Quotes & Notes | Houston Dynamo 1, Portland Timbers 1 | May 15, 2019

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On this thoughts on the game…
“I thought that in the second half we came with a lot of energy. We battled very well, what we said we needed to do better in the second half. Then the game became a little bit open, but our guys fought through the entire second half. They matched up. We created chances. They had chances. I thought the tie was a fair result.”

On his team’s defensive performance…
“Very well organized. The guys knew how to cover. I think the most important part is in the one-v-one matchups, we did very well and I think that was the key factor today. It was tough because their guys that came in were faster than the ones that were there before. So more credit to the guys who did a fantastic job during the entire game, but especially in the second half.”

On the debut of Brian Fernandez…
“He was a threat as soon as he jumped onto the field. He told me, ‘I’m going to score,’ [and] he did. It was great, but it wasn’t only him. I think the entire group fought to make sure he came into a game that we were playing well.”

On fighting for the win and the confidence of the team…
“Yes we tried to get three points, we tried to give everything. We knew it was going to be tough. We knew that they were a difficult team. We knew that we would expose ourselves a little bit, but we tried and we almost got it.”

Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez (through an interpreter)
On his first game with the Timbers…
“I am very happy. This was a very difficult match. It was a very difficult team that we faced today and we started in the right way I believe. And personally I also believe that I started the right way.”

On scoring his first goal for the team…
“I’m very happy. It was a great effort for me to be here. And the least I can do to repay them is doing my very best and scoring goals like I did today.”

Portland Timbers defender Jorge Villafaña
On his thoughts on the game…
“We knew the kind of game it was going to be when we came in here. We knew they like to leave the guys on the top on flanks and use the counter-attack. We were smart about that. We knew they could score on a set piece, and unfortunately we lost our mark on one, but nevertheless we came back with attitude. We never let our foot off the pedal and we came up with a really important game that gave us a lot of confidence.”

On defending Alberth Elis…
“It’s really difficult. I think during this game I choose wisely when to press and when to let him have the ball at his feet. So I think it worked well. I think as a group we did a pretty good job and personally I go home happy with the performance I had today to help the team. So we just keep building on that. We are going to have this bye week so we can recharge and let’s be ready for Philadelphia.”

On the importance of Fernandez’ goal and his impact in his debut…
“It’s really important for us that a guy that comes to the team as DP, you know that’s a lot of pressure on him, but it took him 10 minutes to show what he’s capable of and every time he got the ball at his feet he looked dangerous. I think that helps immensely for us, having a player that has goals on his mind. I think he’s adapting really well and I hope keeps on scoring for us.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco
On the team’s performance tonight...
“We made a huge effort tonight and were compensated with a goal and a point. We played a good match and competed to the best of our capabilities. We earned an important point tonight in Houston.”

On contributing to the result with his fifth assist of the season, on Fernandez goal...
“It’s special to score in your first match with a club. I am happy we were able to tie the match and get a point on a difficult pitch. Personally, I feel happy for the assist and will continue to try to do great things for the team.”

Houston Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera
On the outcome of the game…
“I think it went really good especially in the first half. We were solid, we took control of the ball—good passing, good mobility against a very good team that is talented. We scored on set pieces very well and we created some good chances throughout the whole game, in the second half we moved the ball. They weren’t too dangerous, but in one movement that we made a mistake they punished us and that’s the game and we have—we assisted, we try, we created more chances but we couldn’t finish and they stole one point and we lost the points at home. It wasn’t our best performance but we were solid and I think we were trying to find the second goal. We couldn’t find it.”

Houston Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas
On scoring in tonight’s game…
“Well – I have mixed emotions. I am glad that I scored, but it wasn’t enough to lead the team to victory and we just left two points on the table. It seemed like we were close to winning three points – we dominated a good part of the game and had good opportunities to score, but we just couldn’t get the last touch.”


  • Making his Timbers debut, Brian Fernandez scored his first MLS goal.
  • Fernandez scored his goal 12 minutes after entering the match. It is the quickest goal ever scored by a Timbers player in his MLS debut. The previous record was held by Diego Valeri, who scored 14 minutes into his Timbers debut on March 3, 2013.
  • Sebastián Blanco delivered his fifth assist of the season in the match. All five of Blanco’s assists have come in Portland’s last six matches.
  • Renzo Zambrano made his MLS debut, starting and playing the full 90 minutes. It is the second time Zambrano has played a competitive match for the club, having also played for Portland in a U.S. Open Cup match against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 6, 2018.
  • With Fernandez and Zambrano making their debuts, the Timbers now have had 108 different players play in an MLS match for the club. 
  • Valeri created six chances in the match according to Opta. Valeri has six or more chances created in three different away matches in 2019, which is more than every other player in MLS combined this season.
  • The match was Blanco’s 75th MLS regular-season match for Portland. He is the 12th Timbers player to reach 75 MLS games played for the club.
  • The match was the 11th consecutive road match for the Timbers, setting a new MLS record for consecutive road games.

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