Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 3, New York City FC 0 | Apr. 22, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes
 

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On this overall thoughts on the match…
“[NYCFC is] a fantastic team and we knew it was going to be a very big challenge. They have been doing very well. I was very happy with the discipline, the maturity, of our team – in how they approached the match and especially how they worked through the entire match to get a complete result. Very proud of the guys today.”

On the game plan and how it was effective today…
“We felt that we needed to change something for this match especially because of the way they play. But also we understood that when we had the ball we had to create the things we did well in the past few games. And the guys were able to execute in a very good way. There were some moments in the second half where they threw some different things at us. They pushed their fullbacks higher. The middles defended a little bit deeper. Overall the guys were very disciplined and I was very content and proud of the work they put in.”

On the attacking groups performance…
“I think it was a good match for the guys. They all defended well. They all attacked. They all knew their role and they all covered for each other. They played very united and I think everyone understood that we had to be very concentrated if we wanted to have a good match against a very good New York City team.”

On attacking presence of the defenders…
“The defenders can attack. They have to participate offensively and the offensive players, they have to defend. It’s a complete unit and everybody can contribute offensively, everybody can contribute defensively. I was pleased to see how [Larrys] Mabiala scored that goal because I think it gave us the final belief in order to win the game and that was the right approach.”

On the performance of Cristhian Paredes and his growth…
“I think Cristhian has grown a lot, has matured a lot from the first match against the Galaxy. We saw today he understands when to go forward, when to sit, to try to play simpler. He did a lot of very good things today and I see the progress from his part and I think he’s starting to understand more and more this league and I think so far he’s been a very important component.”

On the choice of Andrés Flores on the right…
“I know that Flores can do that role, in particular in this system, in this game. I’ve seen him do that job before, so I knew that he would associate very well with [Alvas] Powell, for Powell to have a little freedom and overall he did a very good job to make sure he stayed all the way through in the match.”

On having Liam Ridgewell back in the lineup…
“Liam had a fantastic match. He was very good today. He brought in a lot of experience in the back and I was very pleased with his performance today as part of the entire group.”

On the effectiveness switching the ball and the play of Sebastián Blanco…
“We knew that we had to move the ball fast and change the point of attack because they are very committed to one side and we were able to find, early enough, Seba in some moments, and that was dangerous. But then we have to speak about the discipline of Blanco defensively because today he worked very hard both ways.”

On five matches on the road and then two wins in a row at home now and what changed…
“Nothing. First, at home is different because of our fans. We’ve been progressing game after game. I’ve seen from the game at Dallas to Orlando we have been growing every match. The past match against Minnesota and now I think today, finally a complete match in which the team was very disciplined. But we are home, the crowd, our fans, are fantastic here. They are that extra energy that we need on a constant basis and it’s incredible to play at home.”

On what a win like this does for the team’s confidence…
“It gives us a week of work and believing that what we are doing is the right thing. It’s showing the players that when they commit together to the same goal we can achieve amazing things because we have a great group and especially these victories allow you to continue to believe in the path you are on.”

On the substitutes and how they impacted the game…
“We decided to put [Andy] Polo in to help in the middle to make sure that they didn’t switch the point of attack. They were finding #12, #8 sometimes, in those areas and we needed somebody to be able to be there. [Diego] Valeri worked so hard today on both sides, offensively created so much and gave us so much life and defensively was in a lot of areas that were important, so towards the end, putting Polo there and for him to be able to also pressure quick and try to play in the space behind was very important. [Samuel] Armenteros fantastic job coming inside, to again, hold the ball, to go in behind, to be able to connect in those moments and [Dairon] Asprilla in the end sacrificed for the team to come in for those few minutes and help us get the victory.”

On what he needs to do during the extra time between games…
“We have to continue to work. This is a long season. This is just one step. Very important step, but we have to continue to work very hard.”

