Timbers huddle, Timbers vs. Loons, 9.22.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 0, Minnesota United FC 0 | Sept. 22, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers FC head coach Giovanni Savarese

On the team’s struggles to score in the last three games…
“It’s disappointing because we created a lot of opportunities. We had clear chances. The luck is not with us at the moment. Basically every game is two to three posts in the games. I think the guys, I have to give it to them, they’re trying very hard. They’re giving everything. They’re putting their heart into what we’re trying to do. It’s been a long year. They look tired. They put everything that they could. A lot of games consecutive. Sometimes things don’t go our way. I have to say the guys at least are giving everything they have and I’m proud of that. For me, it’s unfortunate because I think we deserve a little bit more. If you see the numbers, every game the numbers are of a team that should be scoring multiple goals. Unfortunately it’s not going that way, but those are the moments where we have to stay calm. We have to make sure that we continue to believe in ourselves and hope that these little points here and there are going to help us make the playoffs. It’s not the way we want to make the playoff but as of now, with how things go, having to make substitutions, Brian [Fernández] was dizzy during the match, so these things that are happening to us. Injuries, guys hopefully now getting a little healthier. It was good to have [Larrys] Mabiala, it was good to have [Sebastian Blanco]. They’re getting back into form, but now we have to perform again on Wednesday against another difficult team. It’s been that type of year, but we continue to believe, we continue to go forward and it’s not where we want to be even though we show some good moments of the way we played. We want to be a little bit more courageous in the sense of determined to score goals. We’ll continue to fight, and as I said, I believe in my players 100 percent.”

On dealing with the team’s congested schedule and tired players…
“It’s the schedule that we have. With the schedule that we have had this year and the injuries that we have had. We have guys playing multiple, I mean a lot of games, consecutive matches, and it gets to a moment in which you see they’re getting tired. A guy like [Diego] Chara, the amount of minutes that he’s been putting in. And it’s not only about the minutes, it’s the intensity. What else can I ask from them? It’s just about continuing to believe in ourselves. Now that we’re getting, as I said, a few guys back, now we can make some rotations. Get guys a little fresher on the field and continue to believe in ourselves. Clearly again we were the better team. Yes, they were dangerous in a few moments when they countered us. Then we found a way to defend in those moments. I think the second half was a little disorganized by the two teams. As I said, very unfortunate that we didn’t find the goal because we created a lot of chances.”

On where he believes the Timbers can finish the regular season…
“It’s been such a crazy year. A start of the year in which we played too many consecutive matches away from home. Then we start coming back home. We start feeling good about ourselves and then we felt we were a team that was very strong and that we could face anybody. Injuries came in. Consecutive matches came in. So we’ve been battling a little bit with a few different things. Nevertheless that’s why I said I think for what we’ve gone through the entire season, I’m just so proud of the players and we’re going to fight all the way to the end. We want to make the playoffs. We need to make sure that our fans continue to believe in us. We have to make sure that we continue to go forward and find the right energy to make sure that we are able to find those points that are going to put us in the playoff, and we’ll see what happens then. The amount of work the guys have been doing – I’m very proud. Been a bit unlucky for many, many reasons, but we keep on fighting. We’re going to go all the way to the end and battle all the way to the end.”

On if injuries have impacted training time and chemistry within the team…
“First of all, we have to stay calm, because sometimes when you start thinking too much that the ball is not going in, that’s the moment that it’s not going to go in. So we have to continue to work, continue to do things. But definitely when you practice it, when you are playing consecutive matches, you don’t have that much time to train, regroup together. It’s a lot about regen, and try to make sure that, tactically, we do the things that we need to do. Especially when you have injuries, it becomes a little bit difficult because now the same guys need to continue to play, need to stay strong and healthy. At the end of this game we came out very tired. Now, as I said, it’s good that we have some guys back. Hopefully we can share some minutes. Just continue to fight and believe in ourselves.”

On if he can remember a game with 50 shots and no goals…
“There’s not too many. There’s not too many because today if you look at stats, it’s incredible. Then if you analyze the game, I think there was a little bit of that step behind to get to the ball. It’s just because of tiredness. The schedule has been very tough. I got a lot of guys, [Jeremy Ebobisse] for example today… We can say as much as we want about maybe missing opportunities, but the amount of work that he put in on the wing to make sure that he worked defensively, offensively, it was incredible. So of course when you run so much and work so hard, sometimes you’re going to, maybe at some moments, get a little bit late and that’s the unfortunate moment that the ball doesn’t go in. But, as I said, the numbers are there and the team is trying, and I’m proud of the guys for the effort that they put in.”

Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala
On how he felt in his return to the starting lineup from injury…
“I feel good. I’ve been working very hard to come back very quickly and most of all being ready to help the team. Obviously we couldn’t get the three points, and this is why I’m a little bit disappointed.”

On the team holding Minnesota United FC scoreless…
“Just playing together; playing together is the key. You have guys that stepped up like Steve [Clark], who made a big save at the end of the game. It’s just playing together and giving all the information needed to be in the right place on the field.”

