Sounders Insider

Porter says Timbers "weren't good enough;" says Dempsey punished them few times he was free

A couple of quick quotes from Portland coach Caleb Porter:

"The guys are hanging their heads because they know they weren’t good enough."

On Dempsey: To me it’s about managing his movement. I thought we did that pretty well, but he got lose a few times and he punished us. You can’t let that happen. I thought overall … it was mostly late when they pushed a bunch of numbers forward and we didn’t pick his run down the field up. It comes down to tracking him, picking him up as he gets in the back line. But he got himself freed up there late.

Here's the Timbers' quote sheet provided by the club:

Timbers head coach Caleb PorterOverall thoughts on the match:“The competitor in me is dejected, and I’ve got a locker room of guys that are competitors and they’re used to winning and that’s what they knew last year, 29 games out of 34, we got a point or better. We got another point, that’s the positive and we’ve got to remember that and remind yourself that we didn’t lose, but you can’t be satisfied being up 4-2 and giving away two points late in the game. The coach in me is very encouraged by a lot of the things I saw today. The game comes down to both sides of the ball, two sides of the coin, you’ve obviously got the attacking side and the defending side. I thought the attacking side was electric and the chemistry was as good as I’ve seen. The frustrating part, on the other side of the coin, is that I thought we actually pressed Seattle very well on the day. I thought we were pretty organized the majority of the game. Any game against good teams and good players you’re going to give up some looks, but I thought for the majority of the game we defended well, but we made big individual mistakes that cost us three points. It’s tough, because we had our foot on their throat at 4-2, could have got the fifth goal. We had several chances, but you shouldn’t need to get the fifth goal when you’re up 4-2. For me, the way we played in the attack was encouraging, but the mistakes that we made in around our box, in around our backs, as encouraging as our performance was, that part of our team was very discouraging and concerning. It’s one thing if your organization is leading to mistakes; I don’t think that’s the case. I thought, overall, the way we played allowed us to score four goals and allowed us to dictate large portions of the game. The way the game was going, at 4-2, there was no feeling, with the flow or what you’re feeling, that the game was going to turn. A game sometimes turns when players make mistakes around the goal, and I thought the third goal, for me, has nothing to do with organization, it has to do with making plays, stopping a service and tracking one of the best players on the field – Clint Dempsey. We made some mistakes individually that led to us giving up four goals, and you should never give up four goals and you should never tie a game when you score four goals. Obviously, a bit unlucky [with] another PK, but again, I’ve said this – you make your own luck.”

On the positive takeaways from the match:“Again, the coach in me is very encouraged with a lot of things to build on, a lot of positives. Diego Valeri, I thought was back to himself, absolutely tremendous today, got his first goal, he will be unlocked now. Maxi Urruti, I thought really had a solid game, got his first goal. I thought Kalif [Alhassan] and Darlington [Nagbe] were very threatening today. I thought the midfield, Will Johnson and [Diego] Chara, were also tremendous today. Alvas Powell brought something today as well. I thought there were some other guys that underperformed and who made plays and made mistakes. That’s me being honest. That needs to change, because you can’t win games if you’re going to make individual errors in critical moments. We’ve got to be able to shut that game down, and shutting it down means you’re making plays, stopping guys from serving, you’re tracking runners, because late in the game you know guys are going to get a little bit more reckless throwing numbers forward, throwing balls forward. To win games, we have to stop guys from getting service in the box and be able to cut off crosses, because late in games, this is what teams will do.”

On conceding a late penalty kick against Sounders FC:“I haven’t seen the call, so it’s hard for me to say if it’s a good call or a bad call. We only gave up, last year – in the entire year – [five] PKs and we’ve already given up four through five games, so why is that? Part maybe on some it’s questionable calls, part maybe it’s why are we in that situation and why aren’t we stopping guys and moving our feet instead of diving in and putting the ref in a position to make a call. Unfortunate to have to pull Darlington out of the game, he was cramped up. I don’t think that helped us. But we’d all be undefeated managing Hindsight United. You wish you can go back and change things. These are things that you reflect on and, at the end of the day, it’s my job to sort it out. Every game you’re sorting things out, mistakes, by one of three things: you’re either changing personnel, you’re either changing your organization, structure, system, game plan, or you’re reinforcing things better in training. Those are things that I’ll look at and reflect on. I think we made some good moves for this game. I thought Alvas [Powell] really helped us and brought a little bit more team speed and more width. I thought Kalif was very good today. Like I said, there’s a lot of really encouraging things to build on.”

