Marco Farfan, Timbers vs. SJ, 10.11.20
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 3, San Jose Earthquakes 0 | Oct. 11, 2020

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On tonight’s match...
“Very strong performance from the players. I think first half was a little bit difficult, we didn’t have the fluidity that we were looking for in the final third. The build was good, but when we got to those areas the fluidity wasn’t there, and then after halftime, we were able to make sure that we communicated some of the things that needed to improve when the guys went into the second half, and put in place some of the things that we asked them to do. But it was much better in the spaces, we were able to get much more opportunities. The final pass was there, and the goals came in a good way, a perfect way. Also, well done from Jaro [Jaroslaw Niezgoda], to score a great goal and put us on top, and then the game became better for us because now having to manage the match, it allows us to find spaces, be a bit more calm, and then thank God we found the other goals to get a very important win today against a very good team. A team of San Jose that never quits, always works hard and today they made it difficult. But again, I’m extremely proud with my players and the way they went about today. ”

On their significant leads in the past two games, and if that allows for some confidence...
“First of all, every game is different, it doesn’t matter how many times you play the same team, every game is tough. Yeah you do plan some things because you understand how they play, they understand how we play, so some pieces of course will be similar, but every game becomes a completely different system. I think the important part is the maturity of our team. The maturity of the guys to be able to step on the field, and make sure that they are able to put in place the things that we asked them to do, and when you find goals, when you have guys that are looking to make sure that they get onto the end of things, the game becomes better for you to be able to play and the confidence grows. It wasn’t easy, I think towards the end it became a little too much transitional, which we had to defend sometimes with emergency, I think they had also one opportunity towards the end. So little things in which we can improve but I’m just very, very proud of the players because of the unity, and the way the guys are working hard to get this type of result.”

On what more he wants out of his players...
“I have to tell you, the way the guys have been working, how united they are, how much they put in, I cannot ask them more because they’re giving me everything, they’ve given the team everything. What we can improve is definitely in many different little things, and that’s the exciting part about our team. I think we still can become a better team. I think today we’ve shown in the second half, possession was very good, and we just have to continue to make sure that we don’t feel that we’ve arrived. We need to continue to be better, in every area, individually, collectively, offensively, in the middle, in the back to defend better. But I’m extremely proud of the effort that every player continues to put in, doesn’t matter who comes in, they work for the team, which is very important. Now, we do away with these three points, we enjoyed tonight, and tomorrow we have to continue to work and get better and prepare for the next match.”

On Jeremy Ebobisse’s club record of 73 consecutive appearances...
“First of all, a slip from me, because sometimes you know you focus on certain things and you don’t count the repetitive matches that he was playing, so I’m extremely proud of him. He’s an example. Jebo is a person, a player, a human being that is just a perfect example in the way he goes about how much he works to get rewarded, and this achievement is just who he is, and how hard he works, and how much he’s an example for everybody else. So unbelievable, very proud of him, and hopefully he’ll have many many more matches, because as I said many times, I think his maturity level this year has been tremendous, and he’s showing even a higher class of the way he plays than he has shown before, so I'm extremely proud of him.”

Portland Timbers forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda
On his two-goal performance tonight…
“I feel good, great feeling for me I scored goals. For strikers, it’s very important. We started very well in the second half, the first minutes we scored two goals and it was a very important start for a goal because we knew that we are a better team and we deserved a win today and we proved it, especially in the second half.”

On adjusting to San Jose’s physicality throughout the match…
“Yes it’s true, everyone knows that San Jose, specifically like covers individual players, but we are prepared for this. And we showed today a lot of good moments, like I said, especially the second half. I don’t know what happened, I think that we played the same in the first half, just I think what was very important was the goal breakthrough and later was easier for us to play against them.”

On playing in the driving Oregon rain and windstorm…
“Something new for me, yes. But I got used to rain in this city and it’s not something bad for me. It’s not a problem for me and for us I think, but it’s true it’s the first time I’ve played in conditions like this here.”

