Valeri #2, Dragon vs. Timbers, 9.27.16
Photo by Marc Kostic

Quotes & Notes | C.D. Dragón 1, Portland Timbers 2 | Sept. 27, 2016

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

On his thoughts on the game…
“Yeah, obviously really pleased with the result. We came here to get three points. We knew if we were able to get three points then that sets up the last game against (Deportivo) Saprissa at home. We’ve been very good at home. By winning this game, it means the goal differential is irrelevant. So, for our guys to have the composure, down a goal knowing that we were out of the competition unless we scored… and not only score to level, but score to win to get the full three points shows the maturity of a champion. We’ve had a rough year. We’ve had a bunch of injuries and managed adversity more than I’ve ever seen. But this group, has kept fighting. I’m proud of them tonight."

On the level of play in El Salvador…
"We had much respect for them coming into this match. We saw that they drew Saprissa 0-0 on this very field. We knew it would be a challenge, it always is when you come overseas and you play in different conditions. Sometimes it’s not easy, managing the pitch, the referee, the facilities. It’s a different type of game than in our league. I knew very well because I’ve coached with the national team in these countries with the U18s and with the U23s , and El Salvador knocked my Olympic team out of the tournament. That’s a game I’ll never forget. I’ve said time and again after that game several years ago that there’s a lot of quality in El Salvador and they’re savvy how they play. They’re very quick and clever. Today it felt like I exercised a few demons from that loss to El Salvador. So, I couldn’t be more pleased with the guys for getting the job done."

On getting their first road win at this stage of the season…
“Yeah, this is a big win. Not just to give ourselves a chance in the CONCACAF Champions League but I think we can use this to build on for the rest of the season. We have four games remaining, three league games in MLS and one Champions League game. We’ve been very good at home, but this was our first road win. Hopefully that will be the monkey off our back and we can continue to build on that and use it for this upcoming road game. Every game from here on out is going to be very important obviously."

On needing to win against Saprissa…
“Yes, with this result we just need to win the game. We can win 1-0 or 6-5, it doesn't matter. We just need to win the game to advance. Goal differential is irrelevant based on the points now. Obviously they’re a good team. We have a lot of respect for them. Playing them at the Monster’s Cave is difficult, and they were the better team. We lost 4-2, but now they have to come play us on our home field and we’re one of the best teams in MLS at home. We have the most wins in the league at home, so now they have to come and play us at our stadium. So, Monster’s Cave is difficult but they have to come and face the Timbers Army now."

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi
On scoring and the team getting a win…
“Coming here, we knew it was going to be a tough game. Of course they play a very strategic kind of football. They try to stay behind the players from the start of the game. When they got the goal, that was their game plan to try and sit in and finish the game, but I was lucky to come in again and get a goal for the team. But, I think we did well, especially in the second half. The first was a bit sluggish but the second half was much better and you could see that guys stepped up really big and that’s kind of thing we need in certain moments.”

On if his hold-up play was the game plan going into the game…
“No, the coach just told me we got to score two goals. I played against them in Portland so I knew the kind of defenders that they are. I just kind of hold the ball to bring our guys closer. (Jack) Barmby came in and did very well with crosses. It was a tough game for us, but we were lucky enough to come out with a victory.”

On Darlington Nagbe’s free kick…
“For me, I wasn’t surprised. I told him to lift up the ball for me, but he told me, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to take it.’ So, you know, he has done that before for us. Players step up and today it was massive for us and he stepped up and did the job.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe
On scoring the game-winning goal…
“It was a good play by Jack McInerney to earn the foul on the top of the box. I just stepped up and hit the free kick, and luckily it went in.”

On how the team will prepare for Deportivo Saprissa…
“They’re a great team, as we saw when we went down to Costa Rica. We got them at home so hopefully we can take of business at home and get the victory.”

On his reaction to the goal…
“At first, I wasn’t too sure. The wall was pretty big. But, I was lucky enough to hit it right and get the game winner. It felt great. I just wanted to celebrate with everyone, the team. The guys on the bench, the guys on the field because it’s all of us. Not only the guys on the field, but the guys who came on did a great job.”

Notes

  • With the win, Portland's record in CONCACAF Champions League matches is 5-2-0, including a 2-2-0 away record. 
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe scored his first career goal in CONCACAF Champions League play. 
  • Nagbe is the 14th different player to score a CONCACAF Champions League goal for the club. 
  • Forward Fanendo Adi scored in CONCACAF Champions League play for the second time this season. The goal was Adi's fourth goal in the competition since joining Portland in 2014.
  • Adi is the first player to score competitive goals in five different countries for the Timbers, having scored in the United States, Canada, Guyana, Costa Rica and El Salvador. 
  • Adi has scored 17 competitive goals in 2016, one shy of the club's all-time record for competitive goals scored in a single season. 
  • Adi is the only player to appear in all seven of the Timbers’ CONCACAF Champions League matches, dating back to 2014. 
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