Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 2, FC Dallas 0 | June 10, 2017

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On his team’s ability to deal with adversity and get the win…
“I think it says a lot. It wasn’t an easy game. Playing a very good team. Obviously they had a few guys out in the back, but they had their first-choice attackers. To put up the clean sheet like we did losing two center backs – I’ve never in my managerial career lost two center backs in the same game. You get a guy like Amobi [Okugo] that goes in; I don’t even think he got a proper warm-up, and he plays two positions…didn’t have a wrong step and that says everything about our depth and how bought in this team is. You want to find out if a team’s bought in look at the guys that come in off the bench. That’s the best way to tell if a team, a squad, not just the 11, but a squad, the entire group is bought in. You see that. Amobi was great, he played two positions. Lawrence [Olum] played two positions. Roy Miller played both center back positions. Really pleased with the clean sheet. That’s two in a row. Really pleased we scored two goals again. Probably could have had more. Two was enough again. I’m really pleased that we got three points again. That’s two games in a row and I’d say three games in a row playing extremely well, and I’m really glad the guys are getting rewarded for how much they are investing.”

On the ability to flip Sebastián Blanco and Darlington Nagbe on the wings…
“Of course. That’s one of the reasons we signed Blanco because we knew he could play both sides and we knew there would be times when Darlington was away on international duty. And that’s also why we brought back [Dairon] Asprilla because we planned for this. That’s always an option. The way he [Darlington Nagbe] played [with the U.S. National Team] was kind of a pinched diamond, so it’s different. He also moved to the left as well when they flattened out and brought Dempsey [U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey] off. Darlington’s good wherever he plays and Blanco has the ability to play on the other side. Clearly there is something we can look at there.”

On Fanendo Adi getting back on the score sheet…
“We knew it would come. He was getting chances. Very unlucky last game. He hit two posts. We knew he would eventually find a goal. No one was worried. What I love about Adi, when he’s not scoring he’s working harder on the pitch. He’s spending extra time working on his finishing. That’s why he’s continued to improve during the time he has been here. I just can’t say enough about how much the guys gave today. We knew this would be a difficult game. We feel like we’ve played extremely well recently. I’m not sure people are recognizing it, we don’t care about that, but it is nice to kind of make a bit of a statement today.”

On the performance of Dairon Asprilla…
“You are seeing guys that are just extremely hungry right now and that’s what we were missing last year. These guys want to do something this year. They realize it’s a process. They realize it takes every game. The more you invest. The teams that are hungry. The teams that really truly leave it all out there. You guys are seeing the games, but you should see training. In training, it’s enjoyable because they are fighting every single day and it’s a really fun group because they want to come to training and they want to work. And that’s why we are playing well in the games. Asprilla, specifically, he’s playing his best soccer since he’s been here, no doubt about it. And I think the biggest thing, again, is that he’s bought in and he’s hungry. He’s doing all the little things he needs to do. He’s working for the team. He’s defending. He’s confident, and that’s a big thing too. Right now he’s bringing to the table what we need him to bring. He’s playing direct. He’s playing as a 1-v-1 true right winger. And that’s what we need from him."

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi
On recording a brace after not having scored for a few weeks…

“It’s all about keeping my composure. I’ve gone through some games without scoring. Sometimes it happens for a forward, but you want to keep your composure, keep training well and doing the right thing; it’ll eventually turn around, and I’m happy it turned around tonight.”

On the team’s two-game winning streak…
“We’ve been working hard. We had some bad results in the five games, but we just needed to turn things around. We knew the forwards had to play better. The chemistry had to be better. We had to create chances and score goals. We kept doing that in training and emphasized trying to be clinical in the final 18, and today we’re very excited that we were very clinical.”

On the team’s ability to get the win, despite losing two starting center backs to injury…
“That was a pretty frustrating moment to see [Liam] Ridgewell go down because we know he worked very hard to come back healthy. We feel sad for [Roy] Miller to go down. It’s something that we can’t really comprehend, but that’s a part of the game. That why you have 25 guys on the team. Amobi [Okugo] came in and did a fantastic job. We had [Lawrence] Olum shift back and he did a great job as well. As much as we’re sad for the injuries, we’re also excited for the guys that came in and played very well.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson
On the team getting the clean sheet…

“We just grafted it out. I think when you saw Amobi [Okugo] coming on and jumping into that center back role after we lost Roy [Miller]… He’s a guy that has been there and done that before. We have guys who can play multiple positions and can slide into it at any point and do the job. Tonight was an example of that.”

On the team earning its second straight clean sheet at home after a five-game winless spell…
“During that five-game period, we had games where we knew we should have gotten more out of them and they didn’t quite fall our way. Maybe we’re getting a little bit lucky with the breaks now. Obviously with the one that was cleared off the line, I think I owe them a coffee in the morning for that one. Little plays like that and little things that go your way because we know we’ve been playing well. We’re a good team, and if we keep playing the way we are we’re going to go on a good run hopefully.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On getting the win tonight…

“This game was very important for us. I think we did a good job in the way we won the game. Dallas is a great team, and we dominated the game with the ball. We created a lot of chances. Two goals and a clean sheet, so we’re very happy about the performance.”

