Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 | Aug. 11, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

General thoughts on the match…

“I thought that first of all we started the match the way we wanted. We opened the match with a diamond. We went with something different. A more attacking-minded team. In the first half maybe some of our mistakes they were able to capitalize and score the two goals. And I thought the second half was all us. We gave everything that we had in the second half. We scored a goal. We couldn’t get back into it. Credit to Vancouver. They came in with a plan. They executed. They were able to get the goals that they needed in the first half. Taking advantage of our mistakes and then second half they defended. They defended everything that we threw at them, which was a lot, and they got an important victory.”

On his thought process dealing with a team that was going bunker in…
“We thought we had to open up the game. They were very solid in the back. With [Andy] Polo and [Sebastián] Blanco higher we were able to have more mobility and we were able to find more space. We became more dangerous. We brought our lines higher and also then they defended. They went five in the back. We had more space, but they dealt very well with the crosses. We tried everything that we could. Maybe something there we could have gotten a little bit more, which maybe the referee said too many PKs, and maybe that one he could have given. We will have to see. We tried everything that we could. And credit also to Vancouver because they found the two goals and they made it very difficult on us.”

On attacking their right side and the motivations behind that decision…
“As I said we took an approach from the beginning of the game and having Blanco a little bit more in the line of three, that way he could find the space going forward. And then we decided to make the substitution because of the situation, but also because Polo gave us a different width to find more space and he became very dangerous for the entire second half with Blanco a little bit closer getting in the box. I thought that we did a lot better. We were finding more space. We gave them a lot more problems on both sides because Alvas [Powell] from one side and Polo and Zarek [Valentin] just giving a little bit more support from behind. And we just missed on the goal because I thought we did everything right in the second half.”

On the first time experiencing defeat at Providence Park…
“Of course you don’t want to lose. You want to win every match, especially at home. But also you have to know that at some time, or some moment, a defeat is going to come. I think the most important part is how we react to this defeat. That will make the character of the team that we are. I think today, the guys in the second half, we gave everything that we had. We have to learn from the mistakes we made in the first half, but we knew that something could happen because we opened the game. We opened the game today and they found a way to be able to score two goals.”

On what he says to the team to help them shake off the mistakes and the loss and move forward…
“If you don’t make mistakes, you know, soccer’s not perfect. We’ve been very good. So I think we have to expect in some moments we are going to make mistakes. I think it’s that we cannot think about those mistakes. We have to learn from them. We have to make sure we rebound right away from it and understand right away what we did right and what we did wrong. But we have to manage also the fact we are human, we are going to make mistakes. We have to now just keep on working and support each other. I make mistakes. They players will make mistakes. The less that we can make the better, and even though we made those mistakes we were able to have a great second half. We just have to make sure we learn from those situations that happened today.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On the team’s performance in the second half…

“The reaction and the chances we created were really good. We dominated them because we played most of the second half in their half and created a lot of chances. We missed a lot, and that’s why we lost the game.”

On how Vancouver took the lead…
“They were very effective in the first half. When I missed the penalty kick and they scored their second goal right [after], that benefitted them in the way they wanted to play. They kicked the ball forward. They didn’t even look for a teammate, but that’s OK. That’s the way they think they will get points. They did it today, but if we were a little bit more precise in some moments we could have tied or won the game.”

On the team’s two-match road trip…
“It’s good. Two hard games against D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City, but it’s a challenge for us. We’ll need everyone involved for it and we think we’re ready to play good games, perform and win both games.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On the team’s first loss in 15 games…

“It’s a tough one to swallow, but the good thing about how our schedule is laid out is that is that we can make up for it on Wednesday. I’m sure not a lot of guys are going to sleep tonight, but it’s about shaking it off and getting ready for the next one.”

On Kei Kamara’s goal in the first half…
“We watched a lot of film, so I knew the ball was going to Kei. It was a little overeager on my part because I wanted to come out and try to help that cross and do what I can to try and win that ball, but those are the types of things that happen. I misread it. He got up there, won the ball and unfortunately for me I was out of the net. For me, it’s a good learning experience. Unfortunately tonight, the guys couldn’t battle back for me, but I think we left everything on the field in the second half and that says a lot.”

