multi-goal game for Valeri in his MLS career. His five points (2 goals, 1 assist) set a Timbers MLS record for points by a player in a single game.
In total, Valeri recorded four goals and three assists in just 180 minutes (over three games) against Chivas USA this season.
Portland scored three or more goals seven times during the regular season. The Timbers scored three goals in the first half for the first time as an MLS club on Saturday against Chivas USA.
The Timbers posted a 2-0-1 record in the season series against Chivas USA, out-scoring Chivas USA 9-1 over the three games.
Forward Darlington Nagbe became the first Timbers MLS player to start all 34 league matches in a season and just the second to appear in every game of a regular season. Forward Kenny Cooper appeared in all 34 games for the Timbers during the 2011 regular season.
The Timbers’ 2013 regular-season finale was Nagbe’s 48th consecutive league start and his 95th league appearance for the Timbers. He is the club’s MLS leader in career games played.
Defender Jack Jewsbury made his 230th MLS regular-season start – his 88th with the Timbers – in the match against Chivas USA.
- Defender Futty Danso made his 50th MLS start for the Timbers and recorded his first MLS assist on the goal scored by Wallace in the first half. Danso is the fifth defensive player on the Timbers roster this season to record either a goal or an assist.