Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 4, Colorado Rapids 1 | Oct. 25, 2015

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On tonight’s performance…
“Feeling great. Obviously it’s 34 games, it’s a long season. And here we are the third best team in the West after 34 games. So three games ago, these guys were under pressure and we were being questioned, for good reason. We weren’t getting the job done, but the players answered the call. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We get three wins in a row and now we are the three seed. We’re not just getting in, we are not just satisfied with getting in, and that was never the case. We are in the playoffs in a position of strength which means we get a home game. Nothing is guaranteed but it gives us a good chance to make a run here. I think with the way the guys are playing right now, I wouldn’t bet against them because we are getting the balance right. We’ve defended well all year, but now we are scoring goals. When you get those things right and you get momentum heading into the playoffs, you like your chances.”

On the importance of peaking at the right time…
“We’ve done that the last three years. Looking back over the three years we’ve been a very consistent team. I don’t think we’ve gotten a lot of credit for that. I don’t need to rattle off all the stats, but you guys know them and you can dig them up. The last three years we have been a very consistent team: 57 points, 49 points, 53 points. Yeah we missed the playoffs last year by a point, but it’s two of three years in the playoffs. We are a healthy club. I don’t use the word success or failure, I use healthy, we are a healthy club. We are a club that’s a contender. We are putting ourselves in a position to contend every year. If you get in the playoffs you are a contender. We are not going to be satisfied being in. We never were. We’ll get back to work. We’ll get ready for Thursday and Kansas City. It won’t be easy we are playing a good team and experienced team. But these guys accomplished the first goal. It’s not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is a trophy. But the first goal is getting into the playoffs so you can win that trophy. So I’m really proud of the guys. The players deserve all of the credit, all the credit. This team’s taken ownership. We've got guys in the locker room who have grabbed the bull by the horns and they stepped up and answered the call and answered the criticism. They’ve gotten the job done. When you get your players taking ownership like they have and playing for each other like they have then good things happen.  Everybody is doing their job. Nothing more, nothing less, just doing their job, playing as a team and playing hard and hungry.”

On if tonight was the best he’s seen Darlington Nagbe play…
“He’s good every game. He’s good every training. He’s a special player. But in terms of effectiveness, yeah, maybe. Effectiveness not only getting the ball and getting out of stuff like he always does. You almost have to watch his games five times to really see the subtle things he does that are world class. I’m not shy saying that he does things that are world class. There are world-class players in this league and I see him do things that some of those guys do in terms of little touches. But to be effective as an attacker you’ve got to create and produce goals and he’s showing that now in addition to keeping the ball and helping us with possession and causing problems for the opponent. He’s causing problems by scoring. He’s stepped up. He’s not waiting for things to happen he’s making them happen and that’s what makes him scary when he plays like that.”

On George Fochive’s performance tonight…
“Again, I think we don’t get enough credit for these young guys. You’ve got Taylor Peay who has played in some big games this year and gotten the job done for us. George Fochive has played in I think eight games now. Been outstanding those two guys. Alvas Powell’s a young player; Lucas Melano’s a young player. Darlington’s only 25, Adi’s only 25, we’ve got a nice young core here. Jorge [Villafaña] I think is 25. That’s the exciting thing about not just now but the future. We have a good core here and I’m looking forward to this playoff run and making some noise and trying to win a trophy, but I’m also really excited for the future to see guys like George and Taylor blossom in our environment I think is something that deserves more credit.”

On drawing Kansas City in the playoffs…
“We will play anybody right now. There are no easy games. The West is brutal. Every game, there’s not one easy game. What I like about the team’s mentality right now is we’ve pretty much the last three games played ‘do or die’. Some of the other teams haven’t been in that position. They could kind of rest and relax and know they are in. Well we’ve played under extreme pressure knowing that our season is in the balance, knowing that one mistake, knowing that one point either way, would cost us our season. We’ve played very well in that situation in the last three games. For me that makes me really excited going into the playoffs because we are already in that mindset. We don’t need to switch gears and get comfortable because the psychology is different knowing that it’s ‘win and you’re in and lose and you’re out’. Your season is done. There was a time in the first half where we looked a little bit nervy after we gave up the first goal. But again to our credit we showed our maturity. We showed our experience. Some teams would have gotten rattled by that but these guys over the last three years have built up that experience, because we have guys in the locker room that help with that experience and because we play in the Western Conference and every game is very difficult, because things are so tight, I think we are ready to make a run and I’m excited about going into this next game with Kansas City, they are a team that almost cost us our season, credit to them. They came in and put up a nil-nil, got a point there, and then stole three points with us. They were the team that put us in a position where we were under pressure for the last three games. And I know again it’s credit to them. And you look at what they did today, stepping up and getting the job done there. It’s going to be a great game. It’s going to be an exciting game. There will be an element of physicality in the game, which is a part of the game. There will be an element of football, an element of tactics. I think it’s going to be a really exciting. I will tell you this, we are at home. We have our fans behind us. We have their energy, their positive energy behind us. I thought that was a real key in this last game especially in the second half.”