On the team’s streak being snapped…
“Winning is obviously contagious and everyone was pretty excited about the streak we were on. It was a good run, but at the end of the day streaks come to an end, but it’s about the next one and getting another one going.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC quotes

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Carl Robinson
On having less possession of the ball, but still being able to win...
“One thing you can’t do with the boys in there is question their hearts. I think we saw two different halves of football today. Portland is a terrific team, with good players, and we know that they are unbeaten in 15 games, so we knew it was going to be a challenge with the rotation we had with the squad as well. In the first half, the boys handled themselves immaculately when Portland was in transition two or three times. We scored two good goals and we knew the second half was going to be different. Gio made some adjustments as he’s done most games this year and credit to him for that which causes problems. We just don’t go under, we just hang in there; we’re bending, but we don’t break, even in the last minute. Wednesday night I think it was, when we conceded in the last minute and it was tough. But, we didn’t do that today and the players deserve a load of credit. It’s great when you play against your rivals, the atmosphere is unbelievable, the intensity is unbelievable and the performance was unbelievable.”

On this being the best win Vancouver had this season...
“Possibly, I think the supporters might say it is, but when we go to Columbus and win and we go to Houston and we get good results like that, it’s always good. We’ve had some nice performances at home and it’s good whether you win one-nil at home, people might say it’s not entertaining and all that nonsense. I don’t buy into that, I keep getting told that it’s all about possession and apparently when you have lots of possession and don’t get results, it’s all about results and when you get a result, it’s all about possession.”

On using the momentum of this win going forward...  
“Someone asked me that leading up to this game, and I said if you actually look at the body of work of the guys throughout the season, a lot of them probably maybe one or two home results and one or two away results. In Toronto, we went down to 10 men after five minutes, we went to KC and we were down three-nil and they scored five or six goals on us which was not nice. Our performances have actually been very good. We haven’t been blown out, I think we’ve seen top teams in this league putting four or five goals by many teams. We’ve done that once or twice to other teams, but sometimes it’s not about that, it’s about rolling your sleeves up and fighting and showing what it means to play for this football club. And I challenge them every day on a daily basis, it could end tomorrow, so you’ve got to take advantage of it. We know coming into a hostile environment, Gio has done a great job, following up from Caleb who did a great a job. We know it would be difficult for us, unbeaten in 14 or 15 games, but the boys stood firm.”

On the team’s defensive effort..
“They had a couple of penalties. I was trying to speak to Mr. Marrufo to ask him what was the difference between one and the other. We had a good conversation with that. Sometimes you get a little bit of luck. We needed a little bit of luck today. You’re not going to win here or whenever you go away from home, if you don’t get a little bit of luck. You won’t get a result. We’ve not gotten luck at certain times this year, but we have got luck at other times. Today we got a little bit of luck and we played really well, in the first half we were terrific.”

On Kei’s relationship with the team…
“I love Kei to bits. He’s had a number of clubs in the league and he’s played in Europe. Until you get to work with him, you don’t actually know what he’s like as a person. As you get to know him as a person, he’s a very colorful character. He enjoys his dancing sometimes bare naked and stuff like that. You just have to get to know him and I’ve certainly gotten to know him. He doesn't agree with my decisions sometimes, but I’m his manager and he respects it and my job is to get the best out of him.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Forward Kei Kamara
On if this is the team’s best win of the season….
“Oh no, we’ve had a few games that’s definitely up there. Even our last game in the second half, being a man down against Toronto, it was a good fight. We went to Houston earlier in the season, disrupted their record there, we went to Columbus and did that and we did it again. But, this is not it, we’re trying to get some points to put ourselves in a playoff position and these points definitely helps.”

On the team gaining momentum…
“This is the time you need it and I hope that’s what it is because it’s the summer going into the fall and that’s when you need the points and the momentum to push you into the playoff race. We’re playing for one thing, going into preseason we knew that we wanted to make it to a cup final and that’s the position that we’re going for right now.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Goalkeeper, Stefan Marinovic
On the team’s defensive effort…
“I came into the changing room at half time and congratulated the boys on their efforts and their defending, putting their bodies on the line. There was no lunging in, it was all in all a great defensive effort from the boys, very composed. We enjoy the defending part of the game which I haven’t seen in a very long time.”

Notes:

  • Saturday's match was the 91st meeting between Portland and Vancouver, dating back to 1975. 
     
  • The 26 shots attempted in the match by Portland are tied for the third-most in a single MLS match by the club. The 26-shot production is also tied for the fifth-most attempted by an MLS team this season. 
     
  • The 13 shots by Portland in the first half were the most by the Timbers in the first half of a match this season. 
     
  • Diego Valeri scored his club-leading ninth goal of the season. 
     
  • Valeri is one of two players in MLS to notch nine-plus goals and nine-plus assists in 2018.
     
  • The Timbers finished the match with 69.3 percent possession, which is the highest amount of possession the Timbers have ever had in an MLS match.
     
  • The 2-1 loss marked Portland's first home regular-season defeat in over a year (July 19, 2017).
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