Steve Clark, Timbers @ Seattle, 7.21.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Seattle Sounders FC 1, Portland Timbers 2 | July 21, 2019

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On his thoughts from the match...
“It was a great match for people to watch. It was exciting. It was the type of match that shows there is a rivalry and it had a little bit of everything. You don’t want it to finish the way the game finished. I think you can always expect things to build up in these types of matches, but I thought overall we executed the plan very well. I thought the guys defended very well, we knew how to create opportunities. I think we had more chances. Unfortunately we allowed them to be able to beat us in behind and [Raúl] Ruidíaz scored the goal, but we reacted right away. There was a belief throughout the entire match that we could get the job done and for us it’s a massive three points here.”

On what it was like on the field towards the end of the match…
“I think things got a little bit out of control and we don’t want it to get to that point. We were just making sure everyone stayed calm, there’s no issues on the field and that’s why we tried to make sure we separated the situation. But you have to expect these are rivalries… there’s something bigger on the field. The passion is there, the emotions are high and sometimes these types of games finish this way. But, you don’t want these things to happen another time. Overall, it’s a very important victory for us.”

On Brian Fernandez’s performance…
“He looked dangerous, he moved well and he sacrificed. There were moments that he did at the end that allowed us to keep the ball. He was dangerous constantly, not only in his job, but for the entire team. He just worked so hard and I’m so proud of him. Here, it is difficult to get a result and thank God we were able to get the three points.”

On the team’s success on the road this season…
“We wanted to be a team that has a strong mentality, that can play anywhere, home or away. We have had a very difficult season and we go one game at a time, but I’m very proud of what the guys were able to accomplish today.”

Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez [translated]
On scoring a brace against Seattle…
“We knew how this match was going to turn out and the expectations everyone had. I got the chance to play a derby in this stadium today and had the chance of playing against them in [U.S. Open Cup] play, and today was definitely special because of the number of Seattle fans at the stadium. That’s something that helps me play better because it motivates me to perform better and to demand even more of myself. To score goals in a derby is very important and I believe today’s goals might be the best I’ve scored wearing this jersey so far.”

On scoring on the road in such a big rivalry match…
“To come to a stadium like this one, especially with such big rivalry, in a derby like this…it’s just one of those beautiful things about football that you can score against your biggest rival and enjoy this great feeling.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On his thoughts after the win…

“I’m happy about the result and the performance. It was a tough game and a little heated at the end, but it was tough. They have a good team. I think we had a little bit of luck when we scored the second goal. That gave us the opportunity to keep managing the game in the way we wanted – being a little bit deeper defensively and trying to manage their first pressure on the counter. After that, I think they were predictable. They got off a lot of crosses, but we managed it really well. It’s always a good thing to beat Seattle. It shows how strong we are and how we improved a lot in the last month beating a lot of teams that haven’t lost in their stadium.”

On how it feels to beat Seattle on the road…
“It feels great and it shows that we can beat whomever if we perform well. We have enough quality to fight for another title, to play better every game. Obviously it’s about that, and this part of the season is the most important. Now, we have a lot of home games the rest of the season and we have to manage that and try to perform well and win games quickly to move up higher in the table.”

Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer
On what he said to Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese after the match…
“I said good luck the rest of the way. There’s no animosity amongst the coaches. Guys get frustrated. Obviously the players on the field got frustrated. He wished me luck, I wished him luck so that’s the end of it.”

On chalking this up to another Portland-Seattle game…
“Some guys were talking about if this was a rivalry or is LA a better rivalry. There’s still some fire in this rivalry and it just got stoked to a higher level tonight. We’ll remember some of the things that happened tonight and hopefully use that as motivation for the next game.”

On Giovanni Savarese’s effect on their recent results against Seattle…
“That’s what I wrote down before you even asked that question. It’s been two times and it stinks. I have to make sure that we, as a staff, do better. I have to make sure that after we score that goal, that we stay at 1-1 for an extended period of time. Teams are always susceptible on the other end when you score. Those first five minutes are important. I thought we were fine and trying to create some momentum and get things going to score the equalizer. I’ll work with the team on that for sure.”

Seattle Sounders FC defender Brad Smith
On the inability to break down the defense…
“They obviously watched us. We couldn’t move the ball side to side. That’s our strength, but if you don’t do it quick enough, then they just slide over and it’s quite easy for them to counter. It’s tough to break them down. We had chances but it was difficult for us. We will go on and go to Houston.”

Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei
On the overall thoughts on the match…
“Difficult. High emotions and I thought we were a bit lethargic in our possession. I think we could have been more aggressive and go after them. We maybe at times baited them to one side. We got a couple of chances in the beginning. There are some things that we did well that we can take with us next time we see them.”

On Brian Fernandez…
“Yeah he’s a good player. Like I’ve said before, he’s been very good since he joined the league, one of the better signings and he took care of his chances today. We knew that he was capable of doing these things. A bit tighter, and no one bumped him off on his runs a little more and make it a little harder for him. He had a quite comfortable game.”


  • Brian Fernandez scored his third brace across all competitions for the Timbers, and his second brace in MLS play.
  • Fernandez has scored a team-leading eight goals in nine MLS games.
  • In all competitions, Fernandez has scored 11 goals in 12 matches.
  • Fernandez delivered a brace in both his matches against Seattle in all competitions. Fernandez is the third Timbers player across all eras with more than one brace against Seattle, joining Fanendo Adi and Clyde Best.
  • Diego Valeri recorded his 11th assist of the season, which ranks as the third-most in MLS in 2019.
  • Valeri has recorded eight assists against Sounders FC, which is tied for the most by a Timbers player against a single MLS opponent. Valeri also has eight assists against the Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes.
  • Valeri has 76 assist in his MLS career, which moves him into a tie 15th all-time in MLS history with Mark Chung.
  • Sebastián Blanco delivered his eighth assist of the season. Blanco has eight or more assists in all three of his seasons with the Timbers.
  • With the win, Portland has won two matches on the road against Seattle in the same year for the second time in the 44-year history of the rivalry (2004 and 2019).
  • The win ended Seattle’s 13-game regular-season home unbeaten streak.
  • The Timbers recorded their sixth road win of the season, which is tied for the most road wins in MLS. The six road wins are the most by the club since the 2015 season.
  • Portland’s 20 points on the road are the third-most in an MLS season for the club.
  • In their last 12 away matches in all competitions, Portland is 8-3-1.