As a well known member of our community said "all loses are tough loses" so let's try and get past this one so we can talk about rivalry week. First let's get the quotes and official stats our of the way before we get to the chalkboard talk.
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Thoughts on the match:
"Certainly it's disappointing not to get a result. We prepared all week for the way that they would play against us, and just about everything we thought they would do, they did. We knew they would hit us on counterattacks and we knew they would hit us on set pieces. If you look at the goals they scored, one was a set piece and the other was on a counterattack. It's disappointing that we let them hurt us twice in moments that we prepared for all week, and it's disappointing to give up two goals on only seven shots."
On trying to crack the Montreal backline:
"We knew it was going to be difficult, they are very organized. They weren't easy to breakdown; we had plenty of shots and a lot of possession. They're a team that if they get up on you, they can bunker down even more. Unfortunately, they got the first goal and that played into their hands."
On the play of the Timbers defense:
"We talked about the first goal and how important that was. We are making some mistakes that we can't keep making if we want to win games. Again, we let them hurt us twice in moments that we prepared for all week."
Timbers forward Ryan Johnson
What happened on the goal:
"Just a great ball by Ben (Zemanski), and I just tried to make sure I was on the end of it and beat my defender to the spot. I just got a piece of it that I needed to get it into the back of the net."
On overall play two games into the season:
"We're doing the rights things; it's just about the ball falling into the goal. We're doing what we're supposed to do in creating the chances, they just need to start falling a little bit more in our favor. As long as we keep doing what we're doing, and creating the chances we'll be fine."
On the amount of shots the Timbers are creating:
"It's not a coincidence that two games straight we've shot more than 20-something times on goal. I think these are club records that we are setting and it's because we have offensive weapons. We're doing the right things, they (shots) are going to fall, we've just got to be a little bit sharper around the goal when it comes to those final passes. As times goes on, we'll be fine, I'm not worried at all."
Timbers midfielder Ben Zemanski
On assisting Johnson's goal:
"I think it was (Diego) Chara that played a good ball out to me. I just saw a couple guys on the back post and I just tried to get it there. Getting that first one against a team like that is definitely huge and it felt like the momentum was going to swing. Unfortunately we couldn't capitalize on it."
On the play of the team through two games:
"Whenever you have two home games to start the year and you only have one point, you've got to figure out a way to get win. Three points is huge in this league and there are a lot of games left for us to do it. We've got to get that first win."
Montreal Impact Quotes
Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum
On the result:
"We didn't come in here and steal the three points tonight. We were solid defensively and had a lot of help from our midfield. It was a difficult and tight game, but we responded well."
On coaching in MLS:
"I come from Europe and everyone is a fan of football. I come here and I have a good start and we work very good together. I get by with my experience and also my ideas, but I know the other coach's work very well."
Midfielder Davy Arnaud
On a second-straight win:
"I know it's not easy to play in these two places, but I think we have the team that's capable of going on the road and getting results; six points is huge. It's a huge achievement for us on the road. We want to be good defensively, and our starting point is how we play defensively."
On team's defensive play:
"I think so. We were solid defensively. We didn't give up a ton of really good chances and we had quite a few really good chances ourselves. They had a lot of the ball and they pushed the game, similar to Seattle, but I thought defensively as a group again, we were very solid."
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On the result:
"We wanted six points on the road and we got it. It's no different than playing in any other game. Obviously there's a little more emotion to it, but it's one of those things where we knew they were going to come hard and we had to withstand it."
Looking forward to Toronto:
"That's a big rivalry for us, and I think we just have to continue our confidence and take to the next game and take it day by day."
On returning to Portland:
"It was different, a little surreal. Playing almost two years here and coming back and having to warm-up on the other end was a different experience for me."
The hard thing about these stats is that they look like the Portland Timbers were in control of the game. However they were not in control of the game, they were only in control of the ball. Montreal was in control of the game. If Portland had scored first it might have been different, but the all-important first goal went to the Montreal Impact. With that said here are the official stats for the game.
|Portland Timbers||Montreal Impact|
|19||Attempts on Goal||9|
|6||Shots on Target||6|
|7||Shots off Target||2|
|25||Open Play Crosses||4|
|1||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|54%||Duels Won %||45%|
|81%||Passing Accuracy %||74%|
I want to highlight a couple of things I found interesting when I looked at the Chalkboard for Saturday's game. First I thought it would be interesting to compare the heat maps of the two CB pairs. Next with all the hullabaloo about Troy Perkins I took a look at his Chalkboard stats -- what I found was interesting but really not that conclusive.
The Central Backs
When comparing the heat maps for the CB pairings on both teams, you have to keep in mind that each team plays a different strategy, and that means you should see differences in the heat maps. What we should look at is how those heat maps show their strategy and if it worked or not.
As you can see Montreal's CBs stayed compact and well connected. Just imagine their two outside backs next to them and 2 DMs right in front and you can see why they are a tough team to break down. When you look at Portland's CBs you see that they have to cover a lot of space, especially when they have one or both of the outside backs joining in the attack. The side to side nature of Portland's CB heat map is not what is so concerning to me, what is concerning is how deep they played.
With Porterball you want the CBs and the back line to play a little higher up the field to press the other team. You want them playing balls over their midfield so that the CBs can win those balls. The second half of the New York game is a good example of this because the back line played about 10 to 15 yards farther up the field then they did against Montreal.
When the back line plays a little deeper it hurts Portland's transition from offense to defense and vice versa. Couple that with a team that only had 5 players who have played on the same field together and it is a recipe for defensive mistakes.
Comparing the two goakeepers' Opta stats is hard to do in words so I will just show you the images.
I don't remember Troy Perkins attempting almost 50 passes. Does that seem high to anyone else? It sure seems to me that Opta needs to find some different keeper specific stats, because some of these just don't fit. The stats, to me at least, show that both keepers had decent games and really showed how different they are or at least how different their teams strategies are. Yet you can't make any direct comparisons of who is a better keeper from these stats, and that is disappointing and one area I think Opta should address.