Quotes & Notes | San Jose Earthquakes 0, Portland Timbers 1 | May 5, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On whether it takes weight off to get the first road win…
“No, we always work. Always working. It’s good to be able to win here, but now we need to analyze what we did right and continue to work and now we have another match next weekend.”

On the team’s growth during the three-match win streak…
“I think the unity has been much better. Everybody’s covering each other, everybody is working for each other. They sacrifice defensively, and they believe offensively, so I think that’s the key factor so far. We need to continue to grow, but I’m seeing growth game by game.”

On his game plan and alignment for this match…
“I think San Jose does a very good job in finding players inside. Their wingers go a lot inside and they become dangerous when they find the ball in the middle of the field so we tried to force the ball wide, tried to force the ball to be a little more predictable. We did a fairly good job during the match to be able to force the ball wide.”

On Diego Valeri’s play over the last five games…
“He’s phenomenal. We know what Valeri is capable of doing, and today he just did an amazing thing, putting the ball in the back of the net on a free kick that wasn’t close enough, but he did a great job for us to be able to get three points.”

On the role of momentum during the team’s three-game winning streak…
“More than momentum, I would say work. I think we’ve done a lot of work and we’ve seen the team progressing. Even with those matches against Chicago, Dallas and Orlando, I think there was progress. We saw that we were getting closer and closer to get something positive. And now I think we’ve seen the results at home and now away from home. This result is very important for us.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On scoring the late winning goal…

“It was important. I knew it. I think we played a great first half. We got a lot of chances and probably we deserved a goal, but we couldn’t get it done. The second half was more even. That free kick was a great opportunity to win the game and luckily it was a goal.”

On whether he knew the free kick was going in…
“When I impacted the ball I knew it was a good one, but the ‘keeper is a great ‘keeper. I saw him and he was very on his post, so I really wanted to make it high and down as much as I can and it was a good one.”

On winning for the first time at Avaya Stadium…
“I’m very happy about that. It’s a hard place to win and I think we are improving every game. That’s key for us. To be honest, in the first five games on the road we deserved a win and we couldn’t get it and we got it today, which is an important one.”

Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin
On his overall thoughts about the game…

“Great result for us. This place hasn’t been too kind to us in the past. This is our first win since they’ve opened up the stadium. I’ve played here three or four times with the team and we’ve always lost. It feels good to get a result. I think it’s a pretty just result. I think we came out and played well. They definitely had a bit of a spell in the second half and put us under pressure, and we weathered that. Ultimately a lot of times games come down to moments of individual brilliance, and luckily Diego Valeri plays for the Portland Timbers.”

On the team’s momentum…
“We’ve just got to keep building. It’s no rest for the weary as they say, because we’ve had [three] good results but now we have two very difficult games in a row. We obviously have Seattle coming up at home and it’s Seattle, so it’s got something special to it, so that’s always going to be tough for us. Then after that LAFC, so we have a lot of tough games and we have to look at it one at a time. Gio [Savarese] and the staff have done great to help us focus game by game and to really put all of our energy and effort into these results and they’ve been going well recently. We know it’s a long season so we have to continue to pile up points wherever we can and keep this feeling going, and keep the positives going but also learn. There’s a lot we can learn from this game, too.”

Notes:

  • Dating back to 1975, the Timbers have produced a 24-18-7 record against the Earthquakes across all competitions, including a 9-4-7 mark in MLS regular-season action. The nine wins against the Earthquakes in MLS play are the second-most by the Timbers against an opponent in league action, ranking only behind Portland’s head-to-head series with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • With the 1-0 win, Portland has recorded consecutive clean-sheet victories for the first time since Aug. 7-15, 2015. 
  • Diego Valeri scored his fourth goal of the season, tying him for the club-lead in 2018 with Sebastián Blanco. 
  • Valeri has scored or assisted in five consecutive matches, which is tied for longest streak in MLS this season. 
  • Valeri's goal was the fourth of his Timbers career that came direct from a free kick, which is third-most among MLS players since 2013. Only Didier Drogba and Sebastian Giovinco have had more goals from free kicks during that stretch. 
  • The 88th-minute goal was the latest game-winning goal scored by the Timbers since Valeri's game-winner in the 91st minute against the Houston Dynamo on June 26, 2016. 
  • Valeri played his 156th regular season match for the Timbers, which ties him for the fifth-most games in club history (all eras) with Scot Thompson. 
  • For the first time in his MLS career, Jeff Attinella notched clean sheets in consecutive matches. 
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