Quotes & Notes | Real Salt Lake 1, Portland Timbers 4 | Oct. 6, 2018

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On his thoughts on the performance…
“It was an important game for us. It’s been a very good week of training and I’m very proud of the guys and the work that they put in. The discipline, the execution of the plan that we had, it was great from the guys. Especially after the adversity and them scoring the tying goal, we maintained ourselves in the game, calm and we stuck with what we said and a great performance and a very important victory against a very good team.”

On the 4-2-3-1 formation…
“I think it helped us to reach a little bit further wide. To pressure that way they couldn’t put in too many balls behind. Even though they did have some moments, in the second half we did a better job covering higher and dropping quicker. And it was, as I said, a very good performance by our guys.”

On what he saw from the team after they conceded the equalizer…
“Great finish from Savarino [Real Salt Lake forward Jefferson Savarnio]. The guys stayed disciplined. The belief was there. We knew that if we stuck with the plan that at the end we were going to get opportunities and the guys just did the job in a perfect way. This was a great performance away from home.”

On Sebastián Blanco…
“First off, everybody participated in this victory. And Seba just had the quality to score those two goals in an amazing way in a moment that was critical for us to be able to get ourselves higher in the game.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On the team’s performance tonight…
“We are very happy. Very proud of the team. I think we showed our best abilities. Today we played like it was a final. We know that this team always shows its best in the difficult moments. We are very proud. It’s exciting because we need the points to go to the playoffs.”

On battling back after Real Salt Lake tied the game and scoring…
“Before my second goal Diego [Valeri] and [Andy] Polo, and the team, was amazing. I wanted to score, but I’m very happy because it’s important for the three points. So today we played compact, aggressive and patient. We waited for our moments. Today we played like a very strong team.”

On what the matchup looks like in the next game at home…
“I think it’s similar. Salt Lake need the points. So they will take the initiative. So we need to stay patient, like today, compact, aggressive in defense and in the midfield. When we attack we need to be more aggressive than today. We are very excited for the next game, but we need to rest now because it’s two games in the last 15 days, so it’s important to rest.

Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse
On scoring a goal tonight…
“It felt really good. Coming off a 0-0 draw against FC Dallas questions were being asked about our attack, but we always maintained confidence in ourselves. It was a really good week of training and we felt the vibe moving into this game. It feels like a good reward for a good week.”

On what was different with the attack tonight…
“I think we just kept believing in ourselves. We kept trying to find the spaces because not every game is going to be a shootout. But you have to make sure that you keep believing in everything that you do and the good things that we do and that’s what we did. Getting some good balls in the box. Getting some clinical finishes out of guys that we know can do it. It’s just about staying high and trying to find the right form going into the playoffs.”

On the performance of Sebastián Blanco…
“He’s a key to our offense. A lot of things go through him. As a forward, he’s always giving me good passes. So I’m really happy whenever I’m on the field with Blanco.”

Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke
On the last 20 minutes of the game…
“Tonight is on me, I got the tactics wrong. Thought we had a good game plan going in which we didn’t. Now it is going to be an interesting last two games to see what we’re made of. What did I see in the last 20 minutes? We lost. We had energy for a bit when we equalized, a bit right after and then let it slip away.”

On what caused the most trouble…
“Diego Valeri. Valeri found pockets that we couldn’t keep track of, counter-attacking transition, and our inability to create energy and receive balls in right areas. That’s a credit to Portland for their shape and their bite.”

Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman
On the breakdowns…
“They made some plays. Two plays by [Timbers midfielder Sebastián] Blanco were high quality plays and it turned the game on its head.”

On Diego Valeri…
“Diego is a very good player, we all know that. They got their chances and they finished them. It’s a big part of the game and goals change games. Our goal changed the momentum towards us then their goal took the momentum right away from us. It’s a tough one to take but we’re just going to get right back to work and try and do better the next game.”

Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad
On the match…
“We were sloppy on the ball tonight and they capitalized on it. We’re already focused on the next game.”

On what went wrong…
“We did it to ourselves. I think we gave the ball up too cheaply and they have quality players on the field who are going to put the ball in the back of the net if you turn the ball over like that.”

Notes:

  • With the win, Portland has recorded 50 or more points in consecutive seasons (2017, 2018), reaching this mark for the fourth time in club history.
  • In its last six MLS matches at Real Salt Lake, Portland has scored in all six matches, while compiling a record of 4-1-1.
  • The Timbers scored four goals in a match for the first time in 2018. The match was Portland’s first time scoring four away goals since Oct. 18, 2015, against the LA Galaxy.
  • Sebastián Blanco tallied his 10th assist of the season in the match, which is tied for the team lead with Diego Valeri. It is the first time Portland has had two players record double-digit assists in single season in MLS play.
  • For all eras (since 1975), the 2018 season is the first season Portland has had multiple players with 10 or more assists since 1982.
  • Blanco registered his second career brace for the Timbers in the match and his first brace of the 2018 season. He is the third different player (Samuel Armenteros, Larrys Mabiala) to record a brace this season for Portland.
  • Portland is one of four teams (Atlanta, Montreal, Vancouver) with multiple players that have recorded 10 or more assists this season.
  • Blanco now has nine goals for the season, setting a new career high, which surpassed his career high for goals with eight from 2017.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse scored his second goal of the season and the third of his MLS career.
  • Ebobisse tallied his first assist of the season. He is the 14th different player to record an assist for the Timbers this season.
  • Ebobisse scored a goal and had an assist for the second time in his MLS career. In his six career MLS starts, Ebobisse has three goals and two assists.
  • Blanco is the second Timbers player in the MLS era to record 10 or more assists in a single season.
  • Lucas Melano scored his first goal of the season. The goal was Melano’s first for the Timbers since Aug. 28, 2016.
  • Melano is the 15th different player to score an MLS goal for the Timbers in 2018. The 15 different goal scorers are the most different goal scorers Portland has had in a single MLS season.
  • The four total wins at Rio Tinto Stadium tie BC Place as the location where the Timbers have collected the most away wins in MLS play.
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