Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Thorns FC vs. Seattle Reign FC, 07.30.16
Eric Cech/Portland Thorns FC

Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 1, Seattle Reign FC 0 | July 30, 2016

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons

Overall thoughts on the match…
“I’ll start with how proud we are with every single player. I think it’s a bit of that sort of energy and effort, and also a real high concentration throughout 93 minutes is fantastic. A couple of them had some knocks that they were playing with and you could tell Dagny [Brynjarsdottir] was hit all over the place and they took some hits during the game. Their focus was outstanding. If every player on and off the field puts that sort of attention to what they want to achieve, special things can happen. I think this is a magnificent win for us and three points going into the break puts us in a good position, but it also keeps a very talented team further back. Seattle has a fantastic coach and they’re a very talented group. To be able to keep them further back from us is also a good bonus.”


On the team’s performance tonight…
“It’s about mindset. I think the whole group showed that unbelievable mindset tonight, Nadia [Nadim] especially. One lonely player against their back four, turned into a back three when they out from the back. To do that and to keep a great attitude and mindset is everything, but that sums up this group. We talked about it this week. The last thing I said in the locker room before we came out is that we earned the right to be this hard-working team. We just don’t turn up tonight and we work extra hard. They’ve done that every training, every week and every month. We don’t get a good result at Houston; we come back and the attitude and the mindset to just to just get better and improve has been out of this world. You know you’re in a good place when you’ve got committed players that can do that and they’ve stayed committed. There have been bad games and there have been good games. There’s been lots of minutes and there’s been no minutes or low minutes, but they’ve continued to work really hard and stay focused and that allows us to be in a position that we’re in.”

On the home support tonight…
“The anthem was something special. I get goosebumps every anthem and that one was the loudest that I’ve personally heard and all throughout the game there’s not a place in the world that you’re going to experience this. I grew up watching the top league in the men’s game in England and there are not many men’s stadiums in a league that’s 120 years old that can roar like this place can. The last 15 minutes, when we really needed it, the whole place took off and the Riveters in that end lead by example and pushed us. They’ve done that all season and I think we’re in a good position here. We’ve got to find a way to improve and get better and I’m going to encourage the fans to keep doing that. We’ve been in a great place. We’re in this position because everyone has contributed; all the staff, the players, the fans and now we all have got to find another gear. We’ll take a little rest. It will be awhile until we come back home with those three home games. Let’s take the roof off of it again and put in three great performances when we come home.”

On what the Olympic break will look like for the team…
“We’ll take a break now. They can relax tonight. They take just under a week off and we come back in that first week. We have to be very careful and just slowly get everyone back in and see where everyone is physically. There are players that will need a longer rest and we’ll manage them during training. The second week, we’ll do a full training week. The third week, we’re building up to play Seattle away, which will be another highly competitive game.”

Portland Thorns FC midfielder Mana Shim
On the team’s ability to absorb the attack from Seattle and execute the game plan…
“I think we did just that. I think we did it perfectly. I will say that Seattle is a really strong opponent and that’s how much we respect them. We had a game plan, and we had been working on it all week. I’m so proud of all our players. I think individually every single person stepped up, and we needed that. We couldn’t have done it without everyone.”

On her assist on forward Nadia Nadim’s game-winning goal..
“I think that it was, we knew that we were going to get a couple of opportunities, and Nadia and I didn’t have a great connection tonight. The whole first half we kept missing each other, and she would put her thumb up, I would put my thumb up. ‘Sorry, I missed it.’ She missed it. She was offside. And it takes just one. And I think that we were both just committed to the game plan and we knew that one was going to work out for us. She works her butt off and I just kept trying to give it to her and finally one worked out.”

On the support of the crowd – a season-best 19,231 in attendance – despite the team missing seven international players…
“That’s Portland. Soccer City, USA. Rain or shine, national team players or not, they’re going to show up and support us. I get the chills even thinking about it because we needed them, too. It was the best atmosphere we’ve had, and I think that drove us, honestly, when we got the goal and after that, especially, just holding the lead. It was incredible.”

On whether there was a sense of urgency on the team to snap its losing streak going into the Olympic break…
“Absolutely, yeah. We had a couple of really tough losses where I felt like we were doing our best to execute the game plan and it slipped a little bit, and it just takes one slip up. We were super focused, and really focused on the details. Just everyone knowing their role, and then beyond that, just execute it. You want to have a good feeling going into this break, especially because we take a little bit of time off and we come back and who knows who’s going to be back. It’s just a whole different game. The last few games, we don’t want to be in a place where we’ve been in in the past, which is having to win out. Even though we’re still at the top of the table, it definitely gives us a little bit more breathing room, which is nice. It’s a change.”


Portland Thorns FC forward Nadia Nadim
On going up against multiple Seattle defenders as the lone Portland forward, but still being able to come through for the game-winning goal…
“[Head coach] Mark [Parsons] said this almost two weeks ago, that I’m going to be alone on top. He said it was going to be a really, really tough game, ‘you’re not going to get a lot of balls so mentally be prepared.’ As a striker, I don’t know, you just have to believe that one chance is going to come. I kept doing my runs and Mana [Shim] found me in the box, and I did what I have to do. But yeah, not an easy game, 100 percent.”

On what the win means for the team going into the Olympic break…
“It was a huge, huge game for us. Yeah, we were playing really, really defensive, but we had to play smart. Seattle has great, great players, and they won their last game, 5-2. So you have to look at [your opponent] and be smart, and I think we had a great plan and it worked out and got three points. I’m really, really proud of the team and Mark [Parsons], he’s a genius, so it was a good win.”

On the support of the crowd – a season-best 19,231 in attendance – despite the team missing seven international players…
“Days like this, you really need the support. I felt their singing the entire time and being able to score is just awesome. The feeling that you get…I can’t even describe it. So it was amazing, and yeah, almost 20,000 people…I don’t know how to explain it. It was just amazing.”

On whether she put in a little bit more into her celebration and whether the goal meant something extra to her…
“No, I always love scoring, but against Seattle, we needed the points. And after last game, it wasn’t a really great game, so I just felt like everything came out here. It was an important three points.”

Notes:

  • Saturday’s attendance of 19,231, the largest crowd for a match this season, was the third-largest crowd for a Thorns FC match in club history, and it marked the fifth time Portland has drawn a crowd of more than 18,000 for a game.
  • Forward Nadia Nadim has tallied four career goals in five career matches against Seattle, including two in three games against Reign FC this season.
  • Nadim has tallied at least five goals in three consecutive NWSL seasons, and now leads the team and ranks fourth in the league in goals in 2016. In addition, Nadim is the sixth player in club history to score at least five goals in a season.
  • Nadim has tallied a point in four consecutive home matches (3 goals, 2 assists), tallying goals in three of the last four home matches.
  • Portland improved to 6-4-2 in the all-time series against Seattle, including a mark of 4-2-1 at Providence Park.
  • Midfielder Mana Shim appeared in her 65th career match for Thorns FC.
  • Shim notched her ninth career assist for the club, moving into a tie for second place all-time with midfielder Tobin Heath.
  • Defender Emily Menges played in her 55th career match for Portland and is the only player this season to play every minute of every match.
  • Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 12-5 at Providence Park this season.
  • Portland has not surrendered a goal after the 60th minute in seven home matches this season, outscoring its opponents 5-0 during that stretch.

 

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