Quotes, Stats and Chalk Talk: Where's Wondo? Edition

USA TODAY Sports Images

A look at the quotes, stats and the OPTA Chalkboard for the Portland Timbers' match against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Last Sunday's games was not the prettiest game to watch but a win is a win. San Jose tried to bully the Timbers and disrupt their offense but the Timbers did not give and were able to take away a full three points.


Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

Overall thoughts on the match:

"We didn't have a ton of looks, but that's soccer. There are going to be games where it's tight and you don't have a ton of chances. One of the things I told the guys after the game is that teams that have the winning culture, the winning mentality and the belief, find a way to win games. Sometimes it comes in different ways, but winning teams find the goal somewhere. We were very patient and methodical, we had the ball a lot, but all you need is one to win and that's what we found."

Thoughts coming into the match and implications on standings:

"We talked about it going into the game, that it was going to be a physical game. They're a team who fights; they're tough to play against. It was the reason why they were the Supporters' Shield winners last year. We have no problems with it because we'll fight too; we're not going to back down. I thought that we matched their intensity and fight and we didn't get caught up in it. Sometimes you get rattled in that type of game but I don't think our guys did.

"We knew coming in that we could jump five teams in the conference, and you know we want to get above the red line and stay up there. We made a push today and moved up the table. We need to make sure we keep pushing and stay there."

Thoughts on Will Johnson's free-kick goal:

"He practiced those after training for about thirty minutes. I texted him today and I had a weird feeling that he was going to hit a free kick. I told him why don't you smack a free kick for us today, and I couldn't believe it when he hit it because I said that to him."

On the team's defensive play:

"Two games and two clean sheets, that was a part of our game that people were questioning; I wasn't. I knew we had it in us to be a very good defensive team and we've shown that the last two games. A big reason is we've been working hard in training to tighten things up."

On playing San Jose in six days:

"It's going to be a battle. We need to have the same energy and fight and mentality."

On inserting Futty Danso into the backline:

"He was fantastic. When I told him that he would be starting he was very excited. I thought this type of game would be a very good thing, because he's physical and very strong and good in the air. He played with a lot of maturity and confidence. You could see that he has started a lot of games."

Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
On scoring from the free kick:

"[Caleb Porter] said it would be nice if we could get a free-kick goal tonight. We've been working on them a lot this week in training so he just asked me if I could do that for him. It was good distance out to get it up and down. I just wanted to get it over the wall, hit it with enough pace to where the goalkeeper couldn't get over and grab it."

On the evolution of his role in the midfield:

"I have a little more freedom, more of a role to get forward. [Diego] Chara and I were working well last game. Being right in the middle of the field, just the two of us, you see the whole field. Being a leader puts a little extra pressure on me when a play needs to be made."

On playing to San Jose's style:

"Against San Jose, their style is very bullish, they want to battle and crunch. We knew that coming in, it wasn't a surprise and we knew it was going to get chippy. I'm proud of our guys for battling toe-to-toe, not giving anything away and not losing our cool.

Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
On recording back to back shutouts:

"Both teams we played had nothing much on goal. It a sign that we are playing well and doing what we want to do when it is becoming much easier defensively."

On Futty Danso stepping in to start:

"We have good individual players, we have a system that we want to play to. It doesn't matter who goes in its still the same system because we have good players. I think he played well. The game was suited for how he plays. They wanted to play the balls over the top, and he's big and strong. They played right into the way Futty likes to play; it was a good game for him to come in."

San Jose Earthquakes Quotes

Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop
Thoughts on the result:

"Disappointed not get something out of the game, but we didn't play particularly well for the way we can play tonight. The big thing for me, the turning point was the red card. It's one of those plays it goes for you or it goes against you, and it went against us."

On the team's performance:

"We feel we can play against anybody when we're on our game. We were just off our passing tonight on a slick pitch. Obviously, they are very good at it, they are used to playing here. I thought they moved the ball well without creating tons of chances, which was good for us defensively."

On playing with 10 players late in the game:

"Even with 10 men, I felt it was going to be 0-0 for us. Didn't feel that we were probably going to score tonight, but felt pretty comfortable we could hang in there. We did defend the box well. I think that for us, when your back is against the wall, with 10 men, you have to keep digging in there."

On Portland's goal:

"Great free kick by [Will] Johnson; once he had the free kick he finished it very well."


Portland Timbers San Jose Earthquakes
11 Attempts on Goal 6
2 Shots on Target 3
7 Shots off Target 2
2 Blocked Shots 1
7 Corner Kicks 2
7 Fouls 12
25 Open Play Crosses 12
1 Offsides 0
1 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 1
57 Duels Won 71
44% Duels Won % 55%
544 Total Pass 291
80% Passing Accuracy % 64%
64.7% Possession 35.3%

Chalk Talk

Coming into the game the three headed monster of San Jose, Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart, had not played together this year. Last year those three combined for 50 goals and were a headache for most defensive units. Last Sunday was a different story as they earned more yellow cards than they did shots.

One of the big reasons Portland was able to neutralize San Jose's attack was the inability of Chris Wondolowski to get involved in the attack. Wondo could not get involved in the attack because of Michael Harrington.

San Jose Home Chalk Talk

Harrington's heat map is significantly higher than what you would normally see for a Left Back. This forced Wondo into a decision to either track Harrington's run or to stay up and have his CM's cover. As you can see he elected to follow his and this took him out of the offense because he was so deep for his defensive assignment and not able to win the second ball off of Lenhart or Gordon.

Couple this will the inability of San Jose's two CM's to get up the field and to win the second ball and San Jose's attack was almost non-existent.

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