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March 11, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Portland Timbers 1, Seattle Sounders FC 0 — postgame quotes

(Opening comments)
“There’s not a whole lot to say, we’re obviously disappointed with the result tonight. Last year, a week before the season we lost to Colorado. This is two weeks before the season and hopefully we get all the bad luck out of us now. Often enough in preseason, what you do here is not a predictor of how you’re going to play in the regular season. Sometimes teams have great preseasons, you see that in all sports, and then when the season starts that all changes. I was happy with our movement of the ball today. I thought we moved the ball pretty much at will. I thought our possession was good. It was the old bugaboo, not getting enough people in the box, we had crosses coming a little bit too late. Because we’re not a big team, especially without (Nate) Jaqua, so balls have to be hit early so that people can escape people and get to where they’re not posting up people. Maybe sometimes hesitation in pulling the trigger a little bit quicker and hopefully a goal comes. We were around it, we were close to it. We went to a 3-5-2 in the last 25 minutes. Overall, I still thought our play was much better than it was in Vancouver.”

(On Portland’s goal…)
“When you’re dominating the game, there’s always a chance you’re going to take a counter. On that particular play we had like three guys very tight to the ball, one pass beat all three guys and we got caught. That’s always the danger when you look at the sport sometimes statistically, not always the team that dominates possession or when you’re playing at the other team’s end of the field, sometimes you don’t win the game. Sometimes you lose the game more often than you win it. So we were playing at their end of the field and they caught us on the counter, they caught us on a counter late in the game as well but that was when we were really pushing, trying to go for the equalizer so that’s a little less concerning to me, but we just got caught.”
(On Nate Jaqua’s status…)
“He’s been doing more and more this week. He’s working right now with our fitness coach and we expect him to be in bits and pieces of training next week. I don’t think he’ll be available to start when we open the season but he should be someone who can be available to us off the bench.”
(On the offense…)
“That’s always worrisome but also the last thing that comes together for you in preseason is the offensive side of things. I remember I was coaching the Galaxy one year and we had two days of practice, and we were asked to play the South Korean National Team and we ended up beating them 1-0. Here’s a national team, Korea, they’d been training, they were fit, ready to go and we caught a counter goal and scored it somehow the ball stayed out of our net for 90 minutes. We ended up winning the game. I remember the reporters there were all kind of panicked, this is doom and gloom for Korea, they couldn’t score and you guys had only been training one day. Sometimes things like that happen. It’s a concern but the offensive side’s going to come together at the end. I’d be more concerned if we weren’t creating chances, we weren’t possessing the ball, moving the ball. We did a good job of finding (Freddie) Ljungberg, we found all kinds of spaces in there which is what we want to do. We just need to refine our play in that final third. After the Vancouver game we worked on getting the ball into the final third, we did such a poor job of moving the ball against Vancouver. So our play of moving the ball and getting into the final third was much improved, we just need to work on the final third of play.”
(On the fan support…)
“It was great, we’re just sad because we disappointed them. They stay behind us and it’s more important if we lose a battle along the way, that we win the war. We’ll take this battle loss. Our fans were great, the support was great. It’s just a great feeling being out there in front of them and hear them singing and chanting. The support is really important.”
(On David Estrada…)
“It was the first time he’s played in front of a crowd like that. I thought he was active, he was busy, I thought he got behind their defense a couple of times. I thought he had some good moments. There were also some times when he could have played the ball a little bit quicker, but overall I thought he did well.”
(On Brad Evans’ performance at right back…)
“I thought he did well. I thought for me, he was probably our best player over 90 minutes, our most consistent player. The guys who went 90, we asked them to run the whole line in the second half when we went to a 3-5-2 and he pushed inside in midfield, and thought he was one of the guys who was dynamic and looking to get forward. Sometimes we miss him in the middle of midfield because he’s someone who finds his way into the box.”
Taylor Graham, union rep
(On CBA dealings…)
It’s something that every city is facing right now. We’re just one of many locker rooms that are having these discussions. The tone throughout the league amongst the players is that we’re ready for some change and we feel like now’s the time to try achieve that. And I think you can see through the numbers in the voting that the players are unified and that we’re all on the same page, and that’s the most important thing
(Tension building as the season approaches?)
I think everyone has been thinking a lot about it. Obviously we’re not trying to let it distract our preparation for the season, because we’re preparing for March 25 and a big match against a good team. That’s the way everyone is approaching it in this locker room and that stuff, you kind of put on the back burner, and if something happens, something happens. It’s just the nature of bargaining situations that sometimes it comes down to the wire, and apparently here it has.
Kasey Keller – Goalkeeper
(Thoughts on game)
That’s very disappointing. Very disappointing. Disappointing for us, disappointing for our fans. But hopefully it’s a wakeup call. We can’t just be at home and think that we’re going to win because we’ve got a great crowd behind us. I just hope it’s a wakeup call and we realize that we need to be better.
Worried that you guys haven’t scored in the last two games?
