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Sounders edge Timbers - Highlights, stats, quotes

Expected goals for the match show that until Clint Dempsey's winner the game was in an even state of attacking 'meh' and defensive 'pretty good.' Portland Timbers sat back in the first half trying to absorb Seatttle's attack. In the second half they came out. Throughout the match the Seattle Sounders were more active in their attacking end and attacking third, but all they have to show for it is one Dylan Remick long-throw to Dempsey's head to Andy Rose's foot to Adam Kwarasey's bobbling hands and Clint's foot.

Seattle Portland summary graphic


Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Portland Timbers 0
Sunday, April 26, 2015

Venue: XBOX Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
Attendance: 41,451
Weather: Cloudy and 58 degrees


SEA - Clint Dempsey 77'


POR - Jorge Villafana (caution) 23'
SEA - Marco Pappa (caution) 53'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 54'
POR - Liam Ridgewell (caution) 71'


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans - C, Zach Scott, Dylan Remick; Marco Pappa (Leo Gonzalez 86'), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle (Andy Rose 77'); Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins

Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Andres Correa, Jimmy Ockford, Micheal Azira, Chad Barrett

Total shots: 10 (Marco Pappa, 3)
Shots on goal: 3 (3 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 12 (Alonso, 4)
Offside: 0
Corner-kicks: 5 (Pappa, 3)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)

Portland Timbers - Adam Kwarasey; Alvas Powell, Nat Borchers, Liam Ridgewell - C, Jorge Villafana; Diego Chara, Dairon Asprilla (Gaston Fernandez 62'), Jack Jewsbury, Ishmael Yartey, Darlington Nagbe; Maximiliano Urruti (Fanendo Adi 74')

Substitutes not used: Andrew Weber, Norberto Paparatto, Jeanderson, Diego Valeri, George Fochive

Total shots: 11 (Adi, 3)
Shots on goal: 2 (2 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 12 (Chara, 3)
Offside: 1 (Urruti, 1)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Jewsbury, 2)
Saves: 2 (Kwarasey, 2)


SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2015


Opening Statement:

"We were a little bit surprised at the beginning of the game because these games are typically more high-tempo, and they were just very content with pushing the ball around and back and not really going anywhere with it - sort of taking the air out of the ball and to slow things down. I thought we did a good job in the first half of not falling into their trap of getting stretched and pushing up too high. We felt we could have attacked a little bit quicker. There were times we then turned and also had possession, but we weren't looking to make those runs behind, and those were the things we talked about at halftime. I thought we did a better job in the second half of trying to make runs behind their defense. I thought we caused their defense to turn a little bit. I thought there were times where I thought we could have taken on their outside backs one-v-one, and we didn't do that enough. We got a goal - I thought we deserved a goal at that point - we certainly put on some pressure by the end. We all went off and we're happy with the victory."

On Zach Scott:

"I thought Zach was good. Zach's Mr. Reliable, he just comes through and takes care of business and he does his job - he wins his headers, he's very good at talking and [being] organized, it's just something at his stage of his career that games are a little bit easier than practice, at times you see a different level from him in games than you do at practice. I thought both he and [Brad] Evans had a good game. There was only one real mistake there where I thought Brad left his feet one time. Outside of that, I thought the two of them, along with [Tyrone] Mears and the back four, was really solid."

On the message at halftime:

"The message at halftime was simply to play balls and move - play the ball and look to get behind. We tried to get Oba [Martins] out a couple of times, even off punts from Stefan Frei...We wanted [Lamar] Neagle to take on [Jorge] Villafana a little bit more because we were happy with him coming to the right side and pushing [Marco] Pappa to the left. We thought we could exploit that and didn't do it quick enough, we waited a little bit too long."

On the next three matches on the road:

"We've always shown ourselves to be a good road team, so we are not afraid to go on the road. We just want to keep going on this stage - we've won three of our last four, we want to keep that going. We have 13 points in seven games, we are happy with that and want to come back from these three road games with as many points as possible. I don't go into it and say, ‘Well if we get four points out of these three points, we'll be happy.' That's not the way I look at it. I want to maximize what we can do at all times. I think every time you win a game our team gets a little more confident - last year defensively we gave up some goals, and I think this year if you look at us we're very close to the top of the league defensively. That will always keep you in games and give you opportunities to win games like tonight."