On playing with Felipe Mora together on the field this season…
“We played one time together. He was like a winger, I was like a striker. I think that’s also against San Jose and away, but I’m not sure. But we rotate now, we are together in good shape I think and Felipe is a good striker and he has a good form now and he proves it every game. But me too, I know that today I proved that I’m a very good striker also and in the future hope we together will score a lot of goals here.”

On if being tied with Seattle is something that the team cares about right now…
“I know that we’re together in the same place, but we were deserved for this. I think that in Orlando we proved that we’re a very good team and now we are still very good and every game we play very well. It’s clear…we want to be in first place in the end.” 

Portland Timbers defender Marco Farfan
On playing outside back on the right side of defense...
“It’s a little bit different from playing on the left. I’d say the biggest difference was defensive, the way you position your body, I feel it’s weird positioning your body, looking the other way and I’m just so used to defending one v one in a certain way. Now, shifting my body and pushing off a different foot, I’d say is the biggest difference. But I did it two weeks ago, three weeks ago against San Jose as well in right back and this time I felt a lot more confident and I think each time I do it, it’s just learning each time I play on this side.”

On the team’s confidence after the three-goal margin of victory…
“I think we have an amazing group and anytime we step on the field we should be confident and expect to get a result. But getting a couple wins in a row, it definitely boosts the energy and the confidence of the group as a whole. So you know, right now, we’re having a lot of games, midweek games, weekend games, so enjoy the good results we get and then focus on the next game and do video and do scout to make sure that we could do better and better some things defensively to get results in the future as well.”

On if his shooting opportunities were due to San Jose’s shape or his added comfort on the right side…
“I think it’s a little bit of both. In the first game, after doing some video, I noticed that I was able to come in a couple of times and instead of passing the ball right away, I could’ve kept going and so I tried it today and it worked out. But at the same time, it’s what the scout coaches did for us, prepared us based on the movements that we had to do to open up those spaces for specific players.”

On how much preparation he had at right back prior to the game against San Jose three weeks ago…
“So before the game three weeks ago, I’d probably say two days before the game a day or two before this game as well. The schedule right now is tight so we don’t really get much of a time to prepare throughout the whole week, but it’s enough to prepare anybody that steps on the field.”

Notes

  • The Timbers five-match winning streak is tied for the longest streak in MLS this season with Toronto FC’s current streak.
  • Portland's 30 points are the most points the Timbers have ever had through 16 games in MLS.
  • The Timbers are the only team in MLS with four players with five or more goals (Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Felipe Mora, Jeremy Ebobisse, Diego Valeri) and the only team in MLS with three players with seven or more goals (Mora, Ebobisse, Valeri).
  • Niezgoda notched his first career brace for the Timbers. He is the fourth different player to register a brace for Portland this season and the 19th in the club’s MLS era.
  • Niezgoda’s brace marked the third brace by a Timbers player in their last two matches after Ebobisse and Mora each recorded a brace against the LA Galaxy on Oct. 7.
  • Niezgoda has scored five goals this season.
  • Mora scored his seventh goal of the season, which is tied for the team lead with Ebobisse and Valeri.
  • Mora has scored in three consecutive games twice this season, joining Gyasi Zardes as the only MLS players with multiple three-game scoring streaks in 2020.
  • Diego Chara delivered his fifth and sixth assists of the season, setting a career high for Chara in his 10 seasons with the club. His six assists lead the team in 2020.
  • Diego Chara now has 25 assists for the Timbers, which is the eighth-most assists in Portland’s all-eras history.
  • Ebobisse made his 73rd consecutive appearance across all competitions for the Timbers, establishing a new club record for consecutive appearances.
  • Eryk Williamson delivered his fifth assist of the season.
  • Marvin Loría added his second assist of 2020 and the third of his Timbers career.
  • Portland is unbeaten in 13 regular-season home matches against San Jose, posting a record of 10-0-3, which also includes an eight-game winning streak.
  • Steve Clark made seven saves in the match, which is tied for the second-most saves Clark has made in an MLS match.
  • Clark recorded his fourth shutout of the season and his 12th as a Timbers player. His 12 shutouts are tied for seventh-most in the club’s all-eras history.
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