Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 | Aug. 10, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

General thoughts on the match…
“I thought it was a great performance, especially in the second half. Yes, also in the first half, but the way we moved the ball in the second half, the way we exposed them … especially in the wide areas – the way we put better crosses inside in the second half. Overall, it was a very good performance. I’m very content with the group. [Vancouver is] a difficult team. They’re a team that defends very well. They look for the counters and I thought we dealt very well with the counters in every moment, and in the moments we had to defend a little bit deeper. The guys sacrificed to make sure that we kept the score the way it was. Once we got the second goal, things opened up even more and I thought that third goal was huge for us coming from [Tomás] Conechny, who was fresh. We got the job done and overall it was a very good performance. Now we need to make sure we keep on working, keep on getting better and now we have another [game] on Wednesday.”

On the message to the group at halftime, after a controversial no-call on a potential PK…
“Just to make sure that we don’t let those things frustrate us. We need to continue to play. We need to make sure we don’t worry about what happens from the decisions the referee is going to make. We have to play our game and get the job done. Of course, I can have my opinion on the PK. There’s been three games where there’s been two [decisions] against us and one [decision] not for us. Maybe it wasn’t clear, maybe it was a little push. I don’t want to get into PKs. I thought that the most important thing about today was the performance from the guys and the way we played. The energy from the fans was fantastic and overall it was a very good performance.”

On the quality of the three goals and the atmosphere of the game…
“I think it was three great goals. [Marvin] Loría’s goal, Seba’s [Sebastián Blanco] goal and also Jebo’s [Jeremy Ebobisse] goal at the end from Conechny. What we have to look at is not only the goals, but the performance. I think it was a very mature performance, a good performance from everybody. The energy was great and the fans brought so much to the game as well. It’s great to play at home now and we need to take advantage of the games we have at home and I hope we can get as high as we can get [in the league table].”

On how the field played with the rain…
“Today was great because it rained. The ball was moving very nice on the ground. It allows us to be able to move the ball faster into wide areas. I think it helped for sure today. The weather was a good thing for us.”

On the performances from the young players on the team…
“Not only Loría, but I thought also Renzo [Zambrano] today as well, and Conechny when he came in, and Jebo. It’s great to see these young guys stepping up and doing better, developing and competing. When we call them to come in and play, they do a great job. Overall, it was fantastic. Loría today showed again that he’s hungry, that he can help with the goal and with the way that he defended. As soon as Conechny came in he changed the game to create that moment that we needed. I’m very content with everybody. That’s why we have a great group, but that’s why we need to continue to work. We need to continue to get better. There’s areas we can continue to improve in still, but today was a very important three points that we needed.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Marvin Loría [Translated]
On his thoughts on the match…
"We played a very good match tonight. We were fast, had possession of the ball for a long time and attacked a lot, and that helped us win tonight’s match while executing our strategy.”

On scoring once again at Providence Park...
"It is a great joy. To be here with your people at your stadium, at home, because this is my home, makes me feel very happy because I can feel the support of our people. That is all really nice for all of us.”

On scoring a goal in a crucial moment...
"At the time I scored, we needed a goal really badly because the match was getting very complicated and we weren’t able to score in any of the many chances we had created. Thank God I had the opportunity of making that play and hit the ball the way I wanted and score that goal. It was a very nice moment for the team and for myself.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri 
On starting strong in both halves…
"We got a great performance today. We knew that Vancouver was going to play a little deeper than normal and, obviously, we managed the ball really well, we created a lot of chances, we were patient until the final third and then we got a lot of long-distance shots and good passes, cutbacks, crosses, and overall we managed really well the game. [Vancouver] had a couple of counters and nothing else. Their goal was a great goal, they didn’t expect that. It was a little bit lucky and obviously a great goal, but besides that, we managed the possession, we had the chances, we scored three goals, so at the end, everyone performed really well and collectively it was a strong performance.” 

On Marvin Loría’s and Renzo Zambrano’s development as young players...
"Their development has been great. They feel very confident. We try to make them play in that way. When you are a young guy, you need experience, you need games, minutes, and they are doing really well and they are in a role where they are helping the team really well. That’s the most important thing, because they are helping the team with their performances and I am very happy about the way we play as a team and the way we are playing at home. We have played the last four or five games at home in a very dominant way.” 

