Postgame Quotes: Colorado Rapids 2, Portland Timbers 0

Mastroeni: My focus is purely on what we need to do as a team

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers – March 22, 2014
Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.

Post-Game Quotes

Pablo Mastroeni, Colorado Rapids Head Coach
On Vicente’s play and his future:
I think Vicente is a very important player for this team as well. He’s an experienced player, he has a lot of things that most guys in that locker room don’t, which is international experience. And that comes with age and your travels and I think he brings a wealth of camaraderie as well. He’s a great teammate and he’s good for me to have and communicate some of the ideas to the guys. He can change the game in one play like he’s done in the last couple of games and this is another great piece to build on.

On what he was looking for from the players before the penalty kicks:
What I wanted was for the guys to push a bit higher and really take the game to them. Altitude is a big advantage for us and we want to utilize that. And I think in the 65th, 70th minute we really want to press their backs, make them feel the air and get momentum going our way.

On the team’s start to the game:
At home we want to make this place difficult [for other teams] to come play and that’s about a mentality. And we’ve been really harping on that the last couple of weeks and it was good for the guys to get their first game and really come out of the gates strong. I think for the first 15-20 minutes we did a good job of keeping the ball. And I think that mindset is going to carry on next week as well.

On Dillon Powers and his play:
Dillon is still trying to find his fitness. I think every week he’s showing more and more of his form from last year. He’s a guy that we’re really counting on to be special and I think today his two plays that he set up were just that. And it’s a good performance for him to build on.

On what he saw on the penalties:
If the referee calls it, whatever it is it is. I’m not qualified to make any kind of- I can’t override any calls. I can’t take them away. I don’t waste my energy commenting on the refs, whether they’re for or against us. My focus is purely on what we need to do as a team to continue on the path and improve every game.

John Berner, Colorado Rapids goalkeeper
On his first home match and first shutout:
It feels great. Obviously we wanted to build off of last week’s performance. And the home opener, it was a great atmosphere. The conditions weren’t ideal but I thought the team fought through and thought we had a good performance.

On preparing for adverse conditions:
You just kinda go out there and deal with it. You don’t think about it, you try not to let it get to you. You just kinda go out and perform and mentally really stay focused in.

On whether winning in Mastroeni’s debut adds to the experience:
Yeah, you know, definitely. I thought it was pretty cool that this was his home debut, his first win. For sure, I think it’s pretty cool.

On whether he expected to get opportunities this early in his career:
I don’t think I expected it but as a goalkeeper, you always have to be ready. You never know what could happen. I think that’s exactly what happened to Clint last year. You always have to be ready and if the opportunity comes, you have to take it.

On battling Clint Irwin for the starting job next weekend:
Every day in training, you just try and make yourself better and you try to make Sharpe’s and Pablo’s decision as hard as possible. I think I’ve performed well and I think the team’s performed well these last couple games so we’ll see what happens.

On the advice he gets from Irwin:
Looking at Clint’s situation last year, it’s quite similar to my situation this year. I’m always trying to ask for little details, just to pick up any help I can from him.

On coming straight from college and being around so many other young players:
It’s pretty cool. Once I got drafted here, I realized that Colorado is perfectly fine with playing young players. You look at Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown, and look at the year they had last year, including Clint Irwin, I think it’s just a testament that young guys can play in this league. You just have to give them the opportunity.

Vicente Sánchez, Colorado Rapids forward
On not feeling the cold when you win the game:
Sí, es muy frio, estuvo muy difícil el partido. Portland es un rival difícil. Contento por el triunfo, y a seguir trabajar.
[Yes, it’s very cold, and it was a very difficult game. Portland is a tough rival. Happy to get the win, and to keep working.]

On it being an unconventional game:
Fue un partido muy cerrado. Lo importante son los tres puntos. Iremos mejorando, recién arranca el torneo, de a poco vamos conociendo la idea futbolística de Pablo [Mastroeni]. Estamos muy contentos asique esperemos el próximo partido ganar igual.
[It was a very tight game. The most important thing is the three points. We’re getting better, and the season just started, and we’re getting to know Pablo’s style of soccer. We’re very happy and now we’re hoping to win the next game as well.]

On playing an attacking style:
Es importante para nosotros que el equipo presiona arriba. Estamos felices por el triunfo, ahora descansar, recuperar, y el fin de semana que viene tenemos un partido igual de complicado.
[It’s important for us for the team to pressure high up on the field. We’re happy for the win, and now we rest, recuperate, and next weekend we’ve got another game just as tough.]

