Here's the Oregonian's take on Seattle's 3-0 win over Portland tonight.
And here's some of what the Timbers had to say.
Coach Gavin WilkinsonOn the result) “We were playing pretty well then went through a 10-minute spell there where we scored an own-goal and never recovered. It was a shame because there was some decent futbol being played up until that point and we dug a big, big hole for ourselves. The back line lost their shape and we were lucky for it to not be 3-0 down in the first half. I think Donovan (Ricketts) pulled off a phenomenal save, but once you’re 2-0 down you’ve got a big hill to climb.”
On a communication breakdown on the back line…) “I think maybe there was a little bit of unfamiliarity. Those two haven’t played together an awful lot. You make a change in the middle of the back obviously there’s a few concerns and chemistry is one of them.”
On the decision to start Rodney Wallace…) “Again this an experiment to look at next year. Steven (Smith) has had tight hamstrings and we’re coming into an environment where the pace of the game is such that we’re expecting to get a little more out of Rodney. He’s also done very, very well for us. He played left back against Seattle at home. Steven has also done well. It was a tough decision based on the health of the players, the direction of the team. We’ve got some decisions to make about players so it’s important to put Rodney in this environment and see how he did.”
On how differently Seattle played compared to in Portland…) “They had a lot more mobility in the midfield. They had a lot more freedom and kept the ball moving. They caused problems. (That’s what happens) when you’ve got mature players that understand the game and understand what is expected, and we had problems solving it.”
On if the crowd was a factor at all…) “I think maybe you look at that and maybe throw that into the equation, but we were managing the game quite well. If you start to look at the chances created, they put their chances away, and we didn’t. We gave them the first goal and the second goal was terrible defending. There’s no excuse for that at this level. Eddie Johnson is a player you have to be aware of at all times, especially when the ball goes wide. You look at where most of his goals have come from and they’re from crosses into the box so it’s no different.”
On Seattle pressing up the field…) “We have to move the ball a little quicker. We sat a little bit and our movement off the ball was a little bit slow. In a big environment you want players to play well and sometimes when things aren’t going well, one or two players start hiding a little bit. That’s not a go at the players, it’s just the environment. The score line – we gave them the first goal, poor defending on the second one. We had some decent chances and didn’t put the chances away. Their keeper pulled a few good saves and that kept them in the game.”
On whether his team was ready for this moment…) “Obviously not. It’s frustrating. Coming into the game, we would’ve said yes. Preparation went well and the players were looking forward to it. Today there was a great spirit at the team breakfast and pre-match meal. Coming into it, it was a strange environment, and it was 10 minutes that created the result. You take 10 minutes out of the first half where we were absolutely horrendous defensively and didn’t manage the game well at all and were scrambling. We then started to create some decent movement and decent chances, but I think we handed it to them.”
On what he learned about his team tonight…) “We have the mentality that next year if fortunes being different, this could be a playoff game and it means an awful lot coming into this environment and how do we cope. Are we mature enough? We learned a little tonight about certain individuals. It’s going to be an evaluation process through to the end of the year. It was important to see a few players in different positions so we could go into the offseason making the right decisions.”
On the Cascadia Cup…) “It’s very, very important the way our season has gone. Our fans deserve a lot, lot more to be honest. That’s what I’m most disappointed about, to be honest. We have such tremendous support and such great fans – we saw a lot of them here tonight – but they deserve a little bit more. I’m disappointed.” Defender David HorstOn the team’s performance) We didn’t need motivation; we didn’t need inspiration. We didn’t need anything coming into this game, and I don’t think we got the job done tonight as a whole team all over the field. They beat us to a lot of balls; they beat us to balls in our own box and scored. We’re not going to win games when we play like that. On readiness for big stage) I think we were very surprised with the result because we ‘ve always gotten up for big games. Tonight, I don’t know if we just didn’t have it or what but we just didn’t show up. On second goal) On the second goal they had the ball on their left side and they were coming down. (Mamadou Danso) stepped into the midfield, and a midfielder made a run in behind him so I covered him and I had to go with that guy. That left Eddie open in the middle; they crossed it into him and there was no cover. Eddie had a great finish. (Not winning Cascadia cup after 2nd opportunity) It’s extremely disappointing. Hopefully the third time’s a charm two weeks in Vancouver. It’s a good thing we have another shot at it. We can’t get down on ourselves that we just lost to Seattle . But the good thing in the Cascadia Cup is that we have another shot at it. We’re not going to let the same thing happen again in Vancouver. We’re going to go up there; we’re going to be ready this time and it’s not going to happen again. Midfielder Jack JewsburyOn the resuIt) It’s very disappointing; I think you can see that on everyone’s faces right now. In the locker room we’re disappointed. It’s a matter of ten or fifteen minutes where we have a lapse and then they made us pay for our mistakes. On readiness for the stage) Yeah, absolutely. I think when you’re on the road especially—we’ve talked about this all year—you have to minimize the mistakes you make defensively and when you get chances on the offensive side, make the most of them. I thought we had enough chances on the offensive side to get ourselves back in the game. We just weren’t able to put that first one away so it’s definitely disappointing but the reality of it is that we’ve got another one in a couple weeks against Vancouver and that’s the last bite of the apple there to get the Cascadia Cup and hopefully we can bring it home after that one. ... I think at times in the first half we settled the ball down especially towards the end of the first half. We knew it was going to be hectic like I said all week. The first fifteen minutes there’s going to be a lot of energy. Coming out of the locker room, there was that. They pinched a lot of guys inside so their midfield was basically a diamond and Montero drops in there as well. Obviously they’re a good team; a team that’s going to be in the playoffs and take a shot at the MLS Cup. I’m disappointed today that we couldn’t get the better of them. On anything new from Seattle?) Not really; we’ve gone over what to expect from them. Obviously they’ve got some guys up front that are dangerous and they just put it in.