Here's more reaction from both clubs after the Sounders 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers today at Jeld-Wen Field.
Sounders FC QuotesCoach Sigi SchmidOverall on the game: “It’s a nice win. It’s a great advertisement for the sport. If you can’t come to a game like this and walk away saying, “Hey, this is pretty exciting, this is a lot of fun,” – you know, five goals in the second half... It’s what a derby game is all about. I thought Portland played with a lot of enthusiasm. They switched their style around a little bit by coming out in more-or-less a 4-3-3, or you could even call it a 4-5-1. We had to adjust to that; we caught it when we saw their lineup. But I thought the guys did a good job of that. Roger (Levesque) and Fredy (Montero) took turns on [Timbers midfielder James] Marcelin and I thought that was important for our game today.”
On Fredy Montero’s performance: “It shows a lot of good character by our team to come back twice. Fredy has been putting in extra work this year on the free kicks and has gotten two pretty good free kicks for us in the last five games. That’s because of all the extra work he’s done. When you do extra work you get rewarded. The second goal he got was a great cross by Rosales. He picked him out. He was unlucky not to get a third off his header. I was very pleased with how he played and what his work rate was all about today.”
On the Timbers’ first goal: “Obviously it’s early in the half. The switching ball I thought we were too far off of the guy, so the guy slips in behind Tyson (Wahl) and then the guy comes in. It looked like it went off Jeff Parke. So we ended up scoring five goals tonight actually. I thought we didn’t do well with balls that got switched across the field and that’s what really opened up Portland’s front.”
Never miss a local story.
On [forward Lamar] Neagle drawing the penalty at the end: “One of the reasons we wanted to get Neagle on there at the end is we felt we could get behind [Timbers defender Steve] Purdy with Neagle’s speed. I told Lamar to make sure he made runs off the ball, which he did. It was a good short-short-long combination. He ran hard behind and Brunner wasn’t left with a lot of choices, or else Lamar brings that ball down and buries it.”
On Montero not taking the penalty kick: “The guys who were up for penalties today were [Alvaro] Fernandez and [Osvaldo] Alonso. So when we got the penalty, I think Ozzie wanted to defer to Fredy to give him the chance at the hat trick, but I said no.”
On Hurtado’s injury: “We’ll have to see. He hurt his knee, but we think it’s just an MCL [sprain] or something like that. Anything I could say right now is just a guess.”
On environment compared to years’ past: “Obviously they’re no longer in the USL; they’re in MLS now. The environment’s better because the stadium has fans on all sides of it now. You don’t have an open side like you had before. Certainly the environment’s good; it’s second-best in the league.”
On quick change in emotion between Hurtado’s injury and Montero’s first goal: “The second half was not for anybody with weak hearts, going back-and-forth like that. The emotional lift from (Montero) scoring that free kick – getting that goal back as early as we did – was really important. If we had had to keep battling for 10-15 minutes longer to get that goal back, it would have given them a better chance at things. But being able to come back right away both times and score was what really made the game a little bit easier for us.”
On how the Portland-Seattle rivalry compares to other rivalries in U.S. sports: “Being from Southern California, this is like UCLA-USC. This is Texas-Texas A&M. I think the college rivalries are sometimes more intense than the rivalries are at the pro level, with the exception of maybe Red Sox-Yankees. I think it’s very comparable to the best college rivalries that you see. For somebody who watched the game today, this is what we hope it would be like in every stadium we go to. Even the fans in other MLS cities who watched this game – imagine what it would be like if they could recreate this environment at every stadium in the league. It would shoot the game through the top. It would become must-see TV.”
On the support of traveling Sounders fans: “It was nice to reward them. I thought we had a good sprinkling of Sounders fans throughout the entire stadium beyond just our allocated block. I don’t know how they succeeded in getting all those tickets, but they did. It was a tremendous feeling. We talked before the game about being the first Seattle team to win here. This is the first time they’re back in MLS, and we wanted to be the first team. We always talk about being the first at something. All those guys have to be very proud, because they are the first Seattle team to win at Portland in a MLS regular-season game.”
On the resiliency of the Sounders: “I think we’ve matured. I think we’ve grown. Our character is better. We don’t let a setback take us down. Last year, if something negative happened, it sort of impacted us for a little bit and we struggled to find our game again. Our psychology is a lot stronger. The character of the team is stronger. That’s been our big change over the last two months.”
Forward Fredy MonteroOn the meaning of this game, individually and for the team: “For me it was amazing so I feel very happy because I scored twice. The most important thing is the three points for the team, looking forward to the playoffs.”
On the header that would have been his third goal: “When you haven’t scored in the last game, you are thinking to score just one. But now that I’ve scored two, I feel happy. Maybe next game I can score three goals.”
On whether he wanted to take the penalty kick: “Sure, I felt confident, but Sigi (Schmid) said the penalty is for Ozzie. He’s the boss. I had to say, ‘Okay Ozzie. Let’s score the goal.’”
On extra work on free kicks: “When the games are really close, I don’t have that many opportunities to score. Free kicks are a chance for me to score. I felt really happy because it was a great moment in the game for us. I think the team is looking forward to getting into first place.”
On the Portland fans and if he heard their mocking chants: “All the game, all the game. I heard what they said, but my job is to play for the Seattle Sounders. I had many fans to support me and to be behind me. I’m really happy with this team and I’m so proud to play here.”
