Jorge Moreira, Timbers vs. Orlando, 7.18.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 1, Orlando City SC 1 | July 18, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On what kept his team from taking all three points tonight…
“First of all we need to talk about the good things we did. We kept a lot of the ball, we imposed ourselves in their half, we created a lot of situations, a lot of shots, a lot of opportunities. A lot of crosses, which made some moments and not ideal decisions in the final third. But overall it was a good performance. Unfortunately we allowed them to be able to find that goal in the first half, our mistake. I think [it was] the only moment that they looked dangerous. Overall it was the type of game that you feel that you’re going to be able to get the three points, but sometimes…I’ve been in too many of these matches. I know a lot of the time, sometimes when you have a lot of possession, you’re trying and the team is close in the back. It’s tough. Ultimately we’re not content, the goal at the end gave us a point because sometimes, these types of games, you don’t get anything. But I saw a lot of good things. The team has evolved to be able to play the way we played tonight. I just think the final third, a few better decisions, a few better movements, and we could have found something there.”

On Orlando City’s opening goal…
“It happens. It’s soccer. Soccer is like life – things happen sometimes. We made a mistake and they penalized us. They were able to score that goal. I think they didn’t have any other moments that I can remember that they created opportunities, they tried to counter. I thought we did a great job, especially at the end; we were three at the back and we stretched the field even more. I think overall it was a good performance and what was missing was that goal that gave us the three points at the end to make sure it showed what we contributed during the match.”

On Jeremy Ebobisse’s performance coming off the bench…
“We felt that we needed something more up top. We felt that we needed someone that can win, also in the air, more balls and to give support as well to [Brian] Fernandez. With [Diego] Valeri right behind, I think we looked more dangerous when [Ebobisse] came into the game. He created opportunities. He held the ball well. He tried to link up with Fernandez and then he scored a very important goal for us.”

On breaking down a very set-in defense in Orlando City…
“It’s frustrating, but we know that’s their plan. That’s how they came here and that’s how they got a result. A tie for them was a good result and you have to expect sometimes teams are going to play that way. Sometimes teams are going to be difficult to be broken down. Sometimes they’re going to defend and look at anything that they can to try to change the game. That was what Orlando tried today. For us, now, this type of match we just have to find better solutions in the final third, inside the box. If I saw correctly we had like eight shots inside the box to goal, in the first half only. It’s just making better decisions, the final product. I thought we played a very good game and I’m excited about how we evolved today to play this way. Unfortunately we deserved a little bit more and we couldn’t get it. These games, it could have gone the other way. Maybe we wouldn’t get any points because sometimes it happens, these types of matches are difficult.”

On shifting Jorge Moreira further up the field in the second half…
“We put Moreira higher on the right side. We switched Zarek [Valentin] on the right side. We put [Marvin] Loría wide and tried to stretch [Orlando] out with players in between the lines. I thought the team was able to find good spaces to be more dangerous wide and inside. As I said, unfortunately we just didn’t make that final good decision in some moments to be able to capitalize.”

On rotating players ahead of the upcoming match against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday…
“We’ll see first how the guys finished the match, see how each individual player is feeling, and then we’ll make our decisions for this weekend. This is a rivalry match, a big match, but right now it’s all about what we did today. Analyze it, look at what we have and plan because we don’t have that many days to make sure that we’re ready for this match.”

On keeping his team focused ahead of a Cascadia Derby against Seattle on Sunday…
“I think first of all, these matches, I think it’s the right level of emotions. The players get ready to play in their own way. We don’t need to do much because they know what it represents, the importance of these matches. And they’re excited as well to play, especially going there to play Seattle. It’s going to be great for the players and hopefully we can get a good result. We need to continue to get points. We want to continue to look at how to get in the playoff zone. We’re getting closer and closer. A win tonight would have put us in a situation right there. So that’s why it’s important for us to go there and get points.”

Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse
General thoughts on the match…
I think you have to look at it holistically. I think we were on the front foot for most of the 90 minutes. Unfortunately, one moment on the defensive side gave them a little bit more belief than we can allow teams to have when we’re playing them at home. From there, we were kind of playing catch up and we left it a little bit – too little, too late. At the same time, we did a lot of good things. It’s a short turnaround before Seattle, so we have to be optimistic about that and turn our momentum back around."

On the amount of shots tonight…
“As a team, we agreed that our decision-making in the final third wasn’t as clinical as we would have liked. We maybe rushed a few decisions and didn’t pick the right pass at the right moment. We can look at the stats where we had a lot of shots, but we’ve got to look at how many of those shots were quality and how many were on target and were there better options in the moment. I have no doubt as a team we’re going to figure it out.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
General thoughts on the match..
“They were lucky enough to score in a random play and then we weren’t able to score in any of the plays we generated. Orlando retreated a lot today, but we still earned an important point.” 

