Jorge Villafana, Timbers vs. DC, 9.15.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Portland Timbers 0, D.C. United 1 | Sept. 15, 2019

Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese

On his thoughts after the match…
“I thought we played a very good match in keeping the ball, moving the ball around, putting crosses into the box. Maybe in the final third, we needed to be a little bit better for sure, because I think we should have capitalized on some other things we were trying to create. It’s not that we had tons of opportunities, even though we put around 37 crosses in and had [the majority of the] possession, but that’s not enough. It’s not enough to play very well; it’s about scoring goals and they did. They scored one. They didn’t have that many opportunities, and it’s a difficult one because I think the guys played very, very well against a good team and with us having players that are missing. I’m very proud of the guys and the effort that they put in. We played a very good team and we outplayed them, but the game is about goals, not how many crosses, not how much possession, not on the good things that you do. There’s a lot to build from, but we need to be better and keep on working on the final third, because even though we created a lot of situations we were not as dangerous as we could have been inside the box.”

On things that the team can do differently in the attack…
“They [D.C. United] defended well. Did you see how many [shots] get blocked? There were a lot of them. Hopefully we get Seba [Sebastián Blanco] back, Brian [Fernandez] and other guys that are going to help as well. Today, we only had 16 guys. What else can I ask? The guys did very well and they worked well. We played against a very good team and we did everything possible to win the game. It’s unfortunate because we are at home. These are three points that could have put us in a very good situation, but we have many more matches to play. We just have to make sure that we find the way to capitalize on the good play that we had and that’s it. I’m just a little bit disappointed because the guys played well and we didn’t get anything for what we did in the game.”

On D.C. United scoring on an goal…
“They had three chances. Sometimes that’s going to happen. We can say the same thing. Last week, [Sporting] Kansas City played a hopeful cross and it went in. Today, we put a better cross in and it hit the crossbar. Sometimes, that’s soccer. We have to continue to go forward. I thought defensively we played very well. Even when we were three at the back, we were still able to keep them [D.C.] on the other side. I think they showed a little more maturity in being a team that has more maturity in how to waste time and in some moments to delay the game. I think we did very well. We just missed a little bit more determination inside the box and some savviness. We still have a lot more matches, we’re still in a good situation and we have to make sure we keep on working on the things we need to improve.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On his thoughts on the match…

“Sad about the result. It wasn’t the result we wanted, of course. We needed the three points to get up in the table. I think we played a good game overall, dominated, and then we missed our chances and they got a lot of luck on their goal. They defended so deep and they conceded us the possession; we had our chances and couldn’t score.”

On what the team can do to break down teams bunkering…
“We did it last game. It’s the way it was – we missed our chances. We got a post in the first half. A couple of posts in the second half, couple of chances and long-distance shots, but we missed and then they just tried to defend very deep in the box. It looks like they succeeded because we couldn’t break them down, but that’s the way it was. We did a lot of good things and we missed our chances and we couldn’t get the point because of that.”

On having a quick turnaround after a loss…
“Of course. It’s the best for us to have a game in three days. Most of the games are at home and we are playing well at home, so we have to keep going in that way and the points will come.”

Portland Timbers Defender Jorge Villafaña
Thoughts on the game...
“I think it was disappointing that we didn’t get the result. It’s a game where we were on the front foot the whole game, first half and second half. They got a lucky goal and then they dropped after they scored the first goal. We missed our opportunities, we couldn’t put them away. I think that was the game – a game where we possessed the ball, played welland we just couldn’t find the goal. ”

On how the Timbers could have gone about breaking down D.C. United’s defense... 
“I think it’s just the opportunities you create; you put them away in the first half. We have Diego’s [Valeri] header, we had a couple of crosses that could have ended up in the back of the net, a couple of saves from the ’keeper. I think we did everything that we could, we just weren’t clinical at the end and we could have made a couple of different runs, some deep runs, some crosses to the back. I think it was kind of the same game like Kansas City where they get a goal and they just dropped. In the Kansas game we got the opportunities and we put them away and in this one we were unfortunate that we couldn’t score.”

