Postgame

Postgame video and quote sheet: Union 0-0 Timbers

Photo and Video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Postgame press conference with Rob Vartughian

Postgame locker room interviews with Leo Fernandes, Ray Gaddis, Jack McInerney, Brian Carroll and Amobi Okugo

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Coach Rob Vartughian

On preparing for Portland’s style

They’re a good team and we prepared for them well. I think the only look we were thrown for was Piquionne and Ryan Johnson starting (together). We expected them to press us. I think the heat was difficult for both teams. They’re a very mobile group, interchanging parts and they’re difficult to play against. With that being said, I thought we did a good job tonight. I thought defensively, we were good throughout the whole night. The first half, we chased the game a little more than we would have liked to and didn’t get a hold of the ball, we didn’t make passes to keep it. The guys were tired, but I think the guys came out of the locker room after difficult circumstances with the weather and the delay and we had a good second half. We were happy with that.

On the difficulty of dealing with a delay

It’s tough. Guys are getting leg work done. You’re not really sure- is it going to be five minutes? 25 minutes? 30 minutes? But it’s something both teams had to do. I think we were just happy with how we came out of it and had the second half that we had.

On going up against Donovan Ricketts

The save he made on Conor is world class. We felt, to get to that point in the game when we were on their end and we were pressing, it was a disappointment to not find a way to get a goal. You have to tip your hat to the guy, he makes an unbelievable save.

On Portland, specifically Jack Jewsbury, being mobile

Jack’s a good player. He’s been a veteran in this league. So I think, whether it’s jack or whoever Danny Cruz has run at this year, he’s given every one of those guys a difficult time. That’s what he does. He’s a 1v.1 player. He’s got great energy. It doesn’t matter who he’s playing against, he gives people fits. For us, we wanted to go at both of their outside backs. That was part of our game plan. I think we did a much better job of it in the second half. I think towards the tail end of the first half we started to get balls in the wide areas. Whether that’s Jack or whoever it is that we’re playing against, Danny’s going to get his chances, whoever he’s running at.

On Jack McInerney tonight

I think it’s a tough game for forwards, especially in the first half. Just because we had to chase it a little more than we would have liked. When you finally get on the ball after defending for a bit, guys are tired and it’s hard to connect passes and make plays. So, I thought Jack did fine. He was good in training when he came back. It just wasn’t an easy game to get them involved with for our side, in the first half. I thought the second half was much better.

On what a result against a team like Portland does for confidence

I think we have a really good locker room. We have a group of guys that believe in what we’re doing. I think it’s hard to point at games and say we weren’t in it. I think this group feels really good about how we’re coming out and how we’re preparing for games. Would we have liked to come away with 3 points? Sure. But at the end of the day, a guy makes a world-class save on Conor’s ball, that’s just how it goes. In terms of where we are from a confidence standpoint, I think everybody feels pretty good about what we’re doing.

On Zac MacMath’s performance

I think as a group, defensively we were good tonight. I think we minimized chances against a really good team. From that standpoint, our whole group walks away from this feeling pretty good about keeping it 0’s. Zac made a couple plays tonight. He had really good save to keep it 0’s. But I thought our collective defensive effort was good.

Zac MacMath

On what a tie against a quality team like Portland does for his confidence

It was a good tie for us against a good team. Obviously, Portland’s been playing really well this year, and they’re a tough team to beat. They proved that tonight. Unfortunately, the bounces didn’t go our way, and we couldn’t get one there at the end.

On what the lightning delay did for the team

I think it actually helped us. It gave us a little bit of time to get some rest, get our legs up a little bit, and reenergize for the second half. I think we came out flying for a little bit, and finished the half pretty strong.

On his mentality tonight

You know, same mentality every game. You try to go out there and pitch your team a shutout, keep them in it. Thankfully, I was able to do that tonight.

On if Portland’s attacking formation surprised them

We knew that they might try to do that, especially on the road. That poses a pretty big threat to us, and I think they did pretty well in the first half with Ryan Johnson out wide serving balls in. Thankfully, we kind of reorganized for the second half, and kind of took them out of the game in the second half.

On his big save against Diego Valeri

It was a quick throw in, I think. They’re obviously a very skillful team, and they can move the ball pretty quickly. Thankfully, I got a good spot, and he hit it right at me. It was a reflex save.

On his close-range saves tonight

It’s about positioning and making sure you’re ahead of the ball. Thankfully, I was in the right spot at the right time a couple times tonight.

On if this was his best game of the season

Yeah. I think this is one of my best games of the season, up there with Chicago. It’s something to build on, and hopefully I, and the team, can continue to have strong performances like this.

Danny Cruz

On the Union narrowly missing on several chances, and on the play of Donovan Ricketts

(Ricketts) was very good again tonight. He made some big saves, as he always does. Credit to him. They’re a good team, though. I felt that we had the majority of the good chances; they had one real good one there in the second half, but overall, I think we’re happy with our performance. We obviously wanted three points, but we just played a team that only has two losses, and we came out feeling like we were a pretty good team against them.

On what the play where he was knocked down did for his play and his energy

I haven’t seen the replay of the play in the box, but I certainly wasn’t embellishing anything. I felt like I got rocked, and I felt like I got to the ball first. When I didn’t get the call, I was frustrated, and I told (Brian Carroll) and (Michael Farfan), ‘give me the ball.’ It definitely gave me a little bit of fire. I was upset, and it ended up working out well.

On his matchup against Jack Jewsbury

I certainly have watched the games that (Portland) has played this year, and I certainly was…I’m trying to figure out the best way to put this…I was looking forward to the game. I felt that if I could get isolated against him, my speed was a little bit of an advantage. I think there was a few times tonight where I got into good spots, and the service was actually better than it has been lately. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t bounce the way that we wanted it to.

