Javier Morales vs Portland 0815

Quote Sheet: RSL 0-1 POR


Real Salt Lake
Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On whether Nat Borchers being the one to score game-winning goal hurts more:
“We all love Nat and want good things to happen for him. What hurts is losing that game and not getting three points.”

On the chances in the first half:
“We want to try to keep putting the players in positions to score. There was some beautiful soccer out there. I was really proud of watching our team play with that relentless attacking style. You could see Portland just dropping, dropping, dropping. But you have to put away those opportunities, you really do, because it doesn’t take much on the other end to get something. We’re going to continue to keep plugging, keep continuing to try to put the players in scoring situations and I have full confidence that they will. It’s not easy to score. So we’re going to keep working.”

On not being able to score:
“I thought we got ourselves in good positions but a lot of times we were lacking the quality of the service. We had good numbers in the box for most of the night. Again, building confidence – we’ve had some tough results. Everybody’s confidence is just a hair off, so as a staff we’re going to try to build their confidence and continue to keep working.”

On starting Jamison Olave:
“We needed him, plain and simple. We needed a presence back there, and I thought he did a fantastic job for his first game back. Broke up some plays, made some nice passes, and I was really happy for him. But we needed him on the field. He was cramping and just couldn’t hang in there.”

On whether he envisions a difficult week of training, motivation-wise:
“I do. But, we have great leadership on this team. It’s been a tough last five games, to be fair. We have to move forward. We will move forward. We have a huge game against Seattle. But, there is coaching points to be made. We’re going to watch some video, we’re going to work on it. It will be nice to have a week of training so we can actually work on some things rather than a game every three days, which has been extremely hard.”

On Nick Rimando in goal and what the team needs to do when they get scoring opportunities:
“He was fantastic. Some very key saves. When you shoot, you have to hit the net, and Portland was making Nick make saves. When we get the opportunities we have to put them on net. We have to make the keeper make saves. We have to create rebounds, create corner kicks to generate even more offense. So there is something to be taught there.”

Midfielder Luke Mulholland

On how much this game stings:
“It stings a lot. It’s been a long two weeks on the road the whole time, and we were looking forward to finally getting home and playing in front of the home crowd. We felt like we started off brightly, and we felt like we were in control of the game the whole time. It’s just sickening to concede at the end like that. Also, we have [Nat] Borchers scoring against us to add insult to injury. We’re really, really disappointed in ourselves. It’s just tough at this point in the season. We’re down in the dumps. We’ll try to, with ten games to go, turn over a new leaf. Tonight is just a minor setback, but we need to bring ourselves together on Monday and start again.”

On if he ever felt during the game that tonight was not their night to score:
“Whenever you get the opportunity to shoot, you do everything you can to keep it on frame. That’s what you have to do when you’re scoring in the top corner, or as long as it’s hitting the back of the net. It was a great save by the keeper as well [on Luke’s volley in the first half] – he was equal to it. We had a bunch of chances to hit the back of the net tonight; that is where we lacked tonight. They knocked on our door a few times. [Nick] Rimando came up big as always. Eventually, when we keep knocking, they’re going to answer. They didn’t answer at first, but they were able to get that goal. We lost the points at the end of the night because I think we could have gotten a 0-0 draw out of it. But I think we recognized that we know who’s on top and we wanted three points. I think we committed too many numbers forward, we got caught on the break a couple times at the end, and we just didn’t foul them in the right areas.”

On what was missing tonight:
“It was a tough one really. I don’t want to say that there’s a lack of quality of the team because we’ve all seen in the previous games and seasons that we’ve got plenty of quality in our forwards and midfield. We created plenty of chances. Sometimes you just have those nights where everything you throw at them doesn’t go in. It’s just unfortunate. Right now we’re down in the dumps. That was our 5th game in 15 days. We’ve travelled a lot. That’s no excuse. We felt energized and I thought that we looked fitter than they did at times. It’s just disappointing and back to the drawing board on Monday.”

On if this makes them hungry to come back next week
“Definitely. A loss is a loss at the end of the day. We weren’t happy with the one point, that’s why we made positive substitutions. And we wanted those three points because we recognize now that we have ten games to go. And especially our home games we want to win out all our home games and pick up as many results on the road. That’s what we were going for, but unfortunately, it backfired on us tonight, and we paid a price. Rimando was outstanding for us. Hopefully next weekend against Seattle he’s outstanding for us as well and we can bag 2 or 3 goals and take care of business and build from that game.”

Midfielder Javier Morales

On if this one stings:
“A little bit. I think we did everything to win the game. We were looking. We created a lot of chances. In soccer, when you don’t finish your chances, it’s tough because that can happen – the other team can score a goal and win the game. I think today, we did everything to win the game. We were looking forward, we played the best soccer on the field but it’s never enough. It’s never enough because in my opinion you have to be smart. We’re playing a home game and if you can win you have to lose. And we lost three points today. It was tough.”

