U.S. Open Cup Quotes & Notes | Los Angeles FC 0, Portland Timbers 1 | July 10, 2019

Portland Timbers assistant coach Carlos Llamosa
On leading the team during coach Savarese’s absence...
"It’s not easy. It wasn’t easy to lose our leader for a few days, but everybody supports him, everybody was behind him and the guys did a tremendous job today on the field.”

On the player’s motivation for the match…
"The guys always had the motivation, but obviously Gio not being here they probably had extra motivation. But we are very proud of the guys that for 90 minutes they fought, they did everything we planned during the week.”

On neutralizing Los Angeles FC’s attack…
"I would give credit to the defense, but also to the whole team because our midfielders were doing a great job every time the ball goes to the side to make sure we do a double team against those guys, not letting them come inside so easy.”

On key plays the team made tonight to win the match…
"There weren’t too many key plays, both defensively or offensively. If I had to point one key play, it was the goal. That was a fantastic goal. It was a team effort and we walked away with the win.”

Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin
On defending against Carlos Vela’s bicycle kick...
“It’s one of those games where late in games it’s always tough no matter where you’re at. Not to mention playing the best team in the league. It’s going to be tough because they’re going to throw numbers forward. With the way Vela’s playing you’re going to put money on him scoring. Luckily, I was able to get in there and make a stop. Thankfully I was there and that was one of many good stops by the entire team.”  

On defending against Los Angeles FC...
"It’s obviously a tough task because you can’t just focus on one player. They have many players that can kill you, whether they bring Diomande off the bench or Rossi, these guys all have been playing at such a high level, so we have to be aware of everyone, but, we believe in ourselves. As I have said a lot of times, we play our game, we are very tough to play against, we need to be aware and cognizant of every team, but we can’t overly focus on them or else we’ll play ourselves out of the game. I think this was probably what I would consider the best defensive performance as a Timber, for the entire team. All the guys putting work, Chara is making tackles, Larrys [Mabiala] and Julio [Cascante] are big time, Steve. So, credit to all the guys.”

Los Angeles FC head coach Bob Bradley
On Portland’s game plan… 
“That’s their formula, they’re physical, the tightness at the center of the field, trying to use that for transition. They have some good players on the ball, [Brian] Fernandez is talented, [Sebastian] Blanco is talented, so I think that was a big part of what they tried to do. Some set pieces, and then as you go up against that, can we also find some ways to get some goals and get chances in transition, which we didn’t do very well. And then in other moments, can we pass quickly enough, can we control the game, can we play through and get an advantage. First half, not very good. Second half, better at being able to play through and put ourselves in decent spots and we were not good enough when we were in those moments.”

On the individual performances… 
“In every game, you want to get as many good games as possible, so Pablo [Sisniega] had a good game. You could probably go around and find some others that had good games but maybe on the night that you lose a game that’s that hard-fought and tight, maybe then you also say we didn't have enough guys that had their best games. It’s just normal.”

Los Angeles FC defender Walker Zimmerman
On his thoughts after the defeat… 
“I think they’re a good counter-attacking team. They’re a team that, once it gets cleared, they have the ability to play some one-touch passes to break you down and get in behind. We were aware of that and probably honored that a little too much at moments, being a little deeper than we would have liked. But at the end of the day, I don’t feel like we had that many counters that got in behind that led to chances. Just one of those nights where you look at how the goal was scored, that’s football sometimes, just kind of a ridiculous goal.”

On being held scoreless… 
“I think it was a night where we didn’t create quite as many chances as we’re used to. They were physical, they were compact, they were blocking passing lanes well. Again, we got in and around their 18 [yard box] and we were missing the final pass, the final shot, the final product, a few shots right around the top of the 18, but by no means do I feel like we were outplayed in this match. It was a game where I thought even the first 15 to 20 minutes of the second half we picked it up a notch and were dictating the game, had some really good moments and couldn’t put away a goal in that timeframe. Then, they come down, they dig late, and we’re scrambling in the last few minutes trying to get an equalizer.”

Los Angeles FC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye
On the loss against Portland… 
It’s all on us. Teams are going to try and destruct the way we play all the time. It’s up to us to find ways to break them down. Today we weren’t as sharp as we usually are. It ended up biting us because the game stayed up 0-0 for so long. A team like Portland lives off of that. They just need one opportunity. They got a lucky bounce and put the ball in the back of the net. In a day where it seems like we’re controlling everything but the finished product isn’t there. It hurts you if you don’t end up scoring early before the 80th minute.”

On any fatigue the team might be feeling… 
“This time of the year is tough. There is a lot of games in the MLS and you have international duty and Open Cup. To manage minutes is very important. It’s also up to the players to make sure they keep themselves in good shape. It goes the same with the other team. They’re going to experience fatigue the same way we are. You can’t really use that as an excuse.”

Notes:

  • The Portland Timbers have qualified for the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup for the second time in club history (2013, 2019).
  • Since 2013, Portland has 10 victories over MLS teams in U.S. Open Cup play. The 10 wins are tied for the most in that timespan, along with Sporting Kansas City.
  • The match was the 33rd U.S. Open Cup game in club history.
  • In their last 14 matches in all competitions, the Timbers are 10-3-1 with seven road wins, all against MLS competition.
  • Portland handed Los Angeles FC their first loss at Banc of California Stadium (9-1-1) across all competitions in 2019, and only their third loss at home (21-3-8) in 32 matches played across all competitions (regular season, playoffs and U.S. Open Cup) dating back the beginning of the 2018 season.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse scored his sixth goal across all competitions in 2019. Ebobisse has scored two goals in U.S. Open Cup play this season, while tallying four goals in MLS competition. 
  • Marvin Loría played in U.S. Open Cup competition for the first time in 2019.
  • The Timbers have five shutouts in their last six matches across all competitions, dating back to June 12.
  • Goalkeeper Steve Clark has not conceded a goal in his last 492 minutes of play.
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