Alvas Powell, Timbers vs Impact, 07.21.18
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers FC 2, Montréal Impact 2 | July 21, 2018

Portland Timbers quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On how he would evaluate the performance…
“As you said, it’s a game of two halves. The first half we didn’t bring the energy we needed to bring. We were not organized the way we usually are. We allowed two goals in plays that usually we don’t allow those plays to happen. But as well, when a team plays three matches, especially when you practice out of your facility for a whole week and you cannot get the guys together to work on the tactics because either they are traveling, they are tired, coming back, I thought what I saw in the second half was great. A great response. A great spirit. We did very well. We closed the spaces. We created chances. And we played against a difficult team that came here to be able to make it difficult on us. They played a counter game. They closed spaces. They gave us the ball to try to be able to play, and then when they won it they found space. But in the second half I thought we did a fantastic job. And if we would have played the way we played in the second half in the first half, maybe the result would have been different.”

On adjusting his midfield to deal with Montreal trying to get in behind…
“I think first of all we switched [Cristhian] Paredes and [Andrés] Flores because of their characteristics. One is more zonal to stay and defend. One is a little bit more mobile. We felt that once we changed we are able to achieve what we wanted to in the two areas. And then when [Andy] Polo came in he gave us a little bit more attack. And I think it was very important the contribution of Polo. I think [Sebastián] Blanco found more spaces inside in the second half. Not as much wide, but there was always an interchange between Polo and him, one inside and one outside, and I think that created a lot more spaces for us, and that’s why we were better. But credit to Montreal as well; I think they played a good game and they made things difficult today and it was tough opposition.”

On Montreal playing diagonal balls and how the team handled that tactic…
“I think if you see the second goal. The second goal is not us. We stood in a line and didn’t drop enough to cover the space in behind. Those are things that our defenders usually don’t do. I think the fact that we traveled and were away, these trips, three games. The first half we didn’t have the best half. I think best part is the guys came back in the second half and gave us everything they had and we almost won the game.”

On his team’s mentality after falling behind in the game…
“They fought all the way until the end, and that’s what we want. We want a team that never gives up and we did that. They believed all the way until the end and the games we have played usually we have been the team that scores first half. Today was a good response. Wednesday I thought the guys also played their hearts out and believed all the way. I think the mentality is good and they keep on showing that.”

On if there was anything specific Montreal did to make it hard to break through…
“Of course, as I said credit to Montreal. They made it difficult. They closed spaces. They gave us the ball. They looked to counter. Then in the first half, because we were doing things slow, they were able to find success. Then in the second half it was different because every time they looked to find the spaces, we covered them, we pressured them and didn’t allow them to find easy balls through. Nevertheless they found, occasionally, moments of being dangerous, but I thought the second half we did a great and we should have done the same thing in the first half.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On being able to come back from behind…
“We need to play the way we did in the second half. We can’t lose any more points at home. Four games at home is very important. We want to fight for the top of the table. I’m disappointed in the first half and happy with the second half. It’s not enough.”

On playing a lot of games and being away…
“We stayed in LA for five days. We played in difficult weather two games against a very, very hard team in LA. It’s no excuse of course, but in the first half I think we felt tired. In the second half we came back but we need to work for 90 minutes.”

Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin
On the attitude of the team after falling behind…
“I think it’s a credit to the coaching staff…just our mentality in general, just fighting and clawing and scratching. We banged a goal back and ultimately we could have potentially had a late one. We had a lot of chances on set pieces and it just didn’t fall. Credit to the guys for battling back after going down twice and just saying ‘we are better than this’ and looking each other in the eye and just saying ‘we all need to pick up our level.’”

Montreal Impact quotes

Montreal Impact Head Coach Remi Garde
On his view of Diego Valeri’s goal…
“For me it was a foul without any doubt. I was surprised that the referee didn’t whistle.”

On his strategy when playing against a team as good as Portland…
“We tried to close the space because we know that when you’re playing this team you could be in trouble if you give them a lot of space. They have very talented players, especially upfront, but we had a game plan. My teamed worked very hard, not only defending, but when we had the ball we produced some good offensive movements and created many chances.”

Montreal Impact Goalkeeper Evan Bush
Overall thoughts on the match…
“A point is good. I think I know what you’re getting at, but I would have preferred to win the game at the end. It’s one of those games where it was nice when the final whistle came, it’s a good point to have, but the way we got our first draw of the season was unfortunate. I spoke to the group before about this group having a lot of character and for us to continue on the way we did after giving up two goals that were pretty bad goals and get a point in a tough place just shows a lot of character.”

On scoring right after conceding a goal like the first one…
“We have a lot of character on this team. It was a really awkward position that I ended up in for the first goal and I made meal of it. Matteo was able to come and pick me up after so I thanked him at halftime and also thanked the group for picking me up. That’s what players do, every player in this room had games where they weren't at the top of their game and guys had to pick them up. It was my turn to get picked up. We can look at it at as dropped points or we can look at it as a point gained. If you’d told us before the game that we would have come here and gain a point after playing Wednesday and playing again this Wednesday, I think we would have been pretty content with it.”

Notes:

  • Saturday’s match kicked off a stretch of four consecutive home matches for the Timbers, the longest in the team's MLS era. 
  • The Timbers are unbeaten in their last 14 home regular-season matches with a record of 11-0-3. Portland's last home regular-season loss occurred on July 19, 2017. 
  • Portland's 13-game unbeaten streak in league play is its longest since 2013 when the club tallied a 15-game undefeated run in league play.
  • Portland is undefeated in its last 13 MLS matches, the longest streak in MLS this season. 
  • Diego Valeri scored his seventh goal of the season and the 65th goal of his MLS career. Valeri is the 33rd player in MLS history to hit the 65-goal mark. 
  • Samuel Armenteros scored his seventh goal of the season, with the striker scoring all seven of his goals in the club’s last nine league games.
  • Armenteros and Valeri are tied for the club lead with seven goals. 
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