Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers FC 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1 | July 7, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On the team’s performance…

“First of all, a good win. Important to get three points at home, especially when you play against a team from the same conference. It was important for us to perform today. I thought for the majority of the match we did a lot of good things, we created good chances. But then we didn’t capitalize on those chances and then at the end of the game we suffered a little bit. I think towards the end of the first half and towards the end of the game we suffered a little bit. But overall, I think it was a very good performance. I thought that we played very well at some moments in the match and it was very optimistic.”

On the match slowing down at the end of the first half and what he said at halftime and the team’s response…
“What I told the players was to make sure that we raise the level. That we keep on moving the ball like we did for the majority of the first half. That we find a goal early, and that’s what the guys did right away as soon as they came in. They were able to do the things we spoke about. Unfortunately, towards the end with a 2-0 lead after a few opportunities, I think we could have went up in the score, but they were able to score and then we suffered. We suffered towards the end and it was a difficult three points we are very happy to be able to achieve in this game.”

On the role of Lawrence Olum in recent games…
“Very important. He’s been playing very well. He’s been playing consistent. He’s been important for us in that role in front of the defense and in some moments to be able to get in the gaps between the defense. But not only Lawrence, I thought the entire team worked very hard today to achieve the goal.”

On substituting Samuel Armenteros and Sebastián Blanco and how those changes impacted the game…
“I think first of all Armenteros was feeling tired and with Seba, we wanted to make sure since he was coming back from an injury, so we wanted to be very smart in regards to giving him enough minutes, but not pushing him to the limit and that’s why we made the substitutions. And I thought that the guys who came in did well. They did their role. They executed what I asked.”

On Armenteros’ scoring form and the difference in his last eight games…
“I think what changed is he’s now feeling more game ready. He’s getting used to playing more. We have to remember that coming from Italy there was a long period that he didn’t play enough minutes and he needed to get back into the playing mode and feeling good about himself in the game. He had some good performances, but now we see that he’s a lot more comfortable on the field and that’s the reason why he looked very good today.”

On the chemistry between Armenteros, Blanco and Diego Valeri…
“Not only Armenteros, but I thought [Dairon] Asprilla was good, Blanco linked very well with Valeri and Armenteros. I thought the guys did a very good job to create good opportunities especially I think in the second half. There were many, many chances. I thought we were very dangerous, and that’s a good sign that the guys are gelling more and more together.”

On making decisions towards the end of the game when a player is on the verge of potential club history like with Armenteros with a hat-trick…
“I think when it comes, it will come. We have to make right the decisions. If the player is tired, we have make sure that he comes out. If we see something in the game that we have to make a substitution, then we have to do that. At the end I think it will work itself out if Armenteros, or [Fanendo] Adi, or anybody else scores a hat-trick this year.”

On Valeri and his five assists over the last two games and if it’s a product of him in the No. 10 role…
“He performed very well today. He was clinical with his passes. He was very good as the outlet for our team. I thought he had a fantastic match, not only with the ball, but as well defensively he helped us in a lot of the plays we needed him to. Very good game for Valeri, as usual.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On the mentality of the group heading into tonight’s match…

“It wasn’t an easy game. We knew about it. We needed to perform well because San Jose doesn’t have the points that they deserve. They’re a good team. I think that’s why we played a good game in the first half. We put a lot of effort into keeping the ball and creating chances. We didn’t score the chances we created in the second half to finish the game and that’s why they got a little better at the end of the game. [This game] could have been tricky after a big win, so I’m happy about the performance.”

On his five assists in the last two matches…
“That’s part of my role in the team. The idea is to create chances. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t happen, but the point of my role is to create, assist and support the strikers we have. I’m happy about the chemistry we have in the team and we have to keep building in that way.”

On Samuel Armenteros performance tonight…
“He’s very creative in small spaces. It’s good. He can create something in small spaces and even with his back to goal and that’s good because we have Dairon [Asprilla] with pace. Trying to have different capacitates in the team is good. I think he’s having a good rhythm. We have to keep supporting him and keep maintaining.”

Portland Timbers forward Samuel Armenteros
Overall thoughts on the game…

“I felt like the guys, even from the warmup, everyone felt energetic, the fans were going from the start, just thought it was going to be a good day. Went out there, we got [out to] a good start to the game, early lead – that makes everything easier. They came back a bit stronger late in the first half, but scored to make it 2-0 in the second half, which calmed the game down; obviously we had a bit of an exciting end it, but happy to get the three points. It’s been a good streak, we just [need to] keep this going.”

On the keys to his goal-scoring form over the past eight games…
“Playing time, confidence, rhythm, getting used to the players… Just working day-to-day on the things I’m good at and knowing what I’m good at. My new teammates got used to me and knowing what I want and the chemistry between us. It’s just confidence. In the beginning, it was a big transition coming from there to here. I hadn’t been playing for a while. I hadn’t touched the ball for God knows how long before I came here. I had a couple of days, it felt like, before the season started. Obviously the team had a certain chemistry with the players already playing, so I had to work myself into it. I just worked myself into the team and getting everything settled.”

