Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 1, LA Galaxy 0 | June 15, 2018

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On how he feels about the result…
“I thought that the team played very well today. We fought very hard, it worked well and we felt we were in control of the match. I think it was a deserved result, but nevertheless there were moments that were dangerous. There were moments that required concentration, but the guys were able to perform in a very big way. I’m proud of the guys because it doesn’t matter who goes in, everybody just gives their best for the team and everybody works together. Today was a tough one, but a very good victory.”

On advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup…
“As I said many times, we want to go on the field and give everything that we have to achieve the goal of getting victories and going through, like we did today. We have to take one game at a time. We’ll enjoy this one tonight, but then tomorrow we’ll start working for next week. It’s going to be a very difficult match, and were just going to take one game at a time. I’m proud of the guys because they gave everything tonight.”

On the team’s ability to play through various personnel changes…
“We wanted to try something a little bit different today, due to the fact we gave some rest to Diego [Valeri]. We decided to go with a diamond with two strikers, and I thought it worked well. I thought that the more the [game went on], the guys up front were getting better and starting to understand each other a little bit more. Overall, it was good, but I think the fact that Bill [Tuiloma] came into the game and Vytas was able to come back into it… I think, all around, I’m very content with the performance of every player on the pitch.”

On the performance of defender Larrys Mabiala…
“He’s been growing every game. Every single match, he keeps on getting better and better and giving more and more. Today was important. One moment, he saved one of the goals from going inside, so Mabiala has been doing very, very well because he has understood that he has to work every single day. He’s been very solid for us.”

On using the diamond formation moving forward…
“It’s a resource. I feel that this team now can adapt to different systems, can adapt to different situations and that’s what we want – a team that is smart. A team that whoever goes on the field can perform and adapt to the things that we put in there. Today was the diamond, and the guys were able to do a good job.”

On the decision to sub out forward Fanendo Adi late in the match…
“I felt they were starting to find the fullbacks to easily with too much space. That’s why we changed to a 4-2-3-1; that way we can have two guys wide pressuring right away the fullbacks. That’s why [Dairon] Asprilla came in and he did a good job to make sure he gave us that width as well as [Andres] Flores on the left side.”

On the pairing of Fanendo Adi and Samuel Armenteros up top…
“I thought it was very effective. I thought [Adi] built up more and more. I don’t think it was fluid from the beginning, but I saw it building more and more in the match. We did have space in the wide areas to put those balls. They realized that in the second half and that’s why they changed to a 4-4-2, but then we found a little bit more space in the middle. I thought the combination playing Adi with Armenteros, with him moving around, was good.”

On switching to the 4-2-3-1 formation and how the team may use it going forward…
“I thought we looked very well against the San Jose Earthquakes in the [last Lamar Hunt Open Cup match], which we were using the same system. I think that’s something that we have available as well. The important part is to make sure that we put in the right players and they can adapt to the different things that we need during the match. For me, that’s the most important part.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On his first-half goal…

"The goal was a very good play. It started with the deep pass to (Fanendo) Adi. I touched [the ball] with my right and finished with my left. It's good because we worked very hard for this game and we're very happy to continue in the Cup."

On playing in the No.10 role tonight...
"It's good. Sometimes when I was young I played in this position. Now it's not normal but it's good because we have two forwards that fight every game. The last 15-20 minutes, we stayed a little back because LA wanted the draw but we defended very good. I like playing free and moving for every position. I don't have a problem with that."

On showing how important it is to play different positions...
"We need to understand the different positions and that soccer is [all about] movement. Sometimes it starts with two forwards but sometimes we play with only one. We need to understand every position and that every game is different. Every team is different too; we need to know in what moments we need different positions."

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On his thoughts of the game...

"Obviously we didn't give them too many chances. Toward the end, they were lumping balls and we did a great job dealing with it. Sometimes, you got to grind out results and that's what we did.

On Mabiabla's goal-line clearance in the second half...
"That was a huge save for him and a big moment for the game because if it goes 1-1, the game changes. He definitely saved a goal so that was a great play for him. He did that very well and he's been playing really well all season so we've expected it at this point."

LA Galaxy quotes

LA Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid
General thoughts on the match…
“I didn’t think we started the game well. I thought Portland was the better team at the beginning. Probably deservedly took a lead. I thought the second half we were much better. I thought even the last 15 minutes of the first half we were better. But for some reason we came out a little bit tentative. Maybe it was Portland playing in a slightly different formation and it took us a little bit of time to adjust.”

On how injuries to LA players during the match affected the team…
“Obviously [Zlatan Ibrahimović] isn’t here. You lose Ola [Kamara] and then you lose [Emmanuel Boateng] as well coming out just because of a fitness issue. That takes away three pretty good attacking players. But that’s something we’ve dealt with all season with having different people step in.”

On looking ahead following tonight’s lose and the World Cup break…
“We just have to get away for a little bit of time. Get our minds clear. Deal with a couple of the injuries that we have. We have to come back for the second half of the season and continue what we’ve done in the last five league games.”

On the mental differences between a US Open Cup match and an MLS regular season match…
“Our mentality was good coming in. We just didn’t play well the first 20 minutes. I thought we were a little too direct, which is something we thought we could take advantage of. We were too focused on that and didn’t mix our play. Once we started to keep some possession then things opened up for us.”

LA Galaxy midfielder Perry Kitchen
On looking ahead after the defeat...
"Again, we're out of the tournament. It's not ideal but we move on to the regular season. There's still a ton to play for. There are 19 games and are still in a decent position. So we have a little break now and then we'll come back stronger and finish the second half of the season.”

On the physicality of the match...
"It was always going to be a physical game. The guys you mentioned (Adi, Chara, Armenteros) are very physical guys, strong guys and good players as well. The first half they were on us a bit. Second half I thought we had them a bit but we weren't able to capitalize."

Notes:

  • With the 1-0 win, the Timbers are unbeaten in their last 10 matches (8-0-2) across all competitions.
     
  • Portland recorded its sixth clean sheet of the season across all competitions with the 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
     
  • The result also marked Portland’s 10th clean sheet in the U.S. Open Cup since 2004.
     
  • Midfielder Sebastián Blanco tallied his sixth goal across all competitions and his first career goal in the U.S. Open Cup.
     
  • Blanco is the third Timbers player to score a goal in the U.S. Open Cup in 2018, alongside midfielder Dairon Asprilla and forward Jeremy Ebobisse.
     
  • Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella has recorded five clean sheets in eight games across all competitions this season.
     
  • Playing in his second straight match across all competitions, midfielder Lawrence Olum and led the team in passing accuracy at 97.1%. The midfielder missed on only one attempted pass (34 successful out of 35) and also had one tackle in the match.
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