Quote Sheet: RSL 2-0 POR

Quote Sheet
Real Salt Lake 2-0 Portland Timbers
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16
July 1, 2015; Rio Tinto Stadium

Real Salt Lake
Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On getting special plays from special players:
“I think that’s part of it, but even more we’ve been preaching ‘together as a group.’ That’s the only way to succeed. Tonight, it was a total group effort. I couldn’t be more proud of them. On top of that, we had the special plays that put you over the top. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys tonight in the way that they worked and the way they handled the game, because Portland is a very good team.”

On what changed everything after a scoreless first half:
“It’s a Cup game. I think everyone knows it’s a possibility, it’s hot out there, there’s a possibility that it could go one-twenty (minutes). You’re not necessarily going to win the game in the first 20 minutes, but you could lose it. I thought we were very disciplined in our shape, hard to break down, besides a couple small things. But from the mistakes that we made on Saturday against Columbus it was much better tonight. Credit to the guys for watching the video, seeing some things, being very disciplined and then at the end, people aren’t talking about it, but the amount of games that we’re playing right now in a short period of time is staggering.  To have that kind of effort from the guys tonight is just off the charts.”

On moving the ball:
“We thought we were moving the ball nicely. At the end of the day maybe the choice of the pass doesn’t have to be a home run ball. We felt that we could move the ball into better areas, then have the choice for final ball, but also a diagonal ball is a lot better than a straight ball, because a straight ball would just run right out of bounds, so credit to the guys for sorting that out.”

On when he knew Elias Vasquez would be playing:
“We got the phone call yesterday at about that he had missed his 1 o’clock flight, because he was training with his national team, then he jumped on a flight last night at 12 o’clock, and then arrived here at 10:30am. I spoke to him as soon as he landed. I spoke to him again after he came to the stadium to do a little bit of contrast path. Sometimes you just have to believe in the players and what they’re saying, and he said he was able to play. I called some of the other players to let them know that Elias was going to be in the lineup. Everybody was onboard. Also credit to Phanuel, because yesterday he was starting and he came out of the lineup to have Elias come in. It’s a team effort. He wanted to be for the team. That’s the kind of guys that we need on the team right now.”

On Sebastian Jaime’s performance:
“I just think you can see the engine that he has. It’s getting to full strength. He looks back from his injury, but he’s about hard work. He’s about being threatening and you can only do that when you’re really fit. You can see that Joao’s getting fitter now. They’re getting longer minutes out on the field, and they’re getting fitter, they’re getting more dangerous, they’re finding second winds, and we’re going to need that moving forward. But as far as Jaime, he’s feeling it right now. He’s confident, he’s making good runs when the guys are delivering the ball.”

On the confidence booster getting the win against a Western Conference team:
“It’s now about the Open Cup. It’s about winning a trophy. It’s about winning 3 games and we’re there. I wrote it up on the board yesterday, four games. We got one out of the way and we have three more. We’ve got to take them one at a time.  It’s not really about who you’re playing. It’s just about getting the victory.”

On if being down guys has brought this group of players to gel together:
“I think the guys are just really recognizing that it starts with hard work. It starts with everybody attacking. We are doing some things differently this year. We’re going to have our ups and downs, but what has to be the base of our foundation is hard work. Being together. Not about the name on the back of your jersey, but the crest on the front and you’re really seeing it in these last 4 games. That’s been there. Now it’s make sure we finish with enough people on the field and not giving up PK’s and things like that and I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

On the quick turnaround to play Orlando on Saturday to a sold out crowd:
“It’s about getting everybody’s body regenned, getting their minds right, putting up the most fresh team we possibly can and putting on a show in front of our fans. If we can have another performance like tonight, we could have a very special night.”

Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On if this win can help the team gain some momentum:
“The results last week weren’t exactly what we wanted, but I think that if you were watching closely you saw us start coming together. It was a tough week as far as we felt that if we didn’t get the reds in New York we could have gotten something; Columbus, we feel like we could have done better – got a red card unfortunately, but we are playing better. Tonight – I don’t want to speak on behalf of everyone else – but I feel like it was the most comfortable game we’ve played all year. It’s a credit to the guys. We’ve won one game before; we’ve got to win a second one. It’s all about how can we transition this into Saturday, how can we transition this into league play. How can we try to get some momentum going and who knows? Get on a run where these guys are going.”

On the front line’s recent performance:
“They’re gelling together. A lot of it comes from 11 – a lot of it comes from Javi [Morales], but they’re gelling together. They’re starting to get a rhythm and it’s nice to have them all out on the field. But at the same time, it’s great when we can bring on a guy like Abdoulie [Mansally]. I know Devon’s [Sandoval] not feeling great, but we can bring on a guy like that as well. I think that our forward line is really starting to come together, and hopefully they’ll keep producing and we’ll start getting some wins.”

On keeping the clean sheet:
“It was great. Elias [Vasquez] came back and played great. Our backline played great. The guys in front of them played really well defensively. Getting a comfortable win is a good feeling – we haven’t had one in a while, the last one was New York, so it’s been a while since we had a nice comfortable win and hopefully that’s something that we all start to enjoy in the locker room and starts happening a little bit more.”