“These games aren’t where it matters. I have been on teams where I have won everything in sight in preseason and lost our first couple games and other teams where I thought ‘Oh my God, we are going to get relegated before Christmas,’ and we end up in first place after the first three or four games. So I’m not too stressed about it right now. Sure you want to win and obviously you are not happy to lose at home against Portland [Timbers]. That’s frustrating.”
(On being back at Qwest Field . . .)
“It was nice. Obviously it is great to be back at Qwest and, like I said, it is nice to get that out of the way as opposed to having the guys have that first feeling when they step out against Philadelphia [Union]. So let’s just hope that some guys took this for what it was and say ‘We don’t have any right to just step on the field and win a game. You have to earn it. Credit to Portland. They came in, they defended very well as a team and limited our chances. Last twenty minutes we put them under some pressure and they weathered that storm and really should’ve gotten a second one at the end. So you have to give them a bit of credit too. But at the same time, we are extremely disappointed with our performance.”
Brad Evans – Midfielder
(On how to improve offense . . .)
“It’s just confidence. Once we get one, the ball keeps rolling and you get two, three and four. I think we said it at halftime ‘Once we get one, we are going to pile on here.’ So it’s just a matter of getting our confidence and getting one in the back of the net. So we have one more tune-up next week in Colorado. We have to bang goals there because the big test comes in two Thursdays. Goals build confidence and, like I said, it is kind of a snowball effect. Like last year, we scored three in the opener and the next couple games we get a shutout and finish our chances and we get ourselves in good position for the rest of the season. That’s something we have got to take advantage of. It is going to be a good test next Friday night.”
Steve Zakuani, midfielder
(on not scoring, again…)
That’s the biggest disappointment, even more than the defeat, is that we didn’t score a goal. Especially because we actually did play well today. We dominated the ball and had good chances. The ball was moving great, there would good combinations we just couldn’t score. I had a chance in the first half, other guys had chances but we just didn’t put the ball in the goal and that’s the most disappointing thing. The defeat is one thing but if we would’ve lost 2-1 or maybe 3-2 at least we’d know we scored.
(on your missed chance)
It was a great ball by Brad. Fantastic ball. I knew he was going to play it. We did the same thing in L.A., but I didn’t see the ball until so late. There were three defenders and it just skipped by. I was hoping it would, and I just reacted stuck my left foot up but it caught the ball wrong and it didn’t go in, so that was it. I tried to react as quick as possible but I didn’t get the contact.
(on trying to get behind the defense)
It’s there. I think we got behind them 5-6 times in the first half and that’s good, and that’s why I think we played well today. We did what we wanted to do. We made it work but the other thing is when we did get behind we didn’t get a goal, we didn’t get an assist, we didn’t get anything, so that’s the disappointing part. But it was good at least it’s coming together, the chemistry’s there, we just need to make conversions now.
Tyrone Marshall, defender
(on the goal allowed)
I think what happened was… the ball got kicked out by the goalkeeper than challenged, but we didn’t win the ball. It just fumbled around a couple defenders and got poked in between myself and Jhon. And I didn’t know if he (the Portland player) was on or off, and the ball got poked up, and I turned and he was off to the races basically. It was just one of those things where we can’t fall asleep on that type of play. We have to win those balls, the first ball and the second ball. We learn from our mistakes and it’s better making the mistakes now, rather than later on. But at the same time too we have to make sure those balls don’t drop in there, whoever’s challenging has to win those and it showed that tonight. We have to not let down and play the whole half and going out 0-0 instead of going out 1-0 down.
(on being down 1-0 at halftime despite controlling the action)
Like I said, it’s just one of those things where if we’re not scoring it makes it even harder. Then you dominante so much, and just one little mistake or one bad play and they’re off to the races for a goal. Now we’re chasing, and it’s difficult when you’re chasing. It’s just one of those things, we’ll get back to the drawing board and hopefully we can get it right. This is what preseason’s about see our mistakes and see how we can get better.
Portland head coach- Gavin Wilkinson
(On his thoughts about the game tonight…)
“I think the players worked hard and it shows where we are at this point of the season. We were not as creative and didn’t get as forward as I would have liked, but it’s a matter of where we are in preseason. We have had a few hard weeks of preseason. The guys are a little bit tired and you can see that with the guys not coming forward. We didn’t really have rhythm in the attacking half, but we defended well and we showed good displace and great mentality. At this stage of the preseason and I have to evaluate players and I’m very impressed.”
(On being able to withstand the Sounders offense firepower…)
“I think tactically we dealt with it very well. We didn’t get exposed too many times. In their defense I think one goal opens the game up, sometimes it’s a matter of preseason and guys are not in form as you would like. They posed us a lot of problems and we had a little bit of luck with defending them. You have to take that in the professional game, but I’m still happy with the guys.”
(On being able to compete against a higher level of competition…)
“I think so, we still expect a little bit better on possession and we gave the ball away a little bit too much. We had taken too many unnecessary risks in the first half and put our guys in a bad position. A lot of those were mental errors because our guys were fatigued. If we get a little bit fitter I think we tidy those mistakes on up.”


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