On facing the Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday...
"We will continue our style of play moving forward. We must try to impose our game on the field, just like we did in tonight’s match. Sunday will be a different kind of game and we must play a good match and win it.”

Portland Timbers defender Jorge Moreira [translated]
On playing against a difficult team...
"We played a very intense match tonight, but unfortunately we weren’t able to score in the first half. They scored off a defensive mistake we made, but I think we still managed the match during the full 90 minutes. We tried to attack through both sides and the middle of the field, but they played a good match defensively. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to obtain a win at home, but it’s still important to earn a point. We must rest now so we can start working right away for this weekend’s match.”

On the importance of winning against Seattle on Sunday…  
"This will definitely be a different match. Every player likes to be part of a game like this and we all know what it implies. Our morale is still high, so it will be very important to go there and try to win that match. We will then have an important number of home games down the line, so we want to be in a more comfortable position coming back home.”

Orlando City SC Quotes
Orlando City SC head coach James O’Connor

General thoughts on the match...

"Yeah I mean look, very proud, the players I think…very difficult for us when you got a centerback who goes off after five minutes or six minutes or whatever it is and then to have to adjust. Great credit to Kyle Smith and Will Johnson, but all the players; I thought we defended really well. I thought there was a great togetherness to the team. I mean look, they're a very good team, the Timbers. They put us under a lot of pressure, but we coped really well and defended excellently, made it very difficult for them to get the three points."

On conceding late in the second half...
"It goes into Santi and I think he tries to keep possession. They break, and again the ball comes in and the first touch of Fernandez, who's obviously trying to shoot, and we get a little bit unlucky because he flicks it right to the guy at the back post. So you know, we were a little unlucky with that particular play and we can break it down and say we should've done this and he should've done that but they got the roll. And you look at the level of commitment that the guys have shown, I mean it's been outstanding to see two guys basically rookie centerbacks playing against the talent that they have. They deserve a lot of credit."

On how they withstood the constant pressure put on by Portland...
"I think the biggest thing is if you look at a lot of the shots, they're shooting from 25 yards. So again, it's dangerous because they have players who can score from 25 yards. But again, when you have guys who are getting into such strong defensive positions, the majority of plays go wide... so for us, we were actually managing the game really well. We just got caught a little unlucky but when you look again and I keep repeating myself, when you look at what happened tonight with Alex De John going off after five, six minutes and the adjustments that you're forced to make, the guys deserve enormous credit."

Orlando City SC forward Santiago Patiño
On the environment within Providence Park...
"Yeah I mean, I think it was a great experience for us…for myself, it was nice to play in a city like this. You dream of this when you're a kid. It was a tough game for us, they had a lot of possession, we couldn't really, it was hard to keep the ball in the field. We're happy we leave with a point in a tough place and now recover and focus on Sunday."

On fitting in with the team throughout the season...
"Yeah I think for the last week I've been more involved and I think I'll get more rhythm with the game, more rhythm with the team and just help me more with confidence... and just working hard to start seeing results."

Orlando City SC midfielder Robinho
On his efforts leading up to the opening goal of the match...
"I saw him decelerating a little bit and I knew that I could get to the ball if I didn't give up. Thankfully he thought the ball went out of bounds but it didn't, and I didn't give up and got the ball. And thankfully I was able to get the cross and Santi was able to get the goal."

On the pressure to score with limited opportunities throughout the match...
"Yeah, there aren't that many chances so we have to be focused and we have to be expecting that the chance is going to come. And good for us that we were able to get that goal."

Notes:

  • Portland is unbeaten in its last 15 home matches (8-0-7) against Eastern Conference sides, dating back to the 2016 season.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse scored his sixth goal of the season, tying him for the team lead with Brian Fernandez.
  • Ebobisse’s goal in the 82nd minute was the latest game-tying goal by a Timbers player since Diego Valeri scored in the 82nd minute against the Houston Dynamo on June 26, 2016.
  • Ebobisse is the second player this season to score as a substitute. Fernandez scored as a substitute against Houston on May 15.
  • Fernandez delivered his first assist of the season. He is the 11th Timbers player to record an assist in 2019.
  • Jorge Moreira registered his second assist of the season. Moreira joins Diego Valeri, Sebastián Blanco and Diego Chara as Timbers players with multiple assists in 2019.
  • Valeri finished the match with nine chances created. It is the third time this season Valeri has been credited with nine or more chances created. Only one other player in MLS has had one match with nine or more chances created (Toronto FC’s Alejandro Pozuelo).
  • The Timbers held Orlando City to two shots in the match, which is the fewest ever by a Timbers opponent and tied for the fewest by an MLS team this season.
  • Portland held Orlando City without a shot in the second half. It is the first time a Timbers opponent has not attempted a shot in a half of an MLS match.
  • The Timbers finished the match with 567 passes, which is the most by the club in a single match this season.
  • Portland outshot Orlando City 26-2, which is the largest shot differential the Timbers have had in an MLS match.
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