Quotes & Notes | Minnesota United FC 3, Portland Timbers 2 | Sept. 22, 2018

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On his evaluation of the match…
“The second half, that was our team. We came in with the right energy. We spoke in the locker room and we did the things we know we are capable of. We almost tied the game. I think we had good chances and it was a great effort. This is the team that we have to have. This is the team that can come out and play away and get victories because what we did in the second half was fantastic.”

On changing to a 4-2-3-1 in the second half…
“They we having too much space wide. Their fullbacks were initiating deeper so they were pushing our midfielders to go so far away. So that’s why we put two guys wide in order to pressure them a little bit quicker and have a little bit more presence in the middle.”

On bringing Diego Chara into the game…
“He did a fantastic job coming inside. Not only him, the entire team played a fantastic second half. If it weren’t for a few little details we could have tied and won this game.”

Portland Timbers defender Alvas Powell
His overall thoughts on the match…
“I just think we had a lapse in the first half. We let them get the better of us. In the second half we capitalized. We conceded three goals in the first half, which is not good. But it’s a tough one to swallow. Just looking forward to the next game.”

On the difference in the second half…
“It was as wakeup call in the first half. Then that mentality we brought it back in the second half. We grew even stronger after we got the first goal and it gave us confidence to get the second goal. We fought to the end. But as I said in the first half we just gave up some easy goals. And we are going to get back to training and work on all those things.”

Portland Timbers defender Jorge Villafaña
His overall thoughts on the match…
“Difficult. We knew it was going to be difficult coming off a game midweek and they [Minnesota United FC] being rested. Nevertheless, we fought until the end, we created a lot of chances and we almost had the opportunity to tie the game.”

On the difficulties of the field…
“It was really difficult. It was a wet field. It was really skipping and it was difficult to control the ball. That was the situation and we needed to adapt to it. In the first half it took us a long time to adapt to the field and in the second half it was a little better and that’s when we created some opportunities.”

On where the team goes from here after the second-half performance…
“It gave us a lot of good moments. I think we can leave the first half in the past and reflect on the second one, and keep going on from there.”

Minnesota United FC head coach Adrian Heath
On almost letting the lead get away from them in the second half…
Almost. Almost. We made it difficult for ourselves. I spoke about it on the broadcast at halftime about not conceding too much space, and not letting them dictate the pace of the game, and I thought we did that too much in the second half. But when I look at the overall game, I think it would have been tragic if we hadn’t have won, especially with the chances that we created in the first half. You know, conceivably could have been five or six up at the half. I thought we had some outstanding individual play, some of our combination play, combining in and around the 18. And obviously, Romario [Ibarra] had a great sort of full start here. Showed us glimpses of what he’s about. You know, obviously that was a blow, him going off, because the fact was that he could stretch the field so much for us, and that gave Darwin [Quintero] all the room in the world to play. You know, that was the only disappointment of the day. Obviously, I’m a bit concerned that we’ve dictated a first half, and let them dictate the second half.”

On if he knows what went wrong in the second half, his gut feeling…
“We’ve all done it. We spoke about it at halftime. There’s not one player in that dressing room that hasn’t been leading at some stage at 3-0, and you end up drawing or losing the game. It’s very easy to do. And goals change games. You know, they got a fantastic strike from Alvas Powell. And the game changes. Human nature is, the closer you get to your own goal, more bodies back, you’re doing better, but all you’re doing is inviting pressure on. We did that too much in the second half. But even then, Darwin [Quintero] has a great chance to finish the game, make it 4-1, and then next minute it’s 3-2. And off we go again, you know. We’ve had a few of them this year where we’ve tossed them away. Today we didn’t.”

Minnesota United FC defender Francisco Calvo
On assessing the game and the two different halves…
“Well we can’t feel happy about it because we conceded two goals and that’s not good for us. We should have won that game five or six to zero. We have a lot of chances and it is how it is. Football is like that. We see what happened with those two goals and go again on Saturday.”

Minnesota United FC defender Michael Boxall
On what he takes away from this game…
“Yeah, I mean, important that we got the three points, but obviously it’s something that happens too often I think. We show up for 45, whether it’s the second 45 or the first half. I think, it’s something to do with our mentality. If you’re up 3-0 at halftime that should be a lot more comfortable than it was tonight.”

Notes:

  • In four games against Minnesota, Portland has scored 12 goals for an average of 3.0 goals per match. That is the highest goals per game average for the Timbers against any MLS club.
  • Alvas Powell scored his second goal of the season. It is the third time in Powell’s career that he has scored two goals in a season (2014, 2017, 2018).
  • Jorge Villafaña recorded his first assist of the season and the 14th of his MLS career. He is the 12th different player to record an assist for Portland this season.
  • Sebastián Blanco is the third player to tally seven or more goals for Portland this season.
  • Blanco has a goal and three assists in his last four matches for the Timbers.
  • Diego Valeri made just his seventh substitute appearance in 177 career appearances for the Timbers. It was his first substitute appearance since June 20, 2015, against the Houston Dynamo.
  • Diego Chara made a substitute appearance for the second time in his Timbers career out of his 229 appearances. Chara’s other substitute appearance came in his first match with the club on April 23, 2011.
  • Tomás Conechny made his first career start for the Timbers in the match.
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