Last night's game was disappointing. No question about it. Whenever you get knocked out a tournament there's an air of finality to it that's challenging to overcome. While I believe our guys played very well last night, there was a single player who really impressed me. That player was our young striker we acquired via the Supplemental Draft, Spencer Thompson.
Right from the onset of the game Spencer Thompson was all over the ball. He was rushing defenders, making plays for control and attempting maneuvers that, honestly, were probably a little ambitious for him. Still what he showed last night was a mentality that's worthy not only of being a professional soccer player, but of being a Portland Timbers player. He worked very hard and despite not scoring, impressed me all the same.
I was lucky enough to be able to speak with Spencer about his first start in a major competitive game after last nights grueling match. Here's the transcript of what was said:
This is your first game in a real competitive match, how does it feel?
I'm disappointed. I feel like I started off decent. I just need to keep the momentum going throughout the game and score a goal when I have the opportunity. Hopefully if I get another chance I'll be able to do that.
It seems like you were really trying to run their defense ragged. Was that the plan heading into the match?
That's just part of my game. I'm an all-out, 100%, just pressure the defense and wait them to make a mistake kind of player and capitalize once they do. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do that tonight.
How does it feel to go 120 minutes into a game and loose it all at the end like that?
There's no worse feeling in the world. Especially having the last shot of the game. That's all I can really think about.
What do you take from this loss?
It's just another opportunity. I just gotta learn from these mistakes, learn from this game and carry it through the rest of the season. It's a long season and I've still got a long way to go.
Do you feel like this is something you can build on?
This is absolutely something I can build on. I had some good moments and I've gotta learn from the bad moments and just continue to improve. That's what I'm here to do, y'know?
Is it a big difference coming from the college playing career to MLS?
It's not even comparable. There's things that I'll do, even in this game, that in the college level would work no problem and here the guys are just too big, too fast, and too strong. I've just gotta get used to that and adapt. It'll come with time.
Huge thanks, once again, to Spencer Thompson for taking the time to talk to us.
He's obviously taking last night's defeat pretty hard which is understandable. Losing isn't fun to anybody. Still, I think Spencer Thompson should be proud of himself for how he came out last night. While mistakes were certainly made, he understand those mistakes and is looking to learn from them. Should he stick around (you can never judge the path of a player) we could see the professional beginnings of a very gifted MLS striker in the future. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on him during the reserve games.