On becoming more comfortable against teams that sit so low...
"Yes. They sit with a lot of guys behind the ball, but we cannot force that. We are pushing the team deeper and we are feeling confident playing in that position of the field and today, even being one-one, we were patient around the box trying to connect well and finding the right pass.
 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Quotes
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos

General thoughts on the match…
“I think in the first half it was a very good game. Overall the commitment of everybody on both teams was good. Our first half was good. We were able to get the tying goal. We felt very good at halftime when it was 1-1. I think Theo [Bair] had a very good chance to do the 2-1. Then [Portland] get that second goal on a deflection from one of our players. It’s a good shot, but it’s unlucky there. Then it’s 2-1 and we still pushed. If there was a little more belief in the box I feel we could have tied. Then there’s this play with Yordy [Reyna] and at the end of the game, there’s this 3-1 that you guys go see it. It’s not worth it. Just go see the image.”

On if Vancouver’s attack is hurting from a lack of wide players…
“That’s why we addressed it in another form tactically. That’s why we’re playing the way we’re playing. I think today we did enough offensively on the road to get goals. We scored one, we could have easily scored two and unfortunately it didn’t happen.”

On the Cascadia rivalry…
“It was good. They’re very good games. The 0-0 against Seattle, the excitement until the end where there’s a foul on [Hwang] In-Beom that wasn’t called and a clear penalty shot that wasn’t called. Then we went against Portland home. There’s this exciting game in Seattle that could have gone both ways and I think today was a very good game.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Theo Bair
General thoughts on the match…
“We had many opportunities. It was about finishing them. Unlucky. I think we played a really good game, personally. Unlucky on some calls as well.”

On playing in the Cascadia rivalry…
“It was great. The atmosphere was really good. It’s an unbelievable stadium. It felt really good.”

On scoring his first MLS goal…
“Actually spoke to Zac [MacMath] before. I was watching, I don’t remember whose highlights, but he told me, ‘they never expect you to shoot when your back’s towards the goal so just do it and see what happens.’ In that moment I saw the ball dropping and I thought, ‘if I shoot this and it goes in, nobody’s going to be mad at me’ and it happened. It was the most unbelievable moment of my life. Again, it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had. Very unfortunate to get the result we did, but it’s still the best moment of my life.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Andy Rose
On the environment around the Cascadia rivalry tonight…
“It’s what you come to expect from these sorts of games. Obviously the atmosphere, the fans make it so great. With the rain as well it helps with the speed of play and the way the ball moves. From the outside for sure it was a special evening. Obviously some incredible goals. From our point of view, obviously, frustrating to be on the receiving end of some of those.”

On Theo Bair’s first MLS goal…
“Just rewatched it and the technique is sublime. It’s incredible. ‘What a way to sort of announce yourself,’ is what I said to him. He’s worked really, really hard for this opportunity. All credit to him. Throughout the season early on, when he wasn’t really involved, he never put his head down. Obviously the academy boys saw what’s happened with Alfonso Davies and they all want to be the next one. I think he’s worked so hard on little things in his game throughout the season. He’s been humble. Kept his head down and really deserved that goal. Deserved three points as well, but incredible goal.”

On conceding two goals from outside the box…
“The first one’s really frustrating because Ali [Adnan]’s off the pitch, so we’re down to 10 men for however long it was. two-three minutes. That means [Russell Teibert] needs to go to left-back and we sat in a little bit. [Diego] Valeri pulls off my shoulder, I go with him and maybe could have stepped out a little quicker on [Sebastián] Blanco. Must have been from a good 30 yards out when he struck it and obviously it was wet. That can happen. It was an excellent strike. First three goals were all fantastic strikes. Look, sometimes you have to give something up and often we give up a lot of crosses and pride ourselves on being able to deal with a lot of those situations. I think we did today. We cleared so many balls and were able to find Yordy [Reyna], Fredy [Montero] and Theo [Bair] in good pockets and counter attack. At times we did that really well. The goals that went in were great strikes.”

Notes:

  • Jeremy Ebobisse scored his eighth goal of the season, scoring for a third consecutive home match.
  • Sebastián Blanco tallied his fourth goal of the 2019 campaign and the 22nd goal of his Timbers career.
  • Marvin Loría recorded his second goal this season. He is the sixth Timbers player this season to score multiple MLS goals.
  • Diego Valeri delivered his MLS-leading 14th assist of the campaign.
  • Valeri’s 14 assists are tied for the most by a Timbers player in a single season in the club’s 44-year history, equaling John Bain in 1980 and Valeri in 2014.
  • Blanco notched his 10th assist of the season. It is the second consecutive season that Blanco has reached double-digit assists.
  • Blanco is currently tied for the sixth-most assists in MLS this season.
  • The Timbers are the only team to have multiple players with 10 or more assists in 2019.
  • Tomás Conechny delivered his first career MLS assist in the match. Conechny is the 13th different Timbers player with an assist this season.
  • Portland now has 11 wins against Vancouver in MLS regular-season play, which is the most against any opponent.
  • Portland’s 40 goals against Whitecaps FC are the most the Timbers have scored against a single MLS opponent.
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