Monday, September 25, 2017

Real Salt Lake stay unbeaten after 7 games with win over Portland

April 20, 2014 by  
Filed under MLS

Real Salt Lake 1-0 Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On GK Nick Rimando’s role in preserving the win:

“Nick and I have built up an unbelievable relationship over the last eight years. Now Daryl [Shore] has come in and is doing a fantastic job. I’m just so happy for Nick [Rimando]. The saves were world-class, and kept our team in it at, well, timely times. Just couldn’t be more happy for him, especially with everything that’s ahead of him – just so happy for him.”

On the club’s unbeaten record through the first seven matches of the season:

“It feels good. I felt that we did a lot of the right things to win the game today. It was an awesome feeling in the stadium today with a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd. You could feel that we were building up to score a goal when Ned [Grabavoy] put that in. The energy in the stadium was unbelievable.”

On his previously stated mantra that “the soccer will come:”

“I think, without a doubt, that we saw a lot of it tonight. I thought there was a lot of really nice combinations, guys were in the right positions, even when the ball turned over they were in great positions to then win it back and stay on the offensive. I was really proud of the guys because we wanted three points in this game and we were pushing and pushing and pushing. We left ourselves exposed a couple of times, and Nicky [Rimando] was unbelievable tonight. During the game, I thought our back line and Kyle [Beckerman] were fantastic throughout the game.”

On the importance of getting the win, instead of another tie:

“Even more importantly, I just wanted us to come out aggressive and play with that mentality at home. Obviously, getting three points against a Western Conference foe in front of our fans. We’ve built up a nice little rivalry with Portland. It’s always good to get a win against them and try to put as much distance from them as we possibly can because they’re a very, very good team.”

On Rimando’s injury late in the match:

“I think he took a knock to his back. I’m sure he’s going to be very sore tomorrow. I can’t remember the play exactly, but it looked like he kind of got undercut a little bit and he came down awkward. He’ll take care of his body, fill himself with some ham tomorrow at Easter, and get back to work on Tuesday.”

On the franchise getting back to a .500 all-time record:

“It’s extremely meaningful. Every time we step onto the field, we want to win. To get back to .500 feels good – I hope we don’t ever stay around there anymore – but it definitely feels good.”

On FW Joao Plata’s return from injury:

“I thought when he and Sebastian [Velasquez] came into the game, it brought a lot of energy – it brought a lot of energy to the stadium and a lot of energy on the field. With Joao [Plata], I thought he was very sharp. I thought his movements were good. He was telling me the other day that it all started when he started doing his rehab in the gym, and getting fit and strong, so when he stepped on the field, he hadn’t missed a beat. I thought he was sharp tonight.”

On the club’s continued dominance in head-to-head matchups with Portland:

“It seems like this club’s always up for the big games. They really enjoy that battle. With some people picking Portland and some people picking us, they guys feed off those kinds of things. Obviously, it’s at home, but they’re a good team – a fantastic team. Our guys are always up for that.”

Portland Timbers Head Coach Caleb Porter

On if this was one of Portland’s better performances this year:

“Yeah. No doubt about it. We had better possession against the best possession team in the league. We had the better chances on the day. I thought we smelled blood in the water a little bit sixty-fifth to seventieth minute. We had three or four chances that should have been goals, and if we score one of those goals we probably walk out of here with a win. At the end of the day, they win the game because of Nick Rimando. He stands on his head. And they should give him a big bonus or make him a DP because they win that game because of him. He pulls the ball out of the upper corner [on] Gaston Fernandez, saves a point-blank save. On Alvas Powell. Those are goals. And we had more. [Darlington Nagbe] had one first half he made a save on. And then we missed some breakaways, too, where we didn’t get it on frame. We have to do better with those. The silver lining, even though we didn’t get the result, is we were the better team today. We deserved more. We didn’t get it, but if we keep playing like we did tonight, we’re going to be fine. We’re a only couple wins away from being over the red line. Lot of draws [in the league] today, the race is still very tight. Things will turn and it’s just going to take us getting that monkey off our back and getting that first win. But I’m very pleased with how the players executed the plan. I’m very pleased overall with how we defended. They didn’t get very many chances. And I’m pleased that we had the better of the chances as well. But, we’ve got to make the plays to win the game. But you also have to credit their goalkeeper, it wasn’t always poor finishing, it was a few world-class saves that preserved the win for them.”

On if he felt this was a complete performance:

“Yeah. Especially on the road against a really good team. When you’re on the road playing a team like Salt Lake, you don’t want to be in an open game. You want the game to be tight. And the game went exactly how we wanted it to go, but like I said in the sixty-fifth to the seventy-fifth minute, before they got their goal, we had them on the ropes and we need to finish our chances when we get in that position. That’s ultimately the difference in the game.”

On the chemistry across the back line:

“Salt Lake’s one of the better attacking teams in the league, they’re very good at home, they’re used to opening teams up, they’re used to being on the ball. They didn’t get many chances and they weren’t on the ball as much as they’re used to. And that’s a real positive because we play this team another two times and for our guys to know that the game went according to plan outside of the finishing, we can certainly build on that. Not just playing them again, but playing any team, in any situation. Even though we don’t leave with a win, we should leave with some confidence and optimism moving forward.”

On the message he’ll send the team after a fine performance but frustrating result:

“It’s going to come. I’ve been around this game long enough, I’ve been around teams long enough. I’ve seen games. I’ve seen teams that don’t get results. We’re not not getting results because we’re a bad team, we’re just not making a few plays here or there. You can see our team’s organized, you can see they have a good chemistry, you can see with the flow of the game that we’re playing well enough to win games. It’s going to come. There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to come. We’ve dropped some points, but a couple results in this league and things change quickly and we’re going to keep plugging away.”

On why he subbed off MF Diego Valeri early:

“I think you always make decisions based on the flow of the game and what you feel. I just felt that was the right move at that point in time. Seemed like he took a knock and was carrying that a little bit. So, I thought Gaston [Fernandez] went in and was really, really effective and Michael Nanchoff as well. Those two guys really gave us some energy and so it was a big reason why we got so many chances late in the game. But again, Nick Rimando was the man of the match and they, like I said, should give him a bonus for giving them three points today.”

On if he was surprised with Rimando’s performance:

“No, not at all. That’s him, and hey, over the years, he’s a big reason they’ve won games. Big reason, and others. I mean, you look at the group they have, and again, for us to play them toe-to-toe on their home field and have the better of them – chances and possession – that doesn’t happen very often. You guys will look back at that, but I don’t think that happens very often against Real Salt Lake on their home field.”

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