Caleb Porter, Timbers vs. NYC, 5.15.16
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 1, New York City FC 2 | May 15, 2016

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

Overall thoughts on the game…
“Cruel. Thought it was as cruel of a game as I’ve ever been a part of. The reason I feel that is I thought we dominated the game from start to finish. Thought we were excellent. Pressure, possession, chance creation. We dominated. By far our best performance of the year on both sides of the ball. I thought the energy we played with, I thought for our guys to put in as much as they put in today for them not to get anything out of the game is very cruel. I thought it was a travesty the way the result played out.”

On if there was urgency and too much pressing after New York’s first goal…
“No, not at all. I thought we were excellent. The urgency was there. We obviously pulled a goal back. Like I said we were dominant. The stats tell that. It’s tough because you have to tell the guys to keep doing what they are doing because there have been some other games where we haven’t played well and won. And there have been some games where we haven’t played well and lost. And there have been some other games where we’ve put together periods of play, a half, but I thought honestly from start to finish we were very good. We played with the right mentality. We played aggressively. We pressed. The first goal was unfortunate it was a definite handball. So that shouldn’t have been a goal. Yet I think the guys responded and fought back and went 1-1. Losing [Fanendo] Adi with a hamstring hurt because we have the run, the flow, we level game and he scores and then he goes out with hamstring. I do think, and I told the guys this, that second goal that was the killer. There’s no doubt about it we win that game if we don’t give up that second goal. That goal was avoidable. They took that chance well but we’ve got to make the play at midfield, step out quicker on the shot. Obviously great finish. With the exception of that play the better team didn’t win today. We should have took points. At least a draw under the circumstances of giving up that first goal that shouldn’t have been a goal. I think there’s no doubt in my mind we win that game if we don’t give up that second goal, which was completely against the run. Both goals they scored were against the run of play.”

On the handball not being called on New York’s first goal and how it played into the game…
“I think Hilario Grajeda is one of the best referees in the league. I have a lot of respect for him. I think he is an excellent official. The first one the angle he had is tough, but I still think the arm is so far away from the body it’s not one where it just kind of hits the arm into the body it’s away from the body in an unnatural position. The angle he had was tough, but that’s where the fourth or the linesman have to help him. How does the fourth not see it? That’s what they are there for. It was a blatant handball. You can see it from miles away. And don't know how four guys miss it, but like I said, I think Grajeda is an excellent referee.” 

On how you motivate the team to turn things around after this stretch of games…
“I will tell you what I told the guys, ‘keep going.’ Because the staff was very pleased today. You know sometimes when you don’t get rewarded for playing as well as we did you tend to stop playing that way. You tend to lose energy. We are not going to let that happen. We can pull ourselves out of this. We know where we are at and we are behind it a little bit. But we can make up for it. The only way you make up for it is biting off one game at a time, three points at a time. We have a game next weekend that we have to move into and I told the guys that if we keep playing the way we played today that eventually we will get three points. The alternative is to go into the next game and lose energy and not play well. Then you are definitely not going to get results. If we were today sitting here after this game and having a really bad performance, I would feel a lot worse than I do now. I felt like our guys deserved more. They earned it, they truly did. We just have to go into the next game and go at it again."

On the difficultly in keeping things positive with all the injuries…
“It’s not easy, but that’s my job. My job is to keep the group headed in the right direction. And also it’s their job to keep performing who ever plays. The only thing we can do is win the next game. I want to see exactly what I saw today from start to finish with the exception of giving up that second goal. I think I have a group of guys that know they played well today and I told them that, just keep doing what they did today. I’m confident we move on to the next game and we talk a lot about making sure you don’t look back and sometimes you let the past creep into your head and stay there. It isn’t easy, but I have strong group and a good staff and we are going to keep locked in and keep fighting. We are not going to lose energy. We are never going to quit. We are going to fight to the end of the season and it starts with the next game.”