On if he ever felt that is wasn’t their night:
“I don’t think like that. When we create chances, you say, “it’s coming, it’s coming. The goal is coming,” and try to keep pushing. If you don’t finish, it’s tough for team because you create, you work hard, and then you’re getting tired. It’s tough to win a game like that.”

On if the team got fatigued because of their recent busy schedule:
“It wasn’t about the games, it was about the game tonight. We pushed too hard in the first half, and we couldn’t score. If you score, then you rest with the ball and the other team has to go a little bit forward and you create more space and score more goals. Tonight, we kept looking, kept looking, kept looking and I think at the 80th minute the team looked a little bit tired – not because of the 5th game, it’s because of tonight.”  


Portland Timbers
Head Coach Caleb Porter

On stealing three points from this game:
“You said steal. I don’t know if we stole three points. I thought we earned it. If it wasn’t for Rimando making three saves prior to the goal we scored, then we would have gotten the goal sooner. I thought in the first half they were better but we came to life in the last ten minutes. First half we bent but we didn’t break. That’s the mark of a good team. We knew we were going to absorb some on the road. That happens. You need to be able to do that. We found our way as the half went on and I thought that we were the better team in the second half. We created chances enough to score and finally we were rewarded.”

On weathering the storm in the first half:
“We felt that with their movement and with the numbers that throw forward that if we just stay organized they would have a hard time breaking us down. Obviously they had some possession but they really didn’t penetrate very much. We limited them to crosses and shots from distance. They never really broke us down. Every time that we won the ball it seemed like we were off to create something. Valeri had one that Rimando saved. Maxi had one. There was one other that I cant remember. Like I said, we get rewarded with the goal at the end because that second half I thought we managed it greatly.”

On the contribution of Nat Borchers:
“Well it’s big. He’s come to our club and stabilized our back line. We’ve got three clean sheets in a row. We have 11 on the year and I think that leads MLS. He is a winner; I’m happy to see him score a goal at the end. Obviously it’s difficult to play against your former team. I know playing for Salt Lake meant a lot to him. He had a lot of good years here. Sometimes emotionally that is difficult to put on another uniform and play against your old team. But it is a lot more difficult to lose against your old team than it is to win.”

On where this win ranks in his MLS victories:
“This stacks up there with the LA Galaxy win at the death in 2013. Obviously that was great year so I’m hoping that this year is similar or better. We put three points in the bank with this road result but the key is to go back home now and get the result at home. For us I have been saying that the road points, as long as we get points at home, will determine our seeding. But we need to turn around quickly and we can’t take this next game for granted. Houston is going to be hungry, just like Salt Lake was. Real proud of the guys, team effort. I thought the guys that came in the game did well. Jewsbury, Maxi and Asprilla gave us great minutes. I thought Valeri, Nagbe and Rodney really defended a lot. That’s not normally what they want to do. But that’s what you have to do to win games. I’m pleased.”

On what he expects from his team in the future:
“I think there is more. There is still more in this team. We have had continuity in these last few games. We’ve had good disciplined defensive performances. I think there is more we can do in the attack. I think in time that will come because we have been rotating so much up to the last three games. I think that we have lost some of that attacking connection and chemistry. I thought there were some really good sequences tonight. I know at home there will be some more attacking football. This is a game where if we got a point it would be great but we knew we would be in a situation similar to San Jose where we would get chances on the counter and it played out exactly how we thought and fortunately we were able to find a goal. Coming back home against Houston it will be a different game. We will be the ones deciding the game. We need to be able to switch gears and be able to manage the game when we’re up the field and Houston is looking to counter us.”

Defender Liam Ridgewell

On getting the win with Nat’s goal:
“Fantastic obviously. We had a few chances before that and their goal keeper had some very good saves. Nat got the goal in for us in the 94th or 95th minute, whatever it was.  We’re going to win a game if we perform well.”

On the pressure RSL put on them:
“Tonight we didn’t score I think. We knew they were going to throw a lot of players forward. We knew that wanted to win and needed the points obviously same as us, but that’s the game they play. I thought we managed quite well throughout the game…”

On the few knocks he received in the game:
“I’m fine. I think it’s football you know. You’re going to get knocks. You’re going to stick your head really close where the boots are going to be. I’m just glad we kept a clean sheet on that one.”

Defender Nat Borchers

On the game:
“First half wasn’t ours.  They came out. I thought they really dominated that game and were the better team. In the second half fortunately it was a different story for us. We had some more of the ball and you know we were able to squeak one. We were the better team tonight? Probably not, but these are the kind of results you got to work for.”

On his goal and what it meant to him:
“I was just trying to get separation in the back post and Valeri had an unbelievable ball. Then I just wanted to put it on that and really just give myself a chance and it went in and I didn’t want to celebrate in front of my former club. I mean, there’s too many emotions and they had been too good to me for me to do that to them, so it was an emotional goal.  One of the most emotional I’ve ever scored.”