Horan/Crnogorcevic, Thorns vs Dash, 07.15.18
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 3, Houston Dash 1 | July 15, 2018

Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons
General thoughts on the match…
“It was a really confident, committed and disciplined performance from everyone. It was a collective performance and the players have been in a great place the last few weeks. They've had a bit between the teeth and they know how important these games are. They're taking it a day at a time and are trying to put the best work out there each day and that's adding up to good, strong performances, which is really good to see.”

On Lindsey Horan's goal-scoring efficiency from midfield...
“The amount of distance that she covers on the defensive side is outrageous. Lindsey is crushing numbers on the defensive side and [she is doing] what great players in the past have done with creating and scoring goals from the midfield. She is one player doing both sides of the ball. We started to see this at the end of 2016 and you saw it in 2017. Now you're seeing it this year. 

Consistently, week in and week out, she's a complete midfielder that does so well on both sides and we don't spend enough time talking about her passing and the way she breaks pressure and dictates the tempo. Across the league, it's one thing to have a high pass percentage and a lot of touches, but to get your team from one third to another third is key, and Lindsey's numbers are really high [in showing that]. It's easy to look at the numbers and realize that we're seeing someone doing two to three player's jobs week in and week out, and she's one person. Our job is to keep pushing her forward and setting new standards because that what she demands from us.”

On Haley Raso's impact on the team...
“She deserved a couple of goals [today]. She's been knocking on the door and creating opportunities for others. The way she played Ana [Crnogorcevic] through for that goal was an exceptional goal. Raso is very important to us. Her quality on the field is important. Her energy, physicality, the way she doesn't let the opposition have time to rest and her tactical work continues to improve. She's technically cleaner, she's keeping hold of the ball and she's creating chances. The way she works is very important and we're very happy to have her back.”

On Celeste Boureille's recent performances...
“Celeste tonight was absolutely crucial to our team. Without Celeste doing what she did tonight, we don't have the amount [of possession] on the ball, we don't create the chances and we don't deny Houston the attacks they've had in the past against us. Celeste has grown tremendously in the past few months. At halftime, we felt [Celeste] was the key to helping our team tick today. Every time Houston thought about breaking or getting on the counter, Celeste had positioned herself to go and deny or intercept and get us back on the ball. If I was players around her I'd love to play with her because she's going to make my job easier by doing the work she does off the ball.”

On the upcoming match against Sky Blue...
“Since this business end [of the season] has turned up, knowing the schedule that we have and the players that we have back, everything is in our control and we've got to hunt for that second place every single day. This is going to be the tightest run for a playoff spot in the history of the league and I think we thrive when the pressure's on and it's a must-win for us. Tonight, I think the players put on an amazing, complete and dominant performance that we can build confidence on and take into next week at Sky Blue.”

Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan
On her two goals tonight and her effectiveness on set-pieces…
“One, we have great service. We get a throw-in and we’ve kind of been working on that set play and [Emily] Sonnett served a great ball. She whipped it in and right place, right time. So happy to score. The other one, credit to Ana [Crnogorcevic]. The ball came in and she got the flick on and made it possible for me. Just happy to score and happy for us to win.”

On Celeste Boureille’s performance…
“I think has Celeste has been incredible this whole year. Celeste has let me do what I can on the field and kind of allowed me to have more freedom. She’s a quiet star for our team. Everything she does allows other players to do certain things. If we didn’t have Celeste in there holding up play and sitting in front of our back line, we wouldn’t be able to do the things that we’re doing. So much credit to her and I thought she played an incredible game tonight. I’m so happy for her.”

On how much importance the team put on getting three points tonight
“Every single game we know that we’re fighting for a playoff spot. It’s crucial to get three points. Especially going into this next game, we’ve got to keep going and keep the momentum. I know we’re going to do well and I think we’re on a great path right now.”

On how she’s able to score so many goals as a midfielder…
“Again, it’s kind of what the team’s allowed me to do. Mark [Parsons] has given me a more free role and some of the goals are coming off set-pieces. Because of how our team plays and, like I said, what Celeste does and certain players do, it allows me to attack more. I can find myself in more of an area I know best. That’s being in and around the box. I’m lucky that my teammates are allowing me to do that and I’m trying to impact as much as I can.”


Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair
On the importance of picking up three points tonight
“Just in terms of the playoffs and where we stand, it was a massive three points for us. Came home now from two games in a row and played pretty convincingly both games. It’s good to get some points knowing we’re going to be missing a few players next weekend.”

On Hayley Raso’s drive to perform and score…
“Hayley is coming off a pretty significant injury. You just see her building more and more confidence, more and more fitness, things like that. She’s a forward that’s desperate to get on the scoresheet and you just see her getting better with every game. It’s great to see.”

On Lindsey Horan performing well on both ends of the field…
“Obviously she’s been doing tremendously and putting the ball in the back of the net. I’m curious how many goals she has off set-pieces. It’s ridiculous. Talk about a box-to-box midfielder that just does everything for us. She’s been massive.”

Notes:

  • Lindsey Horan recorded her eighth and ninth goals of the season in the match, moving into a tie for the NWSL lead in goals with Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr.
  • Ana Crnogorcevic has scored in all three matches against Houston in 2018.
  • Horan has tallied a goal in three consecutive home matches, scoring seven goals in nine home matches in 2018.
  • Portland has registered 24 header goals since the start of 2016, which is the most of any team in the league and 12 more than the next highest team. Horan has a league-best nine headed goals during that span, including a NWSL-best four headed goals this season.
  • Horan registered her first brace of the season, and the second of her career in the match. She is the fourth player in club history to record multiple braces during her career with the club.
  • Emily Sonnett and Hayley Raso tallied their first assists of the season in the match, becoming the seventh and eight different players to record an assist for Portland this season.
  • With her two goals, Horan reached 40 career points, which ranks fourth all-time for Thorns FC. She is just the fourth player in club history to tally 40 points.
  • Emily Menges surpassed 8,000 career minutes played to become the third player in club history to reach this mark.
  • Thorns FC improved to 7-2-2 all-time against the Dash, including a mark of 5-1-0 at Providence Park.
  • Portland is unbeaten in its last seven matches (5-0-2) against Houston, including four consecutive wins at Providence Park.
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