Portland coach Caleb Porter delighted with his team’s win over Norwich City
- Credit: Jaime Valdez
Portland head coach Caleb Porter hailed his side's friendly win over the Canaries as a signal of intent from the MLS title challengers.
Jose Valencia's second half strike inflicted a second USA tour defeat on Chris Hughton's squad and underlined the Timbers can launch a concerted championship push.
'It says so much about our organisation,' he said. 'Not just that we had the fitness and the sharpness - perhaps because we are in the middle of our season and they are still in pre-season - but also that we could show this level of quality against a Premier League team which beat Manchester United and Arsenal. Yes, they are still getting their legs under them but I think it says a lot about our club that we can produce this win especially with six regulars who didn't even get dressed. We had ten players out there who had not played primary minutes so I think it shows our depth of quality from player one to player 26. I really enjoy the opportunity to play these type of games. I look at them as practice games but as I tell the guys we never take the field to lose. The club is geared to win but that was not the primary focus. You can do so much in training but it is a benefit for us and the crowd to come along and see some of our younger players perform at a high level.'
Valencia certainly produced an eye-catching display on an uncomfortable evening for City's central defence.
'He showed in the second half he could be a real handful,' said Porter. 'He has pace and he is working hard. It is not easy to play as a striker in our system because you are the first line of pressure. Not only can you be dangerous and lively in attack you have to be committed and hard working. That for me has been the biggest adjustment for him.'