Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 1, Sky Blue FC 1 | June 27, 2018

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons

General thoughts on the match…

"The first half was really good, it was fantastic. Not only were we defensively good and tight, they wanted to hit us on the counter-attack and we just didn't let them. We were getting into the final third and creating [chances]. We didn't take chances, which you have to in this league. The game could've been put to bed really early. In the second half, I felt that we started well and had a few looks to get that second goal. We continued the great defensive balance and kept Sky Blue [quiet]. And when we couldn't get the [second goal], you could feel Sky Blue getting more confidence and then their goal comes out of nowhere. I give credit to Sky Blue because they stayed close enough. They had looks to win the game just like we did. I thought it was a great start and first half. It's dangerous to leave teams around in this league, there's loads of quality. It's a little bit unlike us to just blow open near the end. Apart from that last 10-15 minutes and not taking our chances, we put on some 'Portland Thorns' home performance. I felt like we were very dominant with the ball and were breaking lines to be dangerous. A lot of players played really well tonight. We have to attack and defend with the same balance. We lost some balance because of the passion to win and score goals."

On the team's focus coming into the second half...
"I only felt a little lack of focus came after [Sky Blue] scored. Because of our urgency and desire to win, we slipped away from some of the things that have made us dominant. I think we were in control of the pace of the game. Sky Blue grew into the game and we've got to credit them. They just had flashes of momentum and they got the goal and then the game kind of changed."

On Andressinha's role on the pitch...
"We pushed her out to the left side and had some rotations to get her into positions to help up build the attack. We tried to give flexibility to a couple of players tonight and then a little bit more strict roles to other to give team balance. [Andressinha] was probably one of the best passers, statistically, last year. She knows how to find those lines and seams to get people in front of goal. It's good to see her enjoying her soccer and growing into her role here."

On not getting the result at home...
"It is [disappointing to not win at home] because the advantage of home anywhere in this league is big. Playing in front of the best fans in the world, no one else has that advantage. I think we took advantage of it for 75-85 percent of the game. The city makes this the best place to play, the fans make this the best. The Riveters are unreal, they blow you away every week. But it's everyone in this stadium, everyone is here really supporting the team. It's an example to the rest of the world on how to support women's soccer and it's a privilege to be here seeing that environment every weekend."

Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan
On scoring the opening goal of the match…

“We didn’t set that up, but it was a great ball in. I don’t know if it was [Meghan Klingenberg] or [Andressinha], sorry that I don’t remember that. A great flick by [Christine Sinclair] and right place, right time. But the goal doesn’t even matter now. The result’s not great.”

On changes in the second half that affected the Thorns’ play…
“I’m not quite sure. The mentality was always there that we wanted to win this game, but something lacked in the second half. We’re up one goal and a few things dropped off. We stopped pressing and a few mistakes here and there, including myself and that’s not our standard. It’s really unfortunate we let that happen and it’s unfortunate we gave up the penalty, but we need to look back to our first where we created so many chances and we missed those as well. That’s super unfortunate because then maybe the mistakes in the second half wouldn’t have mattered as much.”

On if there was growing frustration within the team as the match went on…
“No. You’re still up 1-0 and you just want to keep fighting and keep getting more and more opportunities and chances on goal. Create something. Obviously, we still had a few chances in the second half but we just weren’t the better team in the second half.”

On dealing with last minute lineup changes and injuries…
“We’ve dealt with this the whole season and it’s absolutely terrible. But our team has tried to deal with it the best way we can. We’ve been so unfortunate and unlucky with all the injuries we’ve had. It’s frustrating as a team. You want your best team out there every single day and I don’t think we’ve had that yet. We’ve done very well given the things that have happened to us. I feel bad for certain players and it’s very unfortunate. I have to say, we’ve done as good as we can and we have big players stepping up. We have to keep doing that because of these things happening.”

On struggling to get the results the team has wanted at home…
“Whenever we come home and play here, we want to put on the best performance for these fans. The amount of fans that we get here, coming and cheering for us, always supporting us, we want to give our all and we want to win. I think that’s super frustrating when we’re at home and we’re playing our game and we don’t get that result. But we have more home games coming up and we’re going to go out and win those.”

Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch
On being back on the field at Providence Park in front of home crowd… 

“For any player who has ever played in front of the Riveters, coming back home and even for the team, it’s massive. You get chills as soon as you step onto the field. It’s a pretty amazing place.”

On dealing with last minute changes to the Thorns defense…
“You continue to do the things that you’re good at. You don’t try to do too much because that usually takes you out of your game. You don’t try to overthink anything. If I start to think I need to come out bigger because we have a different play in, I can put myself in a poor situation to where I’m making poor decisions. As a whole I think our team needs to do that when it changes. It does change so much. We’ve had to deal with that throughout this season. It’s been tough, but we have to figure out a way to get the results we want.”

On her two reaction saves in the match…
“That’s my job right? We get to train that every day with Nadine [Angerer]. We do a lot of reactive stuff. I was in the right place at the right time and made the right decision and made the saves.”

On the current mentality within the team…
“If you take a look at that first half, the way we played with that ball, I think everybody is in a very confident space and that’s good. That needs to continue. We need to also keep that grind and that fight. That ball wasn’t in our half much. I know I had to do a couple jumping jacks to make sure I stayed warm just in case because there’s always that one for the keeper. We were breaking lines, we were getting in, we were having chances and that will just continue to carry us the rest of the way as long as we continue to do that.”

On how good the chemistry within the backline in despite any changes…
“As a team, we’ve been training our tactics, our shape. What basics we want out of it. So anyone who does pop in there, they know our basics. They know what we want and what we’re looking for. We have to still be confident in whoever comes in and steps in and still be competent within our backline and our entire team to get it done.”

Notes:

  • Wednesday night’s match featured the largest crowd of the season for Thorns FC (18,237).
  • Christine Sinclair appeared in her 101st career match for Portland, becoming the club’s all-time career leader in games played.
  • Sinclair leads the league in both goals (7) and assists (5).
  • Defender Emily Sonnett made her 50th career appearance on Wednesday night.
  • Five players have scored at least three home goals in the NWSL, including Sinclair and Lindsey Horan. Horan and Sinclair are tied for four home goals this season, which is the most of any player in the NWSL.
  • Horan tallied her sixth goal of the season in the match, establishing a new single-season career high for goals. Her six goals currently rank tied for second in the NWSL this season.
  • With the goal, Horan moved into a tie for third place all-time in career goals (15) for Portland. Horan is one of five players in club history with at least 15 goals.
  • Horan has scored four goals in four career matches against Sky Blue FC.
  • Horan has tallied seven header goals since 2016, which is the most of any player in the league during that stretch.
  • Sinclair recorded her fifth assist of the season in the match, establishing a new single-season career high for assists.
  • The assist was the 12th of Sinclair’s Thorns FC career, which now ranks as the third most assists in club history.
  • Appearing in her third match of the season, forward Hayley Raso made her 2018 Providence Park debut.
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