Caleb Porter, Portland Timbers head coach
On the game and the penalties:
“This result is a tough one to swallow. It’s a tight game, it’s an even game, we’re not giving up very many chances, we look like we’re going to get a goal somewhere at some point. Next thing you know it’s a PK and we’re down a goal and down a man. It makes it very difficult in that situation. That was certainly the play and moment and call that changed the game. I thought our guys deserved better, and it’s unfortunate. It’s not coming easy. But this locker room is a tight locker room. They’re not happy, but they’re not questioning themselves. I believe in them, they believe in themselves, and we’ll get it sorted out.”

On the first half:
“I thought it was a very even half. I didn’t think either team was really generating a ton of chances, which for us was a real positive on the road and in tough conditions with the weather and altitude. I thought we had as much of the game as they did. They were having trouble creating chances and we were tight defensively and when we got on the ball we were able to dictate the game and we had quite a bit of possession and control. You need to in the altitude; you need to be able to rest on the ball. We had a few chances. I thought we had three or four chances that were better than any chance they had all game. But in the end, we lose 2-0 because they get two PKs. That’s soccer, it can be cruel and deceiving and misleading. I thought in all honesty we deserved better and I thought there were a few things that didn’t go our way.”

On how the team started the game:
“I thought we played well. The guys did everything that we wanted them to do. Very pleased with the first half overall. We wanted to come in at halftime even or up a goal, which we did. And second half we were on the ball again and started to find our way and get some more chances. On one end of the field we’re almost in on a breakaway and Darlington [Nagbe] gets chopped down. Then a couple minutes later they’re in behind us and it’s a PK and a goal and we’re down a man. For me that was what decided the game – that play, that moment, that call.”

On how the team responded and moving forward:
“I thought we were very bright in our start. I thought in the first 10 minutes they had a few chances but we weathered it. I thought we were the better team for the next 45, 50 minutes. But in the end we don’t get any points out of it and it comes down to points and winning and we didn’t. We’re not making excuses. This locker room, myself, we don’t makes excuses. There were some things certainly that were against us today and it was tough, there were a few things that we question, but in the end we’re not going to make excuses. We’re going to get back to work, we’re not going to dwell too long, and will move on quickly. This is one where you want to have a pretty short-term memory.”

Timbers defender Jack Jewsbury
On the first half:
“Coming into the game, we knew they were going to start off strong. They had a few chances early on and then once we settled into the game I thought our possession was very good. We shifted from side to side and kind of opened them up and created a few chances. So we felt good coming into halftime, we wanted to be even or ahead, and we were.”

On changes made for the second half:
“Trying to control the game with our possession and creating chances off of that. We wanted to continue to do that, but we really weren’t able to get the ball down on the ground as much as we would have liked in that second half; wind kind of picked up, it was kind of nasty. And then a couple of calls, obviously that changed the game.”

On the flow of the game and the shift in momentum in the second half:
“Being at home, they were going to contain or press the game. Both teams were trying to go at each other and get three points. They were coming hard at that point; we got the chance where we nicked Darlington through. I thought we were in on a breakaway there, so it’s disappointing that maybe there wasn’t a different color card shown for that one. It is what it is. We’ve got to do better on the play that leads to their first PK. In terms of the call, I haven’t looked at it again to see exactly what happened. From my standpoint, it was kind of a 50-50 where they both got each other pretty good.”
 

Timbers midfielder Will Johnson
On the team’s mentality coming into the second half:
“Up until the penalty we felt good, we felt comfortable, we felt in control, and we felt we were doing enough to win the game. We were getting a few chances and keeping the ball well. Everything felt good.”

On the play after the first 20 minutes had passed:
“We just kept the ball a little bit better and settled down. Games, in the beginning, are always frantic. Guys are running around and then the game softens a little usually around 15 or 20 minutes. Both teams kind of get in a rhythm and get some possession, and once we were able to get some possession and start switching the ball it got our guys confident and everybody feeling pretty good about it. Just getting that possession was a big part of settling us down.”

On the defensive plays that led to the penalties:
“It was a ball over the top, I wouldn’t even call it a one-v-one because their guy didn’t even have the ball. He didn’t have any control of the ball, he hadn’t touched the ball, so sometimes with a fast guy like that you keep a high line and the goalkeeper cleans up some of that stuff. A one-v-one is more when a guy is dribbling in on goal, so I think it’s just a half chance at best. Obviously, we need to track that a little bit better, but I don’t think that was a big issue.”

Mark Geiger, referee
On why Ricketts was sent off:
Ricketts was sent off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

On who initiated the contact on the penalty:
The contact was made by Ricketts on the challenge, hence the penalty against Portland.