On Stefan Frei's near costly mistake in the final minutes:

"Stef came up to me after the game and said, ‘Sorry, I made that more exciting than it needed to be.' And I said, ‘Just think back where you were a year ago, how far you've come.' I am just really happy for him because I think he is showing our fans here and people around the league the quality goalkeeper that he is."

On the Timbers playing conservatively in the first half:

"I expected them to play forward a little bit more, to try and be a little more direct, so I was a little surprised they were so conservative at the beginning of the game, and so content to play D. That was their gameplan, and they upped the tempo in the second half."

On winning two matches in a row:

"Always, always good to win back to back. You can't win three in a row until you win two in a row, so now our next objective is to try to win three in a row. We'll get after it again. Our next game will be an interesting game because it's on a interesting field - not just the history of Yankee Stadium - it's just a game that will play differently because it's going to be a miniscule field, it's going to be small, there's going to be a lot of contests in the air. It will be interesting."

On bringing on Leo Gonzalez:

"With Leo, with us winning 1-0, we wanted him to help us shore up defensively when we brought him on for Marco Pappa. Leo's been great, he's a great pro and he's been training hard. I know it's been disappointing for him that I've been playing [Dylan Remick], but with Leo you'd never know. He trains hard every day and his opportunities will come. He is an important player for our team and there will be opportunities for him as the season moves forward."

On Clint scoring in four straight matches against the Timbers:

"Players get up for derby games and this is a derby game. Clint is trying to leave his impression, and Oba has done well in these games as well. As long as these two guys continue to do well in these games we'll have opportunities."

On the competition between Leo Gonzalez and Dylan Remick:

"I would describe it as that I have two starting left fullbacks, and right now I am playing Remick. If you were to watch us at training, Leo and Remick work together all the time...They are trying to help each other out. Right now I have two starting left fullbacks and I am playing Remick, but I am equally confident in Leo."


On getting three points at home before three straight road games:

"It's huge. It's always difficult to get points on the road and...we have [three] games in a row away, so we need to make sure that we're ready and trying to get points out of those games and not just hoping we can win every game at home. We'll be looking to get points in those next [three] games, as well."

On Andy Rose coming in and contributing to the goal:

"That's the good thing about this team - a lot of depth, everybody's fighting for positions in the team and you need that competition if you're going to do well in the season and go far. We're just happy to be moving up the table, get more points and continue on a good run."

On knowing the level of play won't drop when someone comes in off the bench:

"Yeah, that's what you hope for. I still don't think we've hit our full stride and our full potential in terms of playing our best out there at the moment. I think we're building towards that point and when we start clicking I think we'll be really fun to watch."

On the teams combining for just five shots on target:

"It was just really tight. Anytime a player got the ball in the pocket and was driving with the ball, he would either get fouled or was having to break from a tackle and try to play somebody. It was kind of a scrappy game. They made it difficult for us strikers to create chances. At times in the first half, it seemed like they didn't really want to play forward. They were content just keeping the ball in the back and trying to take the steam out of the game. We just kept pushing, kept fighting and it just seems in the second half, teams can't keep as tight as the first half and it always eventually opens up in the end."


On tonight's match:

"At the end of the day we did what we had to do and we got three points. It was hard because it was a tight game, but at the end we had three points and that's what we wanted before the game and we did that."

On returning to the starting XI:

"It was great. It was very good to play in a great game like Portland-Seattle. It's good to be back and it was so much fun out there."

On finding a winning form:

"It's great, that's what we did last year. We had basically the same percentage of winnings last year and we are almost at the same pace as last year, and that's good. We are almost there."


On Darlington Nagbe:

"He is a good player, he is fast. You have to be aware when he has the ball. I think we did and kept him in front of us, at the end of the day we got the three points, and that is what is most important for us."

On Clint Dempsey:

"Clint is a good player, in these types of games he will do whatever it takes to win the game. He did it tonight."

On responding to Portland's slow pace early in the match:

"We played together and I think did a good job of keeping them front of us. I think we did a good job defensively."


On the match:

"It was an even game. We played level with that team for 90 minutes. I was pleased with that side of it, but obviously disappointed it didn't fall for us. Pleased with the performance today. We had four clear chances in the second half and ours didn't fall then Dempsey finds the goal. That's the difference. We need to put this behind us and get ready for Vancouver. It hurts now, but hopefully we can get three points next weekend and this will be a distant memory."

