Quotes & Notes | Seattle Sounders FC 2, Portland Timbers 3 | June 30, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On the match…
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew it was going to be a big game, very physical and high intensity. From the first half to the second half – two different halves. There were moments that they were good going forward and other moments when we looked dangerous. The most important part is that we were able to score the third goal and that we responded right away. As soon as they scored a goal, we responded right away and I thought that showed how mentally strong the team was today.”

On getting their first regular-season win in Seattle…
“For me, the most important part was the three points. We were able to do it on a difficult field. They looked good and played well and put a big challenge up for us, but thank God we were able to find the solutions to score the goals that we needed. I thought a lot times we did well to cover the spaces and not allow them to get the ball in between our lines, which was very important today.”

On what it says about the team that they responded to Seattle’s goals…
“There was not a moment of doubt that the guys were going to find a solution to go forward and score because that was the belief of all the guys. I think that was very important. And then (Larrys) Mabiala was very strong. To beat Marshall is not easy and he was able to do it and it was very important for us.”

On Larrys Mabiala’s development as a scoring threat…
“The guys have been convinced that we can score on the set pieces. When you believe in it and have everybody going that direction, everything helps you to be able to find the goals. The guys have done a tremendous job on the set pieces to capitalize on the opportunities.”

On the key during their 10-game unbeaten streak in league play…
“We are taking things one game at time. We’re working very hard and concentrating only on what we have in front of us. We don’t think about what we’ve done in the past, we think about what we have on the day and prepare for it. The guys just believe that the only way that we’ll achieve things is working very much together.”

On Diego Valeri’s game…
“He was outstanding in every sense of the word – with the ball, without the ball, leadership, going forward and creating opportunities, being a threat himself and then helping defensively. It was a great match for him.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On the game…
“The feeling is great because it is the first win in the regular season here for us. I am happy about our performance, about the way we played. We explored really well the spaces they gave us most definitely in the second half. I am happy about the result which is really important for us as we get ready to play San Jose next week.”

On his assists and what was working…
“Larrys has been really good in there in the last couple games. I was just trying to put the ball in the right spot for him to jump and to win that battle against (Chad) Marshall, which is not easy.”

On getting three assists…
“I mean I try to create every game. Sometimes it just doesn't happen and sometimes it happens. I focus on my role. Today I really tried to assist our two strikers because we knew that they would give us spaces at some point [because] they need points. As the game went spaces were there for Dairon (Asprilla) and Samuel (Armenteros) and I think they did a great job.”

Portland Timbers forward Samuel Armenteros
On the feeling in the locker room after today’s win…

“All positive obviously after a game like this. These taste a bit more sweeter. An exciting game, a fighting game. Both teams wanting to win, especially with it being a rivalry. I am new to this here, but already just a couple months into my stay here in Portland, I am already starting to feel a part of it. I played my second Seattle-Portland game now. It feels great obviously coming out with the win. Second victory.”

On the atmosphere and winning away…
“Oh yeah. Absolutely. As a striker, I have said this numerous times: it is the main motivation going away knowing there are going to be a lot of fans, knowing everybody is going to be against you, except for your own fans that traveled. But just knowing that feeling, that moment, as a striker especially being in the field to score and to help your teammates and when you do you just hear the stadium go quiet, that is just the sweetest moment.”

On his goal and going to the left foot…
“I felt in the way he sprinted on his speed that he would not be able to twist his hips fast enough to catch that ball, if I twisted inside. I was thinking of going outside but then the way I saw his posture was a flick to the inside and then found the far post. Low shot, and yeah good execution and a good goal and a great pass from Valeri.”

Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala 
On scoring two goals today… 
“It feels great. Especially to score in the derby like that, where everybody was so excited to play, the fans, the players, the teams. I am very happy to score two goals tonight.”

On the team today and scoring on two corner kicks…
“Everybody was just very focused on the victory. In the last three games we could not get a victory, but I think we showed some good things today. We wanted very hard to show everybody that we can still get three points. This was the best time for us to show everybody that the Portland Timbers are still alive.”

On the team finally winning here in Seattle…
“We are very happy about that. The goal is the same. We take all the games one by one and we just want to keep going this way. Playing better games after games. That is very good for the statistics, and for the fans and for everybody that we won today. We want to keep going so that next week we just want to do the same.”

Seattle Sounders FC quotes

Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer

On the form of Víctor Rodríguez…

“It was good. It was a very well-crafted goal in the sense that Nico [Lodeiro] was doing some hard work in the right-wing channel, Victor makes a good run. Good ball, good finish. So, we’re pleased with that – that he could get on the score sheet. Again, guys are streaky sometimes with their confidence, and hopefully that gives him a good boost in his confidence. But I think his challenge has been his knee that’s been bugging him, and I think he’s finally getting over that. I think that injury has gone away for the most part, so that’s why you’re seeing an increase in the quality of his play.”

On Bryan Meredith’s performance…
“He was good. He made that really, really tremendous save in the first half. I don’t want to fault him for any of the three goals. So, he came in and did a good job. I thought he was good.”

