Head Coach Caleb Porter
On his overall thoughts from tonight's match
Initial thoughts, they [Portland] very opportunistic today and credit to them. I thought their central defenders were excellent, cutting out a lot of crosses. I thought their [Portland] goalkeeper [Jeff Attinella] was very good and I thought they [Portland] were extremely opportunistic with the few chances that they [Portland] had. We came out, I thought, very well. We got stunned for the goal in the set piece. I thought then from there we weren’t good for the next 20 minutes, and I really thought that 20 minutes was the only 20 minutes in the game we weren’t good. [I] Thought [in the] second half we came out with the energy that we started the game with. We were again aggressive, patient - obviously got the goal back. I thought we would get the second goal to get the draw, third goal obviously you’re just going to three at the back and going to basically four up top and that happens. We were looking to obviously pull something out late and I don’t think you can let that third goal take away from some of the positives in the game and obviously you look at the score line – and we’ve all been a part of these score lines – and sometimes it doesn’t tell the story of the game but again, credit to Portland. They were very opportunistic today with the chances they had and I thought their central defenders and their goalkeeper were excellent.
On Columbus Crew SC’s efforts
Exactly what I just told you guys. Started well, conceded obviously on the set piece - which can’t happen but those things do happen, right? It’s a foul - well I don’t know if it was a foul but anyways it happens, those calls happen and you always know in this sport that you’re one moment away from a goal. I thought up until that point we were excellent and then from there I thought we got too passive, I thought we started forcing things and it lead to the second goal and they were opportunistic - they get a cross, it’s in the back of the net. We had those same situations times three or four, where we were in positions to cross, same with set pieces - they finished in their one or two that they had and we didn’t on our three, four or five times that we had and a lot of times in this sport that’s what it comes down to. It’s a game of moments and we didn’t finish in the moments and we did. Again, the take-away is those 20 minutes after we gave up the goal, and [we] need to be better and then maybe it is 1-0 at half and obviously second half is a different story - we level it and maybe win it. I think there were 70 good minutes today that were played, and I’m not losing sight of that.
On rebounding from tonight’s result with two more matches to play in this week
I think you have to have a short-term memory in these types of windows. We can’t let this result become a hangover into the next game and that’s tough, because we’re disappointed, obviously, we don’t like losing ever. Certainly, we don’t like losing at home. Again, it’s a score line I think you’ll see and think it was a lot worse than it was in terms of performance and I know that it wasn’t a 3-1 score line, to be honest with you, but that happens in this sport. It comes down to moments and when you finish and they don’t, it can become a score line like that. And we have to do better, obviously, we had a lot of crosses, a lot more than they [Portland] did, and they finished on the two or three they [Portland] had and they scored on the set piece. We had far more set piece chances than they did, we had far more crosses than they [Portland] did, and we have to do better in those moments.
On tonight’s positive takeaways
Again, I just said it, we started great. We started well, we were aggressive, we were on the ball, we were getting looks. Obviously, we gave up the goal and the negative is the next 20 minutes and the positive again is the second half. So, the positive for me was 70 minutes of pretty good soccer. The negative is the 20 minutes and the final third.
On whether Crew SC created enough goal-scoring chances
I’ll have to look at the film again, but it didn’t feel like we did with the crosses that we had, it didn’t feel like we got a lot of those right but maybe that was, again, credit to Portland. I thought that their two best players on the day were their central defenders, [Larrys] Mabiala and [Bill] Tuiloma, if you re-watch it, they headed a lot of stuff out, they cut a lot of crosses out and I always say the game comes down to the boxes and I thought they were better in the boxes today.
On the effectiveness of having Robinho and Pedro Santos switch sides
I think it was good to start the match, we had several [crosses], Pedro had a couple early, Robinho got in for a great chance, so hard to say, right? Goals change games, they [Portland] get the set piece goal, and I thought that changed the game. So, I think if you look back and you watch the first 20 minutes, I think things were playing out the way we wanted them to. Just can’t concede in that moment and then we have to do better when it’s 1-0, we have to stick to what we were doing when we were playing well. Like I said, this is a game of moments and we gave up one and I thought that changed the game, credit to Portland.
On what the best tactic is when attacking the final third
Depends on where the ball is, it depends on who has the ball. I’m seeing we were in a lot of positions, we crossed a lot of balls, and not a lot of them found anyone. That’s what I saw today.
Midfielder Wil Trapp
On the 20 minutes after the Portland Timbers’ first goal
I think a little bit of patience really was key in that time because we gave up the goal yes, but what we were doing I thought creating chances in a lot of ways with being patience, passing the ball side to side and getting them to come out of their shell a little bit because they wanted to sit deeper. So, I think we started to be a little bit antsy and forcing things we didn’t need to.
On what Crew SC can do to improve its finishing
Well I think it’s understanding, yes we’re training it and working hard at it, but when you get into a game it’s time to be ruthless. It’s a lot of focus and it’s a lot of training, but then when the game comes it’s throwing one hundred percent commitment into those moments.
On being opportunistic with goals
I mean I think to an extent the goal we scored is technically a little bit opportunistic I guess you could say, but that’s not the identity that we want to be about. I mean when you can score goals that way it’s wonderful but I think over the long run what we really want to do is be the dominant team and try to score goals however we can, but in a lot of ways through the ways that we’ve set up to play. And if you can make a goal on a counter attack or set piece like we have so far this year at times that’s important and those help, but over the course of the season we don’t want to just have no identity at all.
Midfielder Pedro Santos
On what he saw leading up to his goal
We work [on] these little things this week, because we knew when we finished the play, they [would] try to play quick and I was prepared to catch the ball. When I saw the keeper run behind, I tried to shoot the ball and [was] happy to score the goal.
On Head Coach Caleb Porter’s message to the team after the match.
He passed the message for us to keep our mentality and our confidence high, because sometimes we lose because the other team is better, and they played better. This has not happened this night, we played better than Portland. We had more shots and more opportunities, but it’s soccer. Unfortunately, we conceded three goals and we scored just one.
Something you can build upon on switching sides.
We got players and we need to prepare to play wherever the coach wants. In my opinion, I can play on the left or right. It depends on what coach think about the game. Sometimes he thinks it’s better for the team if I’m playing on the right, or sometimes he needs me playing the left. I will always prepare to play both sides.”
On moving on after tonight’s result
We worked hard all week and we expected to go in there and do a better job. They came out and things didn’t go as expected so it’s back to the drawing board and continuing to work hard.
On whether receiving a goal against the run of play affected the final result
Yes, I would say so. The way the game was going, we didn’t expect them to score so when that happened, I think it changed things a little bit. Like you said, it was against run of play - we just weren’t ready for it at that time in the game.