Home SoccerSt. Louis City St. Louis CITY SC Shuts Out Portland Timbers at CITYPARK

St. Louis CITY SC Shuts Out Portland Timbers at CITYPARK

by St. Louis City SC

St. Louis CITY SC (3-4-9, 18 pts) picked up its second consecutive result with a 0-0 draw against Portland Timbers (5-7-6, 21 pts) at CITYPARK. CITY SC outshot Portland 15-8 on the night but could not find the back of the net. The Timbers, though, were also held scoreless in the match, with Roman Bürki stopping three shots en route to his fifth clean sheet of the season.

Postgame Notes

  • CITY SC played its 50th all-time MLS regular season match
  • Indiana Vassilev is the only player to have appeared in all 50 matches
  • With the draw, CITY SC earned its 74th all-time point, good for the fifth-most regular season points in MLS history (trailing LAFC, 94; Atlanta United, 88; Houston Dynamo, 79; Seattle Sounders, 75)
  • CITY SC’s 20 all-time wins are tied with Seattle Sounders FC for the fifth-most wins through 50 games in MLS history
  • Roman Bürki picked up his fifth clean sheet of the season
  • He earned his fifth clean sheet in CITY SC’s 16th MLS regular season match; four matches earlier than it took him to reach the same mark last season
  • CITY SC earned its first-ever home point against Portland Timbers
  • St. Louis held Portland, the league’s third-highest scoring team, scoreless for just the third time in 18 matches.
  • It was the tenth time in sixteen MLS matches that CITY SC recorded more shots and shots on target than their opponent
  • It was the eighth time this season that CITY SC held their opponent to three or fewer shots on target
  • With the start, Anthony Markanich hit a career-high of games played in a single season (14)

June 8, 2024 – CITYPARK (St. Louis, MO)

Goals by Half                  1         2         F

St. Louis CITY SC           0         0         0

Portland Timbers           0        0         0

Misconduct Summary

STL: Anthony Markanich (caution), 45+2

STL: Joakim Nilsson (caution), 45+4

STL: Hosei Kijima (caution), 51

POR: Dario Zuparic (caution), 53

STL: Celio Pompeu (caution), 67

STL: Chris Durkin (caution), 81

POR: Felipe Mora (caution), 82

STL: Tomas Totland (caution), 82


STL: GK Roman Bürki ©; D Tomas Totland, D Tim Parker, D Joakim Nilsson (Josh Yaro, 50’), D Anthony Markanich (Akil Watts, 70’); M Chris Durkin, M Eduard Löwen, M Célio Pompeu, M Indiana Vassilev (Aziel Jackson, 70’), M Hosei Kijima (Sam Adeniran, 80’); F Klauss

Substitutes not used: GK Ben Lundt, D Jake Nerwinski, D Nikolas Dyhr, M Njabulo Blom, M Nökkvi Thórisson


POR: GK James Pantemis; D Claudio Bravo, D Dario Zuparic, D Zachery McGraw, D Juan Mosquera; M Evander ©, M Antony (Cristhian Paredes, 60’), M Jonathan Rodriguez, M David Ayala (Eryk Williamson, 79’), M Santiago Moreno (Eric Miller, 79’); F Nathan Fogaca (Felipe Mora 60’)

Substitutes not used: GK Trey Muse, D Larrys Mabiala, D Sawyer Jura, F Kyle Linhares


Referee: Ismir Pekmic

Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Kali Smith, Mark Allatin

VAR: Rosendo Mendoza

AVAR: Rene Parra


Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees


Audio: Recording

Video: Footage (Passcode: p83i?5kT)

Head Coach Bradley Carnell



Good evening, everybody. Yeah, I thought the energy was amazing tonight. It felt very festive. A lot of energy. A lot of urgency from the fans, and I thought we created enough moments to reward ourselves. Unfortunately that didn’t go our way.

So yeah, we get our fifth clean sheet of the season, and yeah, I think that’s a positive. You know, we’ll look back long and hard at the tape and the film and see how we could have created a little bit more clarity, a little bit more, yeah, clearer shooting chances maybe. But yeah, for the most part, this is a game that gets away from us.

But overall, very happy with the application, the effort, the urgency. I can’t fault the boys for that. Yeah, we move on.

How frustrating, maddening, whatever, are these results? Because you’re saying you need wins, and Portland is the kind of team you’ve got to get a win against.

Sure. Listen, I don’t know if you have to win against Portland. They are unbeaten in their last four. There’s no have-tos any more in this league. For sure we want to win our home games. That’s very important.

But yeah, make no sort of bones about it. They are a good team. You can see their star power up front: Evander, Moreno, Rodriguez, Mora comes in, Nathan. There’s a good strength of attackers there. And if we didn’t have our defensive structure in place, they could have hurt us.

On the one side these type of games, especially against Portland last year, we lose these ones.

I still see us, yeah, without sugarcoating everything, still see us as a group taking steps forward. Yeah. We are looking positively right now, you know, because I see so many good things, and I’m expecting things to turn 100 percent.

Is it hard to stay positive? You guys haven’t won a game since, like, May 11?

No. And clichéd as it is, I believe in this process, and I see many good things. Yeah, just sometimes, is it the final pass? Is it the run? Is it the quality of the shot? Is it, you know, do we find the advantage, who is free, who is open, who takes that shot?

And then against good teams, you’re going to give up one or two moments. Yeah, I’m glad they didn’t take theirs. There weren’t too many of them. But still, we dominate shots. We dominate XG. We dominate corners. We dominate everything, just about, I suppose, and we still go empty-handed. But the positive is the clean sheet.

Did you see some moments tonight where you got a turnover in the attacking third, and maybe would look for your guys to look to shoots a little sooner? Did you see anything like that?

I’m not sure if it’s sooner. I just want guys to see a clear picture. When we win the ball as we did a few times in the first half, up high, they tried to play through, we jumped them. And then can we connect that first one? Can we play out of the pressure? Can we advance the ball? Can we create overloads with the moment off the ball? Can we make runs in behind?

So you know, I thought, yeah, for the most part, yeah, we created these moments. Just couldn’t capitalize. Yeah.

Can you comment on any stand-out individual performance that caught your eye today?

Yeah, I mean, we don’t usually speak about the individuals here. We speak about a collective effort.

But I did see some guys today really, Célio Pompeu doing a great job down the left-hand side. Hosei Kijima with a lot of energy; so he gets a lot of praise from his teammates and obviously we see what he does.

Overall, Totland never stops running. Some really good moments from a lot of the guys. Yeah, it would be tough to single out anyone specific.

Can you elaborate on any specific strategies or tactics that were particularly effective or ineffective?

Yeah, I thought some of our second balls, we lost, they are a very direct them. They are primed for second balls. We are, too. I thought we were a little bit too stretched in our buildup phase.

So with the aerial duels, we didn’t do that well on and we lose the second ball. Yeah, we could have tried to get some more clarity, like I said, in the buildup phase. But yeah, probably the one I’m going to go to bed tonight thinking about is the second ball duels.

I wanted to ask you, it looked like you and Thomas Totland had just thoughts on getting the ball to him quicker on that side as you tried to switch the play. What was the difficulty of getting him open down the right-side tonight?

Yeah, I think we found him a few times. We spoke about space at the top of the box. We spoke about low and hard.

Yeah, just trying to find the optimal space. Because if you go too high, their broad (ph) is jumping; if you go too shallow, their winger is jumping you. Just trying to find that optimal space. We couldn’t find as much clarity as we have done so much in the last couple of weeks.

There were a lot of scary moments today. Credit to Roman Bürki for the good saves. If you look in the last five games, you’ve conceded ten goals. Are you worried about your defensive strategy or defensive approach to every game?

It’s a decent question. I saw many more scary moments the other way. Ball saved on the goal line. Ball hitting the pole. So I saw many more scary moments the other side.

We concede I think the least shots in the League. So yeah, thinking about defensive structure, yes, we can do better and we aim to do better. We’re conceding, like you said, we got a clean sheet and that’s a step in the right direction.

Nilsson came off in the 50th minute. Can you elaborate or comment on his injury and any specifics or how the seriousness of it yet?

We’re always a little cautious with Joakim and his knees. We have to monitor these things when he goes down. He was on a yellow card already, and for that five-minute period that we were observing, I didn’t see any clarity in his running. It looked like he was struggling.

Speaking to him afterwards, he’s a little frustrated because he thought he could have gone on longer. But yeah, we just had to feel in that moment, what does the game need, and we made that call.

On his frustration, when he showed, when he was coming off the pitch, even though it might be a little clash is that something you like to see from your players, the urgency to keep playing?

I love it. I love emotion. I’m emotionally wired as well. I love the game. I want to win the game. I’m extremely competitive and so it’s totally normal. And there was no clash.

Hosei Kijima made his first start. What were some things you saw tonight from him that stood out for you?

Yeah, just relentless in his moments, in his running, in his ball progression, and he’s really feisty against the ball. We saw a lot of positive moments from Jose.

Edu puts one off the post, and then Tim gets a shot, blocked by a guy who had his back turned to him. When you see things like that, are you thinking you’re under a dark cloud?

No. I mean, these are moments we should thrive on, right. So we have some brilliant moments. We have some moments where we have to learn, and yeah, the last couple of months have been brilliant.

Now we have to adapt and learn. But they are not by means dire. I see a good team playing some good soccer, giving opponent a damn tough game, and that’s what we pride about, right.

I said I’ve seen growth as a team. I’ve seen growth in our style of play, in our game model.

So yeah, I see a lot of good things, and again, you know, I hate to say it, but yeah, this is the process that we’re in right now. If it was that easy, you know, and we could all be on top of life and on top of our world and our occupation or jobs, then everyone would be doing it.

Yeah, actually, this is a phase we have to embrace and enjoy because the only way to get forward and move forward is to embrace these things and challenge yourself to do a little bit more and tighten the screw and everybody is doing just about enough. So yeah, we are embracing this moment.

Were there chances that almost didn’t happened? Seemed like a lot of long balls you either didn’t catch up with or Portland —

Yeah, it’s the type of game that they put you in, right. They are one of the most direct teams in the league.

So yeah, we got caught in that a little bit and then they caught a little bit of rhythm from their second ball process.

Yeah, we’ll look at that but we are not going to overevaluate that.

What were the final possession numbers?

52, I think. I think that’s majority, right.

Which you don’t do very often…

Yeah, we don’t value possession that much. But yeah, we don’t really take too much stock into that.


Midfielder Eduard Löwen

On his free kick that went off the post:


I was kind of frustrated with myself for the first two free kicks, especially the second one. I could have done much better than that. Then the third one comes off very well off my foot. I changed the shooting technique in this case because it was pretty close. So, I tried to get it, like, a knuckleball over the wall because it was that close, and Portland has some big guys in the wall. Yeah, I honestly thought, ‘That ball is in,’ and then after that, I just saw him completely alone in front of the goal then thought, ‘Now, this one is in.’ I couldn’t believe that this ball wasn’t going in as well. I mean, yeah, sometimes you can say it is unlucky, but I mean, at the end of the day, we have to blame ourselves for not finishing these chances off.


On if a big moment can start a winning streak:


Yes, yes. 100 percent. I’m very convinced about that. Because again, at the end of the day, it’s still a long way. The season is still pretty long. We are still not far away from the other teams. On one hand, I’m saying we are doing a good job, and I think we are in a good way. And if we finish these chances off, if we get better at these things — and I think today, for example, what was great was defensively, we had a clean sheet, which is very good and a huge step forward. But then on the other side, we have to be very critical about ourselves. Like, we don’t want to do this every single week. Having a tie and saying like, ‘Yeah, we should have done this better and this better.’ At a certain point, it’s enough — we just have to go out and say, like, winning mentality. We have to be good enough to finish these chances off, and sometimes it doesn’t matter if you play a good game or if you play a bad game. Finish these chances off and just win the game and nobody asks afterwards how we won that game.


On how he felt playing 90 minutes:


Yeah. Honestly, I’m just very, very thankful. I didn’t think that I could play 90 minutes today. I didn’t think that I could play 80 or 85, whatever it was last week against Miami. I’m also thankful for the coach always communicating with me on the pitch and asking how we’re feeling and not just making a quick decision. And I think it’s very good for me to get those minutes. And especially now, we have three games coming up. And yeah, I’m just looking forward to more and more games and being back at the pitch again.


Goalkeeper Roman Burki

On tying the game tonight:

Yeah, I can basically repeat what I said after the last few games. I know in Miami we scored three or two – they scored [one on themselves]. It’s just not enough with what comes from us like offensive wise. I mean, we’re coming to good situations where we have chances, but then we are just not cool enough in front of the goal to score a goal and the danger is you can always concede a goal. We saw Seattle how the first goal we concede – the deflection from Kyle [Hiebert]. It can always happen and then if we score, the defending gets easier. The whole game is easier, the fans are coming you know, more positive. I mean, they are positive always but it’s just annoying, to be honest.


On how he motivates the team:

I mean, like you said we scored three goals in Miami, so, we are definitely capable of scoring against good teams too. And we had a good performance in Miami. It just wasn’t enough to win the game. That’s why we were disappointed, and we were not happy with the draw. But I talked before the game to the guys, and I said guys we had a good performance, let’s keep going that way. I think we played good but again in front of the goal it’s just not enough. We could also lose this game. They had three chances in the first half. And if we are unlucky, we lose this game. But we worked hard to not be unlucky. So, then we did everything to defend the goals. And upfront we just need a little bit of help with a goal because if you score a goal, it also helps defensive wise, like it takes a lot of pressure of you. So, I think we just need to analyze also on off days, I talked to the guys and said maybe think about a little bit about the game, not just lose the head now and don’t think anything about the game just because we have a day off. Just think about your performance maybe look at what you can do better where we can improve because only like this we can come out of this situation and the situation we are in is especially for me, I don’t know if others have a different opinion but I’m not happy in the situation we are in.

On the team having a lack of urgency:

Like I said, we are professionals. We have players who are attackers because they do that best. But now we need the players just to like don’t be sorry for yourself. You know, like, just keep working like try harder, try harder. You know that’s what it needs. I have been in a situation like this before, like when I had the feeling that almost every shot is in you know – how can I improve. I had three times I think in the last five games one versus one situation. Today I had a one versus one situation and I analyzed what I did wrong, and I saved it. You know, like you have to try harder, just try harder. You have to get better at this like mentality wise.

Midfielder Hosei Kijima

On the team’s missed scoring opportunities:


First of all, it’s disappointing, right? We have so many chances. I think there are a lot of missing parts. That can be mental, can be physical, can be positioning — it could be anything. But I think one of the most important things that we need is decisiveness in front of goal and, you know, believing that the ball is going to go into the net. I am also a part of the attack now, so the blame is on me as well.


On being disappointed about tying at home:


Yeah, it’s, again, definitely disappointing.  As cliche as it may sound, we just keep going, you know? Past results are past results. We need to reflect on what we can do better and what we did well and continue to fill the gaps there.


On making his first MLS start at CITYPARK:


Great. I mean, me personally, I’m always trying to, you know, give back to the fans, which I feel as if it’s almost impossible, right? The support they give us is second to none. So yeah, it’s thank you to the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity, as well as gratitude to the fans who are consistently giving us the same type of support every single game.

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