Timbers Talk About Their First Playoff Match

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Porter: "Seattle is in our way right now."

Caleb Porter and the players spoke to the media following the team's 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders in the Portland Timbers' first MLS playoff match. Here's what they had to say.

Caleb Porter

On the stats heavily favoring the Sounders:

You can put your hand up the puppet of stats and make them say whatever you want to say. At the end of the day, we got the win. We deserved the win...They had a bit more of the ball but that was a little bit of the game plan we had. We wanted them to have a bit of the ball so we could roast them on counterattacks.

They didn't have very many clear looks outside of balls dumped in, long thow-ins...They didn't get a goal from the run of play. So I think that's a real positive that we defended well against them. They had some shots from distance. They didn't have a ton of great looks where they got in behind us. We were very organized and played a very pragmatic game on the road and at the end of the day, it's a win on the road.

On Ryan Johnson, Darlington Nagbe, and having numerous attacking options:

We have different guys at different times that step up. We've done that all season long. I never know who's gonna score, but I there's someone that's gonna score. Because again, we're a team that plays together. We defend as a team, we attack as a team.

On the physicality of the match:

There's gonna be physicality in a high-level soccer game...you got two good teams, teams that don't want to lose. Our team refuses to lose. Seattle is in our way right now. We want to move on in this playoff tournament.

On starting Ryan Johnson

We got options up there, good options...We're gonna pick the guy up top that we think fits the opponent we're playing. For me it made a lot of sense to go to Ryan Johnson. He's done well in training, he scored a goal off the bench last week, but more important than that we felt his strength in the air, his physicality, his ability to hold the ball up, his athleticism, his pace and power was a good match-up against Hurtado and Traore...We feel like we have four very good options and we'll continue to pick the guys who we think fit the game.

On the playoff "atmosphere:"

I think it's overplayed. Everyone talks about the playoffs being different. It's still a game. We got one ball, 22 guys and two goals, and there's nothing different about it. It's only different if you talk about it as being different.

We've been, for nine and a half months, gaining confidence, gaining belief, gaining experience, and I told them that, coming into this came, you should have your chest out and your head high, because you're a team that now, when you put that uniform on, people know you're a good team.

On the next leg and being back in front of the TA:

I can't wait to get back in our fortress and I know they're going to be louder than ever and our guys will be up for it because we're always up for it at home. We always play our best soccer at home and a big reason is our fans. They fuel us, give us energy, and we're looking forward to getting back at home and hopefully finishing off the series on a positive and moving on.


Donovan Ricketts

We play game to game. We don't look past the games, we look at the game that's coming up next. We fight, we play for each other. That's what makes us successful.

We've won all types of game. We've come from behind, we've won late. We're a team. We can win, we can hurt you in a variety of ways, but defensively I think we've been stronger the last six, seven games and in the playoffs you need that.

Jack Jewsbury

On Ryan Johnson:

I think it shows the depth and the trust the coach has in everyone on this team. We're a very very deep team. He did the job on both sides of the ball. It wasn't just his goal...but his pressure defensively.

On getting the first goal:

It's something, not just here against Seattle, we've talked about for a while--starting games well. The was a patch in the middle of the season where we weren't doing that and it's really been a focus for us.

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