Over the last two years Portland has averaged an amazing .33 points per road game. Caleb Porter has averaged 1.0 points per road game. Of course with such a small sample size there are no guarantees this will continue but at least there are some signs of hope for the Timbers road form. As Caleb and the players point out in the quotes they also see positives about getting results on the road despite not playing a full 90 minutes of quality soccer.
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On coming from behind again:
"We've kind of been the comeback kids. We don't want to be coming back as much as we have been. People will focus on the negatives, and obviously there are some negatives: we haven't won a game in four and we've given up the first goal in four games. I'm focused on the positives. We've only lost one game. As much as we haven't won a game, four times we played a team, and we've only lost one game, and that's to the team at the top of the table. We're all competitors, we all want three points, it's just not happening as quickly as we want. For me, I'm going to focus on the positives, and how much progress we've made in the last two years, and how much progress we've made from last year. That's a 3-0 game last year."
On coming out more positive at halftime and then conceding a penalty:
"That's football. You can never make excuses. There are a lot of different things that happen in a game that you'd like to go differently. I thought the penalty was unfair, but then we got a penalty ourselves, so the game evened out. It's hard to blame the call. In the end being down two goals, and coming back to get a point, you have to think that's a positive thing."
On evaluation of how the team played:
"The wind conditions were something that we didn't see coming. We talked all week about making sure we dealt with the condition of being on the road, and that psychology, and the altitude. We didn't expect it to be so windy, and I thought in the first half that was a big part of how choppy the game was, and how much we struggled. The guy (Dillon Powers) hits a goal, credit to him, incredible goal. Hard to do much on the goal 18 minutes in. Again, the negative is you give up a goal, but if you look at it, what could we have done differently to stop it. We came in at halftime and none of us were happy, but it is what it is. You've got to push to try to get something out of the game. Then we gave up the other goal. Most teams would have crumbled, but we didn't, we kept fighting, and we got a point out of it."
Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
On rallying back from behind again:
"It's a tough team, a tough group of guys. We're a little disappointed in ourselves that we kind of got on each other's' minds a little bit in the first half. We were pointing fingers, and that's outside the character of this group. We were frustrated out on the field, and then once we got in here at halftime, we were frustrated with each other for getting frustrated because that's not what the character of this team is."
On the mindset after Colorado's second goal:
"It was a bigger hole than we thought that we were going to have to climb, a bigger mountain. When those things happen, they happen so quickly that you don't have time to analyze it, and get down, and say, "now we need two". You just have to focus one goal at a time. 2-0 is I think the most dangerous lead in soccer because as soon as you get one, you're flying, and you're coming right down their throat, and the other team usually can't handle it. We knew if we were able to get the first one, that that was the hardest one, and that we'd be able to get a second."
Timbers defender David Horst
On the tougher goal to swallow:
"I think it was the penalty kick (tougher goal to swallow). It was a soft penalty kick. Ultimately they can always say that it's a PK, but there are definitely different levels of PKs, that's for sure. I think that was a little bit tougher to swallow, with our history of penalty kicks. But hey, we got one back."
On playing 90 minutes at altitude in his first start:
"I thought we did well. It took me a little bit to get my feet under me and back in the mode of playing games. I thought the defense did well. I've pretty much been away for two months, not playing at all. I've only been back playing 8-10 days or so. To get thrown back in like that, I was a little nervous at first, but the back four got me settled down, and I got into a little groove again."
On getting the team's first result in Colorado:
"It's awesome. The fact that we haven't put a whole 90 minutes together yet on the road, we've been able to pull points back. I think that says a lot about this team."
Colorado Rapids Quotes
Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja
On the disappointment of giving up the lead:
"Yeah, we had our two points in our pockets. That's frustrating and disappointing. Our boys did a good job today. I've got to make this very clear. The penalty was very soft. It was not a PK. I'm not happy with it. I thought that we have to make it clear because we came up here with a play that is unacceptable.
On if fitness was a factor:
"No, fitness was good. We're happy with the boys. The conditions were difficult with the winds in the second half. The guys fought well. We made some substitutions in the second half to try to get more legs, and I thought we had a few chances to put the game away."
