Quotes & Notes | Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, Portland Timbers 1 | Oct. 28, 2018

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On the meaning of today’s match…
“I felt that we did some very good things in the first half in regard to being compact. Unfortunately, some moments and some mistakes allowed them to be able to find the goals and then now we have to be able to play to try to come back into the game. I thought the second half was a very good start. We started very well, but then we became a little bit unbalanced. They had chances, we had chances; finishing 2-1 with this group, of course, is not what we wanted. We wanted to get the result, especially knowing other results, but for me today was more important that a lot of the guys rested and they are all fit to be able to play Wednesday or Thursday.”

On the character of the squad he chose to play today…
“I call [these players] other options that we have today and I felt they work hard, they gave it all and now we have a full group, a full army, ready to be able to play and perform Wednesday or Thursday.”

On his decision about after starting a different squad…
“We made the right choice. That doesn’t mean that we are happy that we lost 2-1. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t want to win. We wanted to win. We wanted to play at home regardless, but we did it with this group and we felt that we could’ve won with this group. Nevertheless, they fought and unfortunately we lost 2-1. But the decision, it was the right one from our part.” 

On facing FC Dallas in the Knockout Round in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs… 
“Now we’re going to analyze. As I said before, I don’t care who we’re going to get. Now we know who we have. We have to focus on that, concentrate and be ready. FC Dallas is a tough team, but any team that we’re going to face is going to be a difficult game. Now we prepare and we’ll be ready to play.”

On the short rest before playing FC Dallas midweek…
“We’ve been preparing since last Monday. We’ve been working with a separated group, and now we’re going to try to make the right decisions in the next few days before we go to Dallas.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On the saves he made against Vancouver…

“Obviously it was a little bit of a tough one. The result didn’t go our way, but at the end of the day I think the guys on the field can be proud of the effort that they put it. These are always kind of tough situations, but everyone left everything on the field, so I think that’s something to look back and be proud of.”  

On the playoff matchup against FC Dallas…
“It’s good. We are rested, our guys are rested and they [FC Dallas] just played a tough game in Colorado. I think that we got a tie there early in the year. We got a good result against them at home, so I think it’s positive. We are looking forward to the matchup and I am expecting us to do really well.” 

On the saves he made today…
“They like to dump the ball at their big guys and they did a really good job at winning some of those headers. Once the crosses came in I was just trying to get set and react the best that I could and, fortunately, I got my hand in a couple of them. I would’ve like to have a couple more saves, but at the end of the day it is what it is and I felt we played a really good game.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Andrés Flores
On today’s performance…

“I think overall, the performance was good. In some parts of the game, we had the control but in the second half, it was wide open for both teams. It was a different game from the one in first half. Those two goals that they scored in the first half hurt us a little bit, but overall, it was a good game.”

On momentum going into the playoffs…
“We had momentum in the second half, I think we found the spaces that we didn’t find in the first half, and that gave us more opportunities to score. It was a shame that we found the goal at the last two to three minutes, but the good thing is we keep fighting and we found it in the end.”

On the upcoming matchup versus FC Dallas…
“It’s going to be tough for sure but the playoffs are a different thing. All the effort that we put during the season, now it’s the reward that we’re in the playoffs. Now we have to go down there and try to do our game and try to win it.”

Notes:

  • Midfielder Andrés Flores scored his first career MLS goal for the Timbers.
     
  • Flores is the 16th different Timbers goal-scorer this season, which is the most different goal-scorers the Timbers have ever had in a single season. The 16 different goal-scorers are tied for the second-most this season in MLS, behind only FC Dallas.
     
  • Midfielder Lucas Melano made his first start of the 2018 MLS regular season. It was Melano’s first start for the Timbers since Oct. 23, 2016, which was also at Vancouver.
     
  • Portland finished the regular season with 15 wins, which is tied for the most wins in a single season (2017) in the MLS era.
     
  • With the 15 regular-season wins, head coach Giovanni Savarese is tied for the third-most wins by a head coach in his first year as an MLS head coach.
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