Team XI, Timbers @ Crew, 4.20.19
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Quotes & Notes | Columbus Crew SC 1, Portland Timbers 3 | Apr. 20, 2019

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On how it feels to pick up the first road win…

“Of course it feels great. We’ve been searching for this a long time. Thank God, today things worked out our way, but it couldn’t have worked out our way without discipline and spirit. The guys were great. They fought. There were moments we had to do emergency defending, but overall it was a very good game. The team worked hard and as I said very disciplined, tactically, the guys they gave us everything that we needed.”

On how the team slowed down Columbus…
“This is a team we know very well. They’ve played the same way for years and we knew what to expect. It’s a team that is very disciplined. Tactically very organized. They have patterned plays that they do exactly. Good mobility. And we knew what to expect. And our guys just did the job that we asked them to do. They executed the plan and I’m glad that the guys were able to get a good win. It feels good, and especially for the guys because they put in the work.”

On the importance of scoring first…
“It’s important because now you feel in power. You feel that what you are doing is work. You feel a reward. Then we found a second goal. It was just a good performance and something we can continue to build upon.”

On building off this win…
“First of all, keep the spirit. Second, keep the honesty, because we need to be honest it’s the only way we can achieve this result is by working all together. And then, executing the plan. Whoever is going to step on the field needs to do the job.”

Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala
On how it feels…
“It’s feels very, very good because it’s been tough to go through the first games without victories. After the game we played against San Jose we felt like the spirit was missing, that was the thing that was missing, and now it’s back. I think that we played a good game last week and we just confirmed today that the spirit is back and I hope it’s going to be there for the rest of the season now.”

On his goal in the first half…
“On the far post with Bill [Tuiloma] and he’s telling me, I wanted to go in the middle, and he’s telling me that he was about to go to the middle. So I just had to go straight and I know where Diego [Valeri] is going to put the ball, so it’s just me and my timing, try not to be offside and concentrate and focus, get a good header.”

On keeping the team spirit high during this difficult stretch…
“Just to remember how bad we were feeling the first five or six games, we were feeling so bad, we don’t want to feel that way again today. I think that’s what is going to lift us to come back to the team we were last year and go very far.”

Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse
On how it feels to get the win…
“This feels as good as any win that we’ve had. A lot of adversity at the start of the season, a lot of questions asked, and I think we answered them tonight. It was a gritty performance and that’s what we need if we are going to finish out this road stretch on a positive note.”

On his goal…
“I just remember Gio [Timbers header coach Giovanni Savarese] talking to me about pulling off the center backs a few more times this game, so that’s what I was looking for. When I got the ball I was thinking about shooting, but the ball was stuck under my foot, and I saw Seba [Sebastián Blanco] out wide and I knew that he always puts in a good ball, so I just followed my run into the box and I was just lucky it went in.”

On the team’s effort…
“I think it’s everyone. I think we know that nothing is going to be given to us. We’ve had some tough moments in the last couple of games where we were close, and just one call didn’t go our way, or whatever it might have been, and so we knew it would take 110 percent from everyone. And I just wanted to play my part. When I was tired I got subbed out and Lucas [Melano] came in and did his part too. It’s a team effort. Everyone is ready.”

Timbers defender Bill Tuiloma
On getting the first win and how it feels…
“It feels so good. The team, the players, all worked together. Worked as a team. Defended as a team. Attacked as a team and we get the win. It’s a great feeling to get our first win on the road and it only goes up from there.”

On the backline’s performance…
“It was important to keep our mentality in the game. We couldn’t lose one second in our heads, they could have scored. Luckily, we stuck to the program, stuck to the tactics our coaches gave us and we did the job.”

On the difficulty of this stretch…
“It has been tough. Twelve games on the road, it’s not going to be easy. But we stay as a team, the chemistry stays strong. We work as a team, defend as a team, attack as a team. We will come out with the win as we did tonight. Everyone worked hard, everyone did their individual jobs and we came out on top.”

Columbus Crew SC head coach Caleb Porter
On his overall thoughts on tonight’s match…
“Initial thoughts, they [Portland Timbers] were very opportunistic today and credit to them. I thought their central defenders were excellent, cutting out a lot of crosses. I thought their [Portland] goalkeeper [Jeff Attinella] was very good and I thought they [Portland] were extremely opportunistic with the few chances that they had. We came out, I thought, very well. We got stunned for the goal in the set piece. I thought then from there we weren’t good for the next 20 minutes, and I really thought that 20 minutes was the only 20 minutes in the game we weren’t good. Thought second half we came out with the energy that we started the game with. We were again aggressive, patient - obviously got the goal back. I thought we would get the second goal to get the draw, third goal obviously you’re just going to three at the back and going to basically four up top and that happens. We were looking to obviously pull something out late and I don’t think you can let that third goal take away from some of the positives in the game and obviously you look at the score line – and we’ve all been a part of these score lines – and sometimes it doesn’t tell the story of the game but again, credit to Portland. They were very opportunistic today with the chances they had and I thought their central defenders and their goalkeeper were excellent.”

Columbus Crew SC midfielder Wil Trapp
On the 20 minutes after the Portland Timbers’ first goal…

“I think a little bit of patience really was key in that time because we gave up the goal, yes, but what we were doing I thought creating chances in a lot of ways with being patience, passing the ball side to side and getting them to come out of their shell a little bit because they wanted to sit deeper. So, I think we started to be a little bit antsy and forcing things we didn’t need to.”

Columbus Crew SC midfielder Robinho
On moving on after tonight’s result…
“We worked hard all week and we expected to go in there and do a better job. They came out and things didn’t go as expected so it’s back to the drawing board and continuing to work hard.” 

On whether receiving a goal against the run of play affected the final result
“Yes, I would say so. The way the game was going, we didn’t expect them to score so when that happened, I think it changed things a little bit. Like you said, it was against run of play - we just weren’t ready for it at that time in the game.”

Notes:

  • For the first time in their last 37 home matches in all competitions, Columbus lost while conceding three or more goals.
  • Portland has scored two or more goals in four consecutive matches at MAPFRE Stadium.
  • Mabiala's goal ended a 385-minute shutout streak at home for Columbus. In their four previous home games this season, Crew SC had conceded just once.
  • Mabiala's five headed goals since the start of 2018 are the most among MLS defenders in that span. His six goals since the beginning of last season are the second-most among MLS defenders in that time span.
  • Ebobisse scored his team-leading third goal of the season, which sets a new career high for him. He has scored with all three of his shots on target this season.
  • Moreira scored the first goal of his MLS career. He is the 54th different goal scorer for the Timbers in MLS play.
  • Valeri recorded his team-leading fourth assist of the season on Mabiala’s first-half goal. He now has 69 assists in his MLS career, which moves him into 18th place for most assists in MLS history.
  • Blanco recorded two assists in the match, the third time in his career with multiple assists in a single match. Blanco now has three assists in the last two matches and 21 in his career.
  • Paredes delivered his first assist of the season and the fourth of his Timbers career.
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