Giovanni Savarese, Brian Fernandez, Timbers vs. SKC, 9.7.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 2, Sporting Kansas City 1 | Sept. 7, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On his team’s ability to keep pushing for the win…
“First of all, we needed a win like this. These are the type of wins that give you more belief that we’re on the right path. It wasn’t only about the sacrifice and the work that the team put in, but the quality. Today, we played very well. We moved the ball very well. We created chances. Very pleased with the performance today. Of course we can always improve, but I thought the commitment from all the players defensively and when we had the ball was very good. Whoever came in, Tomás [Conechny] a few minutes, made a big difference right away with an assist and I think all-around we played against a very good team and performed very well. Three points that we needed. Crucial, crucial three points.”

On the performance from players coming in as he made changes to the lineup…
“We said it before that we couldn’t just come and complain about the fact that we had 10 players [out] between injuries and international callups, so it’s 10 players we couldn’t fit on the bench unfortunately. So it was difficult. But these are the moments that you see the character of a team and you saw it today. I think the guys performed very well. They stepped on the field, they had the ideas clear. We had to change a little bit our system to make sure that we handled some things in the way we felt would be best with the group that we had. All around it was a very good performance.”

On if Brian Fernandez’s goal was the most important he’s scored as a Timber…
“Definitely it’s been one of the most dramatic, because of the way it came, at the moment that it came, and to give us this win. But every goal that he’s scored has been important for us. He’s been very good. Today, when he came in, he moved well. He found the moment to be able to give us the win that we wanted.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara
Thoughts on the comeback…
“I feel great. I think we did a really good job today. I think we deserved to get the three points and at the end with a ball from [Diego] Valeri, Brian [Fernandez] was effective; that was a great feeling.”

On his role in the team’s first goal…
“I just saw the space and I think Marvin [Loría] played a good ball to me and after the cross, Jeremy [Ebobisse] scored. It’s a great feeling and we feel very happy.”

On the importance of obtaining three points…
“I think it’s very important. We know that Kansas City is right behind us in the standings and for us this is a great win.”

Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse
On what he saw on his goal…

“[Diego] Chara made a really good run out of the midfield and in that moment I knew my job is always to crash inside the box, whether it’s at the near post or the back post. I was just reading the movement off Brian [Fernandez]. Brian pulled back, which took [Graham] Zusi out of the way and made the finish a lot easier. It was a good team play from front to back. The defense played really well today. The attack left it late and kept the fans nervous, but we got the job done as well.”

On Brian Fernandez’s game-winning goal…
“It’s definitely one of the most dramatic [goals], especially at Providence Park. It’s impressive too. I didn’t know he could jump that high. He really got up, but he’s going to score a lot of big-time goals.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Eryk Williamson
On getting a chance to start in a key match late in the season…

“It’s massive. It’s getting the confidence to go out there and play in a very heated game like tonight. From the first whistle, guys were going at it. Being in a physical game where we’re battling for three points and we’re trying to make the playoffs; it’s a massive three points and now we’re jumping up a few places in the table. As a young guy, it’s kind of a stepping stone. Obviously everything wasn’t great tonight, but I’ll go back and review everything and I’ll just continue to improve from there.””

On the team scoring the game-winning goal in stoppage time…
“Tomás [Conechny] came in and did an amazing job. He maybe touched the ball three times and one of his touches was one of the more important passes of the game. It’s really good to have guys come off the bench [and contribute]. I’ve been in that situation where I’ve had to come in and bring that energy, but it felt good, as someone on the field tonight, to have subs come in to do that and it felt amazing to get that goal.”

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes   
Thoughts on the game...
“We had a good game, we did what we had to do. We should have scored one more goal, we gave away a bad first goal. We had possession of the ball, but I submit what I said earlier. The game was above the crew today, it changed the game eventually. Too many calls went the wrong way for both teams, but it messed up the game.”

On the team’s upcoming schedule... 
“We have to go get three points anywhere we can.”

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez
On making his MLS Debut...
“It feels exciting. To be in an atmosphere like this it’s crazy and it's been my dream. Just gutted for the result.”

On bouncing back from this defeat… 
“We’ve got to just put it in the past and move on and try to get some points next weekend. ”

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber 
Overall thoughts on the match…
“Just disappointing. Tough place to play. We got a goal to go up and were not able to come away with anything, so it's disappointing. We’re in a position where we have to get points every game and obviously today we had the chance there late and we weren’t able to come up with anything. ”

On his goal..
“No, I was crossing it. I’m sure a lot of people would claim the shot, but I tried to cross it, mishit it and I think I got hurt in the process also. Frustrating night all around.”

Notes:

  • Brian Fernandez scored his 11th goal of the season in MLS play and his 15th goal in all competitions.
  • Fernandez’s 11 goals are the most by a player in his debut season in the club’s MLS era.
  • Fernandez’s goal came in the 94th minute, which is tied for the latest game-winning goal for the Timbers at Providence Park.
  • Fernandez has five game-winning goals in MLS play this season. Only the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (7 goals) has more in 2019.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse scored his ninth goal of the season, which ranks as the second-most on the team this season.
  • Ebobisse’s goal in the 83rd minute is the latest game-tying goal by a Timbers player this season.
  • Diego Valeri recorded his 16th assist of the campaign, which is the second-most in MLS in 2019.
  • Tomás Conechny notched his third assist of the season. All three of his assists have come in a substitute role. Only the Philadelphia Union’s Ilsinho has more assists as a substitute in MLS this season.
  • The win marked the second time this season the Timbers have won a match after conceding first. Portland also earned a win after conceding the first goal on the road against Toronto FC on April 27.
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