MLS Cup Playoffs Quotes & Notes | FC Dallas 1, Portland Timbers 2 | Oct. 31, 2018

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On the team’s performance against FC Dallas…
“I am very proud of every player, not only the ones that were on the field but everybody around the team. Great energy. In a difficult situation they were able to sacrifice to make sure we got the victory against a very good Dallas team. They posed a lot of difficult things on us, a difficult first half, but we balanced out. We found a very good goal. I think [Diego] Valeri was magic today and then when we were with 10 men the discipline was very important.” 

On the importance of set pieces during the match and Diego Valeri’s goal…
“First of all, Seba [Sebastián Blanco], great play, looking and finding the foul and then Valeri. It was fantastic, just the way he put the ball in there, it was excellent. Gave us that important goal to be able to be calm, to continue doing the things we were doing. We dealt with some other things in the first half that they threw at us, very difficult, but then in the second half we adjusted. Once we became 10 players it was mostly sacrifice and discipline, making sure that we cover each other in every aspect and making sure that we frustrated Dallas.”  

On Jeremy Ebobisses’s performance…
“He couldn’t give more. To the point that I had to take him out because he ran so much and in the goal he was clinical, he put his body, he sacrificed, and then his touch back to Valeri and then a great finish.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On scoring a brace against FC Dallas…
“It feels great. I think the hero was the team. It was an ugly game. They played well and we fought for this and we advanced, and that’s what we wanted so I’m very happy about the team.”

On containing FC Dallas’ offensive push...
“Obviously after our red card it was harder than before. I think the second goal gave us a little bit of air and then just defending. The guys made a great performance defending the last 20 minutes.”

On Jeff Attinella’s performance…
“It was very important. I think Jeff got a couple of saves that gave us the opportunity to be in the semifinals, so I’m very happy about him. He got a couple of injuries. It wasn’t an easy year, so I’m very happy about Jeff.”

On moving to the Western Conference semifinals…
“It means a lot [for the team]. We are fighting for another star. We came here and it is a very difficult place, a very difficult team and we showed character today.”

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella
On the importance of scoring the first goal…
“It was huge. We knew that if we’d come into halftime up a goal, or at least at zeros, that would’ve been a really good start because they were going to come out pretty fast, and fortunately video replay worked out for us.”

On the team’s reaction after the red card…
“We have a lot of good veteran leaders on the field. Once we got that red card it was kind of stay calm and we knew what we had to do and we kind of knew what the game was going to turn into. We leaned on our veterans and they did a good job and obviously, Diego had two goals and that’s why he was the MVP last year.”

On having to play seven minutes of stoppage time…
“I figured it was going to be long. That seemed really long. There is a lot of different things going on. Normally in playoff games stoppage time is a little bit longer. It felt like 30, but fortunately we got through the seven alive.”

FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
Overall thought’s on tonight’s match…
“There is a lot of frustration obviously on not accomplishing the next objective. It is, as you know, frustrating to get to this point again and at an early stage and not being able to advance for our fans and for the people who also work for this franchise and the people who have supported us and were expecting us to keep moving forward and reach that goal of being in the MLS Cup and win it. I want to tell them that I’m terribly sorry for not being able to do that and that has to lead into the leadership that I have with this group and I have no regrets, but at the same time I want to tell you and all and our fans that I have had tremendous support from my players and our ownership and the club and not being able to advance this is obviously a big responsibility on me, but as you mentioned the game plan. I thought we played well I got to tell you that you know sometimes it’s more desperate in the intelligent but the overall game just being aggressive in the first half and having that many options to score is probably an old story and very repetitive just to say well we didn’t the ball in the back of the net and then five shots that Portland had, three of them on goal and they score two and we had twenty two so it’s tough and hard to digest but I thought the boys gave their energy and they gave all they had and we were not finding the goal again and were paying the results.”

FC Dallas midfielder Victor Ulloa
Initial thoughts on the game…
“A little pain, a loss like this at home after such a great season they we had, being in the top of the Western Conference for the majority of the season. I mean our past three games weren’t good enough, we needed a result to get that bye but unfortunately we couldn’t do it. We put ourselves in this situation. I mean it hurts a lot to go out this way.”

What are you feeling right now…
“I think it’s just a roller coaster of emotions, obviously getting that goal back gave us a little more hope that we could tie it up but unfortunately we were short tonight.”

FC Dallas midfielder Michael Barrios
Overall thoughts on tonight’s match…
“Sad. We wanted to advance and continue our objective we had all year, to win the MLS Cup. We knew it was going to be step-by-step. It was a difficult game… We had two chances to score, but we were missing the finishing touch. We know that’s what affected us in the end and the two goals that were scored against us.”

Notes:

  • With the win, Portland has now appeared in the conference semifinals four times (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018) in its last six seasons.
  • The victory was the fourth road win secured by the Timbers in their MLS Cup Playoffs history. Portland is unbeaten in its last five road playoff games (3-0-2).
  • Portland's road playoff record of 4-1-2 gives them the best road postseason winning percentage (.714%) in MLS history.
  • The Timbers goal differential of +3 in road playoff games is the best among all MLS teams.
  • Diego Valeri scored two goals, becoming the first Timbers player ever to score a brace in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Valeri is also just the second Timbers player in all eras of the club to score a playoff brace, joining Brian Farber in 2009.
  • Valeri now has four career postseason goals for the Timbers, which is the most by a single player in Timbers all-era history.
  • Valeri is one of three active MLS players to have four or more playoff goals and four or more playoff assists, joining Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse notched his first playoff assist. In his eight career MLS starts (including playoffs), Ebobisse has three goals and four assists.
  • Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella had five saves, which are the most by a Timbers goalkeeper in an MLS Cup playoff match.
  • Andy Polo, Zarek Valentin and Bill Tuiloma all made their MLS Cup Playoffs debut in the match.
  • The match was Giovanni Savarese's first MLS playoff game as a manager. Savarese played in five MLS playoff matches as a player, including the first MLS playoff game ever played.
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