Quotes & Notes | Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1, Portland Timbers 2 | July 23, 2017

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Overall thoughts on the match…
“Yeah, this is one of those moments that reminds you as a coach why you roll up your sleeves and go to work every single day. There have been a lot of bullets flying everywhere and we brought that on ourselves, but some of that it has been really unlucky with some of the injuries and adversity that we’ve had. I said to the guys all week and reminded them before the game that when it’s easy, it’s easy to do things right and it’s easy to go out and be confident and play well. It’s not easy when results aren’t going your way. It’s not easy when you have a thin roster. It’s not easy when you’re playing guys in different roles than you’ve played them. But, the true professionals, the guys with character, which I know I have a locker room full of them which is why I picked them, I knew that I’d see the best out of them. I thought our mentality was excellent for the 90 minutes. We started well and scored the goal. We responded well after giving up the goal. You could see we had great belief all game long, which isn’t easy with a group of guys that haven’t played together, and so from that standpoint, mentality wise, it was excellent. I thought organizationally we were spot on. Defensively, we really played well in our team defending. And I thought in the attack, we were the team that was always looking to be dangerous and running at their back four even late in the game. I thought we were the better team today on both sides of the ball, and I thought we were deserved winners today.”

On Jeremy Ebobisse’s performance…
“We want young players coming through here. We thought he had a lot of talent when we drafted him and we’ve seen a lot of flashes from him in training and even though at this moment he’s kind of third behind two very good strikers in Adi and Mattocks, we had a lot of confidence in him. We crafted somewhat of an attacking plan to suit him where we were looking to play behind a bit more and he set up the second goal and scored the first goal. So, he showed a lot of promise and that’s exciting for him and for the club moving forward to know we have a young horse in the stable that is going to continue to get better, and he showed a lot of confidence in his debut start."

On what the result does for the team’s confidence…
“Well, it’s big. Anytime you haven’t gotten results, and we’ve had some draws that have been big draws so you can’t forget that, you’ve got to remind yourself that we’ve had some good results even though we weren’t getting three points. But, it breaks that cycle, and that’s important because you don’t want that cycle to continue. The more it builds, the more pressure comes and makes it more difficult. But, for our guys to come on the road and play as well as they did with seven, eight starters out and different guys that had really very little training chemistry together, for them to do that says a lot about the character of our team.”

Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse
On his performance…
“Obviously (Fanendo) Adi does and great job week in and week out and I didn’t want the team to miss a beat at all. But, I felt a little bit of pressure. The team was great. They had my back the entire time. Early on, when I was just finding my feet I was making a lot of mistakes but they kept supporting me and eventually I felt the rewards of that support and I was really happy with the way the game went.”

On scoring his first MLS goal…
“It was really exciting. The game kind of slowed down in that moment and I didn’t really know what was going on. Normally, I’m pretty confident, but I completely blanked and didn’t know what to do in that moment. It was pretty surreal.”

On staying ready to be able to contribute to the team…
“The team is only as strong as the backbone and the guys fighting for a spot on the bench, so I know that my role on a daily basis is to push the starters. In this case, Adi was suspended and I knew that the hard work that I’ve been putting in, along with the team, would be rewarded today. That’s the mentality of all the guys, whether you’re starting, on the bench or fighting to get on the bench. We’re all working really hard to push the starters to make sure they’re ready for the game, and we have to step in we know that we’ll be ready as well.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On the result…

“Yeah, it was very important for us. Vancouver is one of our rivals and an opponent in our way of reaching the playoffs. Beside the fact that we have some guys that aren’t playing, the ones that are here right now had to take responsibility and it was important for us to win.”

On his goal and his teaming up with forward Jeremy Ebobisse…
“It was a little bit lucky that the ball deflected to me [on the second goal], but I was able to score from close range and it was great supporting Jeremy because I think he’s a guy that is growing and developing. He keeps working hard, so it’s about supporting each other to be a good teammate.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC quotes

Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson

Thoughts on the match…
“Disappointed, obviously losing a rivalry game. I think first half we played very well, exceptionally well. We got the equalizer just before halftime. I don’t think it was probably a fair reflection of the first half, I thought we were the better team. Second half, it was always going to come down to a mistake, a wonder goal, or something like that, and when you give a good team like Portland the lead five or ten minutes into the second half, it’s very difficult. You’ve got to give them credit, so I will give them a lot of credit today because they managed to hang on. Their keeper came up with one or two big saves as well. But it hurts.”

On trying to find a tying goal…
“We had to make adjustments because we were chasing the game and we wanted a goal. We went to midfield player and we put Yordy [Reyna] and Alphonso [Davies] in the central areas. I thought when they got the goal, they sat in. They’ve got a big back four with Roy [Miller] and Zarek [Valentin], who arguably are centre backs as well. So we wanted to put a presence up there, so it was what do we do? Do we put Bernie [Ibini] on, do we put Brek [Shea] on? We put Brek on and Brek run the channels, which was great, and he also could have scored. So it was the right thing to do at the right time to try and get a bit of impetus, but as I said, it wasn’t our day.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Jake Nerwinski
Thoughts on the match…
“It’s always a bad thing to drop three points at home. We’re very disappointed. We’ve just kind of got to bounce back after this. We go away for three weeks, hopefully we can get some points on the road to make up for that loss.”

On his confidence…
“I’m still fighting to get on that field every day in training. Sheanon [Williams] is a great player and he’s a good person to look up to too. He’s been helping me out. It’s still a fight every day to get on the field. So I’m not comfortable in my spot at all and that’s what Robbo wants. He wants me to fight and to bring out the best in each other.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted
Thoughts on the match…

“I think frustrating is a good word for it. We weren’t good enough, simple as that today. I thought we lacked composure on the ball in the final third. I thought we lacked what got us the win on Wednesday, that defensive side of the ball, but there’s nothing more to do now than get back onto it.”

On the build up to both goals…
“What we did well on Wednesday of being defensively sound and marking people, we didn’t do tonight, and when you leave these guys with those kind of opportunities and make mistakes like that defensively you can’t expect to win.” 

Notes:

·         Portland leads the Cascadia Cup standings with seven points, ahead of Seattle's four points and Vancouver's three points. 

·         Portland now has four victories at BC Place in MLS regular-season matches, the most of any road venue for the club in MLS play. 

·         The Timbers have scored 33 goals against Whitecaps FC in MLS matches. The 33 goals are the most goals scored by the Timbers against any single MLS opponent.

·         Portland's three road victories this season are tied for the second-most among MLS Western Conference teams.

·         In his first career start for the Timbers, forward Jeremy Ebobisse scored his first career MLS goal. 

·         At 20-years-and-159-days, Ebobisse is the third-youngest Timbers player to score in an MLS match, older than only Alvas Powell and Andrew Jean-Baptiste. 

·         Ebobisse registered his first career assist in the match. 

·         Midfielder Sebastián Blanco scored his fourth goal of the season, the third-most on the team this season.

·         Blanco also delivered his fifth assist of the season, which ties him with David Guzman for the second-most assists by a Timbers player this season. 

·         Dairon Asprilla recorded his second assist of the season and the fourth of his Portland career.

·         Defender Harold Hanson became the youngest Timbers player to play in an MLS match at 18-years-and-seven-days. The record was previously held by Marco Farfan, who made his MLS debut earlier this season. 

·         For just the fifth time, the Timbers had multiple players notch both a goal and assist in the same match. 

·         With Ebobisse's goal, Portland now has 13 different goal-scorers this season, which is the most by an MLS team in 2017.

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