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Thorns Post Game Interviews - July 4, 2014

Thorns head coach Paul Riley, defender Sarah Huffman, forward Jessica McDonald, and Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc talked about Friday's 2-2 draw.

Stacey Neve - Stumptown Footy

Head Coach Paul Riley

I wish you'd come in for the team talk. Urgency, before the game, there was a lot of urgency in the group. I don't think that's a problem for us. There is urgency, but we're running out of games. Obviously the desperation point comes when the points go off the table. We've let a really great position go at 2-0 to get three points at home. Now you've got the difficult part of going to Chicago twice in the next three games, which isn't an easy place to go, on a field that's the size of this room. It's not going to be easy. But you just have to finish games. I don't think it's a lack of effort. The effort is there, I think it is anyway. I'm the coach and the locker room was great before the game. In the locker room they were pumped up. You look in their eyes and they look like they're ready to play. Great first half. We had a great chat at halftime and everyone was pretty antsy to get out and get a third goal and ice the game. Just didn't get it done. I don't get desperate. Just keep plugging along. The highs don't get high and the lows don't get low, I think we've said that a few times this season. Just have to keep going. I said to them before the game, ‘Performance equals points. If we play really well, we'll get the points.' First half we played really well. Second half we played well for 15 minutes, didn't finish the game off and that's why we didn't get three points.

Defender Sarah Huffman

Definitely. I think when you go up 2-0 in the first half and you let the team back in. I think we fought hard, but not hard enough. We have a lot of lessons we can take away from this. We scored first, which was one of our objectives today, but I think all of us definitely feel we let them back in the game and that's unacceptable. We just have to find a way when we do get the lead, to keep it. We definitely have something to build upon, but it doesn't feel like a tie, that's for sure...I think it's getting down to crunch time. A lot of the teams are close together. It's a short season, but it is a journey. We're not going to hang our heads. Today we didn't grind it out and we need to learn how to. We all believe in each other in the locker room. Our journey is to be peaking come the end of August, but to get there we need to start moving forward and that's what we're going to focus on doing.

Forward Jessica McDonald

It's extraordinary because those are players I still look up to, being some of the world's greatest at this point. We're all different types of forwards which makes it a special front line. We read off each other, we know that if Sinc wants the ball at her feet, the other forward needs to try and go for that through ball. It's all about getting used to each other's strengths at the same time. It'll work for one some day with all of us up top together.

Red Stars Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc

Always special. Portland is just the city that, you know, I remember being here and just playing for the people. I mean walking out into the stadium I remember why I played for these people. They're great. They're energetic. They love the game and it was just so nice. You know, I just embraced it and this is such a great opportunity to play in front of amazing fans and I didn't take it as them cheering against me or anything like that. I just said, "what a great opportunity to play in front of great fans"...every time I hear that Karina chant, it's special to me and I turned around and they're like, "dodgy keeper" and then I heard somebody say every time, "we love you!" So, you know, they're fans, they have to cheer for the home team. I didn't take it personally. It's the moment of again, like when I walked out there and they're on their feet and clapping for me. It's a special feeling. Portland will always hold a special feeling in my heart.