Quotes & Notes | Houston Dynamo 2, Portland Timbers 2 | July 29, 2017

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

Overall thoughts on the match…
“I thought we played in a very good way today. Obviously, the conditions were extremely difficult, playing one of the best home teams in the league. I think they’re one of only a few unbeaten home teams and they’ve been absolutely dominant, averaging three goals a game, and I thought we came in here and we played them toe-to-toe and I thought frankly we were a bit unlucky not to take the points. I was really pleased with the way that we played with the ball. I thought we kept possession extremely well. I thought we created a lot of chances and I think the guys are disappointed, not in a negative way but in a positive way because they know that they had the three points there for the taking. With a little bit more luck in a few moments, we obviously had some very good chances, frankly better chances than they had, that we missed that would’ve won the game. Obviously a few unlucky plays. Maybe a PK, maybe the disallowed goal, some of those things and then the second goal Houston scored was not a foul in my opinion. So, those are all things that are all unlucky that lead to the team being disappointed, which is good because that means that they’re not satisfied, with the draw even if it's on the road in a very difficult situation. So, I think that's a good thing.”

On the team’s attacking shape…
“Yeah, well they’re a team that usually gets out on the break and opens teams up but they were never really able to do that. Obviously the first goal was not really a great goal, a bit fluky and the second goal, like I said, was a set piece but it wasn’t a foul. So, they were never able to get out and run on us. I thought second half they created very little. I thought we dominated the second half. The first half was a bit more even. I think we played in a really good way and our mentality was extremely good in difficult conditions. I thought the way we played with the ball and kept the ball was excellent. That is why the team is disappointed. When you draw a game and you don’t play well, then you can kind of take that and put it in the bank and move on. I think the guys are disappointed because they know the three points were there for the taking based on our their performance."

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco (translated from Spanish)
On how he felt about the game…
“It’s not an easy stadium to play in, it is a very difficult stadium to play in. The Dynamo are currently undefeated at home. The conditions are much different here than in Portland, but really beyond that I think we played very well. We came with the intention to possess the ball, to dominate the game, which is what we did for the better part of the first half. In the second half we played well too, we were organized and they could not create chances, but they did score from a set piece to tie the game. Overall we played well by possessing the ball, which is what we were looking for.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On his thoughts on getting a point…
“I feel very happy to have scored, we all helped to come out with a point but we are a little frustrated and angry because we dominated the game practically the whole time. We created many chances on the field against Houston and it would have been great to have left with a victory.”

On how they analyzed the Dynamo’s playing style…
“We know very well that they are a very high-pressing team and play very deep and it seemed like the Dynamo did not like possess so we tried to break that threshold and play differently. I think that we started off the game very well, very calm by playing on the ground and breaking the pressure, they would put on us and we created many chances. The climate also fatigued us a little we weren’t very well in being accurate.”

On how the heat affected their rhythm…
“Yes, without a doubt, the idea was to also use the rhythm to play the ball and I think we did well. In the second half, they were subbing in fresh players who were very fast like (Romell) Quito and (Alberth) Elis. They weren’t able to get through our defense and weren’t able to generate chances to create goals, except for the set pieces but I am still very happy with that. But I think the intensity of the game was due to the heat.”

Referee José Carlos Rivera
(Interview conducted by Houston pool reporter Corey Roepken of the Houston Chronicle and transcribed by Houston Dynamo staff per MLS Pool Reporter policy)
Why was the Portland goal ruled offside?
“Player number 9, (Fanendo) Adi, was in an offside position and interfered with an opponent. The flag was delayed as the assistant referee conferred with the referee on the interference after the goal.”

Is that why the flag was not raised during the run of play?
“Yes.”

What caused him to be in an offside position?
“He was in an offside position. He was ahead of the defender.”

Confirming what made him offside…
“He was ahead of the second-to-last defender, Leonardo, and he makes contact with Leonardo, and prevents Leonardo from playing or defending the ball, and that’s interference, according to the law.”

Notes:

  • Since the beginning of the 2013 season, the Timbers have lost just 34 road matches. In that time span, only the LA Galaxy have lost fewer road matches (33) among teams that have played in MLS every season in that span. 
  • Both the Timbers and the Dynamo have scored 39 goals this season, tied for the most by any Western Conference team.
  • Coming into the match against the Timbers, Houston led 690 of 900 minutes played at BBVA Compass Stadium, trailing for just a one minute in those matches. In Saturday's game against Portland, Houston trailed for 62 minutes.
  • The Timbers are the first visiting team in 2017 to not trail in an away match against the Houston Dynamo.
  • Diego Valeri scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season, which ties him for fifth-most goals in MLS in 2017. 
  • Valeri is the first player in Timbers history across all eras (since 1975) to have three different seasons with 11 or more goals.
  • Valeri delivered his eighth assist of the season, which ties him for ninth-most in MLS. Valeri is the only player ranked in the top ten for both goals and assists this season.
  • Valeri has recorded 50 assists since he made his debut with the Timbers in 2013, marking the most assists in MLS in that timespan. Valeri is the 32nd MLS player to hit the 50-assist mark. 
  • Valeri completed 45 of his 47 passes in the match. The 95.7 percent passing accuracy is Valeri's highest ever in an MLS match (min. 15 passes). 
  • Midfielder Sebastián Blanco scored his fifth goal of the season. 
  • Since June 10, Blanco has seven combined goals and assists. Blanco is the only player in MLS with at least four goals and three assists in that span.
  • Defender Zarek Valentin delivered his third assist of the season and the fourth assist of his Timbers career. All four of Valentin's Portland assists have been on Valeri goals.
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe was credited with his fourth assist of the season. It is the fifth consecutive season that Nagbe has notched four or more assists. 
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