Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 2, Los Angeles Football Club 1 | May 19, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On the team’s performance in the match today…
“It’s growing. Extremely proud of how they worked so hard to make sure we didn’t allow [LAFC] to create too many things. It’s a good team. It’s a good team, a difficult team. Our guys did a fantastic job to make sure we forced them where we wanted to and we handled the better players in a good way. When we had the chance of having the ball, we created a lot of opportunities and were dangerous offensively. I’m very pleased, very happy with the performance. We just have to continue to work and this is just one more. Today, the effort was incredible. Very proud of the guys.”

On the early change having to substitute defender Liam Ridgewell…
“It’s always tough because you don’t want any of your players to come out so early in the match. Credit to [Julio] Cascante. He came in and did the job. He, right away, fit into this league. He hasn’t played matches and he was great. He adjusted very quickly. It’s unfortunate for Liam because he’s been doing very, very well for us. Cascante just gave us what we needed in this match.”

On what made Cascante so capable to come in off the bench…
“Because we all believe in each other. We all know that anyone who steps onto the field is going to do a good job because we’re working together. We have the right mentality. We all care about each other and that’s the most important part. That’s why he did so well coming in, because he had the confidence to be able to do the job.”

On executing the team’s game plan to stifle LAFC’s attack…
“The plan was well-executed by the players. They did a great job. I don’t think in the first half [LAFC] had too many chances. Maybe none. The second half, they did create some things, they became a little more dangerous. The effort put in by our players was a lot. [LAFC] found some spaces, but they opened up and then we found some other good opportunities. I thought it was a good match. As I said, I thought the guys executed the plan very well and I’m very proud of them.”

On Cristhian Paredes and Samuel Armenteros scoring their first MLS goals...
“Not only the two of them, but everybody. I think everybody played a great match. The guys that came in Armenteros, Cascante, [Andres] Flores and the guys that were there on the field. Just a great match. Fantastic from everyone. The guys that were on the bench were eager to go in to contribute. That’s what we want from the group and it’s great that Paredes and Armenteros found the goal because they’ve been working very hard for that.”

On the different contributions from Fanendo Adi and Armenteros…
“We knew when we brought in Armenteros that he was bringing something different, which is what we like. They can play together, they can play one after the other. It’s great for a coach to have these kinds of players so you can create different things. Armenteros has been fantastic. Every time he has stepped on the field he’s given us what we needed.”

On adjusting to LAFC’s second-half substitutions and shape…
“We expected that would happen so we were already ahead knowing those substitutions were going to come in at any point in the second half. We planned accordingly for that. I felt that the guys did a good job to make sure we would continue to, even with their change of system, be disciplined.”

On the contributions of new acquisitions Paredes, Cascante, Armenteros and Polo…
“They’ve adapted very quickly. Not only to MLS, but to Portland and the team. They grow every game more and more. They make it more difficult for me because there are other guys that also want to play and they’re doing very well. I think all the guys that have come in have added something special and today we saw that.”

On how teams are adjusting to Portland’s attack and how Portland tackles that challenge…
“Definitely. We’re growing in the things we have to work on and I think also, we are getting more confident because of the results. We believe in ourselves. Putting the work in and doing the things we’re doing, we’re going to get results. It’s just a growth, game by game. We have to continue to work. There are more areas that we need to improve. There are more areas where we need to become better. One step at a time and the guys are doing a great job.”

On defender Zarek Valentin’s performance…
“Fantastic. Without the ball and with the ball because he had a difficult challenge in the wide areas. He was very good to be able to understand tactically where to be, how to close the spaces. There was even one ball where he dropped, didn’t even go pressure the player, knowing that there was going to be a cross. He dropped and he cut the passing lane that was going to one of the players making a run. So great tactically. With the ball he, like everyone, put great effort with the ball when we had it. They knew what to do with it. I’m very proud. We have to continue to work, but I think we’re on a good path.”

