Quotes & Notes - Timbers: 0, Ajax: 2, May 25, 2011
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head coach John Spencer
On the overall result:
"The most important thing for us is to win the game this weekend. I think it was a good refresher for the players getting a chance to play against such a historic club that has been involved in the heights of European soccer for many a decade with so many unbelievable players coming through their football club. It’s a team probably worth 70 million Euros and I think that showed tonight at times."
On getting players returning from injury some minutes:
"It’s always good to see guys coming back. We were decimated at the start of the season with injuries. It was a good exercise for us. In the first half I think we were a bit tentative at times and I think we gave them too much respect. For us getting through the game, getting guys some minutes and coming away nice and healthy, it’s a good night for us.”
On learning from the match:
"I think you can always learn something from every situation. I don’t think we’ll play against anybody in Major League Soccer that has the quality of that team tonight. I don’t think we can punish ourselves. There is a gulf in difference, we know that. That’s one of the biggest clubs in European soccer so it’s a great experience for us as a young club.”
Defender David Horst
On the game:
"I thought we did very well. They just finished a 40-game season and they’ve been together for eight, nine months and we’ve been together for three or four (months). I thought we did very well as a team."
On playing against such high-level competition:
"They’re a Champions League team, one of the best in Europe. It’s great for us to see where we are as soccer players and I thought we did very well tonight."
Forward Ryan Pore
On the result:
"Any time you can go out and compete against those type of players, it’s fun to do. We had great fan support tonight, but didn’t get the result we were looking for. We played a quality team and played the best we could."
"They definitely lived up to their bill. We knew coming in that they were going to dominate possession and so we were ready for that. We needed to pick our moments when to go forward and we created a couple opportunities in the first half, unlucky not to get one."
AFC Ajax Quotes
Head coach Frank de Boer
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"Great audience, great atmosphere, I can see how a lot of teams have problems when they have to play here. The enthusiastic crowd can always be a very difficult thing for the opponent."
On experience of playing against MLS teams:
"Against DC United, we didn't play our best. I think this game was very good for our team. We played total football, with a lot of one touches, always looking for our midfielders and a lot of times we reached them."
On why ‘total football’ is so enjoyable to watch:
"It looks so simple but it's one of the hardest things. It's only one or two touches in the position game and I think you saw some highlights today."
The exhibition against Ajax was the first for the Timbers in their MLS history. The club has two other friendlies announced for the 2011 season, playing host to Mexico’s Club America on July 7 and English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on July 20.
Ajax won its first Dutch Eredivisie championship in seven years on May 15, defeating FC Twente 3-1 on the final day of the 2010-11 season. By winning the league title, the Ajax qualified for the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League.
The Starting XI for Ajax against the Timbers featured six starters from the Dutch side’s recent title match, including defenders Gregory van der Wiel, Toby Alderweireld, midfielder Siem De Jong and forward Lorenzo Ebecilio.
Ajax’s travel squad to Portland included four members of The Netherlands’ 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, including van der Weil, goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenberg, defender Andre Ooijer and midfielder Demy De Zeeuw.
Recovered from injuries, Portland’s Adin Brown, Peter Lowry and Brian Umony made their JELD-WEN Field debuts on Wednesday against Ajax. Rookie defender Chris Taylor made his first-team debut in the exhibition.
Timbers forward Brian Umony saw his first competitive action in the friendly against Ajax since sustaining a knee sprain back in early April. His last appearance was as a sub in the 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution on April 2.
The Timbers wore their primary green-white-green kit combination, while Ajax wore its red and white jerseys with white shorts and white socks.
- Ajax defender Vurnon Anita finished the team’s tour with a goal and an assist in two games.