On the lightning delay

Everybody came in here and put their legs up. It’s funny; I hear some of the guys saying that they think it was good for us. I personally think that we had them on the ropes, and I think when you give them another 30 minutes to relax and get their legs up, I think it kind of hurt us a little bit. Well, I shouldn’t say hurt us—but we didn’t benefit from it the way that you would hope. I think we came out in the second half, and we certainly had opportunities, especially off of set pieces, and especially there at the end.

On the weather conditions lately

Last week, it was very tough. The ball was stopping in some places. It was slick when you went to cross the ball; it wasn’t setting up the way that you wanted. Tonight, you saw that in the first half, the field played slower. In the second half, the field was wet, so it played a lot faster. It’s a little tough trying to understand it, and read it. It takes a few minutes to get used to it. But overall, eventually, you come out and you figure it out.

On if it is nice to have Jack McInerney back

Of course. It’s always nice having him back. You could tell tonight that he was excited. He was back—oh man, it’s going to be a good few weeks. He came back the other day, and he had one training session with us. He’s definitely looking forward to next week, and so are we.

Jack McInerney

On how tonight’s match progressed

Yeah, in the first half, I think we didn’t have much of the ball. It’s hard to get involved without the ball and chasing the game, kind of. At the start of the second half, we put some pressure on them, and got on top of them a little bit. I think we did a decent job, but not enough in the end.

On what it is like to be back

It’s good. Obviously, I didn’t play much, but the practices were tough there. Coming back, being back into the rhythm, it wasn’t too bad.

On what his biggest takeaway from his time with the national team was

Just the level of the game. It’s a whole another level. The tempo is faster, the play is faster, everything’s faster. Coming back here, hopefully I can carry that over.

On if he is hungrier to get back to the national team now.

Yeah, definitely. Obviously, everyone wants to be there. For me to get that little bit of a taste, it just makes me want to work that much harder, and keep scoring, and get myself on the map to eventually be there.

On if it was hard to not play

I mean, I kind of expected that I was on the bench, and if the situation was right, I’d get a minute or two. I kind of knew going in that I was just going to get a taste, and whatever happens happens.

On who he talked to the most with the national team

Landon (Donovan) was pretty good with me, he kind of took me under his shoulder, and talked to me, and let me know what I needed to do and how I was doing in the situation.

On if he knew he could start tonight, physically.

Yeah, I knew I was fine. I didn’t play while I was gone, so maybe my fitness wasn’t 100 percent, but I felt good, and I wanted to come back and play.

On what kind of a coach Jürgen Klinsmann is.

He’s tough, he’s very vocal in the sessions. He’ll kind of sit back and watch, but when he sees something, he makes it known what needs to be changed.

On the Union not receiving any All-Star bids.

It’s pretty surprising that no one got chosen from our team, but it is what it is, and you know, we can kind of use it as an advantage going forward, with getting some rest.

 

Portland Timbers postgame quotes from Caleb Porter, Will Johnson, and Donovan Ricketts

Head Coach Caleb Porter

On the Union

Philly is a good team and there is a reason why they have 30 points, now 31. They’re a team that scores a lot of goals and the way they do it is by getting a lot of balls in the box. I’m happy that our guys were up for the challenge. It’s not an easy game for them having to deal with so many balls. They use their set pieces well every throw in and they hope you have a lapse and we don’t. Even at the end when a lot of teams would crumble our guys were up for the challenge and in the end it’s a point on the road. Nothing negative about it. We didn’t come here for one point we came for three but we came for a battle and we got one. In the end the result seems fair.

On the rain delay

I’ve dealt with it before and it’s honestly not a big deal. Obviously not at this level but in college it happens all the time. I thought our best period of play was right after halftime. Those first 10 to 15 minutes we were flying and just disappointed not to get the goal because I thought we had a couple chances and Macmath stood up on his head a couple times. He had a tremendous game and they had a few chances as well. But both defenses were good they did a good job on stopping those final balls and crosses. In the end it was probably a game that was fought more in the midfield battling for loose balls and in the boxes. I thought both teams did a good job which is why there was a clean sheet on both sides.

On the game

There we some moments tonight that it we were as good as we’ve played all year. Once we got the ball down and got our combination play going those first 15 minutes of the second half we played great. I thought it was a pretty good solid performance by everybody. We’ve proven to be a very stingy team defensively and that makes me happy because there are going to be games where you can’t find the goal but at the very least you can’t let any goals in.

Will Johnson

On the weather

It’s different with the humidity; it’s tough and it does take away from you quite a bit. We gave away a lot of throw ins and set pieces so it made it difficult. We had to defend a lot of those and had to bring a lot of guys back and then we weren’t able to get up as quick. They’re a difficult team to play and the weather didn’t help.

On how good the Timbers can be

It’s still early in the process of putting the team together but we could be a lot better by being hard to beat and not being outworked. Those are two very good blocks to build the team on so I’m proud that we’ve got those things down. We just need to work on the attacking phase and quality of the attacking third.

Donovan Ricketts

On the rain delay

The guys are ready it is the same for both teams it is just time to get loose and get ready.

On the game

Philly is a good team. We wanted to control the game and we knew they were going to have moments so we were prepared for what they were going to throw at us. The Union are a good team and they have 30 points in this league. When you have that many it means you’re doing something right.

On Sheanon Williams’ cross that almost went in

Sometimes you get that one that you’re expecting a cross and it goes over your head and all you have left is to pray that it goes out.

On bouncing back from Columbus

We responded well. It was a bad game against Columbus on our part. We went home and we set things right against LA. Now we are on the road and got a point so it’s always good to keep your scoreboard ticking.

 

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