Quotes & Notes, Timbers vs. Independiente, July 26, 2011
Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Club Atlético Independiente
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head Coach John Spencer
On earning the first international friendly win of the season:
"Probably with the exception of the Ajax game, I thought we've played some exhilarating football at times. I thought there wasn't one player on the field tonight, especially in the first half, that didn't look a quality player tonight."
On the performance of newcomer Mike Chabala:
"I've known him for four years, I had him in the reserve team down in Houston. I know what he's capable of doing. He's as comfortable playing on the right side as he is on the left because he's naturally two-footed which is great for us. He's comfortable on the ball. He came from an organization, when we were there we won a couple of championships and he's comfortable playing in big games. I felt tonight, his distribution — him and Jeremy Hall — was excellent."
On being able to close out a win:
"We mentioned before the game, that us as a staff, as a club, we're sick-and-tired of losing games regardless of what it is. It doesn't matter if it's PDL, U-15 Timbers teams. You put on the uniform, it's got to mean something special to you. We came in at halftime two goals up and I said to them, 'We don't concede tonight, this has got to end. It starts tonight, we end giving up goals and clinging on for games.' I felt the guys had worked so hard to get into this position against a quality team and they weren't going to let it slip."
On the play of Sal Zizzo:
"If I was a scout watching the game, I would put a bid in for him. I thought he was magnificent."
Defender Mike Chabala
On the fans at JELD-WEN Field:
"I'm impressed with Portland. I always thought Houston had some great fans, but I've got to say, it (Portland) rocks the league."
On notching an assist on his Portland debut:
"For me, that's not really the important part. The shutout (is more important). I think showing the guys what I can contribute to the team, for me too it's my introduction to the guys so I wanted to come out and show well. I was a little tired, I flew in last night, but the guys are great, they've been really welcoming. I'm excited and looking forward to this weekend."
Midfielder Sal Zizzo
On the overall result:
"It was a really good first half, same as West Brom, we played well. Today we were able to close it out and it was fun."
On what is better, two goals or a clean sheet:
"A win, that's the best part. We haven't won at home in a while and this is a place where we shouldn't lose a game."
On his goal:
"The ball was played into Eddie (Johnson) and I just tried to run forward without the ball and they didn't do a very good job tracking me. He played a good through ball and I just took a touch and tried to keep it low and hard and did well with it."
Head Coach Antonio Mohamed (through translator)
On the 2-0 result:
"In the first half, they were the superior team. The second half we played a lot better and we thought that we deserved to get a goal."
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"Very good, very much like South America, but a lot more respectful."
During halftime of the exhibition against Independiente, the Timbers and Coca-Cola presented a $50,000 donation to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. The donation is a part of Coca-Cola’s and the Timbers’ continued efforts to promote a cleaner environment and encourage kids in our communities to become more active.
In effort to build breast cancer awareness, the Timbers and Providence teamed up to lead the sellout crowd at JELD-WEN Field in a performance of the “Pink Glove Dance” at halftime. Pink gloves were disturbed to fans on their way into the match and the performance will be submitted to Guinness World Records for consideration as “most soccer fans wearing pink gloves.”
Defender Mike Chabala started and went the distance, playing all 90 minutes, in his first Timbers appearance since being acquired in a trade from Houston on July 21. For Chabala, who played in eight games for the second-division Timbers during his 2006 rookie season, it was his first return to JELD-WEN Field and appearance in a Timbers uniform since Sept. 7, 2006.
Wearing the captain’s armband for the first time this season, defender David Horst made his first start for the Timbers since sustaining a hip injury against New York on June 19.
For a second straight exhibition match, the Timbers scored a pair of first-half goals just three minutes apart. Against the EPL’s West Bromwich Albion on July 20, Johnson and midfielder Peter Lowry also scored three minutes apart.
The friendly against Independiente marked the Timbers’ fourth international exhibition opponent of the season. Portland has welcomed Dutch side AFC Ajax, Mexico’s Club America, West Bromwich Albion and Independiente to the Rose City for friendlies in 2011, and finished with a 1-3-0 record in exhibition contests.
Independiente defender Ivan Velez was reunited with Timbers players Diego Chara and Jorge Perlaza following the friendly at JELD-WEN Field. The three players, all native Colombians, were teammates from 2004-07 with Colombian first-division side Deportes Quindio.
Forward Facundo Parra was Independiente’s leading scorer during the 2011 Clausura campaign with seven goals in 18 appearances; he ranked among Argentina’s Primera Division leading scorers.
Several Timbers players have appeared in all four exhibition matches this year: goalkeeper Adin Brown, midfielder/defender Freddie Braun, midfielders Sal Zizzo, Peter Lowry, and Rodrigo Lopez, and forwards Kenny Cooper and Brian Umony.
The winner of 14 first division championships, Independiente is one of the most successful clubs in Argentina and ranks third behind notable clubs Boca Juniors and River Plate in the number of total domestic titles won. Its 16 international titles rival the accomplishments of some of the top clubs in the world, including Italy’s AC Milan, Boca Juniors and Spain’s Real Madrid.
- Independiente has yet to be relegated from the first division in its 80-year professional era. Independiente is one of just two Argentine clubs to boast this distinction; the other is Boca Juniors.