On the team’s mentality heading into Wednesday’s match against the New England Revolution…
“Just staying positive. I think we did a lot of good things this afternoon. Unfortunately we couldn’t get this victory, but most of all we want to keep pushing like we did today and I hope the ball will find the back of the net in the next game.”

Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin
General thoughts on the match…

“Obviously not the result we wanted, but I think we showed improvement in the last few games. We hit the post two, three times, the ball just didn’t want to go in. It’s one of those days, obviously. I think we were on the front foot for the majority of the game.“

On not being able to score despite the many chances created…
“It’s tough. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in, but we are going to keep battling. We are encouraged by the performance; unlucky result, but again, we get the right to ship again on Wednesday and we hopefully get three points and push ourselves forward.”

Minnesota United FC quotes
Minnesota United FC head coach Adrian Heath
General thoughts on the match...

“I thought we rolled our luck at times. We turned the ball over too cheaply at times and then on the reverse side, I thought that we’d have played with the quality that I know we possess, we could’ve won the game because we had too many really good opportunities and didn’t really come back with the final ball or the really decisive pass. It’s [Providence Park] a difficult place to play and as I said, we have to ride our luck a little bit at times. I thought Vito [Mannone] was excellent. So overall, satisfied with a point.”

On Vito Mannone’s performance...
“I’m trying to think of a really classic save. I think he saved the ones he should’ve saved but we needed him at times. I thought his handling, his ball handling was exceptional at times because it was a little bit greasy out there today. But no, he was very good in big moments and when you go on the road at places like this you know that your goalkeeper is always going to have to play well and I thought he did.”

On what Portland did to limit Minnesota to four shots on target... 
“I think it was more to do with what we did. As I said, I don’t think our quality in the final third was as good as it’s been, generally. When you look at the quality that we have with [Kevin] Molino, [Darwin] Quintero, [Robin] Lod, I expect one of them to come up with that decisive pass, that final ball. Today it just wasn’t there for us. I always thought we looked dangerous on the break, even at the end Kevin [Molino] had the one-on-one with the goalkeeper which would’ve been probably a bit unjust for them, but it’s a great opportunity to have won the game.”

Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Vito Mannone
On how disappointing it is to not have clinched a playoff berth today...
“Nah, not disappointing at all. It’s a difficult place to come, it’s a team with a...looking for playoffs like us. They were searching for the win and as I said, it’s a tough place to come, great fans behind the team. It’s a good clean sheet for myself and for my team but in general, it’s up to us to take the point home and push on Wednesday because we’ve got a massive one on our turf and one that can clinch the playoffs for us so missed opportunity, yes, but we go again as usual. If you ask me a while ago if a point was okay at Timbers, I would take it, so it’s a good point.”

On the challenges that Portland presented...
“Yeah, it was definitely a busy game. It felt like a long 95 minutes, so it’s good to come out with a clean sheet. For the boys especially as well, it’s a… for the team and for myself it’s the 11th clean sheet of the season and that’s our base. I always said it in the beginning, if we got a clean sheet we know we create ourselves a chance, we can win games. And it didn’t happen today. We had a few chances and unfortunately we didn’t take the three points but as I said when you face this team, this kind of team throws everything at you. They’ve got very good quality players up front and it’s cross after shot after cross, so you’ve got to be on top of your game.”

On what Portland did to limit Minnesota’s attack...|
“Well, it’s they put pressure. We knew before… from our doubleheader, we played them twice in the league and in the Cup in the space of one week a couple of months ago. We knew what they bring to the game, so they brought great intensity, great pressure on the ball and when they have the ball, they sprint out. They get good counter-attacks if you’re not ready, if you’re not settled, they beat you on the counter-attack every single time. Sometimes you’ve got a corner and two minutes later you’re facing a shot toward your own goal, so that’s what they do. And it’s difficult when they do that. It’s difficult because if you’re not efficient with the ball and you keep losing it like we did today, we did a few too many mistakes, but again, as I said, we take the point.”

On what makes Portland a difficult place to play at...
“It’s tough. It’s tough as I said. The crowd, the stadium, the turf, things that you need to deal with straight away is different from our stadium, so it’s different. Any away game, any game on the road is difficult, Portland more because when you come here and if you don’t start well and you don’t match them for intensity and being good on the ball then if you keep giving them the ball then you know it’s going to happen that they’re going to create a good chance.”

Notes:

  • The Timbers finished the match with 29 shots, which is the third-most attempted by the club in an MLS match.
  • Portland recorded 11 shots on goal in the game, which is tied for the second-most shots on goal by the team in a league match in the MLS era.
  • The Timbers and Minnesota combined for 49 shots in the match. The 49 shots were the most combined shots in an MLS match since 1998 and the third-most all-time in MLS.
  • The 49 shots between the two clubs are the most ever in a scoreless draw in MLS history.
  • Steve Clark recorded his sixth shutout of the season. He leads the league with a 0.95 goals-against average.
  • Sebastián Blanco and Jorge Moreira were each credited with six chances in the match. It marked just the second time in MLS Timbers history that the team has had two players create six chances in the same game.
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