On what he saw on Dempsey's goal:

"I have to watch the tape."

On his team's defensive performance:

"It was a very good defensive performance. I thought we managed the game exceptionally well. From the start of the game through the first half and came into the break level, which was the goal. We had nearly 50-percent of the possession, which doesn't usually happen here against this team who likes the ball. They didn't have many clear chances and we had the better of the chances in the second half, but we leave empty-handed. It hurts, but we have to put it behind us. We can't lose energy because these guys fought hard today. They fought really hard today and I was proud of their effort."

On how he felt about the attacking side tonight:

"I thought we created enough to score. In a game like this you have to keep it tight. We're on the road, we're playing one of the best teams in the league, the Supporters' Shield winners, two of the best strikers...we had to be organized, and I thought we were. We played a great game and we had, like I said, four clear chances in the second half. Darlington [Nagbe] had a shot top of the box, [Fernando] Adi had a header, [Maximiliano Urruti] had a shot and Gaston [Fernandez] had a shot. Those four chances are better than any chance they had, but we leave empty-handed and that's football."

On if frustrating nights like this over a 34-game season balance themselves out:

"No. No. We're not frustrated. We're going to get back to work. We're not happy with the result, but we're not going to lose energy. We're going to keep fighting. Looking forward to next weekend. It's a long season. With the way the results fell this weekend, we lose a point on a couple teams. That's it. Though not a lot changes, it's unfortunate that we couldn't make up some ground on teams, but we lost a point on a couple teams - that's it."

On the team's defensive strategy:

"Obviously you have to defend. They're a really good team. Any time in a soccer game when you play against a really talented team on the road, you have to defend well. If you don't defend well, then you give up goals and you lose the game. It's pretty simple. We were very organized and they had very few chances."

On the decision to start Urruti over Adi:

"You make decisions every game, right? That's one of them. That was a decision I made and I thought both strikers did well."

On the mindset in the locker room:

"They're ready to get back to work. Disappointed they didn't get the result and felt they deserved better. I felt they deserved better. That's clear. They played good and fell short. We score one of the four chances and the result is different."

On if he saw something in the matchup and as a result started Urruti:

"Yeah, I don't put guys in unless I like the matchup."


On having more chances in the second half:

"We didn't really do anything different. I think maybe they tried to push the game a little bit more and tried to find that goal and we were able to find little gaps and chances."

On not being able to finish chances:

"I'm not too sure. I wish we knew. Maybe it's something we can work on. I feel like overall in training and other games we finish chances. We had three against Dallas but in this game we were just a little unlucky."

On losing four straight against Seattle:

"I'm not to sure what it is about them. I know they don't feel like it is going to be an easy game when they play us. I know they are still worried in the back of their head when we play that we can beat them so I don't think it is anything too serious."

On if Seattle has controlled the games against Portland:

"No I haven't ever felt like they own us or are playing better then us or anything like that. They just finished there chances and we didn't."


On the goal:

"It was a throw in and there was an open man in the box and I guess he got a shot and I came down and saved the first shot and I got a weird spin and it was loose and I couldn't find it and then Dempsey basically was on the line to tap it in."

On the defensive performance:

"Yes I thought we played a good game. I mean it's hard when you lose one-nil and they get a goal like that. It's been kinda the rhythm or the melody of the season so far. We play well but we can't kinda score that opening goal and win the games. Instead we end as a draw or we lose. We need to keep working and hopefully the luck will turn."

On the atmosphere:

"It was a good atmosphere. It's nice to play games that matter for people and it was a nice atmosphere and its a shame that we didn't win and give the fans three points to cheer all the way back to Portland and have a good night."

On the rivalry and how that affected the match:

"You could feel the rivalry but I didn't think it was nasty or an ugly game. I expected it to be a lot more nasty and a lot more challenges but you definitely can feel the tension and rivalry on the pitch. It was nice to experience that. We have them three times this season and they won the first one and hopefully we can win the two next ones."


On the match:

"Yes its disappointing obviously especially with the high amount of emotions that go into a rivalry game. I thought we were very organized defensively and didn't allow them too many clear cut chances. Unfortunately off a long throw in is the one they get the goal. You are obviously disappointed to not come out of here with at least a tie and I thought we had enough chances on the road. You are not going to get a ton of clear cut ones but I thought we fought and played well enough to possibly get out of here with three."

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