Quotes & Notes | Orlando City SC 3, Portland Timbers 2 | Apr. 8, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On the match…

“Very disappointed with the result. I thought that the guys did a fantastic job up to a certain point in the game. I think that first half was very good. We got a little sloppy towards the end of the first half. But then we came in the second half with different mindset in keeping the ball and creating chances. We couldn’t kill the game and sometimes if you don’t kill the game and you give an opportunity to the opposition this is what happens. I have to take responsibility for the result. I take the full blame of the result and the players they gave me everything. They’ve been traveling five games away at the end we were tired. It was a long trip. The weather from snow to hot and you can see at the end the guys were breaking down all over the place because its been a long five games away. But as I said I take full responsibility for this defeat.”

On the strong play through the first 80 minutes and what he saw…
“We had the legs. We had the legs to cover, and we covered well and as soon as we won the ball we went forward and attacked them. We created a lot of space and we created good chances, but we have to put them away. But until that point we were fine, until the moment that we couldn’t go anymore and then once they found the first goal, a little deflection, then we just collapsed. I’m very proud of the guys and the work that they put in today. I thought that we gave a very good match today. I thought we did a lot a very good things in the game, but at the end the result it what matters and unfortunately we didn’t get the three points we wanted that we felt like we were close like in Chicago.”

On looking towards the first home match…
“It’s about time to get home. After five games in a row where we didn’t get a win it becomes more difficult at home, but I think the guys can’t wait to be at home. To have that energy to be backed by a group of fans that are going to be there for all of us and definitely a much-awaited place for us to enjoy to hopefully get a win.”

On the team’s lineup changes today…
“I think some of the changes were specifically because of the way Orlando plays. We felt that we could find more space with the players that we had and at the end we did that to win the match until the last 10-15 minutes of the game, so that’s why we made the substitutions. I have a team in which I believe in everyone and everyone can step in at any moment.”

Portland Timbers Midfielder Diego Valeri
On team’s exhaustion in second half…
“We are professionals and we know how MLS is. We have been through a long road stretch. It wasn’t easy. But I think we got a lot of positive things, beside the result, in the game. It’s a long way still. It’s the start of the season. We have a lot of games now at home. Our supporters will be a much better feeling.”

On changes to the lineup…
“I think it worked well for 80 minutes and then everything changed. In the second half they looked very tired. They looked insecure. They couldn’t create a lot until the set piece that opened. But professional soccer is moments. In the professional level, in five minutes you can lose everything.”

Portland Timbers Defender Zarek Valentin
On momentum shift at the end of the game…
“Yeah. This one’s tough to swallow. This one’s on all on us. Yeah, they won the game, but [these are] our mistakes. Set piece, PK, things like that, those are things that we should manage. Yeah they put pressure on us but it comes down to us and us not handling it the best way.”

On areas of improvement…
“If you look at the past three games, we had a good result away at Dallas, 1-1 after being down a man. It’s a tough place to play. Then we went away to Chicago and we’re up in the 84th minute, give up a late goal to tie the game. In this one, we were up 2-0 in the 80-whatever minute and we lost the game. We put ourselves in great spots but we have to finish. Once we finish, we’re going to accumulate points like it’s nobody’s business but it’s on us to have a strong mentality in games. We can play well but you win and lose games in the box. When it comes to crunch time we have to make plays. That’s all of us, from the back line to the guys up front, we all need to make plays. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and take this one on the chin.”

Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis
Opening Statement…
“Obviously very, very pleased with the result. Again, I feel like this week was very similar to last week in many ways. Incredible workrate by the guys. Incredible that they stick together. Incredible that they come back from two goals down. The effort and all those things were fantastic. I still think, though, we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of improvement to make and so we cannot let this result take us to a place where we start to feel comfortable. We have to improve.”

On emotions of the game…
“A hundred percent. A hundred percent. I think it’s emotional for me because I care so deeply. I think if you go through the locker room and ask the players I think they all feel the same way. We want to win in the absolute worst way. We’ve all worked so incredibly hard to put the team together from a starting point, from preseason work, to the organization week in and week out. Every single day that we put into this, we put our hearts and souls into it. To see us go two goals down was devastating and then to come back from it, you feel like you’ve been to hell and brought back out to heaven. Happy. Happy with the result. But not so happy with the performance.”