On losing Hurtado to injury: “It’s really sad to have your teammate leave the field [like that], but we are here to support him, whatever happens.”
On his right foot problems at the end of the game: “The sun, combined with the turf, I felt my feet burn. That’s it.”
Forward Roger LevesqueOn the environment: “It’s as exciting an atmosphere as I’ve played in here in Portland. With the game going how it did – us going down a goal, fighting back, going down a goal, fighting back – I think it just kept building and building and creating that drama to the very end, when the good guys came out on top.”
On any tactical differences between the first and second halves: “With them scoring that goal right [at the beginning of the second half], it forced us to come out and play. We knew we had to go at them. I think in the first half, both teams we were still feeling each other out. Both teams were getting a lot of players behind the ball defensively, so there wasn’t a whole lot of room to attack. But once they got that goal at the beginning of the second half, at that point it’s a battle. We’ve got to go, we’ve got to do something to get back into it. I think that’s why the second half opened up so much more.”
On being booed by Portland fans: “Not a huge shock. I was expecting some positivity coming from the Portland fans. Not so much. Maybe next year.”
On the Timbers' Army tifo, as compared to the earlier one by ECS: "I would say the Emerald City Supporters win in a landslide. . . It’s great to see the Timbers Army come out and support their team though. They were here and in it the whole way, and I’m sure they’ll be back."
Goalkeeper Kasey KellerOn the game overall: “It’s a team effort and the team is putting in the effort. We’re getting the rewards for it. Especially when go down as unlucky as we had on two occasions. At different times in the last three years, the team might have folded, but that’s not the case right now. The team knows that we’re capable of coming back. We’re capable of riding any kind of situation, and we can get results out of it. Even going down twice, maybe it’s a draw, maybe we’re happy with that. But not only did we get the third goal, we had a decent chance to get the fourth. There are a lot of happy Sounders fans making the 180-mile trip, and that’s the most important thing for us. And let’s take the rivalry and all that stuff out of the equation. If our ultimate goal is to win something this year, that’s a big three points. LA keeps winning. [FC] Dallas lost but [Real] Salt Lake’s right behind us. You have to keep winning if you want to win [championships]. I don’t know what we are now, eight games unbeaten with five or six wins. I’m very happy with the way things are going right now.”
On the unfortunate deflections that led to the goals: “It happens, it’s part of the game. You go on little streaks where you take a deflection when you’re totally beat and it hits the post and goes out, or you take a deflection when you’ve got everything covered and it goes in. That’s just part of the game. When you put balls in nasty positions, things happen. The second goal was totally unlucky. The first goal, the kid did well. He whipped the ball across the front and it hit someone’s ankle. Unfortunately it was our guy – it could have been their guy, it doesn’t matter – and it’s in the back of the net. All credit [to the team], nobody got their head down. Fredy pops up with a great free kick, which, obviously you saw what he did against Toronto [FC], and he does it again today. That’s big. The second one was just a fantastic team goal. I thought Flaco (Alvaro Fernandez) had a great game, and then Lamar (Neagle) came in and made a great impact, crossed it over and Mauro (Rosales) a great touch and Fredy bangs it home. Like I said, a real simple ball. You can’t coach speed. Lamar’s got some speed. You put it over the top and he’s through. It was funny because the ref and I were talking before the game about the Women’s World Cup game [between the U.S.A. and Brazil] and the sending off and that stuff. He said it’s such a travesty because the rule was designed to stop you from booting somebody from behind from 30 yards out when he’s on a breakaway, not when you actually get double penalized with the penalty and the red card. He said they don’t want to do it but there are strict rules from FIFA and there you have it. You have the exact same situation, and he has to send [Timbers defender Eric] Brunner off. As a pro, you never want to see that happen. It made for an interesting last 10 minutes, that’s for sure.”
On the atmosphere: “It’s a great atmosphere here. It’s a great park. At some stage I wish them all the best of success, as long as they’re just one place below us. In this country, you want to see franchises like this with this kind of support be successful. It’s great the way Philly’s had a great second year after having great support and then being able to do that for their fans and reward them. If Toronto can ever figure it out, maybe. They’ve got a good thing going here, but it’s going to take a little time. It’s a great place to play a game. It kind of goes back to the decision of playing another year of these games and I’m just happy to have this one in the memory banks.”
PORTLAND TIMBERSDefender Eric BrunnerOn his foul that led to a red card: "The ball bounced a little bit and he kind of had position on it and I tried to reach around and I thought I got the ball first. But at the same time, we can't let him get behind us like that and make the referee make the decision from that far away."
On the defensive effort: "We're giving up too many goals. As a defense and a collective unit we need to learn how to finish games. Games are going to be tight in this league and we need to do a better job closing them out."
Midfielder Jack JewsburyOn the overall result: "I think any time at home when you get the lead twice, you should be able to hold on for the 3 points. I think it's disappointing, obviously it's a big rivalry game, it would be disappointing in any game, but especially in this one, it hurts pretty bad. ... If you said we were going to have two goals you'd definitely think we'd be in here celebrating a victory. It's a tough one to swallow. There were some little mistakes that came back to haunt us and let them back into the game."
On being selected to the MLS All-Star First XI: "That's an honor, but it's a little bittersweet today. We could've started a good (winning) streak here, it would've been nice."
On moving forward: "We're disappointed with the way the game went, but we've got to learn from our mistakes. I know we keep saying that, but at the end of the day if we don't do that we're (still) going to be in this situation."