On Seattle midfielder Clint Dempsey:“We talk about every opponent and the key players. For me, it’s about managing his movement. I thought we did that pretty well, but he got loose a few times and he punished us. You can’t let that happen. I thought overall he was mostly effective late when they pushed a bunch of numbers forward, and we didn’t pick up his runs out of midfield well enough. I think it comes down to are we tracking him, are we picking him up as he gets into the back line. He got himself freed up there late by playing a little bit more direct. I think for the majority of the game, we managed him okay, but he also showed why he’s one of the best players in our country.”On the play of midfielder Diego Chara:“I haven’t really talked to him about taking more shots. Will [Johnson] and Chara, they pick and choose their moments to bomb on and get in the attack. With the front three and the attacking mid, we need the fifth number there – or fifth number with the outside backs – so we talk about them picking moments to make late runs and get forward. He gets forward quite a bit. He’s missed some chances over his career, but for him to smack two goals from the top of the 18, that’s a real positive. If we weren’t getting good performances out of guys I’d be really worried, but if I’m rating my players, the majority of them, you’re getting an eight or a nine today, but the problem is there’s a couple guys who are a five or six, or less, and that ultimately led to goals given up.”

On his patience with the team:“They know when I’m not happy and when I am happy. I try to have an honest dialogue with them where they know when I tell them it’s good, it’s good and when it’s bad, it’s bad. There is a trust there, because I’m honest and I don’t spin it too positive or too negative, but try to be spot on. They listen and know that it’s accurate for the most part and needs to change. You’ve got some guys over there hanging their heads that know they didn’t do good enough and it’s a big reason why we didn’t get it done today. It’s not that I’m going to abandon them, but there also needs to be accountability at this level. To be a professional player, you’re looking for certain things in certain roles. Just like the attackers, it’s their job to create goals and I thought they were tremendous in the attack. Not even just in the attack, but in terms of their pressure and our overall play and organization, I thought was fantastic. But, there were too many times where guys got loose in and around the box, and we’re not getting guys making plays enough there.”

On the lineup changes:“I think winning and creating in the attack a lot of times comes down to chemistry and there have been some games where my hands have been tied as far as decisions because of injuries and things. This was another game where I had my hands tied a little bit with a few guys, but overall I felt like we needed a bit more width, a little bit more team speed, a little bit more 1-v-1 ability wide and it has nothing to do with me ‘demoting’ anyone, it has everything to do with me trying to have a sense and a feel of what the best chemistry would be. I thought the moves helped. We played better in the attack and pressed better as well, and that’s a big part of our DNA. It’s being dynamic, it’s being skillful and intelligent in how we connect and combine, but you have to be dynamic 1-v-1 and you have to be dynamic in penetrating and threatening off the ball. If you don’t, you die in beauty, you have too much of the ball, you don’t penetrate enough and you don’t have enough purpose and you don’t create enough. I think having two wingers that run at guys and wingers that get in behind helped us today. I also think the pressure and the energy there – which is another part of our DNA, the defending side, the pressure – was better today. There’s not much that I’m worried about, but there are a couple big things that I’m worried about. It’s my job to correct those things, and I will correct them.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (through a translator)On scoring two goals: “I feel good, but obviously, not completely happy with the game. We should have won that game. So to score two goals for me is good, but I’d rather see a win than see two goals.”

On scoring on his birthday:“It is definitely special to score two goals on my birthday, but like I said earlier, to win the game would be greater satisfaction. We have to keep working hard until we do that.”

On the team scoring four goals:“The offense was clicking today. It’s been coming along the last couple of games and today, fortunately enough, it did come along. The offense was good, but I’m also a defensive player so I’m also thinking of the defensive lapses and how we can correct those.”

Timbers defender Pa Modou KahOn the team’s performance: “As a whole team, we played well. We conceded an early goal, but we came back to get a 2-1 lead. Then we conceded another one, but we had the belief. In the second half, we scored two goals, but to give away two goals at the end … The good thing is we scored four, but we’ve got to win this game, we have to make sure that they don’t come back.”

On conceding two late goals: “I think everybody is disappointed. We conceded two late goals, but on the other end you also have to credit them for not giving up and trying to score goals. It was a crazy game, and I think the fans really loved it and it was a nice TV game for everybody. As for us, we lost two points. But we still have work to do. We will keep working. The belief in this team is high and we will continue doing our job every day, every minute and just try and focus on the next game now that this game is past, and the next game is Chivas USA.”

Timbers midfielder Diego ValeriOn the team scoring four goals: “Yes, we are glad about that, but we know that the most important thing is to win. We know that is most important. Now, we have to rest tomorrow and start thinking about Chivas USA and try to fix some mistakes to get a win next Saturday.”

On Diego Chara contributing two goals:“I think it was the best game for him. I said to him, ‘it’s your birthday.’ That made me happy; two goals. He is very important for us.”

On the play that led to his goal: “A play with [Michael] Harrington, he crossed to me. Just a control on my left, turn to the other side. The only space to kick was high, so I did.”