Saturday, December 3, 2016

Portland Timbers win first MLS Cup ever against Columbus Crew

December 7, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, MLS, US Soccer

MLS Cup 2015: Columbus Crew 1-2 Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On giving the city of Portland a championship:
“It’s a great feeling, great feeling. All I could think about was sharing that moment with my players; we have been through a long season. We have been together through highs and lows and they deserve all the credit, they are the ones playing the game inside of the lines and they had belief. I don’t think it has fully sunk in completely yet. Good teams, when they make a run like this, they are so locked in, laser focus that there’s a next game. I don’t think it has sunk in yet that there is no next game, we are raising the trophy and we are the best team in MLS this year.”

On Portland making its own luck:
“I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a lot of winning teams in college. I played at Indiana University and I coached there. You want to talk about a culture of winning, where there’s belief, where you take the field not hoping to win, but expecting to win. Even though it is not the pros, I owe a lot of credit to Jerry Yeagley at Indiana, because he got me into this business and he taught me how to put together a culture, put together a winning team and build a locker room. It is the tactics, but winning for me comes down to the psychology. It comes down to the team and the players taking ownership. It is fitting that we win this MLS Cup trophy on this field, this was the last championship that he won on this field and I shared that with him. I think it is really fitting.”

On what he can take away from his team’s journey to the MLS Cup Championship:
“A lot has been made of it not being smooth, but I think that is MLS. Every team goes through rough patches and that’s a big part of succeeding in this league. You have to survive and you have to keep the guys together and the locker room together. You build your locker room with character guys, guys that bring intangible qualities. So we had some rough patches, but I believe over the last three years, we have the least losses, most shutouts and we were the only team that has never lost more than two games in a row, so we’ve been very steady. We haven’t always gone on long winning streaks, but when we do lose, we respond and get big wins and that’s what we did this year, every time I think people thought that we were down and out, we pop up with a big result, the players deserve credit for that, that shows their character. We knew that if we could get hot and start scoring goals that we had a very strong mentality in this team and we had a good defensive backbone this year and I wasn’t worried about the goals because I knew that we were capable of scoring goals. We showed that in 2013 and 2014, we had the shots, all the evidence was there. It just took a game like LA where we opened the floodgates and built some confidence and we never looked back.”

Columbus Crew SC coach Gregg Berhalter on losing MLS Cup at home:

“It’s difficult. Obviously we wanted to bring a championship to this city and we wanted them to see it first hand in our stadium and it’s disappointing. But, congratulations to Portland, they have some very good fans as well, they played a good game and they won the championship. We’ll be back though, this team will be back.”

On if there was anything Portland did that surprised him:
“They’re a good team. They are good on set pieces; they created a lot of opportunities on set pieces, they have a big striker who is good and they’re up early in the game. They defend well collectively. I don’t think that there was too much that surprised us but give them a lot of credit. They executed and they played a good game.”
 
On the atmosphere of the game and what it brought to the city of Columbus:
“I’m proud of Columbus. I think Columbus put on an excellent show and I think the atmosphere was amazing. I’ve played in U.S. vs. Mexico games before and this is right up there with an intense atmosphere. I’m sorry to the people of Columbus that we couldn’t bring them a championship. We couldn’t bring them that trophy but they deserve it. The support we have gotten over the last month has been amazing. So, I thank the people, I thank the city for getting behind us.”

Forward Kei Kamara On MLS Cup:
“Unfortunately, we did not lift up that trophy tonight, we did that to New York here with the early goal and it kind of gets you going. It did that to us tonight and it was tough but there is not much you can really say about that. They got all three points and they got the trophy today.”
 
On if he felt Crew SC could come back from the deficit:
“When it’s a 2-0 lead in soccer, that’s one of the toughest leads to hold and the fact that we were able to get one in. That’s a boost right there and for us to keep going. They did really well of staying back and compacting the team, they played their game. It’s really tough for us to come in this locker room right now knowing that the season ended that way, it’s kind of tough.”

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