On Jack Jewsbury coming into the game and the team’s depth…
“Jack went in and played almost 30 minutes or so. I can’t tell you how many little plays he made that helped us preserve that win. So we’ve got other guys. Will Johnson’s getting back. I thought Jack was a little bit more fit than him going into this game because he’d been out only two weeks, Will was out four weeks. So that was the reason we put him in and he’s in a rhythm. He’s played more recent games. But we’ve got depth. George has done a good job. We can play now a couple different ways, system wise. We can throw a wrench in things if we need to. So like you said we are peaking at the right time and that’s what you want and we’ve shown that in 2013. We showed that last year and we showed that this year. At the end of the year we are playing our best soccer and that’s what you want.”

Portland defender Jorge Villafaña
On picking up nine points out of the last three games…
“We’re really happy that we [are going] to the playoffs. We got the job done in the last three games. It was hard, it wasn’t easy, but now we have to prepare for the next game.”

On winning this game at home…
“It was really special because we we’re struggling at home. We were creating opportunities and we couldn’t put them away but at the end of the day we ended on a good note. We have to keep going like this and do the same thing in the next game.”

On how the amount of scoring in the past few games gives them confidence when next facing Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia…
“It does. It helps a lot. It means now we’re putting our chances away. We know it’s not going to be an easy game. They’re a good team but we’ve been scoring now and we’re going to prepare for them and come out and do our job.”

Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers
On being a key to making the playoffs…
“In this game everybody stepped up. Darlington [Nagbe] had a fantastic game and [Fanendo] Adi put away his chances that I was really impressed with. You know Adam [Kwarasey]’s goalkeeping as always [was solid], [Liam Ridgewell] held things down. Everybody pitched in so think this is definitely the right time for us to be in the playoffs.”

On the team peaking at the right time…
“I think we’re in a good spot. I think we’re confident. You want to be confident this time of year. We’re riding some good results. When you look at the playoffs you want to be in a situation where you’re bringing momentum with you and this result was great for us.”

On the importance of winning at home for the first time since August going into the playoffs…
“This is a good one to get the monkey off our backs for sure. We have [Sporting] Kansas City coming in here on Thursday and we definitely want to bring our best game. We know what happened last time. They’re very organized defensively. They were able to break us down in one chance and score against us so we’re going to be ready for them.”

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi
On securing a spot in the playoffs in front of the Timbers crowd…
“It’s amazing. This is what we’ve been looking forward to the whole season. We’ve been playing for the playoffs so today we’re just going to enjoy it and we’re very glad and we’re very motivated. It’s beautiful. That’s all I can say.”

On the team combinations…
“It was amazing. We knew that they were going to come at us very hard and that’s just how we came to play. You could see in the first half we tried to start the game a lot and they were observing the situation but we were very lucky we got two goals from a brilliant play from Darlington. We just have to give him credit for that. For the guys to come out in the second half believing that we could add a goal that’s just what we talked about in the locker room. We did that excellently and we can say the whole team has done very well. At the moment I could say we are really motivated and we’re going to have a tough one on Thursday, but we are looking forward.”

On the importance of the results in the past few games gives them confidence when next facing SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia…
“He’s a brilliant goalkeeper. We know them very well and they know us very well. We’ve had games against them so we’re just going to go into the game prepared very well and do our strategy. [We’re going to] try and beat them this time around. We can’t wait. We’re looking forward to the game.”

