Quotes & Notes, Timbers vs. West Bromwich Albion, July 21, 2011
Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. West Bromwich Albion
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head Coach John Spencer
On the overall result:
“I thought in the first half we were magnificent. ... In the second half we made a couple of changes and it kind of kills the rhythm of the team with guys coming in cold. I thought in the first half we were, by far, the better team on the field.”
On West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas' game-winning goal in the 90th minute:
“I was right behind it and it was almost like a balloon had been popped because the ball moved four or five different ways.”
On the play of Timbers midfielder Peter Lowry:
“Peter scored an unbelievable goal, left foot on 20-yards, great finish. He's one we brought here to do that sort of thing. We just haven't had him healthy enough for a long period of time to get into games and get minutes. It was good to see him get out there tonight and have a wonderful finish.”
On the experience of playing against a team from the English Premier League:
“It's a great occasion for some of the young guys. Some of these players may never play National Team football so you never get to test yourself against international opposition; they certainly did tonight. I thought for a good period of time we were the best team on the field, but you see that experience and power come through near the end and we kind of started to lose our legs a little bit.”
On preparations for Saturday's league match against Columbus:
“I feel good. I think we took a lot of confidence from the game last week. Now can we go and take another step forward and put in another positive performance against Columbus? ... It's a good opportunity to test our mettle against one of the most experienced groups in MLS.”
West Bromwich Albion Quotes
Head Coach Roy Hodgson
On the difference between halves:
“In the second half we realized that the best way to win a football match is to pass the ball to the players in your team and not the opposition. It was a poor first half for us in terms of our passing and our support. Players were, maybe if I'm being kind to them, trying to come to terms with the pace of the field. And, of course, to be fair, Portland played very well in the first half. They scored two excellent goals.”
On coming back from a 2-0 deficit:
“We started passing the ball to each other, moving better and creating goal chances. Luckily a 2-2 (tie) was transformed into a 3-2 (win) with such a magnificent strike at the end of the game. A shot like that deserves to win any game. If it was scored against my team I'd be feeling really hard down right now because those strikes you see once in a blue moon and today was a blue moon day for us.”
On the game and West Brom's U.S. tour:
“It was a marvelous game of football. A couple of weeks into pre-season training, you don't expect to see games played at that intensity, that pace, that speed. Both the games we've had over here against MLS opposition have been very good games of football and we've been certainly tested to the limit.”
On the atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
“They (the fans) were excellent. As you say, it was almost like playing a match back home in the Premier League. ... I thought the stadium itself was a very impressive stadium and the fans created a great atmosphere throughout the game and I think we (Portland and West Bromwich Albion) treated them tonight to a very exciting friendly match.”
On if artificial surface is bad for the game:
“No, I don't think that at all, but of course there are players that when they get to the end of their career, if they do have serious knee injuries, it's a hard surface, an unforgiving surface. But it's a surface which leads to good football. It's not a surface for long balls or balls smashed over the top of defenders. It's a surface where balls need to be played to feet and you need to play around defenders. That surface tonight was really true and towards the end I think our players were beginning to enjoy themselves passing the ball on it.”
The Timbers announced Monday that defender Kevin Goldthwaite will miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL rupture in his left knee in last Saturday’s match at Chicago.
Major League Soccer announced earlier this week that Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury was named to the gameday roster for the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena Wednesday, July 27.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins and midfielder Kalif Alhassan were named to MLSSoccer.com's MLS Team of the Week for Week 18 after helping the Timbers defeat the Chicago Fire 1-0 Saturday for their first road win in MLS franchise history.
Wednesday’s game marked the second time in West Brom’s history that they have played in Portland. The Baggies previously defeated the NASL Portland Timbers 1-0 in an exhibition on May 13, 1981, at then-Civic Stadium.
Eddie Johnson and West Brom defender Billy Jones played together at Crewe Alexandra in the English Championship from 2005-06. Jones also played at JELD-WEN Field in 2007, when Preston North End played the USL Timbers in an exhibition.
Johnson also played with West Brom midfielder Jerome Thomas in the English youth national team system and against Baggies midfielder Chris Brunt at the youth level.
Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and West Brom forward Chris Wood were teammates on the New Zealand National Team that played friendlies against Mexico and Australia in May.
West Brom begins its first full EPL season under head coach Roy Hodgson with a daunting pair of opponents, hosting titleholders Manchester United on Aug. 14 before traveling to Stamford Bridge on Aug. 20 to play 2010-11 runners-up Chelsea.