On he and Fanendo Adi switching goal-scoring roles in consecutive weeks…
“Whoever can score. We both play high up on the field, but I think the team did a great job. We did a great job overall in every position. We won the duels, and that’s why we won against a good team.”

Portland Timbers defender/midfielder Amobi Okugo
On playing two different positions and helping the team earn the clean sheet…

“I think it’s just always being ready. Luckily I’ve played center back and center mid evenly throughout my career, so I’m comfortable with both. The guys on the field made it so easy for me communicating – telling me when to drop and when to step the line. It was good. We had a solid back four. The front guys played their hearts out. Jake [Gleeson] being vocal made the job really easy.”

On getting a second clean sheet in a row at home…
“It’s big. It shows that our hard work is working. In the past, some of the breaks didn’t go our way, but now we’ve got a little win streak. Especially with the schedule coming up, it’s important to get these games at home. We’re going to focus on Tuesday, but we’re going to enjoy this win and try to continue to get these shutouts.”

FC Dallas Quotes

FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja

General thoughts on the match tonight…

“The first half, I thought we had our chances. We had two, three chances where we could have taken the lead in the game. The goal that Portland scored came in the moment we were playing the best in that half. We tried to get back in the second half. I thought we had more control of the game. Portland was trying to play on the counter with [Fanendo] Adi, who had a really good night. They found a way to break us on the left and put in a cross where Adi found the second goal. The team tried in different ways, with more possession, probably with more control in the second half. We were not very clinical in that last third. We didn’t create much in the second half. The first half, we had a few.”

 On Portland asserting themselves after Dallas had a good opportunity on goal…
“That was a part I was disappointed with because we had the chance to score. We have two chances cleared in the first half before Portland scored theirs. Actually the play that Adi had in the goal was one of the balls we gave away in a silly way. But we had our chances first. At that time, the score should be different for us.”

On Dallas trying to take advantage of Portland having to make two changes at center back in the game…
“We tried. [Portland] dealt with the situation well. We tried to put different forwards, tried to get Mauro [Diaz] into the lineup to see if we can have some spark and creation in those plays and see if we could hurt them behind the central backs. But we were not really clear of that either. At that point, Portland just found a way to solve those difficulties.”

FC Dallas defender Walker Hume
On how Dallas could have put more pressure on Portland after the Timbers had to make two changes at center back…
“We had an early chance that if we had put that away, it could have changed the dynamic of the game a little bit. They had some injuries, but the guys that came in did well for them. We weathered [Portland’s] chances a little bit, but when they got that goal, it wasn’t over. I just think if we could have found the back of the net once, it would have been a different game. A bit unfortunate on that.”

On defending against Fanendo Adi all night…
“He’s a strong target forward that’s established in the league. A very good player, very good goal scorer. It was a great matchup for me, great learning experience as well getting to play against those kinds of players. You only get better if you play against the best. I was up for the challenge. Obviously he got two goals, but I felt I battled well and our defense stuck to the game plan. Just a bit unlucky on the result.”

FC Dallas forward Maximiliano Urruti
On coming back to Portland and playing against his former club…
“I was very happy. This town, these people are very nice to me and this championship club. I’m excited every time I play here. Now there is another game.”

On trying to put more pressure on Portland’s backline after the Timbers had to make two changes to the defense…
“The two center backs went out and Oscar [Pareja] said it’s a different position. We had to press more and we played the second half very well. Once Portland scored the second, it maybe finished the game.”

Notes:

  • Saturday’s game marked the 115th consecutive sellout for the Timbers at Providence Park.
  • The 2-0 win marks Portland's seventh straight victory in home games during the month of June. In those seven June matches, the Timbers have outscored their opponents by a 15-3 margin. 
  • Saturday’s match was the second consecutive shutout for the club, marking the first back-to-back shutout win for Portland since June 2015.
  • Portland is riding a four-game home unbeaten streak and has lost just once in its last 13 home games (10-1-2). Additionally, in its last 19 home games, Portland is 14-2-3.
  • Portland is one of two MLS teams with multiple players with eight or more goals this season (Adi and Valeri) along with Columbus Crew SC. 
  • Fanendo Adi scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season, tying him for the third-most goals in MLS in 2017. Adi is the only player in MLS to have scored at least eight goals in each of the last four seasons. 
  • Adi recorded his 13th brace in league play, which is the third-most in MLS since his MLS debut in 2014. 
  • Adi has scored 30 goals at Providence Park, the most home goals by any Timbers player in MLS.
  • Diego Valeri notched his fifth assist of the season. Valeri is one of two players with five or more assists in each of the last five MLS seasons (Lee Nguyen).
  • Sebastián Blanco delivered his third assist of the season, becoming the fifth Timbers player to have at least three assists this season.
  • Dairon Asprilla recorded his first assist in 2017. 
  • Asprilla was credited with five chances created, which is a career-high for the midfielder. Asprilla is tied for the most chances created of any Timbers player this season. 
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