On running over and picking up head coach Caleb Porter after his goal…
“I get excited anytime I score. I was excited today because before the game he really talks to me, he really motivates me, so I needed to tell him ‘thank you’ for that. Scoring goals in the league is hard. This is a very tough league to score goals against brilliant defenders you have to work hard. That’s just what he tells me. I work hard and today it came out again.”

Colorado Rapids Quotes

Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni

On the overall match:
“I think we put forth a valiant effort. I think the game was a lot closer than the score indicated. I think we did enough to get in the game in the first half. Towards the end I thought we did a good job of keeping the ball and really increasing our pressure with good possession. I thought we started the second half quite bright. Again, same old swan song, not good enough in the final third. Not hungry enough and in the end they had something to play for, they wanted it more. They scored some good goals and threw one in the back of the net as well. When things are going your way you can actually throw the ball in the back of the net. That kind of sums up the way things have gone for us.”

On why he gave forward Kevin Doyle the captain’s armband…
“I think he’s been a leader in this group. I thought he’s been a driving force for the guys and obviously putting in a great shift against Sporting Kansas City. [He’s] an experienced guy that I think that can wear the band. Unfortunately for him tonight wasn’t obviously the best but I think looking at the whole body of work he’s been quite a leader in the group.”

Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Doyle
On the overall match…
“It’s not nice to finish the season like that. I think after Wednesday we wanted to come in and win tonight and finish the season on a positive note then go away, regroup and get ready for next year. They obviously needed a win to get in the playoffs. I suppose they deservingly won. Just disappointed we didn’t finish with a win.”

On wearing the captain’s armband for the first time tonight…
“I’d just prefer to win the game to be honest. Obviously it’s an honor to captain the squad but you want to win the game so it doesn’t mean anything when you don’t win.”

On playing against Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell again since playing against him in the Premier League…
“I played against him in the Premiership a few times and I think this is my first game [against him] for the Rapids. He’s got two over me. He’s won twice and, you know, there’s always next year.” 

Notes:

  • Sunday’s crowd of 21,144 was the team’s 85th consecutive home sellout at Providence Park since 2011. Portland has sold out all of its regular-season home games since joining MLS.
     
  • With Sunday’s win, the Timbers set an MLS-club record for most wins (15) in a single season. Portland’s previous high was 14, set during the 2013 season.
     
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who registered two goals and an assist on Sunday, made the 160th appearance of his Timbers MLS career, tying the club’s all-time record across all eras with NASL midfielder Willie Anderson (160).
     
  • Nagbe recorded the second multi-goal match of his MLS career on Sunday, matching his two-goal effort on March 31, 2012, against Real Salt Lake.
     
  • Forward Fanendo Adi scored his 16th goal of the season, which is the most by a Timbers player since 2004, during the team’s USL era. 
     
  • Adi has scored four goals in the month of October, which is tied with LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane and Montreal Impact forward Didier Drogba for most goals by an MLS player during this month.
     
  • Adi has scored a goal in three consecutive matches and has registered six goals in the last five games for Portland.
     
  • Nagbe has tallied a goal in consecutive matches.
     
  • Midfielder Rodney Wallace registered his seventh assist of the season, setting a career high for the seven-year MLS veteran. Wallace has notched an assist in consecutive games.
     
  • With his first goal of the season on Sunday, defender Jorge Villafaña set an MLS career high with seven points (1g, 5a) this year.
     
  • The Timbers have scored nine or more goals over the course of two consecutive matches for the first time in the team’s MLS era. Across all eras, Portland’s nine goals over the last two matches marks the first time the team has accomplished the feat since June 19-29, 2009.
     
  • Portland finished the regular season with 13 shutouts, tied for the most in the league.
     
  • Since the 2013 season, the Timbers have compiled a record of 13-3-7 overall during the months of September and October, including a mark of 7-2-4 at home.
     
  • The Timbers finished the season with an 8-3-6 record and have earned one of the league’s top home records since 2013 with a mark of 24-7-20 overall.
     
  • Portland ended the season with the most shots attempted (486) in the league, as well as the most chances created (377), according to Opta.
     
  • Portland has put together a record of 7-1-8 overall at home against teams from the Western Conference, dating back to Sept. 7, 2014.
     
  • Midfielder Diego Chara made the 145th start of his Timbers MLS career on Sunday and earned the Supporters’ Player of the Year Award from fans after the match.
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