Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 0, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 | Nov. 1, 2015

Quotes

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On his team’s performance today…
“I thought their effort was outstanding. We played a game on Thursday, 120 minutes, to go through what we went through physically and emotionally and to turn around and play like we played today, put ourselves in a position to win the game. We got a couple chances, those didn’t fall, but we were outstanding defensively. Obviously we were the team that was on the ball more. I'm real proud of the guys for that. In saying that, Vancouver they showed tonight why they were the best defensive team in the league. Their goalkeeper Ousted was outstanding, [Kendall] Waston’s a beast and they are a good team. So I thought even though there wasn’t a goal, if you know the game, it was a really good game to watch. It puts us in a good spot. Obviously not as good as if we would have won 1-0, but they didn’t get the away goal. So if we score one goal, they have to score two. If we score two goals, they have to score three. It will make for a very interesting second leg. We’ve won seven games on the road and we’ve been very hot on the road recently and we’ve scored goals on the road. It puts us in a good position to go and play for the win.”

On Jake Gleeson’s performance…
“I thought he was great today. We want that out of our young players when they get the opportunity to be able to step in. We’ve had several in that position this year and they’ve all done a really good job. He didn’t have a ton to do, but what he did have to manage I think he looked very comfy.”

On if the pressure is back on Vancouver…
“It was a defensive battle. We knew it would be. Usually the first legs are tight because they always set up the next game, but you saw they went for attacking subs at the end. I think the reason is they wanted that away goal. They didn’t get it. Unfortunately we didn’t find the goal either, but now that we go on the road knowing that we are a good road team and knowing we just have to win the game. We can even draw as long as we score a goal.”

On moving Darlington Nagbe deeper in the second half…
“Second half we wanted to get more possession and I think we did that. I think it helped us control the game better. The reason was getting him on the ball, bringing him deep to help build attacks. I haven’t seen his numbers today but I bet they are pretty high in terms of his pass completions. Overall we didn’t find the goal but we certainly were the team that controlled the majority of the play. They were dangerous on the counter a couple of times, but other than set pieces and counters they didn’t have much. I thought again it was two very good defensive teams and that showed today. So I’m not surprised that I was 0-0. I actually thought it would be 1-0, either way. I thought there was a goal in there and I thought it was going to be us. You saw at the end of the game we were pushing. I looked like we would find it Maxi had the chance. A bit unfortunate, but maybe it evened things out from Thursday with the post hurting us instead of helping us this game.”

On the importance of depth and performance from players off the bench…
“Really important. Hopefully we are in the playoffs all the way to the end because we had to play the extra game yellow card suspensions could play in. So we need those guys. Rodney’s [Wallace] on one, [Diego] Valeri’s on one, Ridgy’s [Liam Ridgewell] is on one and [George] Fochive, if you get one more than you’ll miss a game. So because of that, obviously, we need guys to be ready, but also you never know with injuries. As you go on in the playoffs you need to go to your bench at times. It’s big that we can put those guys in and they perform. They’ve performed really well now two straight games. We had planned to put those guys in in the second half. I thought they did give us a spark.”

On keeping the team in a rhythm even though Chara remains out...
“With Jack [Jewsbury] staying in and being in a rhythm I really liked the fact even though the fatigue factor was played up. I liked the fact that we were in a rhythm of playing. In the playoffs, sometimes even though you don’t have a ton of rest it’s better psychologically just to keep playing. I thought our guys looked comfortable. This is our second year in the playoffs and we’ve got three wins and this is Vancouver’s third year and they are still looking for that first win in the playoffs. So I think that experience will hopefully help us.”

On how to keep the momentum and mindset going with a bit longer break between games…
“I think we need to recharge. It couldn’t come at a better time. We knew obviously that it’s a two-leg series and we need to put ourselves in a position where we can have a week off – a week to prep, a week to recharge and go into the game fresh. I was surprised how fresh we looked, to be honest with you. I didn’t think it would be a big factor but it really didn’t look like it was a factor at all in the game. I was really pleased, I can’t ask for anything more out of the guys. Like I said, we put ourselves in position now where we have a week to really look at Vancouver, look at this game, prepare and come out flying. We are going to try to score goals. We are not going to sit back. Obviously we will be smart like we were today. But we play to win and we play to score goals. We are capable of scoring goals and if we score goals, now they have to get one more than us.”

On decision to have Alvas Powell play a little bit more reined in…
“There were little things that we felt playing 120 minutes Thursday there were some things that we needed to do to kind of manage the game. One of those things was to play a little bit more conservatively with our outside backs. Part of that is Vancouver as well with [Cristian] Techera and [Kekuta] Manneh, we knew they would look to hit us on counters and we didn’t want to get into a track meet in the game. This is one of the few times where that wouldn’t benefit us because obviously we had a lot of miles on the legs. So we played with Alvas [Powell] and Jorge [Villafaña] a little bit more conservatively to help manage the counter attack with their two wingers, but also to manage their legs. The other thing we did is stayed a little bit more compact, didn’t press as much. We wanted to keep our shape and we also talked about having possession just to control the tempo and in some ways, slow the game down a little bit."