On changing both of the starting fullbacks…
“Well, I played Cristian [Roldan] there [against Chicago Fire], he’s not a right back. Jordan McCrary had the plantar fasciitis and Kelvin [Leerdam] is injured. So, when McCrary was healthy, I felt I could go with him and put Cristian back in his natural position. And then on the left side, Nouhou is a great kid. He’s got tons of potential. But, I think he needs a little bit of seasoning. We ran him out there five games – literally five games in a row – when we were playing with a four-man backline. And I think his final product needs to be worked on, some of his defending needs to be worked on. So, plenty of potential there. But we thought we were going to have more possession of the ball today because they sit and counter. And Waylon [Francis], we feel, is a little bit more creative in the final third.”

On the need to be more balanced in the second half…
“We talked all week about being a little bit more disciplined in our attack and our approach to the game. In the second half, there were passes that weren’t completed that led directly to their counter-attacks. There was some unbalance in the group when we were in possession and the ball turns over. And that’s important because, as you attack, you always need to make sure you’re covered in case the ball turns over so you can prevent counter-attacks. So it’s something that we worked on. We showed them film. I think at the end of the day, their two set-piece goals were set-piece goals, and then one was a counter-attack goal that cost us.”

On whether losing to Portland negates the momentum from signing Ruidíaz…
“It brings us right back down to earth. This is a really, really tough loss. No player, new player, whatever. This is going to sting. This is going to sting for a long time. I think the energy in the building, I appreciated it. I think the energy in the crowd was good. I think everybody sensed it before the game. So, to disappoint the people certainly will wear on us.”

On the current state of affairs…
“Well the current state of affairs is not good. We have to be realistic; it’s not good. We’ve really put ourselves in a hole. So, the work that we do during the week to prepare for games, the effort that I think that the guys show, I think all of that is there. But at some point, we as coaches need to take responsibility for what we do, and players on the field need to take responsibility for what they do. And we are not going to give up. We’ll continue to try and train well, players will continue to try and win games. We’ll see if we can’t start winning a couple of games and make that gap smaller. Once the team starts believing a little bit, once the team starts scoring some goals, once we get a couple of wins, then we can’t talk about if it’s too late or not.”

On the team’s set-piece defending…
“I think you’ve got to credit [Larrys] Mabiala. I think both goals were good. We actually changed the matchups. Kim Kee-hee was on him first, and then we put Chad [Marshall] on him. So, at some point, you’ve got to credit them. He scored two goals against our two center backs. You look at MLS and set-piece goals are important. You look at Chad Marshall getting the best of Mabiala on our second goal, those are important. We will work on that in training to make sure that we’re a little bit sharper in our defending inside the box.”

Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Victor Rodriguez (Through translator)
On his overall thoughts on the game…
“Tough, really tough. Losing a game like this is tough especially when you are playing a derby against Portland at home, with the crowd. But now even though we lost the only thing we can do is be together and towards the right direction.”

On his goal…
“It’s really easy for me to play with [Loderio]. He saw me pointing him to the open space so he sent it perfectly to me and I went with everything I had because I knew it was important for me to score that goal and come during the game.”

Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan
Thoughts on the loss…
“We knew that they were a counter-attacking team and we let in a goal that was very counter-attacking-esque. We know that set pieces change games, and were about to change our game from our perspective and it ended up biting us in the but when they scored those two. We felt like we limited their chances until late in the game when they were pushing forward but you know, we have to be stronger in the box.”

On the flow of the game…
“Yeah we felt like we always had a chance. From the first 10-20 minutes we were playing extremely well, I felt like it was going to be our day. And like I said, goals change games. Setpieces, we are going to have to be stronger. We always felt like we were in it. There was a sense of belief that we were going to score that first goal and that second goal and the momentum was flying.”

Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith 
On his start…
“I’m happy with my performance, unfortunate to give up three goals, but it’s something to build on.”

On Portland’s success on setpieces…
“I think just little unorganized, I think we need to organize a little sooner and stay focused on the game a little bit.”

Notes:

  • The match was the 101st game in the rivalry between the two clubs. 
     
  • The 3-2 victory was the first by the Timbers in a regular-season match at Sounders FC since April 30, 2005 (USL).
     
  • Portland is now unbeaten in 10 straight MLS matches and 12 matches overall. It is just the fourth time in club history (all eras) that the Timbers have tallied 12 consecutive competitive matches without a loss.  
     
  • Portland's 10-match unbeaten streak in league play is the longest streak in MLS this season.
     
  • Portland is unbeaten in its last four regular-season matches against Sounders FC, its longest unbeaten run against Sounders FC in league play since 2004. 
     
  • A total of 71 goals have been scored between the clubs in MLS regular-season matches, the most of any fixture in MLS since 2011. 
     
  • Larrys Mabiala scored a brace for the first time in his MLS career. Mabiala is the first defender with a brace for the Timbers in MLS play. 
     
  • Mabiala is the first Timbers player with a brace at Sounders FC in MLS play and the fourth Timbers player across all eras of the rivalry. 
     
  • Mabiala leads all MLS defenders with four goals this season. 
     
  • Samuel Armenteros scored his fourth goal of the season, tying with Mabiala for the third-most goals on the team in 2018. 
     
  • Diego Valeri delivered three assists in the match. Valeri is the first Timbers player with three assists in a single MLS match. 
     
  • Valeri's seven career assists against Sounders FC are tied for the most assists against Sounders FC in MLS play by a single player. Brad Davis also has seven assists against Sounders FC.
     
  • Bill Tuiloma and Julio Cascante each made their first appearances in the rivalry.
Topics: