Bill Tuiloma, Timbers vs. Seattle, 8.23.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 1, Seattle Sounders FC 2 | Aug. 23, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

General thoughts on the match…
“First of all, it was a tough result. We hate to lose against Seattle. It’s not something good, especially at home. Today, we weren’t good enough in the first half and then we came in the second half with a lot of energy. We put them in trouble, we created chances, but we had to be calmer in those moments when we’re chasing the game to make sure that we believe in ourselves, because we created tons of chances. In some moments, we needed to be a little bit more connected and calmer to be able to finalize those moments that we created. Credit to [Seattle]. They managed the game well. They found the goals in good moments and it allowed them to be able to stay calm and do the things that they were doing to disrupt the game in moments that maybe we wanted to find space going forward. It was a good sacrifice from our team in the second half and it was unfortunate that, again, we had a goal disallowed. I haven’t seen it. From the screen, it looked maybe a little offside, but again it’s another goal in a key moment that could have given us a lot. Definitely a difficult moment because we lost these three points, six points because we give Seattle three points. We lost the Cascadia [Cup] and we lost against Seattle. We lost all the things that we wanted today to make sure that we had the win that we worked for. This is not good enough because even though we sacrificed the second half, we have to do it the entire match. That’s what I think about the game.”

On what the team needs to do to stop a two-game losing streak…
“I think maybe we’re staying a little bit too much at home right now. Maybe that’s the thing. Maybe we’re too content to stay home because we’re a great team. Our players are unbelievable. I believe in our guys that we can go all the way this year, but this moment maybe in which we’re getting too complacent and we need to come with the hunger that we have shown in a lot of the games. Even though the second half was tremendous in regards to the energy that we put in and how much we fought, and how much we tried to get back in the game… we did a lot to be able to do that and we threw numbers forward. We risked everything to try to get back in the game. Maybe it’s about just getting a little bit away and to come back and getting hungry again and to get back to what we do best because we’re a tremendous team. I believe in this team 100 percent. I’m always proud of these guys, but right now it was a tough two games against Atlanta [United FC] and Seattle. These were two games that we could have won if we paid a little bit more attention to the details and we played all together for a common goal.”

On what he feels what was missing in the first half…
“The ball movement was slow, not enough mobility and not enough determination to be able to make the right runs. We had a lot of moments. We had crosses. We had chances. We had some things that we did well, but it always was that next runner that wasn’t there or the guy making sure that we kept the ball in certain moments and then we found the space in behind. So yes, even though we did a lot of good things, the ball movement wasn’t good enough for us to be able to find more spaces. We were not hungry enough to have more guys in the box to get there. We tried to manage the game feeling good and tried to say that little by little it’s going to get there, but we need to be the team that was more in the second half, that was hungry, that we battled. Unfortunately, once you’re down 2-0 then it becomes difficult and in those moments we have to be calm. We cannot get frustrated and we have to find a way to win. We have quality players that can create great moments, but we have to stay calm.”

On allowing goals early in the second half over the last two games…
“It starts with me. It’s my fault because at the end of the day whatever happens on the field is the coach’s fault and I take responsibility. It’s something that shouldn’t happen. It’s moments in which you get killed, once you come into the second half and you are with that desire that you want to come back and you’re losing 1-0… Getting a goal right away is not a good sign. As I said, I take responsibility. It’s something that we need to work on and be better, but it has nothing to do with tactics. It’s more about attitude. We need to be a little bit better because we can keep running and running and give everything and put our hearts into it, but we allowed a goal in a critical moment and now we have to chase two [goals] instead of one. That’s where we need to be a little bit better. But as I said, I believe in all of our guys. We have an unbelievable team. We just have to stay focused.”

Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez [Translated]
On not being able to score against Seattle Sounders FC…

“I’ve scored four goals against them in three matches, but today we lost and it hurts because it’s our biggest rivalry and you need to play those matches with everything you have. Today we couldn’t do that and even though we tried very hard in the second half, they ended up winning the match, deservedly so.”

On dropping points in two consecutive matches…
“It affects us a lot. We need to continue to fight back to remain in contention for the playoffs and we need to take advantage of the fact that we can still fight. We must win al matches at home, there is no other alternative.” 

On pushing hard for the second goal…
“We were able to score after a set piece and even though we were lucky there, it helped us a lot to keep pushing forward. We demanded a lot from them after that goal, we put a lot of pressure on the second half and we didn’t stop trying, which was the only alternative we had. We know we have very capable players and we need to take advantage of our skills to improve.”

Portland Timbers defender Jorge Villafaña
On his thoughts of the match…
“Disappointed for the result. We are at home and we don’t want to lose against Seattle, of course. It’s a game that you want to win. An early goal in the second half that changed the game, and unfortunately we couldn’t get the second goal to tie the game. We have more games at home; it is still in our hands and we need to take advantage of that.”

On what the differences were between the two teams tonight…
“I think we weren’t focused enough at the beginning of the half, and I think that cost us. Then when we were trailing we created opportunities, but at the end of the day we couldn’t put them away. We need to do better and start getting prepared for the next game.”

Portland Timbers defender Bill Tuiloma
On how he processes the last two losses…
“We’ve got to reflect on our individual plays. I’m going to reflect on how…I’m going to watch the game and what could I have done better? What should I do in the next game? I’ve got to reflect and I think other players will do the same thing. And we will come back better and stronger for the next game.”

Seattle Sounders FC Quotes
Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer
On how bad they needed the win...

“Well, I mean, we need every game. There was eight games to play, we needed to win a bunch of those eight games so the boys persevered tonight.”

On the confidence boost of winning the Cascadia Cup...
“Well look, it’s important for the fans. I’m a fan, so I love the fact that this was the first time since 2006, 2007, in the USL that the Sounders won back-to-back Cascadia Cups. So look, the rivalry between the three franchises is a very big one. It’s something that we take seriously, I know that the fans take it seriously. So, I’m very happy, you know I got to hug three of the fans that were down on the field, look at the Cup, guys were happy so it was a big deal.”

On the team’s defensive performance...
“I wish I knew… I’ll watch the film. I mean look, obviously we withstood a lot of attacks. I mean, they were on top of us for large parts of that second half. You know, once they scored their first goal, I think that lifted them. But look, there’s that old stupid coaches saying, ‘We bend but we don’t break.’ And you know, some of the clearances, some of the misses they had, I mean it was a pretty exciting game.”

On winning the Cascadia Cup in Portland...
“This win just was good for a lot of different reasons: Cascadia Cup, my sanity, the coaches sanity, players’ sanity, fans’ sanity, you know, for a lot of different reasons this was a big performance, a gutty performance and you know, that’s the Seattle Sounders.”

On containing Brian Fernandez and Sebastian Blanco…
“Well, I don’t know if I’d agree with that, I thought they looked pretty good in some of their attacking movements. But you know, we had a gameplan where [Jordy] Delem and Gustav [Svensson] were in charge of [Diego] Valeri and Blanco on some of the fastbreak opportunities - I thought that worked pretty good. You know, obviously Fernandez is a world-class player, and Kim and Arreaga were up to the task today.”

Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris
On his own performance…
“I think you know, part of our strength is that we have guys that can attack in different ways and for me, it’s trying to use my pace to get me high or taking people one-on-one.”

On feeling if this was the most unified the team has felt on the field this season…
“I think that it was a big part of coming out with the result was that you saw some of the efforts there put in today just defensively. I mean they were on top of us for a long time and some of the guys put in some big, big… the whole team put in a big collective effort and I think that was the message for us is we need to come together more as a team and just play more collective and we did that today and it worked out for us.”

On winning the Cascadia Cup…
“It’s great, it’s great. It’s always nice to win a trophy and I know for the fans it’s awesome. We have the best fans in the league and so to see them traveling down and to celebrate with them was pretty cool.”

Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei
On the team’s defensive efforts tonight…
“I know… I mean things got difficult at the end there, but it was about doing the little things and keep trying to do the little things you know, whether it was when they maybe played a negative ball, can we just grab a couple of inches, can we grab a couple of feet, can we separate our lines, our midfield line can they step a tiny bit higher off our backs so that we have some depth? Because otherwise, if you’re just going to collapse and collapse and I think at some point the quality that they have with [Diego] Valeri from distance, [Sebastian] Blanco from distance, they’re going to punish you. I really love those little things because those are usually when you’re dead tired, it’s very difficult to do. You know, you’re going to have to grab those feet if you can and push up, it shouldn’t be tiring, but I got to say we did that today and that allowed us to keep fighting and win.”

On the difference between tonight’s performance versus their match against Portland earlier this year…
“It’s difficult to put your finger on it. You know, when you’re in a hole and need to somehow be able to get a result, maybe get a meaningful result and hope that sparks a bit of confidence. The confidence comes after that result. The confidence doesn’t come before the result and that makes it easier to get the result so just got to keep going believing, keep staying together as a team. It’s very, very important because ultimately you’re the only ones that can dig yourselves out of that hole. The motto’s been from the players to stay and play together and for each other and today we did that.”

Notes:

  • Jorge Villafaña had five chances created in the match – the most in any match of his MLS career.
  • Diego Valeri scored his seventh goal of the season, which is third-most on the Timbers season.
  • Valeri is the sixth player in MLS with both 75 or more goals and 75 or more assists.
  • The match was the 107th meeting between Portland and Seattle.
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