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson
On when he knew he was going to start…
“I got a text this morning from Adin [Brown} just saying Adam [Kwarasey] isn’t feeling the best, so just be ready. As a backup, you always have to be ready, you don’t know when you’re going to go in. Just look at [Jon] Kempin the other night. So when I was walking in, Adam gave me a call and said ‘I’m heading home. I’m not feeling well.’ He was really sick. That’s when I really, officially found out I was playing, so it was a pretty exciting morning.”

On comparing playing in the postseason with his start in Portland’s first MLS home game in 2011…
“Obviously the first home game was a few years ago now, so it’s been a few years since I’ve been back out there. Once you’ve played at that level and go back, it’s like picking up where you left off. The chanting, the sounds, the stadium and all, are very familiar to me. I’ve been here so long. So it’s just like in any other game. You just go out there, keep your head down, but obviously a great experience to be back out there.”

On hearing the reaction of the Timbers Army when he came out to warm up…
“They give you a boost for sure. It’s like playing with an extra man or 21,000 extra men. They definitely give you that extra boost you need to get out there and do what you need to do. I’m a very calm person out there, so I don’t let it get to me too much. I like to stay focused, but it’s good. I like playing in front of them.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury
General thoughts on the match…
“Kind of like we thought it would be, to be honest. We knew it was going to be tight. We knew they’re a great defensive team. We knew we weren’t going to get a ton of looks, but we got enough to get a goal. I thought the one of Maxi’s was in and I already started running down the left side to celebrate with him. So unfortunate that that one didn’t go in. We set ourselves up with a good opportunity now to move on. We’ve been a team that, on the road, has been very good. So we’re confident about next weekend.”

On Jake Gleeson’s performance…
“Jake’s a guy that got a ton of games with T2 and that’s what that’s all about. Getting reps for goalkeepers and backups that keeps them fresh. We’ve seen in training the last couple months that he’s been with us that he’s an exceptional young goalkeeper. We weren’t nervous at all about him stepping in. He did a great job tonight.”

On if he was tired following the extra time and penalties against Sporting Kansas City…
“For me to say not at all would probably be a lie. There were definitely moments where you have to catch that second wind, but the reality is at this time of year, it’s the playoffs. So everything gets thrown out the window in terms of being tired. We had two days off almost where we could regroup and get our bodies back to normal. It wasn’t that much different from a midweek hard training that we’d have on Wednesday. Obviously not 120 minutes long and the emotions that were in the Kansas City game, but overall I thought we looked very fresh. Sometimes that can be at your benefit when you’re on a good run like we are with four wins. We’re just looking forward to a few days off here. Relax a little bit and then get back to work for next Sunday.”

On the importance of keeping a clean sheet with the away goals rule in play…
“Obviously it’s important when road goals come into play. We thought late in the game that we could continue to push. They were going to be OK with a tie, but I think, even with some of their substitutions, you could tell that they were still trying to push for that road goal.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
General thoughts on the match…
“We are happy with the performance but obviously not happy with the result. We deserved more, but it is what it is. We had some chances in the second half to score and we didn’t. But we’re in a good position. I think we were the better team on the field today, even if we played 120 minutes on Thursday. I’m happy with the performance. I think the team played really well.”

On keeping a clean sheet and the away goal advantage heading to Vancouver…
“It’s always very important because in this style of tournament, the clean sheet is very important. It’s good. Now we’re in a good position to score a goal there and force them to score two goals.”

On the benefit of a full week of rest ahead of the second leg…
“It’s good. It’s good because we have couple guys with some knocks, some problems. We need to rest. Tomorrow is a day off, so we will rest. It’s good. We have to watch the game to see what we need to fix and keep working.”

On Jake Gleeson’s performance…
“Amazing. I think he looked very mature. He’s a great ‘keeper and I’m very happy for him.”

On the difficulty breaking down Vancouver…
“I think because they defend with a lot of people, they put a lot of numbers behind the ball. I think we controlled the game. It was good because we were patient and we found some chances, very clear chances to score. We were a little bit unlucky. I had the free kick, Maxi’s chance and a couple more. I liked the way we played.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Quotes

Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson

On if he was nervous in the match and if he’s happy with the draw…
“That’s not nervous compared to Thursday night where I sat in the stands watching Portland and [Sporting] Kansas City. That was very calm. We came into the game with a game plan. We knew what we wanted to do. I think we executed it perfectly. In the first half I thought we were very, very good up until the final third. We missed our chances. I think we should have been ahead in the first half. In the second half, as expected, they’re going to change slightly. They came out and were probably the more aggressive team. Obviously we rode our luck in the last minute, but I think we deserve it.”

