Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 2, Los Angeles FC 3 | June 1, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On his thoughts on the match…
“We’re not happy to lose this match. We wanted to open with three points and a victory, but we did a lot of good things. The performance in the second half was outstanding. I think we were the better team in the second half. Unfortunately, those moments in the first half where we gave the ball away too many times towards the end, it became difficult for us. In the second half, we created chances, we kept the ball, we possessed it. We played a very good match. Unfortunately we just have to be a little smarter in the end, because those eight minutes after, everything that was created, the referee didn’t give it to us anymore. We have to be smarter, we have to understand those minutes were important to us. It was a good rivalry match that I think if I was in the stands, it was a great, great game.”

On concerns about Jeff Attinella’s distribution as a goalkeeper…
“No. Zero concerns. He’s done very well. [Steve] Clark has done very well. Anybody can make a mistake. He’s not exempt from making mistakes. It’s how you react to mistakes that makes a difference. I thought he reacted very well right after the mistake and then the team supported him as well.”

On if the physicality of the game influenced the outcome…
“Of course. There are many things that have been coming in from last year, this year. Two good teams that want to win. Credit to them that they fought through it and tried to win and they got the result, but also we wanted to play for our fans and give everything we have. I thought that a lot of the match we did that. It’s normal that it gets heated. This is what soccer is. In the end, if we’re talking about the football, we played very good football in the second half. I’m very proud of the guys and the performance they gave. Unfortunately that gap towards the end of the first half, middle to end, where we gave the ball away too many times wasn’t great. In the second half, it was much, much better from us.”

On what he’d like to build on from the second half…
“The desire. The willingness to win the ball. The way we moved the ball from one side to the other side. We created chances. We scored, and for me that’s important. I felt the guys did a great job in the second half to make sure that they’re a good team in transition. [LAFC] has a good team, good players and I thought we did a good job, in the second half especially, to match up with them and give them a lot of problems.”

On if the stadium seemed louder following the expansion to Providence Park…
“Definitely. You can feel the difference of those extra 4,000. Not only because they’re loud, but the presence. That building that feels like it’s on top of you is fantastic. At the end of the day, we have unbelievable fans and the support was incredible today.”

On what he believes caused some of the giveaways in the first half…
“I felt we started very well and then at some point we started doubting ourselves a little bit. Giving the ball away and that’s how the second goal came in. We didn’t pick it up towards the end of the first half. Then we came in with the right spirit, desire in the second half and we were very good with the ball creating chances. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the result we wanted, but it was a very good performance from the guys against a very good team.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On his thoughts on the game and returning to Providence Park…

“It was a great feeling. I think it was a good game. We were focused on the game and I think in the second half we brought a lot of intensity and our crowd helped us to put that energy in the game. We needed to get back in the result, we scored a goal really quick. In the second half we had like two or three chances; clear chances in the second half and then with the third goal it was difficult for us, but we kept pushing and I think it was a good game, a good performance but not the result that we wanted. So we have to keep going. We’ll have a lot of games at home and this first one was a great atmosphere.” 

On the feeling of having 4,000 more people in the stadium…
“Obviously the feeling is so different. I think our crowd was great, as always. It’s always special for us to play at home. This was special because it was a new opener in the new stadium, the new building. Besides that, as I said, the connection with our supporters was great as always and the result wasn’t the one we wanted.”

On the intensity and emotion when facing Los Angeles FC…
“Our games at home are always like that, so our crowd is the one that makes the game intense and you could tell that in the game today. As I said, it was a very intense game and they just scored one more goal than us.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara
On his thoughts on the match… 
“It think it was difficult. We made a lot of mistakes, today. I think [LAFC] took advantage of that. They were effective. We tried to tie the game, but it was difficult.”

On returning from 12 games on the road… 
“It was a great crowd. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a good result. Maybe, a little bit sad for that. Now, we need to be better for the next game.”

Playing a first game in the newly transformed Providence Park… 
“For me, it’s an honor to play for the Portland Timbers. With the new addition, I think it was fantastic.”

Los Angeles FC Quotes
Los Angeles FC head coach Bob Bradley
Thoughts on the game...
“Great win for us. Not an easy place to play, obviously so much emotions for Portland finally getting their home opener. At times the football was really good, but overall the way everyone stuck up for each other, kept going and found a way to win was pretty awesome. ”

On Carlos Vela’s health...
“He’s happy. Even at halftime we had a bunch of guys hurt. Jordan [Harvey] got ripped early, but it’s a tough game and that’s not a complaint. It’s just got to be managed, that’s all. ”

On the game’s physical nature…
“Yeah, there was a lot in it. We’re not naive, there’s going to be physical games, but I don’t like to see it get to the point where it got in the second half. I think we could have two teams that really go after it, but it can still be done in a way where it’s competitive and physical, but still somehow you can see that it’s above the line when it comes to football.”

Los Angeles FC midfielder Latif Blessing
Thoughts on the game...
“So far so good. We take it game by game and our dream is to win MLS Cup. At the half [LAFC head coach] Bob [Bradley] told us that we had to put in more energy; everything we have, and that’s why we won the game. Today’s game was difficult, but we found a way to win.”

On the emotion surrounding Portland’s home opener...
“Portland is a good team and the fans are great. The first time I saw the stadium was amazing, but we had to find a way to win. It was loud and we couldn’t hear much that was going on, but I’d like to thank the players and everyone for winning this game..”

Los Angeles FC defender Tristan Blackmon
On the intensity of the game…
“Definitely one of the hardest for sure. It was very intense towards the end of the game, but I’m glad we game out on top.”

On the atmosphere inside the stadium...
“We knew it was going to be an amazing environment coming into the match. Obviously, it was their first home game to start the season off. It’s a great stadium and they have good supporters. Our supporters came out and rocked the stadium, so we appreciate them coming out here and they definitely gave us that extra boost.”

Notes:

  • Brian Fernandez scored his fourth goal of the season, tying him for the club lead.
  • Fernandez has scored in all three of his matches for Portland. He is the first player in the Timbers MLS era to score in each of his first three matches.
  • Cristhian Paredes scored his second goal of the season and the third of his Timbers career.
  • Two of Paredes’ three career goals have come against LAFC at Providence Park.
  • Jorge Villafaña had his first assist of the season and the 15th of his MLS career in the match. Nine of Villafaña’s 15 assists have come as a member of the Timbers.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse delivered his first assist of the season. Ebobisse now has six assists in his MLS career.
  • Jorge Moreira and Fernandez made their Providence Park debuts in the match.
  • Portland’s seven shots on goal in the second half were tied for the third-most by a team in the second half of any MLS match this season. It is also tied for the third-most shots on target by the Timbers in the second half of an MLS match.
  • The attendance for the match was 25,218. That is the largest crowd at Providence Park since the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals (27,623).
  • The crowd was the sixth-largest ever for a Timbers match and the largest crowd since June 12, 1976, against the New York Cosmos (32,247).
  • The Timbers are 17-7-5 all-time in home openers with a plus-25 goal differential.
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