Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 3, Minnesota United FC 2 | Apr. 14, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On the first home game and win of the season and the feeling…
“Fantastic. We’ve been working very hard to achieve this result. We were looking forward to coming home. The past two games away we felt that we did a good job to earn three points, but the energy tonight from the fans gave us what we needed. To fight all the way to the end and get the result that we needed. I thought it was a very good first half and then never give up and continue to work throughout the entire match. [It] was a very important win for us.”

On maintaining balance without two true wingers on the field…
“I think the first half we didn’t have that issue. I think we looked good when we allowed them to play the ball wide and we really had the game in control. Yes, we had trouble from the beginning of the second half. They were finding spaces, they were attacking. So we had to change to a 4-4-1-1 and that helped us to be able to have more players wide. Minnesota did a good job in the second half, but we adjusted and the guys who came in, I think they did a fantastic job to be able to give us something we needed.”

On Fanendo Adi getting on the scoresheet and what that does for the team…
“When a goal-scorer finds goals, it’s a good thing. You saw that confidence after the goal. He felt it finally, that release, he found the goal he’s been looking for and then he got the second one, unfortunately, it was offside. He gave us a lot tonight. He worked very hard. He was the outlet for us many times to find him and he was dangerous.”

On his impressions of the atmosphere at Providence Park…
“It was fantastic. As I was saying before the guys haven’t played here since November, so we were looking forward to being able to be with the fans. The energy. The atmosphere. You can only explain it when you are here because you have expectation, but being here surpasses every expectation that you can have. That’s why these are the best fans in the United States.”

On managing and balancing the counter-attack and possessing the ball in the second half…
“I think at some moments we lost the possession. What we did really well towards the beginning of the game. As I said before, Minnesota did a good job in the second half to find the ball in between lines in the middle and then get it wide to create dangerous crosses, especially on the left side to put crosses right away finding the guys coming to the second post on the right side. We tried to close the spaces. It took us a little while and then I felt when we went to a 4-4-1-1 and we got a little more width, then it became a lot easier for us to be able to handle that. But then it was bigger job for the two midfielders in the middle to have to work and make sure they don’t give the spaces away. I felt the guys adjusted really well towards the end and going from 4-1 where we felt the game was done to 3-2. So at the end of the day the guys did the job to get a victory.”

On handling Darwin Quintero having not seen him with Minnesota yet…
“We know what kind of player he is. There are some players in our team who have played with him. So they know him very well. We know how dangerous he is. We understand the things he does very well and he’s a dangerous player. That’s why he is a DP player for Minnesota. I think we handled him well in the first half. In the second half he found a little more space, but at the end of the day I was very pleased with work the guys did defensively to make sure that we could handle him.”

On the performance of Alvas Powell and his goal…
“It was a fantastic goal. Just to the open the game up. To believe in him going forward. To find the space. To find the shot and to score that goal was, for us, what we needed. And it was great to see him find the space going forward. We can always improve the areas defensively, but we allowed him to be more offensive during the match. The thing that he did really well today was still manage the moments he went forward and the moments stayed so he lasted for the full match.”

On needing to see more out of the guys and closing out games…
“It’s something we need to continue to work on. There are areas to improve. This is just the start. I’m seeing progress game after game, and I thought that tonight it was the best game we’ve played so far. Last week being another good game. Yes we don’t want to give goals away, but at the end of the day the important thing is to get the victory and to continue to work to get more solid defensively and I think we are on a good path.”

On a sense of relief in getting the win and having the road trip behind them…
“Definitely. Very content to get our first win, to get three points. I think those games before, we have to remember. The players can forget, but the coaching staff won’t forget about it. The coaching staff will continue to analyze. To continue to see what we learn from those games. To continue to make the team grow. Look at the game today and keep working on the team. But I see a team working together, a team getting better game after game and overall it was very good today.”

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi
On scoring and getting some confidence back…

“The confidence has always been there, but of course it’s always good to score the goal. I’m always humble and relaxed and when you keep working hard in training, things are going to turn out to be as you want it to be. Today is just one of those days and I’m excited to be on the scoresheet today.”

On how much of the victory is excitement versus relief…
“It’s a lot of excitement and relief because we’ve been on the road for five games and it’s been a tough amount of weeks. To come back home and in front of our fans and give them this win we’ve all been waiting for at the start of the season it’s just incredible for us, the players, and the coaching staff is going to bring a lot of confidence to us.”

On what happened on the goal…
“The coaches always tell me to stay in the right position in front of goal. I saw the ball go to [Diego] Valeri and knew he was probably going to head it back to the center. And headed it back to [Cristhian] Paredes for a shot and luckily for me I was in the right position and I headed it in.”

On balancing getting players involved and scoring goals…
“You have to weigh it in every game. When you go into certain games you have to figure out the first half and how you are going play. We talked about how we were going to press high and that’s my duty in the first half was just to hold the ball and bring all the players together. Of course in the second half the game opened up more, so I saw more space and chances at goal. So I was just in the right place at the right time in front of goal.”

Portland Timbers defender Alvas Powell
General thoughts on the match…
“It was a great feeling to be back at Providence Park. It was a really exciting moment to get my first goal and the first win. It was a great feeling.”

On closing out the match for the three points…
“We’ve been training really well, and we knew this game was not going to be easy. We stood together and fought through the end.”

On getting the win after playing five matches on the road to start the season…
“It means a lot to come back to our home fans and get that great support from the fans. It’s a great feeling being at home.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On handling Minnesota in the second half…
“The second half they pushed for to get the result. We couldn’t manage as well as we wanted and we got some luck with the third goal, to be honest, it came at the right moment. It was an open game in the second half.”

On being back at home…
“It was a great feeling. I think our supporters gave us what we needed, that energy and that support all the time. I think we played a great first half and with the emotion we had, we got the three points. We needed that. It was a long stretch on the road and we couldn’t get a result, so we did it today.”

On the overall thoughts of getting the first win and excitement…
“We will enjoy it, this result. This performance with our crowd behind us. It was a different start of the season. The last two games we could get a result, a win, but we couldn’t at the end of the game. And today again, fighting until the last minute, we did it. We think that we are still growing as a team and we have another game next weekend to keep building.”

Minnesota United FC quotes

Minnesota United FC head coach Adrian Heath

General thoughts on the match…

“Frustrated. I thought there was something there for us. I thought we were far and away the better team in the second half and large portions of the first. We gave two terrible goals away, which we’ve done a couple of times on the road. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb, but we kept on going. In the end, I’m disappointed we didn’t take anything from it. They had a few chances on the break, as you would expect, when we were piling forward towards the end. Overall, I look at the way we played with the ball and I’ve been pleased with a lot of stuff. But ultimately we’ve got to score goals and concede less.”

On expecting a tough match from the Timbers on their home opening match…
“We knew it was going to be difficult coming in here in their home opener. To give them the start that they had… The first goal was criminal from our point of view. The fullback gets it near the halfway line, runs and smashes it in. That was poor from us and then the second one took a deflection from Valeri’s path, but after that I was pleased with the way we moved the ball. I thought we looked dangerous going forward. I thought [Darwin] Quintero had a really good opening game, considering he hasn’t played football in a while. There were a lot of positives to take from it, but as I said to the players – if we concede three goals on the road, we’re not going to win too many games.”

On Darwin Quintero’s performance in his first MLS appearance…
“We said that we bought him because he makes things happen in the final third, and that’s what he did this evening. He got himself a goal and he always looked dangerous when he got the ball. Even the ball for the own goal. He was right in the right spot, bullying people. We’re really pleased with his first night of work for us, but he’ll get get better when we get to work with him a lot more and he gets a better understanding with the people who are around him.”

On the partnership of Darwin Quintero and Christian Ramirez…
“We’ve got to work on what we think will eventually be the best system. Christian has proven to be a goal scorer. I just thought tonight he’s been a lot better than he’s been. That’s the first time I thought we saw a bit more of the Christian Ramirez that we know. He had a stop-start preseason and he’s had a few injuries and he’s missed a bit of time.”

On bringing on Carter Manley as a substitute…
“We thought we needed a little bit more athleticism to counter their counter attacking because that’s when we were at our most dangerous is when we were attacking them on the counter attack. We thought Carter’s athleticism would help us in that department. He did OK tonight.”

Minnesota United FC forward Christian Ramirez
General thoughts on the match…
“We deserved more than what we got in the end. I thought we were the better side for the majority of the game. They just put away their chances. Credit to them, but we felt we deserved more.”

On what he sees the potential of his partnership with Darwin Quintero…
“Definitely. With more time on the field together, I think it will be a really complimentary piece. You saw with his goal. He can pick one out in an instant and change a game. I just have to continue to see what he likes, which areas and pockets he likes and play off of it and continue to create the runs because he’ll find them.”

Minnesota United FC midfielder Darwin Quintero
On how it feels to play in his first MLS game ...
“Good. Not very happy with the result — we wanted the win — but so it is. We have to keep working and think about what’s to come.”

On his partnerships with teammates after his first game ...
“Really good. I think that little by little we’re getting to know each other, what each of us can bring together. So happy, because if we continue with that — this is the first game — we’ll make sure we get the win next time.”

On what he saw in his first MLS goal…
“A quick play, I was able to beat the two defenders and score under the goalkeeper’s legs. But when you score and the team doesn’t win, it doesn’t excite you much.”

Notes:

  • Today's win was the first of Portland head coach Giovanni Savarese's MLS coaching career.
  • Saturday’s game marked the 126th consecutive sellout for the Timbers at Providence Park.
  • Dating back to 2017, Portland has won seven consecutive home regular-season matches, which ties a club record in MLS play originally set Aug.7, 2016-March 18, 2017.
  • In MLS home openers, the Timbers are 5-0-3, having won three straight. Dating back to the Timbers’ pre-MLS era, Portland is undefeated in its last 15 home openers with a 10-0-5 record. 
  • For a second consecutive season, Portland squared off with Minnesota United in the club's home opener, winning both matches and scoring eight total goals.
  • In the three MLS matches between the two clubs, Portland and Minnesota have combined for 16 goals. That 5.3 goals-per-match average is the highest amount of any fixture since 2010 (minimum two matches).
  • Alvas Powell scored his first goal of the season and the fifth of his Timbers career.
  • Fanendo Adi scored his first goal of the season and the 52nd of his Timbers career, which ranks as the second-most in club history. 
  • Diego Valeri scored a goal for the third consecutive match, becoming the third MLS player this season with a goal in three straight matches. 
  • Valeri now has 61 league goals for Portland, extending his mark as leading goal scorer in club history.
  • Cristhian Paredes recorded two assists in the match, marking his first career MLS assists. It is the first multi-assist game for a Timbers player this season and the 17th in the Timbers MLS era. 
  • Larrys Mabiala recorded his first MLS assist. 
  • Valeri recorded his 55th career assist with the Timbers, placing him in a tie with John Bain for most assists in club history across all eras (since 1975).
  • Valeri scored a goal and recorded an assist in the same match for the 14th time in his MLS career. 
  • Powell scored a goal and recorded an assist in the same match for the second time in an MLS game. The other occasion was Sept. 7, 2014, against the San Jose Earthquakes. 
  • Paredes, Andy Polo, Bill Tuiloma, Andres Flores, and Samuel Armenteros each made their home debuts in the match. 
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