On if he’s disappointed in not getting a goal on the road…
“Of course. Everyone wants [a goal]. I’m sure they want a home goal as well. The mindset now changes to next week’s game at BC Place and they are important away goals, we know that, but we had two great chances in the first half and we didn’t take them. Nothing you can do. You have to get back to work.”

On if either team has an advantage heading into the next game…
“I just think it’s just one game of football. It’s come down to final ends again. We talked about final ends today in the game whether we went ahead in the first half then they [get] it at the end. It’s which players perform on the day. [These are] two good teams. I said in that in the build up to the game. I’ll rely on my players turning out and Caleb will rely on his players turning up. It should be an exciting game.”

On goalkeeper David Ousted’s performance…
“He’s been brilliant. He’s been brilliant all season for me. Obviously, he’s taken over the captaincy since Pedro [Morales] has been out the team. I remember him making a great save from Diego Valeri. Super free kick and obviously he gets a bit of luck at the end. Sometimes you need luck in this game as we all know.”

On Portland’s shot that hit the post…
“Sometimes it’s out of your hands. You just hope it’s not down to a mistake or a bad decision or things like that. We’ll take the post.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Kendall Waston
On the overall match…
“It was a hard match because this is a final and nobody wants to give anything. First half I think that we had some opportunities that we could have scored but this is soccer, just like them in the second half they made some good stops. I think now everything leads us to the second match that I think it’s going to be harder.”

On if he was relieved when the shot went off the post in the 89th minute…
“For sure. Nobody wants to let their team score. All those things count and I think today we had a good performance. We want to do things correctly and Portland was at home with their crowd and I think they had a great game as well.”

On goalkeeper David Ousted’s performance…
“Awesome. I think he’s the best goalkeeper in MLS. Every game he stands there and tries to get a clean sheet and today he helped us a lot.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Pedro Morales
On making his return to the field…
“I feel very happy. I have been waiting for this moment for maybe two months and not playing too much. Today I played 50 minutes and I feel OK. It’s a great result to come back home at BC Place. We have a big chance in the house now. [We] just [need to] keep the same work in the week and just prepare for the big game next week.”

On goalkeeper David Ousted’s performance…
“[It was] very good. I think this year David’s had a good season for the team. For us, he’s a very good player. I think the best in the MLS. Just keep the same work now and wait for this game.”

On who has the advantage going into the second game…
“Maybe [us]. We need the support at BC Place. [There might be] maybe more than 25,000 people [at the stadium]. It’s very important for us. We’re very excited for this game and now we have a big chance for a win for the city, as a family for the club.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted
On if one team has an advantage going into the next game…
“Hopefully we have the advantage of being home at BC Place. Hopefully we go home now and make sure that we get that goal to lure them out a little bit.”

On if there’s more pressure knowing they’ll need to score two goals if Portland gets one…
“There’s pressure all the time. There’s pressure as well of keeping a clean sheet and keeping them off the scoreboard. I don’t think more than usual. We’ll assess that game and go in and try and win it.”

On what he saw in Diego Valeri’s free kick…
“I saw it pretty clear. I saw when it was going past the wall and I’ve seen him a few times. He likes that corner and is fantastic at putting it there so I needed a little bit extra to get there.”

On how his team performed tonight…
“I thought we did well. I thought it was a professional showing of what we needed to do, be defensively sound and make sure they didn’t get that goal so we needed to chase. I thought we did well. Obviously we would have loved to get that away goal but it wasn’t to be today. Now we go back to BC Place and try and win it.”

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 89 sellouts.
     
  • The scoreless draw on Sunday marked Portland’s first MLS Cup Playoffs match against Vancouver and their 11th postseason meeting across all eras since 1975.
     
  • Sunday’s match was Portland’s sixth MLS Cup Playoffs game since 2011 and its first shutout.
     
  • The Western Conference Semifinals first leg marked Portland’s third game at Providence Park in eight days, including the regular-season finale (Oct. 25) and the Western Conference Knockout Round match on Thursday (Oct. 29).
     
  • Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson made his first appearance for the Timbers in all competitions since Oct. 21, 2014, in a 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League match against C.D. Olimpia. It marked Gleeson’s MLS Cup Playoffs debut and his 12th career appearance (7 starts) for Portland across all competitions since 2011.
     
  • Sunday’s match marked the 83rd overall meeting between Portland and Vancouver since 1975. Portland improved its record to 30-35-18 overall.
     
  • The Timbers and Whitecaps FC have played to draws in three consecutive matches at Providence Park, dating back to May 2.
     
  • Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace have started each of Portland’s six MLS Cup Playoffs matches. 
     
  • Including the regular season, the Timbers are unbeaten in five consecutive matches, including three straight at Providence Park.
     
  • With the scoreless draw, the Timbers are 2-0-1 in three Western Conference Semifinals matches since joining MLS.
     
  • Sunday’s match marked Portland’s 35th playoff match, dating back to the 1975 NASL season.
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