On if there is any pattern in the last few games in the second half…
“I don’t think there is a pattern because like I said it is different guys in each game. The opponent is different. The way the game turns in every game is different. I don’t think there is a pattern. I think there is a pattern in us not getting points, obviously, recently. But in this case, talking about this game, I don’t think it had anything to do with anything other than us giving up that second goal and losing Adi didn't help for sure. And they played better when they scored for the first time in the game they finally started keeping the ball. The other side of it is this is our third game in eight days and you give up a goal after pushing so hard to get the goal back and pushing to get the next goal and then you give up the second goal. Most of these guys are on their third game in eight days. They are tired. Mentally and physically, done. And that’s not easy. I can tell you because I have been inside the lines as a player. It’s not easy. I really credit our guys for giving what they gave in that third game in eight days in playing a team that didn’t play all week. And for us to dominate them and to have the energy we had and to have the aggressiveness we had and to create the chances we created. And to even respond from a goal that should have never been allowed I’m really pleased with that. So I want to see that in the next game. If I see it in the next game, I’m confident we will turn this."

On if things this season have been dictated more by things out of your control than in your control…
“It depends on the game. This game we should have won the way we played. That’s why I said it was cruel. I’m pretty fair with what I say and what I see. I don’t fluff stuff. I know the stats. I know what I feel. We deserved to win that game today. I feel bad for the guys. They put as much into the game as they could and they clearly wanted to win. They put a lot into the game and they played well. I want my players to be rewarded when the play as hard as they did today. In control, out of control, I don’t really know how to answer that. Certainly we have had injuries. Adi is the 12th, the 12th injury we have had. The 10th from key guys. Guys that could be in the starting rotation. So those are out of our control. We had guys out today, but look at how hard they played. It wasn’t like we were overmatched. Wasn’t like we looked like we lost confidence after losing two games in a row.  We put up our best performance of the year bar none after 12 games after multiple injuries and two losses in a row. The challenge now will be to keep the energy up again. Keep that mentality up again. Keep that positive play up again because that’s the only way you dig yourself out of that is to keep going and eventually you will get three points. Then eventually you will feel a little bit better and less pressure and play even better.”
 

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson
Overall thoughts on match…
"I think, obviously, it's disappointing to not get the result, especially after the way we played. We had a lot of possession in the game and really had them on the back foot for most of it. I think it was definitely one of our best games of the year, so that's a big positive. Obviously at the end of the day, it's about getting results and today we didn't get the three points that I think that we deserved."

On the positives to build on…
"You always want to go out there and make sure you're shooting and pressing and doing the right things and today we definitely did that. But, it's one of those times when you got to close out the game or go push on and score another to make sure you win it. But it's a positive, it's a good step forward and we'll take that and we'll move forward."

Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell
On keeping the locker room up despite result results…
“That's up to myself being captain and up to the senior pros to make sure everyone stays upbeat and making sure that we still believe in the way we play, like we did today. We dominated the game from start to finish, but [those] plays that they scored the two goals, [we’ve got to] stop them. So, it's more disappointment that we lost the game. And it's a good thing that we are disappointed that we didn't get a result after playing so well.”

Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers
Overall thoughts on the game…
“I think we've played well enough in the last three games to deserve more than just zero points and especially in this game I feel like we created a lot of good chances. We had a lot of possession, we felt pretty comfortable on the ball today. It's disappointing but I do think that we have a group that has been playing well. And I think we have a good stretch of games here to get things sorted out and to get us out of this hole.”

On whether it was one of the team’s best efforts of the season…
“Absolutely. I think we were on the front foot from the beginning of the game, we created a ton of chances, we were very unfortunate on both goals to concede. I think we got a ton of ability to press teams at home and that's really what we wanted to do tonight and we created a lot in terms of turnovers in that half of the field.”

New York City FC Quotes

New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira

On how important the win was for NYCFC…
“It was important, yes. Like every single game we play, it is always important to win. Myself and the players, we are all satisfied to go back and onto Toronto with the satisfaction and happiness because we worked hard to take the three points.”