On putting together a winning streak…
“I think we need to bundle up all the positivity from the performance. Again, just the efforts and the commitment and the workrate and all those things, and we need to remember that, put that in our pocket, because that could be really useful for us as the season goes along. But then we also have to be humble and know that we need to improve. We need to make some improvements to become, from front to back, a more together team. We just get very stretched out. A lot of work to be done. But again, we have to be happy that we’ve got two wins in a row. That’s what it takes. It takes winning streaks in this league to make the playoffs.”

On team scoring 25 goals in last 10 minutes of matches…
“Boy, the reporters have a negative way of spinning everything today. [Laughs]. I guess you feel a little bit like I do. I can’t really explain it. I can explain this, though. I thought today we started out really well. This was the first home game, in my opinion, that we really started out well. We were all over them in the opening stages of the game. I think the difference there from tonight being a really successful night and being a night that we had to struggle was scoring that goal in the first 15 minutes. I think if we reward ourselves by scoring a goal at that moment where we’re really on top of them then I think the whole night looks completely different. We’ve been trying to zero in on why we’ve been starting so slow at home and improving there. I don’t know that I know the answer. For me it’s just getting the guys ready, getting them pumped. At the end of the day, they play the games. What they’re doing in the locker room, what they’re doing on the field before the game to make sure they’re ready to go needs to improve. But tonight I think we saw improvement, we just didn’t see the goal.”

Orlando City Forward Chris Mueller
On scoring his first goal…
“It means a lot. A lot of hard work has been put in leading up to it, and you dream about your first goal. But most importantly we got the three points and I’m happy to have gotten the goal that catapulted us forward. Just a great day.”

On his goal helping the team rally…
“Yeah, you hope to come on as a substitute and lift the energy for the team. They were playing for 60 minutes when I came on in the game when everyone is fatigued, it’s 2-0 down, and you just gotta come off the bench and try to make a difference. I got the goal and things kind of just shot up from there.”

On hustling into the box to provide support…
“Yeah, I got tripped up under it trying to beat the first guy. I was trying to do anything I could to really get the ball into dangerous areas so that we could get back into the game.”

Orlando City Midfielder Yoshimar Yotún
On competitiveness of MLS…
"It's always fun playing against players from Peru, I always enjoy it. MLS is a very competitive league. We run a lot, play hard and it's very challenging as you all saw in today's match. MLS has been criticized a lot on how it could be, but I'm pretty sure we proved that it can be very competitive and I hope you guys can help the fans from Peru see it that way. I'm happy that I made the decision to play here"

On message to Peruvian fans ahead of World Cup…
"I want to say hi to the people of Peru. Things are going great here. Today I got the chance of playing against another player from Peru and that made me go out to the field with a lot of motivation and that makes me very excited to go and play with the Peru national team."

On emotions of coming back from 2-0…
"Scoring three goals was very important but there's still a lot of things we have to get better at. We're a team that has really good players and we shouldn't fall into these situations. This happens when you have a new team but we will keep working on things together."

Match Notes

  • Diego Valeri scored his 60th regular-season goal for the Timbers. He is ninth among active players for career goals in MLS and the 39th player in MLS history to score 60 or more goals.
     
  • Valeri recorded his first assist of the season. Valeri has 54 assists in his Portland career, which is most in MLS since his debut in 2013.
     
  • The match was the 13th time that Valeri has recorded both a goal and an assist in MLS, which the most in club history. 
     
  • Bill Tuiloma scored his first goal for the Timbers. He is second player from New Zealand to score a goal for the Timbers across all eras of club history (since 1975), joining current general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson. 
     
  • Andy Polo completed 43 of his 44 attempted passes. Polo is the fifth player in Timbers MLS history to have one or fewer unsuccessful passes when attempting 40 or more in a single match. 
     
  • The match against Orlando marks the end of the Timbers’ five-game road swing to start the season. During that stretch, Portland traveled nearly 20,000 miles, facing the LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas, Chicago Fire and Orlando City SC.
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