Portland Timbers forward Samuel Armenteros
On today’s win…

“I’ve had a long season so far. I’ve been on the road now for a year active. I obviously have a long way to go, but I feel good. Usually, I go to vacation this time of the year. The competition in Europe is usually finished [this time of the year], but I feel great. I’m just happy to get this one started. As a striker, it’s always good for your own confidence to get those goals in and obviously the last couple of weeks have been good for me, personally. I’ve been able to help with the time I’ve been on the field. The team has been winning, five now in a row so that feels great. Being able to score the game-winner was awesome.”

On the confidence of the team following the team’s fifth win in a row…
“Everybody in the beginning had a shaky start, and it’s totally normal. There were a lot of new faces with the staff and the players, and everyone getting adjusted to their lives around soccer as well. For me, I know how that is traveling to a new country, finding a place to stay and getting everything set up. Now we’re getting to know each other way better, day-by-day. We train hard and want to give the fans and club everything we have. We have a lot of potential, so I feel we’ll only get better from here.”

On his game-winning goal…
“Obviously there was a lot of space. We were going back and forth, with us trying and them trying. Just when I was about to come on, they scored to make it 1-1. To come on as the striker, it gave me the confidence to want to decide and want to help my team take those three points. When the ball fell down in our own half, I remember flicking it to my left and shaking off my defender on my left side and I sprinted past him. I saw Diego Chara in my rear mirror, as you would say, running behind me on the right side. Their central defender was after [Chara], and then I flicked it to my left and I just took off and place it hard in the far corner. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even look at the ball – I just focused on the shot. It went so fast that I just reacted, and when I saw the fans screaming I thought it was a hit. I’m very happy with the result.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On the performance from the team after the win…

“Unbelievable. Obviously when [Liam Ridgwell] went down early, a lot of teams would take that as a bad sign, but Julio [Cascante] came in and played unbelievable and I think that really lifted the group. Defensively, we dug in and once they scored that goal, we fought hard to score again and we ended up getting the win. It’s a great step forward and it’s a huge three points for us.”

On the defense playing well against a strong LAFC attack…
“Everyone is digging in and buying in. Once we got those first couple of shutouts, everyone really started buying into what we’re doing defensively. We take pride in shutting teams down. Unfortunately, they scored today, but if those are the types of goals that teams have to score on us then we’ll take that because it wasn’t a breakdown. It was just a wonder strike.

On making a save a before the game-winning goal…
“He got in behind. The ball was bouncing and he caught it well on the full volley, but I felt like I read it pretty well. I looked up and we were on the break. I don’t really know what happened between the rebound and looking back up and down the field, but it seemed to work out pretty well. I wish I could say I planned that, but sometimes you’ve got to have a little luck on your side.”

On setting a new club record for the longest shutout streak by a Timbers goalkeeper…
“That’s cool. That’s a credit to everybody because defensively we’ve played really well. Fortunately, I’ve been able to make some saves when called upon, but that’s a team thing. My name will go with it, but that’s the whole team. Defensively, I think we deserve it and it’s time to start another one.”

Portland Timbers defender Julio Cascante
On staying mentally prepared to come into a game off the bench…

“You always have to be ready for these moments. I have been working a lot and working alone, extra time. Today I felt so great. It was a hard time because you have to wait for your moment. You have great players in front of you and now I feel so great. My teammates support me.”

On Portland keeping a strong defensive shape against LAFC’s attack…
“We did great work because they have players like [Carlos] Vela, so I think it’s really, really hard to mark him, but we did a great job to win this game. I’m so happy. I think everyone is happy.”

Los Angeles FC quotes

Los Angeles FC head coach Bob Bradley

On his thoughts after the match…

“It was a tough game for sure. I think our players pushed really hard in the second half, started very well and gave up the first goal off of the free kick. Of course, Carlos [Vela] scored a great goal to make it 1-1. We had a very good chance at 1-1 and directly off of our opportunity we didn’t shut down the counter and it continues and then we go down and just had to try keep creating advantages until the end. So it’s not perfect, but in terms of strong effort on a tough day, I still have good things to say.”

