Diego Valeri, Timbers vs. Seattle, 8.23.20
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 0, Seattle Sounders FC 3 | Aug. 23, 2020

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
General thoughts on the match…

“A difficult defeat against our archrivals. A derby that didn’t finish the way we wanted. A performance that at the moment that they scored, we didn’t have the same attitude that we showed in the first half and the beginning of the second half. Sometimes you need a hard wake up call to get out of your honeymoon, because unfortunately we gave up a game that somehow, we had in control. Once they scored, I felt that we just gave too easy the other two goals and then it became very difficult to get back into it. A learning lesson. A tough one because it hurts. We never want to lose against Seattle and especially in our home., Regardless of the fact that there are fans or no fans. So for us, today is not a positive day. This is how amazing this game is because you can touch glory in Orlando and today, in 10 minutes, 15 minutes, you can feel very defeated after a game that I felt we did a lot to be able to get the three points prior to them scoring a goal.”

On what it was like to play in Providence Park without fans…
“No of course not having fans in our stadium, especially our fans, that are so unique and amazing, it is difficult because you know how this place gets every game and how important our fans are. We live in different times. At the moment we have to be strong mentally. We were in Orlando. Coming back in our stadium, we showed some very good things in a majority of the game, but in the end, we gave them a little bit too easy. Too many goals that they shouldn’t have found. Of course we miss our fans. We wish our fans were here. But these conditions right now don’t allow that to happen, so we need to be still a very good team and make sure that we don’t have defeats at home. We want our home to be a place that everybody, whoever comes here has a difficult time and unfortunately today, the last 15 minutes we gave the game away. Credit to Seattle that they took advantage in the last 15 minutes.”

On what he thought the Timbers were doing well before Seattle scored…
“We were defending well. We didn’t allow too many opportunities. We had pretty much control of the game. We could have been a little better in possession, could have moved the ball a little bit better, created some moments to unbalance them into some situations that could create more opportunities. It was a game in which we felt comfortable and until the moment that they found that goal. You gotta give credit to [Raúl] Ruidíaz. He found a goal out of nothing and from that point the game changed completely. So it’s unfortunate because I thought that for the majority part of the game we had control of the match.”

On what the Timbers tried to adjust in the second half…
“I think we were a little more aggressive going forward, finding a little more space. I thought we did a better job to have mobility inside the box and we were looking dangerous. Unfortunately, at some point, as I said, they found a goal. They found a goal and after that goal, things became a little bit complicated, difficult for us and then we gave up two other goals right after each other. Until that point, we were creating. We were having better mobility. I felt that we started really well, as you mentioned, the second half and unfortunately at the end you need to be consistent and go all the way, even when the ball isn’t coming in and you’re not finding the goal, you need to be patient. But we saw ourselves sometimes being in a rush as well and you saw in the two free kicks…I have to analyze a little bit better, but from what I heard, we were too easy to try to make a movement. We were offside and we need to be a little bit better. A learning lesson today. A tough one because it hurts, but as I said before, this is why this game is amazing. You can be in heaven one day and then all of a sudden you have a defeat like this today. We need to continue to work. I still believe we have an amazing team, great group of guys. We just have to make sure that we accumulate the most points that we can in these five games that we have. We’re in a good situation still to be able to fight to the top.”

On adjusting the mentality from the MLS is Back Tournament to the MLS regular season…
“Usually that’s your concern. When you achieve something important, how consistent can you be and continue to have performances the way you did. I think big teams are capable of doing that. I think unfortunately today we didn’t show that consistency that we showed in the tournament. Something to learn. I was more concerned for the mental stage, but I thought we had a good game until the moment that they scored the goal and things changed. But overall, we were in control of the match and I thought the guys had their minds in the right place to win this game. Things weren’t working out in regards to getting a goal, but we were in control. Giving up that goal, then I think we got deflated.”

On the effectiveness of Portland’s attack…
“We could have done better. We created moments in dangerous situations but thought sometimes our possession could have been better. I thought we had a great start the first 8-9 minutes. We were fantastic. We found a goal. Unfortunately, it was offside, I think. I have to still watch the replay. Then we struggled a bit finding that fluidity, but nevertheless we were still in control. Moving the ball when we could, not as fluid as I think we can. But it was, for me, a game in which we had the better chances. We created a little more until the moment we gave up that goal and the game changed completely.”

