Sebastian Blanco, Timbers @ SKC, 9.29.19
(USA Today Sports Images)

Quotes & Notes | Sporting Kansas City 2, Portland Timbers 2 | Sept. 29, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On his thoughts after the 2-2 draw…

“It was a wild game for sure. We knew we were playing against a very good team. Even though they are out of the playoffs, we know that they’re still difficult, especially at home. They posed a very difficult match, they challenged us and we knew it was going to be like that. We fought all the way until the end. Of course, we wanted the three points. The point is going to be very important for us and now we have another big, big match coming up next weekend. Finally we got a PK that we deserved. I think [referee] Allen Chapman did a great job. I think he managed the game well. I think maybe the first goal was offside for them. I think it will be reviewed next week, but I just watched and I don’t think Brian [Fernandez] deserved a red card. The referee did a good job today and we played against a very good team.”

On how the game changed after both teams were reduced to 10 men…
“It became wide open. We tried to stay organized with our two lines of four, with Seba [Sebastián Blanco] a little bit higher. We didn’t have a point of reference with a lot of mobility in attack with the guys wide, but then they got tired as well. It was hot, it was difficult to play and at the end, a very important point for us in a difficult place. We now have to prepare for next weekend because it’s going to be a tough match.”

On how the team’s experience winning in big matches last year translates to next week’s season finale…
“We’re going to try to win. We don’t know how to play for a tie. We have to go and try to get three points and we’re going to fight through it all the way. That’s what we’re going to prepare for during the week.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On his thoughts of the game… 
“I think it was very tough. We know they have a very good team, but I think we did a great job, a great effort. I think their first goal was offside. In the second half I think we didn’t take any risks because we needed three points. I think in the last 15 minutes we went forward and scored. We also had an opportunity to win, but I think we need to be thinking about the next game as a final.”

On his role of the tonight’s goals…
“I don’t score too many times, but I love this field. I am very happy because I scored again, but the important thing is that we need the three points next game so we can go to the playoffs. We need to be thinking about the three points. I think we need to work harder.”

On the team’s mentality ahead of the match against San Jose Earthquakes next week…
“First thing is rest. It’s important. All week we need to be smart, take care of ourselves. The next game is a final for us and if we play like the first 10-15 minutes of the second half, we would have problems. But if we play like the last 15 minutes today, I think we have big chances.”

Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin
On his thoughts after the match…

“It was a hot one, first and foremost. I thought the team battled well. I’m upset about the goals, in all honesty. In those moments we’ve got to be a little bit sharper. We shoot ourselves in the foot coming out of halftime giving up a goal immediately and then we have to battle back. In saying that, kudos to the guys for putting in the effort in a hot game in October. Kudos to the guys batting through it and getting a point out of this game.”

On the mentality of the team heading into next week’s regular-season finale against the San Jose Earthquakes…
“It’s a must win. That’s all it is. The focus starts now because we know that we control our own destiny in terms of winning and getting in and that’s all you can ask for at the end of the year. Obviously we wish we could be a little bit higher, but we believe in ourselves and luckily it’s in our hands. We’ve just got to get out there, get some points and get in the playoffs.”

Sporting Kansas City Quotes
Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes
On his thoughts on the match…

“It was a little bit of the same. We played well most of the game. We had a lot of chances. We didn’t score enough goals from the chances that we had. We gave away two silly goals.”

On if there are any positives to take away heading into the season finale…
“Honestly speaking, not really. We got two guys thrown out so they’ll be unavailable. We’ve just got to try to finish off as strong as we can.  

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi
On his goal…

“This goal means a lot more to me than you would think. It’s been a difficult year but I really want to say a big thank you to the fans for pushing me all year long and my teammates and the coaching staff. It means a lot that they have confidence in me all year long. This goal, I think you can see with the celebration, that it meant a lot to me and my teammates. I wish that we could have finished with three points but hopefully we can win in our last game at Dallas.”

On the play he scored on…
“It’s been a couple of times this year that I thought, ‘This is the one.’ I was just really focused. I took a touch and tried to put it on target. It’s funny because the last time I scored was against Portland and now I scored against Portland. Hopefully next year our first game will be against Portland so I can start off on a good note.

On the club’s final home game…
“As I said, it was a difficult year. We all know that so I just want to mention the fans. They were with us all year long. We had some bad games. We had some good games. But they were always with us. The stadium was always full. That means a lot to us and we really want to give it back to them. Next year we’re going to come back stronger and have a very good year. They deserve it. They are always with us. Thanks to the fans.”

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio
Thoughts on the match…

“I thought we did well. We were unlucky to not get a win. We had a tough season and it’s time to work on the next season and forget about this. Take the good and bad and keep on moving forward.”

On Daniel Salloi’s goal…
“I think Johnny (Russell) or somebody got it and played a nice one-two with (Krisztian Nemeth). I got in a spot, Johnny gave it to me, I took a touch and I didn’t really look up. I just kind of hit it because I knew I was close to goal. It hit the post but it went to the guy who needed it the most. I’m happy for him and I’m happy it went in.”

On hitting the post and preparing for Dallas…
“That’s kind of how the season goes. We’re onto the next one. We just have to go out there and play for pride. We need to end on a high note and take it into preseason next year.”

Notes:

  • Sebastián Blanco scored his fifth goal of 2019 in MLS play, becoming the fourth Timbers player this season to score five or more goals.
  • Blanco notched the 23rd league goal of his Timbers career, which ranks as the 11th-most in the club’s history across all eras.
  • Dairon Asprilla scored his first goal of the season for Portland. Asprilla is the 11th player to score a goal for the Timbers this season in an MLS match.
  • Asprilla’s goal was the latest game-tying goal for the Timbers in a win or draw since Aug. 21, 2015, when Lucas Melano scored in the 86th minute in a 2-2 draw against the Houston Dynamo.
  • Portland finished the 2019 regular season with six road wins. The six wins are the most in a single season by the club since 2015.
  • The Timbers are unbeaten in their last four matches, including playoffs, against Sporting Kansas City with a record of 2-0-2.
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