On the team adjusting to his style of play and systems…
“I think when I said that that the transition would be a bit slower it’s from the first and second match, but I see game by game an improvement. We are growing and advancing game by game because we won 3-0, but we have to continue to grow, continue to work. We have to improve, but today we saw that progress.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On the importance of today’s win…
“Today was a great win. We deserved this, 100 percent. We worked hard the last few games and had bad luck, but today we worked hard. The second half was a little bad, but we were aggressive, we were compact, we scored the goals and allowed zero.”

On the complete performance from the team…
“It was big. In the beginning of the week, we knew we needed a perfect game for 90 minutes. Sometimes we need the defense – like today. The defense was good, compact and everyone helped their teammate. When we attacked, we were really, really aggressive, but more in the first half.”

On his the arc of his headed goal…

“It was good. It was good because it’s a goal, but it’s funny because I had an easy opportunity before. But for this goal, I didn’t even see the goal – it’s funny. It’s OK. It’s good for the team because it’s the first time this year where I scored a goal and we won.”

Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala
On what scoring the goal does for his confidence…
“For myself, it’s a good one. My teammates have been asking me when I was going to score my first goal every day. I was just telling them it was going to come. I was confident about it. For my personal confidence it’s good, but for the team it’s a good result for us. No matter who is scoring, I’m just happy to get the three points and get the clean sheet.”

On what today’s win does for the team’s confidence moving forward…
“It’s a big one because we’ve been working a lot on many things. We are very happy to see that the things that we’ve been working on the [past couple of weeks] paid off today because I think we played the way we wanted today.”

Portland Timbers defender Alvas Powell
On today’s win…
“The team has been working really hard over the past two weeks and we knew coming into this game that it would be really important to get the win, so we’re pretty excited.”

On the key to the 3-0 win over New York City FC…
“We have our game plan and it’s to stick together throughout the 90 minutes no matter what. We get the ball out wide, get the crosses into the box…we stuck to our game plan, we had each other’s backs.”

On the confidence in his game coming off his Player of the Week award…
“I always have the same confidence, and not overconfident, but I’m more comfortable. My teammates have been helping me a lot. It’s good to be back at home to get that extra confidence from the fans. The plans play a big part in it, so that’s a wonderful thing.”

Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell
On getting the start in today’s win…
“It felt brilliant. I was very pleased to be back out there, and even more pleased to get the clean sheet and the win.”

On shutting down New York City FC’s attack…
“They’re a very good team. I think everyone has seen that this season and we knew that going into the game that they’re a good team. They like to move the ball a lot. They like to move positions a lot. They’ve got a very good attacking front three and they’ve got people who can provide the ball. It was big for us to try and stay with our runners and keep it compact. They saw a lot of the ball, but they didn’t really get anywhere, so that was our main objective.”   

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On getting ready for the game against New York City FC…
“I felt like I had some pretty good momentum coming off of last year. A Sunday afternoon game at Providence Park when the weather is as nice as it was is always a good way to start your season. To be fair, the guys did really well defensively. We were extremely solid, and we limited a really dangerous team to not-too-many dangerous chances. The team played really well and obviously I was happy to get the shutout, and even better to get the win.”

On what the win does for confidence…
“Getting a win like this at home is good, but it’s still really early in the season. We still have a lot to work on. Getting a good win like this, especially going into an off-weekend is always really good for confidence, but there’s a lot of work to be done. We’re not going to celebrate this one too hard, but it will be a fun afternoon.”

New York City FC Quotes

New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira
On conceding so many goals in the last two games…

“I think the first reason is the quality of the teams that we’ve played against. You have to give credit to the opposition team, how well they’ve been playing. I think today, we played against a team that prepared for the game well, who were well organized. We had the possession, but it was difficult for us to find space and they made it difficult for us. They scored goals in the period that it was difficult for us. All the credit to Portland.”

