Quotes & Notes | Atlanta United FC 1, Portland Timbers 1 | June 24, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On the game plan entering the match…
“We know this is a tough place to be able to get results. Atlanta is a very good team. We had to make sure that we were compact, that we didn’t give them too much space and that they were not able to break us in the lines. I thought for the majority of the game we did a very good job of doing that. We handled the crosses really well, the movements behind the spaces, and then when we had the ball we created chances. We had very clear and open chances, as much as they did. I thought that the tie was a fair result.”

On if Portland prepared differently than any other match…
“No, we knew what to expect. We knew how they were going to play. We knew what changes they were going to make. We pretty much knew everything coming here of what we were going to face. The thing is that they are very good at what they do and we need to be at our top level to be able to compete and I thought that we did that today.”

On Sebastian Blanco’s performance…
“Fantastic today. He gave us a lot defensively in that role, and then when we broke through he found a lot of space to go forward. Then unfortunately he had a little tightness in his quad and it limited him a little bit, but he was very dangerous going forward. He created the first chance in the game hitting the cross bar. So, fantastic game for Blanco.”

On if getting a result in Atlanta sends a message to the rest of the league…
“I think that the most important thing is that people know that we are a team that is difficult to defeat. That is very important for us. And then we just have to continue to build, continue to grow, continue to be better. But I think overall, everybody that plays against us knows that it is not going to be an easy game.”

Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala
On getting a point in Atlanta…
“We are very happy. We knew it was going to be a very difficult game for us and we were prepared for that. We have been working to play this game for seven days, and we are very glad that everything that we were working on went the way that we wanted.”

On his goal…
“The goal is a funny situation because I think we had the first free kick where I was free, and I judged that they were defending way too high, in my opinion. So, I just told myself that I was about to stop my run for a little bit behind of the defense so I could have more speed to attack the ball. That is what just happened, I was free on the rebound.”

On where he sees Portland’s nine-match unbeaten going…
“We play every game one-by-one, of course. We hope that it is going to last very long. So, the next game is in Seattle. I think it is going to be a very good game for us to play because it is a derby. The fans are waiting for this one and we hope that this undefeated streak will not end next week.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On coming into Atlanta and earning a point…
“I think at halftime we wanted all three. Then based on the time that they scored, it was still pretty early in the second half when they scored, the fact that we were able to hold on and keep them at one was good. They are a very dangerous, attacking-style team. I think we are satisfied with a point.”

On if coming to Atlanta and getting a point sent a message to rest of league…
“I think we have been doing it for a while now. We’ve been getting good results against some really good teams in this league. This is just another one. You can add it to the list. It’s still early in the season though, and we have to look forward to the next match.”

On the nine-game unbeaten streak and where it may go…
“Hopefully it goes to the next one. It’s all about the next game for us. The good thing about this group is that with every result that we get, we are doing a good job of putting that one behind us. We don’t really look at what kind of run we are on, we are just focusing on the next game and next opponent. That’s what we are planning on doing this week.”

Full quotes sheet to follow.

Notes:

  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the 104th different stadium the Timbers have played a league match in since in 1975. 
  • Portland's nine-match unbeaten streak in league play is the longest active streak in MLS and is tied for longest this season with Columbus Crew SC. 
  • Portland is unbeaten in 11 matches across all competitions, marking just the fifth time in club history across all eras (since 1975) that the Timbers have produced an 11-match unbeaten run.
  • With the draw, the Timbers remains unbeaten in two league matches (0-0-2) played against Atlanta United FC since the Georgia-based club joined MLS in 2017.
  • The Timbers had 37 clearances in the match, the most for Portland in a match since April 10, 2016. 
  • Larrys Mabiala scored his second goal of the season. Mabiala is the fifth Timbers player with multiple goals this season and first Timbers defender to reach that mark in 2018.
  • Jeff Attinella made nine saves in the match, which ties a career high for the goalkeeper, who produced nine saves with Real Salt Lake on April 25, 2015. Attinella’s nine saves are the second-most by a Timbers goalkeeper in an MLS match. 
  • As a starter for the Timbers, Attinella has a record of 12-4-5. 
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