Complete quotes from the Portland Timbers Official Press Release

As noted last week this will be a continuing offering from me the remainder of this season for those interested…

The complete, unedited, un-taken out of context, quotes by those interviewed following the game…

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On the result and the club’s confidence:
“I think it’s big. These last several games have been tough. We’ve dealt with a lot. We’ve had a ton of guys out with injuries – we still have guys out. Obviously this game, we had a few guys out with injuries and some guys out on international duty, so I said to the guys that in a lot of ways it’s probably a good thing, because if we had had a ton of success in the last nine games, I’d be worried about complacency at this point. We’ve been humbled a little bit. We’ve had to fight through some things. It’s built our character, it’s increased our depth, and I think it’s made us hungrier for this final push. We’re in the last quarter of the season now with seven games left, and we’re going to keep being very business-like, very professional in our approach and we’ll keep on this process that we’ve followed all season long. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We’ll focus on the next game, that’s Chivas USA. We’re not worried about the other games. We’ll go into that game trying to get three points like we’ve done all season long.”

On the club’s possession and set-piece defense against Toronto FC:
“I think all year we’ve been a possession team. Recently, we’ve maybe not had as much of the ball, but we still had a lot of the ball. We’re still up there; I believe we’re one of the top teams in the league in terms of possession. In this game, a little bit of the lopsided margin in possession had to do with their approach. They were going to sit deep, low pressure, let us have the ball, hope that we couldn’t break them down and then hit us on counters and play direct, play on the break, play for set pieces. I was really proud of our guys how we managed the second half, especially on the corner kicks and set pieces. That’s been an issue for us recently when we’ve given up points. They had some corner kicks and we’re at 1-0 and we’re one play away from losing the game and our guys looked very big and up for it in those moments. That’s key. We can build on that. There have been other games where we’ve shrunk in those moments and not made plays and in this game we did make plays. I think that’s a real positive that we’ve progressed in that regard. We’ve been working on it, talking about it, basically just changing our mentality in those moments, those key critical moments when you have to make plays to win the game. If you don’t, you tie the game. For us to make those plays when we had to, I think gives us a lot of confidence moving forward in those moments.”

On the result and playoff positioning:
“I think position is always important, but we can’t control the other teams. We’re in position. I don’t call it a good position or a bad position; we’re in position, which is in the playoff picture. We’re going to focus on what we can control, and that’s three points hopefully every game. That’s going to be our focus. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, we’re not going to speculate, we’re not going to worry too much about what other teams are doing. We’re going to try and control what we can control. It’s that simple.”

Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
On returning from injury:
“Being injured is a frustrating thing, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Mentally, it’s just a grind and when you have a broken bone … but you can’t focus your negative energy on rehab. It was a tough month for me, and I tried to play with a lot of emotion tonight and it was just good to finally get back out there. It felt like a lot more than four games, I can tell you that.”

On the last 10 minutes of the game:
“We had to learn how to hold our lead, 1-0 is good training for a while, but you just have to take what the other team gives you. They were just sitting back, so there was no sense for us trying to push the game and get aggressive. We just held our composure, and then in the 80th minute they had to stretch their game and press and that’s when we put the nail in the coffin.”

On playing with Diego Chara again:
“It’s good to get back there with the guys. [Diego] and I work well together and read each other well and it’s fun to play together.”

Timbers goalkeeper Milos Kocic
On the shut-out performance:
“It feels good; it feels weird playing against my old team, but it’s very important coming up with a win, and playing at home is always a benefit. I think time of possession was unbelievable, we held the ball very well and we came out with three points.”

On the win:
“It’s always a turnaround after two losses to win and it feels great; it’s something to build on. We’re going to Chivas USA now and I think it’s going to be a very interesting game because they are not the same team we played against at the beginning of the year. I think they’re much stronger now and it’s going to be a tough test for us.”

Timbers forward Rodney Wallace
Overall thoughts on the match:
“It was a good game for us and something we’ve been searching for all year, a game where we open up the score sheet and knock in four goals, so it was a special game for the whole team and the Portland Timbers as a whole. We’re happy with the result and now we have to focus our attention on Chivas USA.”

On the team’s attack late in the game:
“I think that we’ve been practicing our attack and a lot of our goals came from creating our own chances and making the moment count. We also have to give credit to the pressure we’re putting on teams. For example, the pressure that Diego Valeri put on the central defender to free me up and get the goal. Pressure, movement, and at the same time keeping the defenders back.”

Toronto FC Quotes

Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen
Thoughts on the match:
“Well, I think the game got away from us. The first goal was a foul on Jeremy Hall, he was trying to clear it, off a set piece. They’ve got some dangerous players on the break, some pace. What’s frustrating for me is that it ridiculously wasn’t a 4-nil result. I could see us, at 1-nil in the 60th minute, I could see only one team going on to score the goal and unfortunately our mistake from a young center back, who was brilliant on the night, I thought he was fantastic, he was having such a great game, but he’ll learn from that and definitely never do that again. Before games, I always say to the guys, “Don’t be headline news,” but it shows how quickly games change. They got the crowd up and got their confidence and the game was over.”

On missing regulars from national team duty and various injuries:
“We’re down to our bare bones, but it’s no excuse because the guys, I thought, I thought they did really well. Up until that second goal, everything was going to plan. It’s just, really our own mistakes that were causing the kind of problems that we were giving away in our half. The set piece was a shame. And that’s the frustrating thing about it because I thought they did well.”

Toronto FC defender Steven Caldwell
On the result:
“We were bitterly disappointed in the result in the end because we did so well in the latter part of the second half. We executed the game plan, though we would’ve liked for it to have been level. At 0-0 we were in the game and then started to assert ourselves a little bit and had a few half chances and had a bit of momentum. And then, of course, we gave away the second goal, which was a poor goal from us. So then we got a wee bit loose and a wee bit open and unfortunately we go down pretty heavy in the end.”

Chris Gluck

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

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