On the atmosphere in Portland…
“Fantastic. This is the best atmosphere so far I have experienced. When the anthem was going, the fans were fantastic and as a player you are looking forward to playing on this kind of stage. The players really enjoyed it today.”

On if it was in NYCFC’s plan to let Portland control most of the ball…
“No, that wasn’t our plan at all. We wanted to control the game and have the possession of the game, but we played against a really good side tonight. You have to give them credit because they make it really difficult for us and that’s the reason why I’m really proud of my team because they showed a lot of character to manage to leave Portland with three points.”

New York City FC midfielder Thomas McNamara
General thoughts on the match…
“It was a really difficult game. Portland did well. They controlled a lot of the ball. They put a lot of pressure on us. But I was really proud of the way that the guys stuck together. We defended really well together, we worked really hard for each other and at the end of the day we got a result out of it because of it.”

On his game-winning goal…
“I don’t remember how Andrea [Pirlo] got the ball, but Andrea got the ball and I was just square of him. Two people came to close him down so it left me free. I was just shouting for it, he laid it off for me. I took a touch and just tried to wrap my foot around it back post.”

New York City FC forward David Villa
On playing against players like Nat Borchers and Darlington Nagbe…
“Obviously, it is always a challenge for me to play against a good defense. Portland, I think, have one of the best defenses in the league. Not only the defense in the league. Obviously they are the winners from last year. I try to help the team with getting the ball when we try to leave our back. But I say again, Portland dominated most of the game. It’s a very good challenge for me to play against very good center backs.”

On the atmosphere in Portland tonight…
“Amazing. So far it is the best. The best in MLS in my opinion. A lot of games, a lot of the stadiums have very good atmosphere. But for me, in my opinion so far, Portland is the best atmosphere.”

On how that atmosphere felt in the heat of the game…
“Very nice. It is very happy for us. It is unlucky for us that we play in the other conference. Maybe in two years we will get to come and play against Portland here. The atmosphere is amazing. Congratulations to Portland, to the Portland Timbers, to the fans because the atmosphere is amazing playing here.”

Referee Hilario Grajeda
Why did you not award a free kick to the Portland Timbers in approximately the 11th minute when the ball struck the hand of RJ Allen?
“In the opinion of the referee, the action by RJ Allen was not deemed to be an act of deliberately contacting the ball with the arm, therefore the referee did not consider this to be handling.”

Why were the Timbers not awarded a penalty kick in the 53rd minute (approximate) when Ronald Matarrita pulled Lucas Melano down in the box?
“In the opinion of the referee, the contact between Portland’s Melano and the NY defender did not rise to the level of a foul.”

In light of Matarrita’s two hands being on Melano’s shoulders appearing to pull Melano down, which specific factors informed your judgment that the NY defender did not commit a foul?
“The referee did not judge the New York defender’s actions to be done in [sic] with carelessness, recklessness, or excessive force, therefore the referee did not award a penalty kick.”

Notes:

  • Sunday’s game marked the 91st consecutive regular-season sellout for the Timbers at Providence Park.
     
  • With seven goals scored at Providence Park this season, Fanendo Adi has recorded the second-most goals scored at Providence Park in a single season.
     
  • With a goal in Sunday’s game, the Timbers have scored at least one goal in 15 consecutive regular-season matches, dating back to the 2015 season.
     
  • Portland completed 486 passes on Sunday, which is the most the Timbers have ever completed in a game in MLS play, surpassing the previous club record of 475 passes against the LA Galaxy in 2012.
     
  • Adi recorded his 33rd career goal for Portland during the match against New York City, placing him two goals away from being tied for the fourth-most goals scored in Timbers history across all eras (since 1975).
     
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe notched his 23rd career assist and third of the 2016 season.
     
  • Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson recorded four or more saves for the fourth consecutive match, marking the second time that a Timbers goalkeeper has logged four consecutive games with four-plus saves.
     
  • Midfielder Ben Zemanski made his first start for the Timbers since October 25, 2014.
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