Quotes & Notes | LA Galaxy 2, Portland Timbers 1 | Mar. 4, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On his takeaways from the opening match of the season…
“It was definitely not the result we were looking for our first match. We knew it was going to be a tough match here, with a different Galaxy [team]. I thought that in the first half we did a lot of good things. I don’t think they were that dangerous, until the moment that they were able to score the goal, and then I think we collapsed a little bit during the end of the first half. We came with a different energy in the second half. I thought we created chances, we became dangerous. I thought we dominated the play in their half of the field, but the counters were difficult, because then all of a sudden we had to just make sure that we were in good areas for them not to find space. They had a couple of chances and we had a couple of chances. At the end, as I said, not the result that we wanted.”

On his message to the team at halftime… 
“If we believe in ourselves a little bit more, and that if we move the ball faster we’re going to find the space. We did that and we started finding spaces and then that’s when the goal came. Unfortunately right after that, I think we became a little bit too anxious to score the second goal and then that’s when started to create more space for the other team to counter.”

On what to focus on before next week’s trip to New York…
“We have to be a little bit more balanced. When we’re attacking and we’re sending numbers, we’re still in good areas to recover the ball and not allow them to find the counter. I think that’s something we have to work on a little bit, but I was very pleased with the effort of the guys. They put everything in, and for the first match, it wasn’t the result that we wanted, but I think it was the energy that we want.”

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi
On the team’s performance…
“I thought the first half was a little bit up and down but in the second half we showed character. It was a tough place to come and play. It is a good field, good players, good team and we presented ourselves in a good way, especially in the second half we came out very aggressive…we take the good things out of the game today and we move on. I think the performance in general was something we are going to build on.”

On what they did differently in the second half…
“I don't think anything specifically really changed, it is just the mentality. [Gio] said in the locker room that we just had to believe and if we believe we can come back into the game and that is how we just went about being aggressive, being more active and moving the ball quicker. I think those are the only things that changed but like I said it is just something we are going to build on.”  

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson
On the team’s performance…

“Obviously it wasn't the performance we wanted from the get go. I thought we came out in the second half and played a lot better and took the game to them and created a lot of chances for us to get even. It is pretty hard when your team is down at halftime to come back in and bridge that gap. I think there were times we lost concentration and lost our marks and played a little more hesitant and tight than we wanted to. It was a little disappointing but you live and you learn. It's a long season.”

On what changed in the second half…
“I think we just got on the ball a lot more. Guys wanted to get on the ball and we played the way we wanted to play. When we started to play that way, we showed our skill and showed that we can play, so now we just have to that from minute 1, not minute 45.”

LA Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid
On the win…

“We wanted to get a victory, so getting three points is the most important thing. I know sometimes it looked a little parlous in the back there, but that doesn’t matter to me. We also had enough opportunity at the other end to score another four or five. So, It’s still about finishing those chances, making good use of them. I was happy with our team effort, our willingness to battle for each other and play for each other I thought was outstanding.”

On Romain Alessandrini’s injury and Ola Kamara’s performance…
“On Romain [Alessandrini] first, we really don’t know at this stage. With Ola [Kamara] obviously he scored the goal which is something we want him to do, but I don’t know if the one where he gets played in by Sebastian [Lleget] he’s offside, but you can see how he’s constantly a threat to get behind the opponents defense, and he also combined well and laid some people on.”

On the impact of Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri…
“I thought [Diego] Valeri did very well. Obviously, he’s a fantastic player, [Diego] Valeri, but I thought [Diego] Valeri’s influence on this game was not as great as other games where you’ve seen [Diego] Valeri play. I thought [David] Guzmán had a bigger influence, because the ball wasn’t going to [Diego] Valeri, they were playing more through [Sebastian] Blanco and more through [David] Guzmán, I think whenever you can force them not to build their whole game through Diego Valeri I think it’s a benefit, and obviously Kitchen had a lot to do with that.”