On adjusting to the style of play in MLS…
“I moved from Sweden when I was 16. From that transition… Holland to Belgium, back to Holland, Holland to Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan to Holland, Holland to Italy and Italy to the United States, so I’ve made a lot of moves. I know what it takes and I know what it’s like changing everything in a day or two. I guess I’ve gotten used to that. Obviously it’s a change and everybody handles it differently, but I feel like I do it OK.”

San Jose Earthquakes quotes

San Jose Earthquakes head coach Mikael Stahre

Thoughts on the first half…
“From the bigger perspective, we conceded a goal in the first 20 minutes and then our left back got injured. After 30 minutes we had to sub out a couple players as well. It took us a while to get into our rhythm and we came up against a really good Portland team this evening and they deserved the victory. We did have some good chances towards the end of the game when the score was 2-1, but as I said this was a really good Portland team that we played today.”

On the injury Danny (Hoesen) sustained and how his absence affected the team…
“Migraine. He’s our top scorer and if we have to take him out after 30 minutes then of course it changes our game plan. Also, we had to change two players early in the first half and we had to wait to make the last change, in case any cramps or injury should happen later in the game, which might cause us to play with less players. This is why I waited until the last 15 minutes to make my final substitution.”

On the team’s mentality to fight for a goal…
“Even though we have quite a bit of defeats, we still fight every single game. We have to win games and tonight we played a team that controlled the game from the first second. We did have some chances, but overall they controlled the game and they deserved the three points this evening.”

On the challenges Samuel (Armenteros) presented…
“He was dangerous all the time. He’s good with the ball and he’s very strong in the box. He was really good.”

Thoughts on the Portland team and the atmosphere inside the stadium…
“First of all, they have a good team and a good coaching staff. In addition, they have a packed stadium and a nice atmosphere. We’ve now played them two times in the league and have lost both times and for the moment they are a little better than us, that’s the reality.”

San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell
On the team's defense tonight…
“We let them through a few too many times. (Diego) Valeri is a dangerous player with (Samuel) Armenteros running off. I think our guys did an okay job, we just couldn’t keep it up.”

On the challenges that Armenteros presented…
“He’s big and strong, makes good runs and has good hold up play. So he causes a lot of problems because guys can run off him.”

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Florian Jungwirth
On his goal and the desire to get back in the game…

“We tried to get a goal to get back in the game. It was an open game, Portland had more possession and some good chances as well. In the second half we had some chances and we needed a goal and it was a great ball that Quincy played in to me. I didn’t know that I was so fast, it was a great ball though in the right moment and I decided to shoot from about seven yards. It was a great assist from Quincy and it’s always a happy moment when you a score a goal.”

On what makes Portland a tough place for San Jose to get a result…
“It’s a very tough place to play. Portland is one of the best teams in the Western Conference, maybe one of the best atmospheres in the league next to Atlanta so it’s a very hard place to win. The temperature also played a major factor in our game today as well.”

Notes:

  • Portland has recorded eight MLS home wins over San Jose, the most home wins against a single MLS opponent for Portland. Portland has never lost an MLS game to San Jose at Providence Park with a record of 8-0-3 since 2011. 
     
  • The Timbers are unbeaten in their last 11 MLS matches with a record of 8-0-3, which is the longest streak in MLS this season. 
     
  • The Timbers are unbeaten in their last 13 matches across all competitions with a record of 10-0-3, which is the third-longest streak in club history across all eras (since 1975). 
     
  • Since 2016, Portland has recorded 27 home wins, which is tied for the second-most in MLS during that span. 
     
  • Samuel Armenteros recorded his second brace of the season, bringing his season total to six goals. Since May 23, his six goals are tied for the fourth-most in MLS. 
     
  • Armenteros is the first Timbers player with multiple braces this season and the fourth Timbers player with multiple MLS braces for the club, joining Fanendo Adi, Diego Valeri and Darlington Nagbe. 
     
  • Diego Valeri tallied two assists in the match, becoming the first Timbers player to have multiple assists in consecutive MLS matches.
     
  • Valeri has assisted on five consecutive Timbers goals, which sets a club record for most consecutive assists, surpassing the former record of four set by Valeri from Aug.3-17, 2013. 
     
  • Valeri has 61 assists in his MLS career, becoming the 11th player in MLS history to have 60 or more goals and 60 or more assists. Valeri is the only active MLS player in the 60-60 club. 
     
  • Alvas Powell started his 100th regular-season match for the Timbers, becoming the sixth Timbers player with 100 MLS starts for the club. 
     
  • As a starter for the Timbers, Jeff Attinella has a record of 14-4-5. The 14 wins are tied for the ninth-most wins by a goalkeeper in club history across all eras (since 1975).  
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