On the challenges his team faced in the first half…
“It’s a physical game in terms of finding some fluidity, moving the ball faster. I just said at half time that I think we that we’re not getting the ball quickly to the right player where an advantage can push forward to the goal. Portland, I recall their block of seven, their four defenders and then the way those three defenders are dropped in, they’re very compact. So your ability to get through their [defense] is challenged and if you’re not good at it then that’s where they’re able to turn some of your misplays to counters because [Sebastian] Blanco and [Diego] Valeri are some of the first options as the ball comes loose and then [Fanendo] Adi is still higher on the field occupying defenders, so that’s the way they’ve gone about things that in this last stretch has worked so well for them. I still think we went about things in a good way, maybe it’s a day where at the end, where we need to be sharper on a few more plays, we weren’t quite good enough.”

On the atmosphere at Providence Park…
“It’s great to play here in terms of the atmosphere. Portland has a great stadium and Portland has got great fans, every part that happens here in Portland in terms of football is good. To be honest, it’s not an easy field to play on, but it is what it is. When you’re trying to get the ball moving quickly, that part isn’t easy. That takes away some things, but the rest of what happens here in Portland is awesome and every player in the league has to come and play in this atmosphere. They will tell you great things, but if you poke at them really hard they would agree with a few of the things I respectfully said.”

On the traveling support…
“Our travelling fans are awesome, it just adds to the atmosphere in a great stadium. If you look around the section of the Timbers Army is cool and now talk about in the far corner is our travelling fans and the Thirty-Two Fifty-Two and so when you talk about the atmosphere inside a stadium, it’s just fantastic.”

On having five players named to World Cup provisional rosters…
“We’re excited for all of them. We will see in some cases. Obviously, 100 percent I think Carlos Vela for sure will be with Mexico in the World Cup. Marcus Ureña, who still for us is not able to play because of the injury, and then in terms of Laurent [Ciman] and Steve [Beitashour], they’re still waiting to know for sure. Steve is on a big list and we hope that he gets an opportunity. Laurent is waiting. Omar [Gaber] is on a bigger list, so you know it’s not an easy time for the players because obviously that’s on their minds. But they’ve all handled it well, and we have other guys who train every day and understand what we want our football to be about and they are going to get some chances.”

Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela
On his first time playing at Providence Park…

“I think it was a really good experience, they have a great atmosphere and their fans are really good, they push the entire game and they do a good job. Of course I’m disappointed because I didn’t win and we have to keep working and move on to the next and try to win.”

On his thoughts on the goal he scored…
“When I received the ball, I control and said, if I shoot there it’s a goal for sure. I believed a lot in that shot and I feel like, when I have a chance and have the time to prepare my body, then I would score a lot of times. So I was happy with that shot and I hope I can continue scoring more goals for the team.”

Notes:

  • Saturday’s game marked the 129th consecutive sellout for the Timbers at Providence Park.
  • The win was Portland's fifth consecutive victory, the club's longest streak as an MLS club and longest win streak overall since Aug. 6-22, 2009, in USL play.
  • Dating back to last season, the Timbers have 10 consecutive home wins in regular-season play. Portland is the second MLS team ever to have 10 or more consecutive home wins (San Jose, Aug.25, 2001- July 24, 2002).
  • For the third consecutive match, Portland scored a game-winning goal in the final 10 minutes of a match.
  • Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the Timbers have 27 wins at home, the most in MLS during that span.
  • Forward Samuel Armenteros scored his first goal as a member of the Timbers. The goal was his first shot on target as a Timbers player.
  • Midfielder Cristhian Paredes scored his first goal as a member of the Timbers.
  • Paredes recorded his third assist of the season, which is tied for the club lead with midfielder Diego Valeri.
  • Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella's shutout streak came to an end at 404 minutes, the longest shutout streak by a Timbers goalkeeper in MLS play.
  • Defender Julio Cascante made his Providence Park debut in the match.
  • LAFC is the 106th different opponent the Timbers have played in the 43-year history of the club.
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