Portland Thorns FC Quotes
Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons
On the overall performance of the team…
“We continue to get better each week and the results haven’t always shown in that, but performance wise we’ve been really, really happy. We talked about purpose, attacking with purpose, and defending with urgency and I think the way we started that first 10 minutes, I thought we could’ve had three or four goals. It was a lot of urgency and a lot of purpose about us, and I think it’s important that we continue to move forward one step at a time. The backline did a tremendous job working on the defensive stuff this week and pretty exhausted coming into the game because we worked so hard. Clean sheet there for them guys and AD [Adrianna Franch], which is big time, and now we go into a period where players are going to start to join us coming back from injury and the new players coming in the next few weeks, it’s going to be fun.”
On Amandine Henry’s performance…
“Amandine is a player of the highest level and unfortunately, because of her position, it’s sometimes hard to see the class and the quality that she has, that you need to have to do what she does. She does a lot of important things for our team, just like Allie [Long] does in defensive mid, in breaking up play, being the link, being the person that gets us breaking lines when we have the ball and she also can strike a ball really well with both feet - we’ve seen that. The opportunities have been growing and the first couple of home games we were getting on the edge of the box with her right foot, which is her favorite foot and then her strikes tonight. The first goal for her in the league, which is important, that was a great strike and then she brought her left foot out and hit the crossbar as well. I said at halftime, ‘where’s she been? Where’s that lefty been? You made us wait 10, 11 months to see it.’ And she tried to tell me, it’s been there all the time. It’s good for her to get that goal, because she’s capable, just like Allie, they play an important role for us in defensive midfield and we have a lot of balance and rhythm where they get the chance to go forward and attack and they share that responsibility.”
Comparing this game to the road game at Boston…
“Boston are a very, very good team. I thought our away game last year was one of our hardest and that game out there, they punished us. We made three mistakes in the first half and they created opportunities on all three — they hit the crossbar, scored and just missed another. In the second half we made another mistake and they punished us again. They’re very well organized, well coached good team with dangerous players and they showed that tonight. They still caused us problems in a game that I thought we had a lot of control, dominated a lot of areas and we looked dangerous with the ball. It’s lovely being back home with these fans, it’s the best place to play in the world. The team knew they needed to represent the community tonight and show what it’s all about when we get the chance to play at home.”
On Haley Raso’s performance…
“Remember last year Tobin [Heath] was one of our most fouled players in the league or most fouled player on our team. In the stats today we got fouled eight or nine times and she got fouled eight of them and was the only player on our team that got fouled up to the 60th minute. Teams have been doing that for the last few weeks, I remember away at Kansas and at Boston. She’s a dangerous player, but we’ve got to protect those players. It was Tobin last year, brought down at every opportunity, trying to slow our rhythm down and Allie Long last year was really high on receiving fouls and now it’s Raso. It’s going to be hard on teams, because in a couple of weeks, it’s going to be three or four running around like Raso at 100 miles per hour causing problems and they’re not going to be able to kick everyone. I’m looking forward to having that luxury. Raso – super stuff, she’s 22 years old, she’s probably still in college or just graduating if she’d come through the American system. She has a massive future ahead of her, but right now she just needs to keep working. The biggest thing about her is when she puts the work in and is fully focused, works on the ball and off the ball, she’s really dangerous. You can see tonight there’s still a lot of areas for her to improve, she continues to be better in the final third with her quality, she knows that. She’s excited to train to do that. The best thing about her and our group is a mindset to improve and a mindset to get better each week and there’s a hunger to do that. Raso’s been one of the most improved players in the league in the last 12 months and it’s exciting that we’ve got her here.”
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Amandine Henry
On scoring her first NWSL goal…
“I feel very good and so happy. The most important thing tonight are the three points. We won and I’m so happy for my first goal here at home. It’s important.”
On if the goal will build her confidence to shoot…
“Yes, of course. I’m not used to shooting a lot, but when I shoot I want to score definitely. Tonight it happened and I’m so happy.”
On if she felt she should have had a few more goals on the night…
“Yes. I want to score a lot, but most important is the team. If I score, it’s good for me, but if I assist a goal, it’s the same for me.”
Portland Thorns FC forward Hayley Raso
On playing as a very aggressive attacking player…
“I think I’ve always just played like that. I get instruction from Mark [Parsons]... the word he uses is “beast mode.” So just to go hard. I look for the balls in behind. My teammates do a great job of finding me there. It’s enjoyable.”
On if Portland should have had more goals on the night…
“We came out firing. Took off at 2-0, I think it was the first minute we got a goal. We thought we’d get more, but we did a good job and to hold out a clean sheet at home is great.”
On areas in her game where she can still improve…
“There’s always areas to improve. We’re playing in a style where he wants us checking inside rather than staying wide, so the fullback can push on. Learning that new role, I can always improve. I’m just trying to do as [Parsons] says and do what the team needs the most. It’s great to come out tonight and get that win.”
- Midfielder Amandine Henry tallied her first career NWSL and Thorns FC goal in the match.
- Henry is the 25th different player across all competitions to score a goal for Portland.
- Portland is unbeaten in its last eight regular-season home matches (7-0-1), tying a club record for the longest home unbeaten streak.
- Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last five matches (2-0-3).
- Portland is tied for the league lead in shutouts (4) and fewest goals conceded (5). Thorns FC have conceded just two goals in four home games this season.
- Registering goals in the first and fifth minutes of the match, Portland tied the club record for fastest consecutive goals set on June 21, 2014, in a 6-1 win on the road against the Washington Spirit.
- In six matches between Thorns FC and the Breakers at Providence Park, Portland has outscored Boston 22-9, improving to 5-1-0 in those matches.
- The match marked the quickest amount of times Portland has scored two goals to start a match (5 minutes), breaking the previous record of two goals in the opening 10 minutes against Washington on June 21.
- With a crowd of 18,637, Portland surpassed 18,000 fans for a match for the eighth time in club history, marking the seventh largest attendance for a regular-season contest since the club’s inaugural NWSL season in 2013.
- Forward Christine Sinclair appeared in her 70th career match for Portland on Saturday night.
- Midfielder Allie Long made her 85th career appearance in the match.
- Thorns FC are tied for the league lead in shutouts (4) and fewest-goals conceded (5).
- Forward Hayley Raso won eight fouls in the match, establishing a single-season club record for most fouls won in a match.
- Portland is 3-0-3 when squaring off against the same team in back-to-back weeks.