On Emanuel Boateng’s performance…
“Ema [Boateng] was dangerous, he’s fantastic, his speed. We’ve been asking him to use his speed more to take people on, to make runs with and without the ball to get behind, and I think today he showed that. Now the final stage for Ema [Boateng] is to finish what he starts. So, if he could finish what he starts, he probably wouldn’t be playing for us anymore, he’d be playing in Europe. But you know, we need him to do that. His willingness to come back and help defend, he made a couple of good defensive plays, but its also his willingness to now run without the ball, I think his game has taken another jump. It’s good.”

On getting Sebastian Lleget into the game…
“Well with Romain [Alessandrini] going down we brought in [Chris] Pontius first. Then we just brought in [Sebastian] Lleget, because we felt some of our guys were getting tired. We felt Gio [Dos Santos] and Ema [Boateng] had put in a lot of miles so we wanted to get them off a little bit, and with the last sub we wanted to secure it defensively, so we probably wouldn’t of made that sub that early for Romain[Alessandrini].”

On having Sebastian Lleget back on the field…
“Fantastic. He almost got a goal. He’s probably a yard or two away from getting goal at the back post. He should’ve had an assist on the ball he slips through to [Ola] Kamara, I was standing in line with it, so to me it looked onside, but I’m not as good as our assistant referees, who are outstanding by the way.”

On the Galaxy’s Defensive performance…
“I thought our defensive work was good. I thought [David] Bingham was solid in goal, I thought [Michael] Ciani and Joregn [Skjelvik] were good together, that was fantastic. We didn’t manage the game well I thought in the last 15 minutes or so, that’s the time point in the game where maybe you go into the corners a bit more, you go wider a little bit, and we were almost too anxious to try and get the third. Yeah, you want to get the third and put them away, but you also want to make the right decisions. Ashley [Cole] was good at his side, he stayed, but Rolf [Feltscher] ended up pushing up at times where he made it difficult.”

LA Galaxy midfielder Emmanuel Boateng
On how it feels to start the season with three points…

“It was great. It’s a great feeling. For what it’s worth, we probably didn’t play as well in the second half, but a win is a win and we’re happy to get that. We’re going to build and get ready for the next one.”

On having Ola Kamara on his team…
“He’s been good for us in preseason the whole time. He’s always trying to find the pockets. Everywhere the ball bounces, he’s trying to get there. He’s quick and he’s a great player for us and I’m looking forward to more moments like that.”

LA Galaxy forward Ola Kamara
On the team’s performance…

“I think we played well. We had 10 big chances, or 5,6 or 7 big chances that we could have maybe gone up to 3 or 4-0. But I think we have to work on keeping the possession. But getting three points was the major key for us.”

On what it felt like to play at StubHub Center in front of a sold-out crowd…
“The crowd was amazing, it was such a good feeling. The whole game they hyped up us up. It felt good.”

Notes:

  • Sebastián Blanco scored the first goal of the season for the Timbers. The goal was the ninth of his Timbers career. 
  • Fanendo Adi recorded his first assist of the season. The assist was the 13th assist of Adi's MLS career.
  • For the first time in club history, the Timbers started multiple players under the age of 20 in a league match, with 19-year-olds Marco Farfan and Cristhian Paredes both in the starting lineup. 
  • Andy Polo is the first Peruvian to play for the Timbers in the club's 43-year history. Additionally, Paredes is the first Paraguayan to play for the Timbers in club history across all eras (since 1975), while Andres Flores became the first player from El Salvador to play for the Timbers in the club’s MLS era.
  • Paredes, Polo, Flores and Samuel Armenteros each made their Timbers debuts in the match. 
  • Giovanni Savarese made his MLS head coaching debut, becoming the first Venezuelan-born manager in MLS history.  
  • The Timbers outshot the Galaxy 15-14, including a 7-3 edge in shots on target.
  • With a goal in Sunday’s match, the Timbers have scored in 22 straight regular-season games, dating back to the 2017 campaign. The Timbers have not been held scoreless in a game since May 27, 2017.
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