Christine Sinclair, Thorns vs Reign, 05.05.18
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 2, Seattle Reign FC 3 | May 5, 2018

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons

On the second-half adjustments, including subbing on Tobin Heath and Andressinha

“Well, I think it’s going to help any team to have Andressinha and Tobin on the field. I assume that’s because of the amount of shots in the second half. The first half, we should have been 3-0 up. It could have been one, it could have been two, it should have been three. So the first half, apart from their set-piece goal, was a really, really good half. Of course that led to some frustration going into halftime. Probably gave us a bit more urgency. The second half, away from player changes because I think we did enough to create and then obviously take the chances – it didn’t happen and we got payed back – apart from the personal changes, I think the second half we just had more intensity, more urgency. I thought players in the first half who weren’t at their best really started to step up and get control. And yeah, created a bit of an onslaught there. But I think the storyline is that first or second half, I’m not sure how the score is what it is. Of course that’s my job over the next couple of days before Houston on Wednesday. But at the same time, we can only grab two or three things. We’ve got to grab two or three things from this. We can’t…this is emotional. This is not the result we wanted. But we play a game away from home and what’s best for everyone is that we’ve got to put energy towards that and only grab the one, two things, three things that will help us beat Houston away.”

On if he had early analysis on the three goals Seattle scored…

“No. And I know I enjoy talking, but because it was a bit of a chaotic game, I don’t have a clear picture of a lot at the moment. Remembering the amount of pressure that we put them under. But just frustrating to concede the goals. I don’t have clear pictures of them now. I don’t know. Over 20 shots came from inside the penalty area from us. Great work to create that momentum. Great work to play the game in their half and in their final third for the majority of it. But there’s got to be some small tweaks, some improvements, and if we make that fast, then I think we can do what we need to do these next two games over the next seven days.”

On managing the game and the space on the field…

“I thought that not just on the right side but I thought Kling [Meghan Klingenberg] and Midge [Purce] gave them constant problems to deal with. And what Tobin, Mal [Mallory Weber], Sinc [Christine Sinclair] and Ana [Crnogorčević] did from high areas was really important to us as well. Not just with the ball and being good on the ball, but creating some chances from hard work and high pressure. Specifically in the first half, we knew we could get a lot of turnovers from them, from the goalkeeper and the center backs, and we did. I think we learned from there that hard work will put us in good positions. And then we need to continue to improve quality. Continue to improve the quality in the final third, and then obviously the basics that made this game a bit of a harder game than it could have been.”

On Ana Crnogorčević and her work integrating with the team…

“Each week she’s been with us in training or in games, everything continues to get better. This is a really, really good player that we’ve been fortunate to bring here, and one that we’re excited to have. The same as Andressinha. Ellie [Carpenter] we haven’t seen on the field yet, but it’s the same with them. Everything’s brand new right now. This rivalry game is brand new to them. Every week and every experience we get to work with them, I think things continue to improve. Ana’s probably never put so much work in as a forward as what she did for us today. She put in fantastic energy and miles and she created a lot of – not necessarily winning the ball, we talked about it at halftime – pressure that we put them under. It was the next pass into midfield that they were forcing, or out wide that we were stealing. So we’re obviously excited to spend more time [with Ana] but we’ve also got to figure out and make sure we bring out the best of everyone in a couple of days time, too.”

On whether he’s concerned that the team has gone down a goal in the first half a few times this season…

“Until you said it, I probably wouldn’t have guessed that we’ve been going down in the first half. I mean that. Maybe because I’m too close to the picture sometimes and I’m always trying to move forward. I’ll flip it and just say that today, the reaction – every time that things got hard or we made it hard for ourselves – the reaction was very positive. To drive on, drive forward. We scored equalizing goals twice and everyone was sprinting back wanting to get the next winning goal. So whenever we concede or whenever we don’t do this or do that, that’s not important to me. Continuing to improve the basics, getting the basics right everywhere on the field. It’s something that we’ve been a little bit inconsistent with. I think energy or getting the basics right is priority right now, and then also doing what makes us successful in Houston on Wednesday.”

Thorns FC defender Emily Sonnett

On her goal and how she scored…

“I just re-watched it and I think I was just trying to flick it in high enough because they had people on the post. I think it was just a scramble and who could get a toe to it or who could get a toe to clear and I was lucky enough to be on the better side of that and getting it in the net.”

On Portland’s defensive adjustment towards the end of the match…

“We went down 2-1 and we shifted to less people in the back to give more pressure on the midfield and then, a couple minutes later, got a goal and tied it up. I think overall, shifting more people higher to get higher pressure was the goal.”

On the mood on the pitch during the match…

“I think it was going back and forth the whole game. I think they were very disciplined, just speaking on their attack and what I focus on, they were very disciplined on how they wanted to attack with us, down the flank and their off-shoulder runs. Being able to get behind us a lot when they broke from the midfield. I thought, going into to the second half when Tobin [Heath] and Andressinha came in, really helped us solidify our play and us getting the ball wide and getting crosses, we were just bit unsuccessful getting the ball bouncing our way.”

On possible improvements they’ll look to make…

“We haven’t been shooting a lot and I think the shot count [tonight] said 24. I don’t know if that was an accident. That’s definitely a positive. We have not shot a lot. To see 24, I’m not sure how many were on frame, but that’s encouraging. Our chances were there, it’s that final piece in the attacking third to put it away.”

Thorns FC forward Ana Crnogorcevic

On how she feels she’s getting acclimated to the team and the league…

“I feel really comfortable here with the team. The team is super nice to me. Just helped me on the field, off the field. I have really cool teammates that help me. It’s sad that we didn’t get three points today. We played well. We had so many chances. We created chances. I feel sorry for the team. It was a bad game. I didn’t score. I had a penalty for Seattle. What can I say?”

On if she gets frustrated going multiple games without scoring…

“It’s hard to say after the game. We played well. We had so many chances. [Michelle] Betos was amazing today. She saved so many good chances. The next game is on Wednesday, so we want to go there and bring three points back home.”

On playing in her first Portland-Seattle rivalry game…

“The atmosphere was amazing, like always. My first game, the home opener, was also really cool. The game against Washington, the atmosphere is amazing here. I had a few rivalry games in Germany with Potsdam and Frankfurt, so I know how these games are. It’s sad we couldn’t get three points here. Sometimes the better team isn’t going to win, but we have to learn from that. Just keep going.”

On improvements she can make going forward…

“If the other team scores, we just walk back like ‘It’s 1-0. We need to score two goals.’ We have to start with the first goal. That would be a good step for us and will help us. We keep going.”

Notes:

  • Midfielder Tobin Heath registered her first assist of the season. The assist was the 15th of Heath’s Thorns FC career.
  • Defender Emily Sonnett tallied her first goal of the season. Sonnett has scored four career goals during the regular season, which have all come off set pieces.
  • Midfielder Lindsey Horan tallied the 12th career goal to move into fifth place on the all-time scoring list for Portland.
  • Defender Meghan Klingenberg tallied her first assist of the season. With the assist, she moves into sole possession of sixth place all-time in career assists (7).
  • Thorns FC have scored in 22 consecutive home matches, dating back to the 2016 season.
  • Midfielder Andressinha made her home debut, logging 45 minutes in the match in her second appearance for the club.
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