Adrianna Franch, Thorns FC vs Sky Blue FC, 06.17.17
Sam Ortega/Portland Thorns FC

Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 1, Sky Blue FC 3 | June 17, 2017

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons

Thoughts on the match…
“Unfortunately we looked like a team that had a couple of days to get back in, and you sometimes hope when a couple of mistakes happen, tonight that put us in a tough spot, that the opposition doesn’t punish you and tonight they did. I thought Sky Blue did a great job tonight. They moved the ball well, they were in dangerous areas, they were penetrative with their passing and Sam Kerr and the rest of the crew there were hard to deal with. We weren’t at our best, and that’s what’s great about this league, when you’re at home and not at your best as a team, as a collective unit, you can lose games and you can concede goals. Credit to Sky Blue, thought they did a super job, they love playing here and they’ve got a good record in this stadium and they showed again tonight. It’s a massive opportunity for us, that I know we’re going to embrace, massive opportunity to get ready to learn, get ready to grow from this, get ready to get better and not waste a split second doing anything that doesn’t help us going forward to get ready for a tough road game against Washington.”

On the international break…
“It was the same for Sky Blue, they were probably a bit sloppy in some areas that they’re not normally sloppy. Our strength is being a very collective team and you knew we weren’t as closely connected defensively as we normally are. At the same time, you hope you won’t get punished. I don’t want to look at that, it’s the same for both teams. Both teams have players coming from the European time zones to the West Coast. I just thought, when we did make those mistakes, they were ready to get at us and we work hard to make sure the big ones don’t happen. They do come from things we’re normally good at, so honestly I’m not too stressed about us learning and moving from this. Also, when things come like this, how do we make quicker improvements during the game the next time and not waiting until now, it’s a little bit easier to analyze. How can we all make sure we keep doing the things that we knew were going to score us goals tonight? It was a tough one, it was a tough emotional one, unfortunately we got caught on the wrong end of us not being our best. At the same time, I think that’s why I love coaching in the best league in the world, I love being part of what the NWSL is about, that this can happen on any night, home or away, when you don’t play the soccer you want to and know you can play.”

On Ashleigh Sykes’ debut…
“It was great to get Sykes on, and there were a few other subs I thought that had the opportunity, but didn’t get on. Sykes is going to need a couple of weeks to get up to the speed we know she can be at. We didn’t get her on the ball much, you saw right at the end that she created one of our best chances in the last 20 minutes with a chance at the end by beating her player outside then inside. We didn’t get her on the ball, we didn’t get [Hayley] Raso on the ball enough in the second half. Those two players could’ve done a bit more, but the game goes that way sometimes. They did a good job with our wide players, so happy with Sykes, but would’ve loved to see her on the ball. The next two, three weeks are a time for her to adjust and get up to speed and I think we’ll see her full throttle and she’ll be an exciting player for us.”

On dealing with being down a goal early…
“Sometimes, because it happened so early tonight, it’s easier to move on and not let that goal affect you. It’s easier when it’s so early because you’ve just kicked off and the ball’s in the back of the net. It’s happened twice this year and I thought against Seattle, we did a much better job in putting the foot down and grabbing the goal. [Tonight] We did create chances, 1-nil down in the first 35 minutes, we did create three or four really good opportunities, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The staff talked about at the end there, and Sinc and a couple of players, that there was a lot of great stuff tonight, we’re not feeling it right now, there was a lot of good stuff and there was a couple of massive errors that we’re not used to and don’t normally do. We’ll eliminate them quick and be a bit sharper and a bit fresher in the final third next week to make sure we do take them.”

Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair
Thoughts on the match…
“Obviously it’s hard to give up a goal in the first 30 seconds of the game, but I’ll have to re-watch the game, but I actually thought we played pretty well. This is the first team that’s punished the mistakes we’ve made and our final passes, final shots are just off tonight, but overall I thought we played well and we’ll learn from it.”

On what was talked about in the locker room after the match… 
“Mark [Parsons] just pulled us in on the field and said, ‘We’ll learn from this. We’ve got a couple of days off, not really to re-evaluate things, but know personally how we can improve and comeback fresh and ready to go.”

On focusing after the travel of the international break…
“I don’t think it has too much of an impact, we’ve all been through it before. I was personally fortunate this time around to stay in North America. I know it was hard for some of our Americans flying to Europe, that’s always difficult. We’ve all been through it before, we’re all professionals. Mark and our staff do a very good job of easing us back in, making sure we feel fresh. I don’t think we can use that as an excuse.”

Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch
General thoughts on the match…
“We had some quality chances. We have to capitalize on those. We have to come out from the start better than that. This is definitely a learning opportunity. Nobody likes to lose here, especially with the crowd we have. It’s hard, not just for us, but for our community. We’re going to get back to the grind, do a little bit of analysis, and take care of business next time.”

On what was said in the locker room after the match…
“We got together and kind of said something similar to ‘we need to be together after this lose.’ Individually, we need to go through what we can do ourselves and then, as a team, what we can do to better ourselves.”

On the impact of the international break…
“That’s tough, because if we had come out with a win, the break wouldn’t have mattered. I feel like we had some quality [training] sessions throughout our break that put us in a good direction for this game. I just don’t think we came out strong enough and prepared. That put us on the back heel and we’re going to try and transfer that to the front.”

Notes:

  • Christine Sinclair scored her 25th career goal for Portland in the match. Sinclair is the eighth player in league history to reach this mark.
  • Portland is the only team in the NWSL with two players who have scored 25 or more goals for the same club. Allie Long has 29 career goals all with Thorns FC.
  • Thorns FC is the only club with three active players that have scored 25 or more goals during their NWSL career (Long, Nadim, Sinclair).
  • Forward Ashleigh Sykes made her NWSL debut, entering the match as a second-half substitute in the 62nd minute.
  • Midfielder Allie Long started her 85th career match for Thorns FC. Long is one of four players in NWSL history to start in 85 or more matches for the same club.
  • The loss snapped Portland’s six-game unbeaten run this season. Additionally, it marked Thorns FC’s first regular-season home loss since July 9, 2016.
  • Defender Emily Menges appeared in her 29th consecutive match and has now played 2,610 consecutive minutes.
  • Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch surpassed 150 saves for NWSL career becoming the eighth goalkeeper in league history to reach 150 career saves and the fourth among active NWSL goalkeepers.
Topics: