Porter, Saprissa vs. Timbers, 9.14.16
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Deportivo Saprissa 4, Portland Timbers 2 | Sept. 14, 2016

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Thoughts on the match…
“Well, we were playing against 12 men today, and I’m not talking about the crowd. That’s obvious. Anybody that knows the game, watched this game, two PKs, they weren’t PKs. The first goal was a foul too. So, the reality is, we scored two good goals. They scored one, and that’s the story of the game.”

On how the environment in Estadio Ricardo Saprissa compares to Providence Park…
“Yeah, great crowd. The fans and the supporters are very passionate. It was no surprise with that. You saw we had a great plan, to come into the game. We scored a fair goal six minutes in, a great goal, and I thought you saw with Saprissa they got on top of us a little bit after that, which was one of the points I made at halftime to my guys – ‘We need to do a better job of keeping the ball and not defending quite so deep.’ I thought the atmosphere was great, electric. I didn’t think Saprissa was as good on the day as I’ve seen them. I felt we could’ve been better as well the last 30 minutes of the first half. But, ultimately we scored two good goals, so I credit my guys for coming on the road and scoring two good goals in this environment, and if we had a different official I think we’d come out of here with three points.”

Thoughts on Deportivo Saprissa…
“Yeah, they’re a good team. But, they scored one good goal and the referee gave them two PKs. Ultimately, yes, we respect Saprissa. They’re a good team. I thought they showed their quality in the last 30 minutes of the first half. But, the reality is three of their goals shouldn’t have been goals, and I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know how the official gets this game. Clearly he was over his head, you could tell. He was a deer in the headlights."

On his expectation for the match against Saprissa in Portland…
“Yeah, we’re going to win the game fair and square. We’re not going to rely on an official to give us the game. Ultimately, we know if we win the next two games that we’re through. If we win against (C.D.) Dragon and we beat Saprissa at home… we have 10 wins at home this year. We’ve been one of the best home teams in Major League Soccer at home, we have one of the most hostile environments in the league. Ultimately, that’s all we need to do. It doesn’t matter the scoreline in that last game. As long as we beat dragon we just need to win at home."

Expectations against Saprissa in Portland…
“We’re going to play to win the game. We feel that we’re still in the driver’s seat. Even though right now Saprissa is sitting on seven points, if we win the next two games, which going on the road Dragon, nothing is guaranteed, but we should win that game. They’re out of the tournament, and then that sets up the last game and I like our chances. I like our chances at home."

On what he saw on Saprissa’s goals…
“Yeah, obviously goals change games. We scored the first goal. Like I said, we came out with a good plan. We showed our quality early in the game. We scored the first goal and they got two goals that weren’t goals. The first goal they scored was a foul. The guy rode off our center half, then went in, and so that shouldn’t have been a goal and the second one is a phantom PK, so now we’re down 2-1. We come out in the second half, we score a fair goal, 3-2, and then the next one is a PK that's not a goal. Our guy blocked it. There was no way he could block it intentionally with his hand with the speed that the shot came off and as close a distance as it was. His arm is in a natural body position, so I don’t know how that’s a PK."

On the mood of the locker room after the game…
“Obviously, in these press conferences you talk about how the game went. So, I’m giving you how the game went, and they know how it went too. They know that they had someone working against them today, and gave the opponents goals. So the guys have their heads up. We know what we need to do. We need to win the next two games, and I’m confident that we will do that, so they’re in a good spot mentally.  We have to shift gears and move on quickly to the league and Philly on Saturday."

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On scoring five minutes into the game…
“It was really important for us to open the score, and we did it. I thought that the first 15 minutes of the game, we played really well. After that they put a lot of numbers forward. They put a lot of pressure, and obviously the referee helped them a lot.”

On if the two penalty kicks for Saprissa change the game...
“It’s a big change. When you have a good team in front, who play well and put a lot of numbers forward, get a lot of crosses. Then, with the help of the referee, it was very easy for them to get a stretch and score in very important moments of the game. So, it was very important for them and everybody makes mistakes, but I think that this was a big mistake.”

On moving forward from the game against Saprissa…
“It may help us, the two away goals. But, we have to think about the next game. We need to beat C.D. Dragon on the road and then beat Saprissa at home, so I think the goals may help us. We don’t know, but you never know. We need to think about the next game, and we’re in a good position to be in first place in the group.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Ben Zemanski
On their takeaways from the game…
“They’re a talented team. I think we’re a talented team. We’re going to match up well. They won their home game. Now it’s on us to win ours, and I like our chances at home.”

On penalty calls made by the referee…
“Yeah, those are tough ones, the two penalties. The first goal was a clear foul on Steven Taylor. So, that’s three. They put us under pressure in the last 30 minutes of the first half, so that’s something that we need to do better with. We need to keep possession to get forward a little more. But, at the end of the day, in what I think is a fair game, I think it’s a 2-1 game. So, that’s my opinion. We come back home and we hope that it’s a fair game and we like our chances at home.”

On the atmosphere at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa…
“It’s fun to play in. The fans were loud. They were chaotic. It was fun to play in. I think at times we could’ve handled it a little better. But, we started off well. There were times in the game where we had possession and we were able to get through them and dictate the game a little better. Other than the result, it was a fun to place to play and we look forward to seeing what our fans can do back home because I think they can one-up them.”

Notes

  • Midfielder Diego Valeri scored his second-career goal in CONCACAF Champions League play. 
  • Valeri has scored 13 competitive goals in 2016, which ties his career high for goals in a single season, matching his total from 2013. 
  • Forward Fanendo Adi scored in CONCACAF Champions League play for the first time this season, marking Adi's third career goal in the competition. Additionally, Adi became the first player to score competitive goals in four different countries for the Timbers, scoring in the United States, Canada, Guyana and Costa Rica. 
  • Adi scored his 15th competitive goal, becoming the first Timbers player to ever score 15 goals in multiple seasons for Portland across all eras of the club (since 1975).  
  • Adi is the only player to appear in each of the Timbers CONCACAF Champions League matches, dating back to the 2014 campaign, with six Champions League appearances. 
  • With two goals against Saprissa, the Timbers have scored 19 goals in six CONCACAF Champions League matches, averaging 3.17 goals per game, which ranks as the highest goals-per-game average for any MLS team in CONCACAF Champions League play. The Montreal Impact rank second with an average of 2.2 goals per game.
  • Steven Taylor, Zarek Valentin and Jack Barmby each made their CONCACAF Champions League debuts. 
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