On the boost getting Vasquez back gave to the team:
“If anything, it was just good to see him. All we heard was that he stuck somewhere and couldn’t get back into the country. He played really well, played strong. I’m not sure when he goes to the Gold Cup, but we wish him the best. It was great to have him back and just great to have him in the locker room again.”

Midfielder Javier Morales
On getting the win:
“It means a lot. The last game we played at home, we tied the game and our fans went home a little bit sad. Today, it was great to win for them and for us.”

On if the team came out different in the second half:
“Not really. I think that the first couple minutes we didn’t play well, but after we scored a goal, we controlled the game and I think that tonight we played very good soccer and I’m happy about that.”

On what it means to see the team clicking right now:
“It means a lot. I told the guys before game, ‘If we can do our best on the field but not for ourselves, if you can do your best for the team, everything is going to be right.’ I think tonight the team effort was great. Luis [Gil] made a tackle in the corner and everyone worked hard.”

On Sebastian Jamie’s recent run of form:
“He’s scoring goals. We need him. I think right now he’s on fire and it’s good for us. [Olmes] Garcia and [Joao] Plata played good. Garcia made the assist like Valderrama. That was good for the team. Now everyone is assisting, everyone is scoring goals – it’s good.”

On if the entire attacking group is more confident:
“Garcia is scoring goals, Jamie is scoring goals. Sandoval is playing good. Even Plata. He hasn’t scored much but I think he’s key for us because everyone is worried about him in the backline. Today, the right back was waiting for him all the time and he created space and that is good for us. “

Portland Timbers
Head Coach Caleb Porter
Thoughts on the match:
“I thought it was a tight game, like we expected. Both teams were playing in very compacted windows. We’ve been playing basically a game every three, four days. So we expected it to be tight. Obviously when you’re in a tournament format, teams tend to play a bit tighter in terms of their organization. I thought both teams showed that. The first half played out like we thought. Very few chances either way. Which we felt going into the second half would play into our hands. I thought we started the second half bright, I thought we were knocking on the door. We had two or three chances off of set pieces. A couple others that probably we got in good spots, could’ve been better. I think the disappointment is that they score off of our goal kick, and it’s probably their first look that they’ve had the entire game. Typically in these types of games where things are tight, the first goal is the difference. I thought obviously if we find the first goal the game’s different. Instead they found the first goal. And it wasn’t what I would call a great goal. Because again it was a goal kick, we lose the first ball, we lose the second ball and then they’re behind us and it’s in the back of the net. Then to make matters worse we gave up the PK. But it’s like most soccer games; you’ll go back through it. You’ll look at the first goal we scored; you’ll probably notice he wasn’t offside so there’s a good goal. If we get that the game’s different. Maxi [Urruti] goes down in the box and no call. Their guy goes down in the box and it’s a call. It’s a game of moments, it’s a game of mistakes, it’s a game of capitalizing on opportunities. It fell in their favor today. Otherwise I thought it was a very tight, even game. What you would expect of a cup game. They found the first goal and like I said, that was probably the difference.”

Thoughts on the PK call:
“I have to watch it again. For me it’s a bit harsh. I mean it’s a bit harsh. It’s on the edge of the box, tangling, but I’ve got to watch it. Like I said it problems things even more because we score a good goal in the first half. Maxi [Urruti] gets through and it’s not offside. Those are things that to win games a lot of times you need to get breaks like that and we didn’t get those breaks today.”

On missing some key players for the match:
“I think there are a lot of factors. Especially there at the end. You could see we didn’t have that sharpness. We looked mentally and physically fatigued. Part of that’s being down 2-0. And that’s why that second goal is so crucial. If it’s just one, then now we probably have that push. But coming back from two is that much more difficult. So we don’t make excuses. Obviously we had some guys out but we put out a good team. I thought we made it a game. Their breakthrough on the first goal I think for me was the difference. And for me that’s disappointing because like I said I don’t think they scored a great goal where they break us down and it’s hats off to them. But it’s a goal off of our goal kick. We deal with that situation well and it’s one the guys will be disappointed in, because you hate to give up that type of goal.

On the upcoming league game against San Jose:
“We’ve talked about all year, the three opportunities to win a trophy. This club’s never won a trophy. The Open Cup, The Supporters’ Shield, and the MLS Cup are the three opportunities. And now we only have two. But we still have the opportunity in those two. So in some ways we get to put all of our energy into the league. Now we don’t have to keep switching gears with the Open Cup and manage three more games. Hopefully the guys are even more hungry to do something in the league. And hopefully we’re in that position where we have the opportunity to win one or two trophies this year. You know we have to move on and ultimately it’s disappointing we don’t move on in this tournament. We knew it was going to be tough because of the draw. Two road games that’s another factor. But we were excited to hopefully win this game and be back at home. We knew playing Seattle and Salt Lake on the road in the first two games was going to be very difficult.”

Defender Nat Borchers
On his first return to Salt Lake:
“It was tough. A lot of special memories here and it was definitely tough coming in and playing in a different uniform for sure.”

On missing some key players for the match:
“I feel like we hit a wall there in the second half. You know we didn’t bounce back after the first goal. We shouldn’t have given up the first goal. Then we just didn’t bounce back the way we should’ve. I expected us to come back with a little bit more juice and we just didn’t have it.”

On the upcoming league game against San Jose:
“I don’t think there’s anywhere else to focus. We’re out of the cup so we just have to move on.”

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