On Dillon Powers' first career goal:
"There [are] a lot of positive things, I've got to tell you. Chris Klute played a very good game today. He's a young guy who's come along with the project, and today he did a great job. Powers scored his first MLS goal. I feel for my players because they put it all out there, but at the end of the day, it's not all what they deserved. If you miss a mark here or miss something there, the game will punish you. Once again the penalty they gave [against] us was unacceptable."
On what the Rapids had to watch out for in the second half:
"We wanted to hold the line up in the formation we had because we knew that the conditions were different in the second half with the winds. I knew as well that [Caleb Porter] was going to throw bodies up front. At the same time, I thought we had a good control of the tempo of the game. For me, there was no reason to change anything and it gave us results because we got the second goal and put the game at 2-0. At that point, I tried to change a little bit here and there when they brought in another forward. I thought the game in the second half was pretty level."
Rapids midfielder Dillon Powers
On how it felt to score his first professional goal:
"It felt great you know, it's a little disappointing that we didn't get the result which is most important but you know it was nice to get a goal."
On what worked well in the first half:
"You know, I think we had good runs in behind and you know I think we didn't let them get a rhythm, we had a lot of the ball and when you have a lot of the ball you're going to create chances as well."
On the mentality in the second half with a two goal lead:
"Our idea going out there was to get that second goal, let's put this game away and get a third one in. We did get that second goal which makes it even more disappointing, you know 2-0 at home. But we didn't want to sit back at all, we're at home and we want to come out and win the game."
Rapids forward Edson Buddle
On his first game with the Rapids:
"Today, my first game back, I felt like it was my first game back. A little unfit, not as explosive, repetitive running as I'd like to do. I think the guys behind me did a great job of filling on the space for me, the ground I couldn't cover. I think staying compact as a team, as a unit, knowing when to pressure, that helped as well.
On the performance of the younger guys:
"I see them day in and day out in training. I expect these things to transfer over into the game. Dillon's been great since I've arrived here and Tony is creative in training. He just has to transfer that over into the game and I think that will come with confidence. So hopefully that will give Tony a little more confidence to do some of the things I've seen him do in training."
On whether the goal play was something they practiced in training:
"Well on the goal, I was able to hold the ball up and play the ball back. I think the ball might have went wide off of a shot or something. And Dillon wants the ball, it's a good sign for a young guy to want the ball at all times. I saw him, I didn't actually look at him, but I took a glance and put the ball where he needed it and it was a good shot on target and found the back of the net."
The official stats are not as flattering as the first three games but a point on the road is always a good thing.
|Colorado Rapids||Portland Timbers|
|17||Attempts on Goal||9|
|3||Shots on Target||2|
|10||Shots off Target||2|
|10||Open Play Crosses||14|
|1||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|49%||Duels Won %||50%|
|72%||Passing Accuracy %||71%|
With all the talk about the wind on the telecast and from Caleb Porter I wanted to see if the stats show there was a difference between the two halves.
Comparing the two halves the overall numbers don't show an improvement in the passing percentages. However there was an improvement in the crosses and this would make sense because crosses would be more affected than balls played on the ground. In general you can see a difference in where the passes occurred in the first half compared to the second half.
In the first half you can almost draw a straight line right in the middle of the field from the through quite a few passes starting from the top of the 18 to the center circle. In the second half you see more of a circular motion to the passes and very few going to someone standing right in the center of the field. This is because of the change in formation that brought in a second striker and more than likely forcing Chara and Will Johnson into a narrow diamond formation.
I don't think the stats show how much impact the wind had but it does show how ineffective Darlington Nagbe was. Here is his chalkboard stats for the Colorado game and for comparison sake his stats from the first half of the Seattle game.
In the Seattle game Darlingon received the ball higher up the field and was able to be more dangerous with his touches. In the Colorado game he was closer to the the center line and you can see how it affected his ability to create. His passing was also off but then again the whole team had a really low passing percentage compared to the first three games. Overall Nagbe was not as good as he was in the first thee games and Portland needed to switch to two up top, hence Fredric Piquionne in for Nagbe.