Timbers coach Caleb Porter had some interesting things to say about the rivalry after the Timbers 1-0 win over the Sounders yesterday:
On his emotion during Seattle’s late-game push and overall thoughts on the win:“Your heart goes into your stomach, but I believed we would win the game. There are times – I’m not trying to sound like I predict things – but there are times where you just know you’re going to win. It was just one of those days where you knew we were going to win the game. We dodged some bullets for sure, but in the end, I just think it was our game to win. I said to the guys before the game, ‘the evidence is there over the 31 games that we’ve played that we could and that we should win the game.’ If you look at losses for the two teams, you look at goals scored for the two teams, you look at goals against for the two teams, you look at all those things, we’re just as good a team as they are, and we’re capable of winning these games. And when you believe that you can win the games, you put yourself in a position to win these games.”
“It was interesting. One of the things I realized today prior to the game is that a year and a week ago, I was sitting on the couch. A couple months prior I had been named the head coach and I was getting ready to watch the Timbers play Seattle at Seattle, and Alexi Lalas texted me and I hadn’t commented, made any comments or hadn’t been introduced officially, and he said, ‘do you have anything to comment on about the game?’ And I said, ‘one thing, the Portland Timbers will no longer be inferior to the Seattle Sounders,’ and that was no disrespect to Seattle. It really wasn’t about the game that day so much, but it was about the future, and there’s no reason why we would be inferior. There’s no reason why we should be the little brother. We should be a legitimate contender. We should be capable of beating the Sounders, and it not being a miracle. So I think it is very satisfying, a year later, that here we are getting a result, three points, against the Sounders, and I think it says everything about how far we’ve come as a club.”
On the overriding factors that led to the win:“I think we defended well. Like I said, we dodged a few bullets, set pieces. [Donovan] Ricketts made a few saves again, surprise, surprise. But I think overall, they didn’t have a ton of good looks from the run of play. We still need to do better on set pieces, box defending, late, when they dump some balls in. The coach in me wants to still get those things cleaned up, and those are things we will get cleaned up, and we will address even though we won the game. But the reality is our mentality overall, I thought, was very good.”
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“I thought we started the game well again, got the first goal again, that’s now four games in a row where we’ve gotten the first goal. I thought we managed, overall, the game very well, especially at the end. I thought we had moments where we played some very good football. We had our foot on the ball, we possessed the ball and had some nice combination play.”
“We need to find a second goal. For me, that’s big. I don’t want to be in the situation where we’re 1-0 if we can help it, but the nice thing is that when we have been in that situation, we’ve managed to get out of the game with three points.”
“I think overall, it’s just that our mentality is good. We’re a cohesive team. These guys fight for each other, they work for each other, they have great chemistry. That’s a common thread in every successful team at any level. You look at the best teams in the world, teams that raise trophies are teams that have good chemistry, teams that remain humble. One of the things that’s very good about our guys is that we remain humble. When I fail, I know it, I admit it. I look at it, I correct it; same thing with these guys. I think that’s a big reason why we’re winning these games now. There was a time when we were losing these games and we never made excuses and we could’ve. We corrected the things and now we’re winning these games. I think that’s a big part of continuing to win games and peaking at the right time. I think that’s why we’re peaking at the right time, because we’re willing to look at ourselves in the mirror and change things, things that aren’t right, and we’ve done that.”