On playing their next game in 72 hours ...
“You have to forget about it and start to focus on the next one. It’s a quick turnaround and we still have the opportunity to get those points that we need to climb up the table.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Marvin Loría [Translated]
General thoughts on the match…
“It’s very tough because we are playing at home and we were not able to obtain the result we wanted. We tried as much as we could and it feels rough because we do not like to disappoint our fans and lose valuable points at home.”

On missing out on three points at home…
“It hurts, especially because we are playing at home. We always want to win and this is a team that’s been assembled to win and to fight for great things. So, it does affect us a great deal, not to obtain three points today. But we know there are a few more matches at home and it is still in our hands to put ourselves in playoff contention.”

D.C. United Quotes
D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen
On the boost the win gives to his team…
“Tonight was a terrific result for us, especially piggybacking off the win in Montreal. Before that we were in a little bit of a tough way, spiraling the wrong way on a couple losses. It’s nice to be coming out of this, I feel, at the right time. We’re a tough team to beat right now. There’s a lot of effort, a tremendous commitment defensively and box defending has been very, very sound. That’s kind of seen us through these last two games and that’s got to be the staple going forward.”

On what his team could have done better to relieve some of Portland’s pressure…
“They’re throwing a crazy amount of numbers forward. So really the only way to counter that is to sting them on the other end. We had a chance or two in that second half to put the knife in and we didn’t do that, so we had to hang on. There’s not much you can do when teams bring that many numbers at you. Just defend the box and hit them on the counter. There were some possessions out there in the second half that we’d like to do better with. We had the same scenario in Montreal in the second half. That part we have to work on and how we’re not sitting in a low block the entire half, but it’s nice to know when you do have to grind wins out on the road in particular, you have guys that are willing to stick their head in places and block shots and do a lot for the next guy to get the result.”

On what he believes are his team’s strengths heading into the playoffs…
“Just as I said. Right now we’re a tough team to beat and we have to continue that. I think we lost our way a little bit in the summer and not being great enough. Not understanding who we are and how we’re successful. It starts on the defensive end for me and everybody being extremely selfless. Hard work and defending the box. We got guys that can make plays. The offensive side can get better. We have to push that part so we’re not having stretches of defending like we did in the second half here and also the second half in Montreal. That’s something we can work on. Very proud. There were four or five guys laid out after this game. Absolutely exhausted and it shows this group is committed and wants to do something in the playoffs.”

D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney
General thoughts on the match…
“Yeah it obviously a tough game. We got the goal first half and we fought hard and dug in for the second half to keep the clean sheet and take the three points. It was a tough game, but important to get the three points.”

On keeping Portland from scoring despite allowing so many shots…
“I think a lot of them were from 30 yards out and we trust our goalkeeper. They took shots from that far out and we defended our box really well. Don’t think they had too many clean chances. So no, if you’re going to defend deep, you’re going to concede shots, especially from distance. Overall we defended the box well and we took our chance. Well they scored for us, but we had good chances as well.”

On if he’s enjoying this final run in MLS…
“I’ve always enjoyed playing football, whether that’s in England or over here. I love the game. I love playing so my enjoyment for the game hasn’t changed from obviously the moment I got here to now. It’s what I do. I know I love playing football and until my body tells me I can’t, I’ll keep doing it.”

Notes:

  • The Timbers finished the match with 523 completed passes, which is the second-most in team history in the MLS era behind only their match against the Chicago Fire on Aug. 15, 2019.
  • Portland held 67.3 percent of the possession in the match, which is the highest possession percentage the Timbers have had in a match this season and tied for the third-highest since the club joined MLS in 2011.
  • Diego Valeri became the third Timbers player during the MLS era to make 200 starts in league play with his start against D.C. United.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse played in his 47th consecutive match in all competitions, which is the third-longest active streak among all MLS field players.
  • Marvin Loría created four chances in the match, which is the most chances he has created in a match in his MLS career.
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