Portland Timbers 1-1 LA Galaxy

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On the result:
“Disappointed. Obviously, we get a point and keep moving up slowly. But, three points was the goal and we didn’t get that. For me, the real disappointment is Robbie Keane runs through our box, naked, and heads the ball in the goal. For me, I don’t understand how that happens and it’s been a trend. Sounding like a broken record after games because most of the goals we’ve given up are simple crosses and guys running through to head the ball in, and at this level it’s unacceptable to give up those types of goals. I always believed we’d get the goal, disappointing thing is we gave up the goal which meant, when we did find the goal, it was one point instead of three points.”

On rectifying the defensive letdowns:
“It’s got to change. If you look back on the times we’ve been burned and goals we’ve given up to drop points, it’s been the same story. Start with Seattle, third goal it gave them life, it was a ball in the box and [Clint] Dempsey’s free – best player on the field. Chivas, [Erik] Torres, best player on their team, cross, wide open. Will Bruin, best striker on their team, goal-scorer, wide open. You talk about it, you show video on it, you train it. At this level I don’t know how it happens. If we want to go anywhere as a team, we’ve got to defend crosses. Simple. Because a lot of goals in this league are scored on crosses. Set-pieces and wide service. It’s a simple thing to do, you pick up your guy, you head the ball out. We’re not picking guys up. We’re letting guys float free. We’re not making plays in there, and it’s costing us. I thought it was a very tight game, obviously it was always going to be against a really good team. There are positives to this game. We showed once again our mentality, we showed again that we’re up for any game against any team. That’s one of the best teams in the league. There’s a reason why they won MLS Cup twice. We didn’t back down, we were right there until the end, it was a tight game. That’s the way games are against good teams, you’re not going to run away from teams like this. It’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be – at times – chippy, it’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be direct sometimes. It’s the game we thought it would be. We thought it would be a one-goal game. We needed the goal and it shows our mentality and our spirit to respond and pull it back. We do keep slowly moving up, but we’re running out of time and we need to pick it up and we need to change that defensive trend. It’s time to change it, otherwise we’re not going to be the team we want to be at the end of the year.”

On the changes made by bringing Maximiliano Urruti into the match:
“I wanted Alvas [Powell] to play more like a winger. We were a little bit handicapped because we had some injury subs that we had to make so I wanted to have the same shape I had late in the last game, but we had to do it in a different way with Alvas being more of a winger and Darlington [Nagbe] was up with Maxi and [Diego] Valeri underneath. Valeri just naturally floats to the right a bit. In the end, probably a fair result as a draw, but if we don’t make that mistake [to give up the goal], I always felt we’d get the goal at the end, this team has shown that. Bottom line is we’ve not been good enough. We’ve been right there and I’ve said that and you’ve seen that, but if we want to push over the hump and if we want to be a team that’s grinding out three points and a team that’s legitimately capable of doing something this season, we can’t give up soft goals like that.”

On Portland’s lack of possession:
“I think it’s a little bit the way they [LA Galaxy] played. They played very direct. So when teams play direct it’s the ball bouncing around a lot and it becomes a really direct game on both sides of the ball. They were pressing, we were pressing, which means both teams end up bypassing midfield a bit more. That happens in this league. Some games aren’t games where you have a lot of the ball, a lot of the rhythm. I think it’s more both teams not backing down, both teams pressing. When you get pressed it’s hard to play out of the back. We’re pressing them, it’s hard for them to play out of the back. It became very much a ping-pong match.”

On if the mistakes are mental breakdowns or talent related:
“That’s a good question. You look at our games – we’ve only lost three, all on the road – we’ve shown that we’re right there, but we are falling short. We’re not falling short so much where we’re losing every game and we’re getting blown out of games, you see that around the league with some teams. I think it’s a little bit of issues in both boxes. Not making plays in the box defensively, not making plays at the other end. We’ve shown it some games, but not enough to get three points enough. We’ve got six draws, we’ve got one win and we’ve got three losses. So it’s not like we’re losing every game, it’s not like we’re getting run out, we’re in every game, we’re right there, we’re in position to win every single game, but to win games you can’t give up soft goals and you have to finish your chances.”

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena
On the result:
“Our team played very well. I think you can talk about all you want the referee needs to gives us that call on Juninho. It’s at least a foul. Yellow card, red card, whatever. And then we have to manage the game better at the end. Five minutes of extra time on [Portland]’s injuries and all. You know, listen, we fell asleep at the end of the game. A bunch of guys can do better on the play, but we played very well today. Should have walked away with three points.”

On what he liked about the Galaxy’s performance:
“Our team played very well. We had a fairly dominating performance. They didn’t create a whole lot during the game. We screwed up a set-piece where I think 98 [Futty Danso] hit the post, but we were very good defensively. Created chances, kept the ball pretty well under difficult conditions. We played well today. It’s a shame we didn’t get the three points. We can fault the referee as much as we want, but we were still the team in control at the end of the game where we could have denied a goal-scoring opportunity and didn’t get that done.”

On whether this was the most solid display from the Galaxy this season:
“I’d say so. I’d say so. It’s going to help us to be able to play some games consecutively now and get a little bit of a rhythm.”

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