On playing on Providence Park’s turf compared to Orlando’s grass fields…
“Listen, it is different to play on turf. It’s not the same as playing on grass, but that’s not a part of why we lost today. Has nothing to do with it. I think the two teams play on the same turf, in the same conditions. So, it goes beyond… I think we could have done better for sure. We could have done better. We could have taken advantage of the time that we were in control of the game. Unfortunately, the moment that we gave up a goal, then we collapsed a little bit. It took a lot to be able to get back into it and it was tough. If we reply back right away after that goal and we continue to do the things that we were doing very well and not giving up spaces for them to find the second and the third right away, then of course our game could have been a different game. But the turf had nothing to do with today.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On being back in Providence Park and the absence of fans...

“It wasn’t the result we wanted, of course. It was nice to be home again, obviously without our supporters it’s weird and not the same, but we knew that the most important was the game. I think the game wasn’t in our way. We were very inefficient in some moments, and then we would make a mistake and get punished, and we saw more luck at some moments, so it wasn’t our game.”

On the fake crowd noise...
“It was just noise, like a background noise, and it was nothing, I suppose it was for the tv and nothing else, but for us we were focused on the game and it was just a noise in the back.”

On what made the Sounders more dangerous in the second half…
“I don’t think it was tactically, I think until the second goal of the game it was on our side and we were trying to push the game. We had some chances, we had good position on the field, but overall, I think we had some moments that if we scored a goal, the game was completely different. We were unlucky some moments, inefficient some moments, and in a game like this you always get punished.”

Portland Timbers defender Chris Duvall
On playing in Providence Park without fans...
“I think it was a little bit different, a much different atmosphere. It was a little bit weird to play in this big stadium with fake crowd noise, and not to have our real fans there. But I think we should have been used to playing with no fans considering we’ve been doing it for the last month and a half.”

On how long this result will stick with them and how it will affect their preparation ahead of San Jose...
“I think we're all going to sleep a little bit poorly tonight, but it's gotta be a quick turnover. We’ve got training tomorrow, and we start preparing for San Jose immediately because we’ve got another game in three days. So regardless of how long it would usually take us to bounce back from something like this, we don’t have time to sulk on it, we don’t have time to think about what just happened, we’ve got to move on. So it’s gonna be a sleepless night, and then tomorrow we get back to work.”

On what changed from the first half to the second half...
“Nothing, I don’t think much of anything changed. I think we had much better chances in the first half, I think we were the better team in the first half, and second half I think it just looked like the way a rivalry game between two good teams usually looks. It was an even battle and I think once they scored a goal it deflated us, and that was kind of the end of the story. But up until their first goal, I think the game looked fairly the same as it did in the first half, I’m going to have to go back and look at it of course, I think they had a couple of chances, but the first half felt like it was ours, and second half felt even until their goal, and that’s what changed the game. I definitely think it could have gone a different way if we were the ones to score the first goal. I think that’s the way rivalry games always look, if you are able to put away your chances, then that intensity and that momentum falls your way, and that just didn’t happen for us today.”

On the team’s reaction to the goal in the 5’ being disallowed... 
“I think that following that goal might’ve been the worst 10 minutes or so of our first half. It felt like we had our foot on their throat for the first 10 minutes or so until that goal, I’m not exactly sure what minute that was, maybe the 6’. Then when that was disallowed, I think we kind of rested on our laurels a little bit and felt like we had control of the game because up until that point we definitely did. Then I think we maybe let them get up and get into the game a little bit from there, and then we were able to take control again near the end of the first half. So it’s kind of the way rivalry games go, there’s swings of momentum and no matter how good or in good form or in poor form each team is, when you come into a game like this, it’s going to be intense and it's going to be anyone’s game. So, there were swings of momentum, I think they got a little bit of momentum after that goal was disallowed, but I think it came back our way.” 

Notes

  • Sebastián Blanco played in his 100th regular-season match for the Timbers.
  • Blanco is the eight player in the club’s MLS era and the 23rd player across all eras to appear in 100 regular-season matches.
  • Diego Chara appeared in his 22nd regular-season match against Seattle. That is the most of any player in the fixture in MLS play.
  • Jaroslaw Niezgoda made his Providence Park debut in the match.
  • Tómas Conechny made his 2020 debut in the match.
  • The game was the 108th between Portland and Seattle since the two teams first squared off in 1975.
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