On the difficulty of playing in Portland…
“Really tough. We were here last and the atmosphere was really good. Today I think, when you have the home fans making that noise, it always gives that extra to the home team. The support that they had was really good today. I understand why they are really good at home.”

On dealing with Portland’s counter-attack and making adjustments in the second half…
“I think it was really difficult for us. They were defending quite well. They executed their game plan well. We were really vulnerable in the counter attack. With the quality of players they have, they scored three goals, but overall it was a really difficult game for us to find space. When they went into counter attack, they made it really difficult for us. I think our defensive transition wasn’t good enough. It was a day where we didn’t find the way to perform. I still believe that we have a good team and we’ve been doing some really good stuff since the start of the season, but of course, we think the game today shows that we still have a lot of work to be done.”

New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson
On the team suffering a first loss of the season…

“Credit to Portland. They put away their chances today. I thought they didn’t have many shots on target, but the ones they did, they converted. We were punished in moments where we made little mistakes and it’s the first time we’ve really been punished as a team. There were a lot of positives in the match and we have to take a hard look at the match and analyze what went wrong and what went right. I don’t think it’s really a big step backwards for us. It’s more so a wakeup call. We have a little bit more to work on, actually a lot of things to work on. We can always improve, but on the day they were the better team and they came away with the win.”

On anything specific the team learned after today’s result…
“Our mentality as a group. We knew the first half wasn’t good enough. To go down two goals on the road in a place like this, it’s not easy to come out of that hole. For us to have a bit more bite as a group. We take that responsibility on us as players because we were given everything to be prepared for the match, but we just have to find it within to come out every day and compete the way we train every single day of the week. It wasn’t a match that defines us as a team and we’ll look to improve and more forward for next weekend.”

New York City FC forward Rodney Wallace
On if he expected how Portland would come out to start the match…

“It wasn’t an easy game. We prepared ourselves for a match. They came out and played their style and ultimately they got the result.”

On coming back to Providence Park as an opposition player…
“It’s good to be back here. I have a lot of love for this city obviously. We did a lot of good things together. Won a championship. So I’ll always have this place close to my heart. It was good to be here, but unfortunate with the result.”

On getting such a positive reception from the Portland fans…
“It’s awesome. It’s massive to get support from such a huge group of supporters. It’s incredible to know they have so much love for me. Like I said, I hold them dearly to my heart just because I was here for such a long time.”

Notes:

  • Sunday’s game marked the 127th consecutive sellout for the Timbers at Providence Park.
  • The Timbers have never lost (8-0-3) at Providence Park against a team that entered the match week alone at the top of the MLS standings.
  • Dating back to last season, Portland has won eight consecutive home regular-season matches, which surpasses a club record in MLS play originally set Aug.7, 2016-March 18, 2017.  
  • Portland has scored in 15 straight matches at home, dating back to the 2017 season.
  • Portland recorded its first clean sheet of the season, while NYCFC was held scoreless for the first time in its last 14 regular-season matches. NYCFC has only been shut out twice in its last 22 matches in all competitions, both against the Timbers.   
  • Sebastián Blanco scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season. 
  • Fanendo Adi now has two goals in 2018 and has scored in consecutive matches for Portland. In his last seven home games, Adi has scored six goals. 
  • Larrys Mabiala scored his first goal as a member of the Timbers. 
  • Diego Valeri was credited with a team-leading third assist in the match.
  • For the first time since the 2015 season, Valeri has had an assist in three consecutive matches. 
  • Andrés Flores recorded his second assist of the season. Flores has had an assist in each of his two starts this season.  
  • Alvas Powell recorded his second assist of the season. For the first time in his Timbers career, Powell has had an assist in consecutive matches. 
  • In Liam Ridgewell's last 19 home regular-season starts, the Timbers are 17-0-2 with 47 goals for and 14 goals against. 
  • Jeff Attinella made his first start of the season for Portland. In his eight career starts for the Timbers at Providence Park, Attinella is 7-0-1. 
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