Jeremy Ebobisse, Timbers @ LAFC, 9.13.20
(USA Today Sports Images)

Quotes & Notes | Los Angeles FC 4, Portland Timbers 2 | Sept. 13, 2020

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
General thoughts on the match…
“It’s always unfortunate when you give up points, when you lose. It’s never something that we want to take, because in our minds we want to always win every game, whenever we go home or away. Conceding and giving away three points is not positive, especially because we had a very good game for the majority of the match. Fifteen minutes from the water break to the end of the first half, we gave up three goals and we made it difficult on us. Besides those 15 minutes we had a lot of good play. We created chances. We were very good. Yes, at times, maybe we opened the game a little bit too much because now when we have to chase, losing 3-2, it’s normal that we have to look for the game and we’re going to open ourselves a little bit more. But it’s unfortunate because there were a lot of good moments in this match and 15 minutes, again, we gave up three goals that wasn’t positive, especially for the great 30 minutes that we played at the beginning when we didn’t give any chances to LAFC. We controlled the match and then after the water break, I think we felt too comfortable and we conceded three easy goals that is not positive. Again, when we say the same thing, we need to make sure that we have matches that are complete, like the one that we played in Seattle. Again, conceding three goals in 15 minutes is not positive, but we’ll continue to work, we’ll continue to do the work that we have been doing and try to make sure that we get it right.”

On conceding three goals in the first half…
“It was mentality. It was mentality and that’s all because then we didn’t do the same things that we were doing at the beginning of the match. We started pressuring a little bit too high, we allowed them to make balls through the lines. At that point then we had our midfielders with too much space, allowing the three midfielders that [LAFC] have to find the ball easy and once the three midfielders in their team find the ball, then they can play balls in behind for the runners, the three on top with [Bradley] Wright-Phillips, [Brian] Rodríguez, and [Diego] Rossi. So, they will make it more difficult for you to be able to defend and the change was just the mentality. That’s all because if we continue to do the same things that we did the first 30 minutes and especially the majority of the second half, there’s no way that we concede this amount of goals in the way we did in those 15 minutes.”

On the absence of Sebastián Blanco…
“I mentioned many times in the past few days that [Blanco] is irreplaceable. There’s going to be another player that can step in, but we’re not looking to substitute him because he is unique. Nevertheless, I thought that today we had players that showed their character, they showed their ability, they showed that they’re able to step on the field and be important. [Marvin] Loría played a good first half, 45 minutes, then Yimmi [Chara] came in, did a great job. We have players that can come in and be able to help us win games. We don’t have [Blanco], so we cannot be thinking how we’re going to be, what we’re going to do. No. We have the ideas clear and it’s a moment for players to step up and we have those players that can step up. That’s all. It is very unfortunate and, as I said, [Blanco] is a very important component, but we didn’t lose today because [Blanco] wasn’t with us. We lost today just because 15 minutes we gave the game away. We had an unbelievable 30 minutes at the beginning and then a lot of good play in the second half. We could have tied. We could have won the game. So, at the moment I think that the guys did a great job. Unfortunately not complete as we would have wanted, but I think the guys are working very hard to make sure that we are competitive.

On the quick turnaround to play against San Jose…
“So now we have to concentrate and analyze a little bit more what we had to do better in this game. We’re going to have to now play Wednesday right away against San Jose, and then again San Jose is going to be back-to-back and we have to travel again to San Jose to play them again. We have been in those situations before. It happened the past few years with Minnesota, with LAFC. So, we’ve been there before, so we have to make sure that we think one game at a time. But we also have to understand that there’s many matches in between with a few days to recover. So we’re going to need everybody, so everybody has to stay ready to be able to play.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Eryk Williamson
On the final 15 minutes of the opening half following the hydration break... 
“Listen, I think it was just a mental breakdown for us. I think it’s…everyone is frustrated about those 15 minutes and it’s something we need to focus on and get better at. On the field, they kind of felt in control for those 15 minutes and we just needed to get on the ball and I think that’s where we lacked a bit of leadership from me and some of the other guys. Some of the guys in the midfield we needed to step up in that moment and get control of the game and I think we ultimately kind of gave the game away in that kind of moment.”

On the buildup leading to his opening goal…
“I think we were getting ourselves into the game. You see the fluidity that we have as a team and it’s not often you find, or I find myself at the back post kind of open so it just shows the confidence that we have in building up and progressing through the game. I think it was a great moment from the team and I think once we look back at it on video we’ll see it’s a lot of things we want to be doing offensively.”

On making the most of his opportunities this season…
“I definitely think I can do better. I was a bit frustrated throughout the game because I want to hold myself to a higher standard. I think we’ve could’ve been so much better, including myself. It was a performance that started out really well and I think it needs to be done for 90 minutes. It’s just frustration for myself and frustration from the guys, giving away a game that we definitely could have been on the front foot with.

On tonight’s performance despite missing a few key players…
“It’s definitely something to look at on the positive side of view. In the second half, we came out to play and did what we needed to do, ultimately pushing for the last goal and [giving one up] really late is not optimal but at the same time, it’s something to look forward to and build on. With Seba [Sebastián Blanco] out it gives guys a chance to go out and show what they can do and guys to step up and be in these roles. It’s something that I want to take that leadership with in terms of being someone to help create, help Diego [Valeri], help guys up top score goals and I think something to look positive at is we have two goals but I think ultimately it’s something to build on.”

Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse
On the final 15 minutes of the first half following the hydration break...
“I think they must have discussed something coming out of that water break because they were able to expose a couple of spaces and maybe some lapses of concentration on our end as well. But ultimately, we’ve seen this group before here in LAFC. If you’re not tight and if you’re not together, they will expose that and so it’s unfortunate to have dug ourselves that hole. Ultimately we did fight back but it’s always going to be tough when you concede three goals in about 15 minutes.”

On if tonight’s match without a few key players adds any context or solace for the performance…
“No it doesn’t because we all need to be ready to step up. I wouldn’t say it was on any of the guys who filled in for the regulars there, but it’s on the collective, we didn’t support each other in those 15 minutes. We didn’t make the plays. These 90 minutes are a series of game-making plays and against a team like LAFC, you get punished and so there’s definitely a lot of frustration to go around but we can’t hold your heads down. You got to pick it back up because we have another important game against San Jose and we know that that has to be an opportunity that we take.”

Notes

  • Eryk Williamson scored his second career goal in the match. Williamson has scored in consecutive matches.
  • Williamson is the fourth Timbers player to score in consecutive regular-season games this season, joining Felipe Mora, Jeremy Ebobisse and Diego Valeri.
  • Ebobisse scored his fourth goal of the season, tying him for the team lead with Valeri.
  • Ebobisse has scored 18 regular-season goals for Portland, which moves him into a tie for 13th place on the club’s all-eras goal scoring chart.
  • Ebobisse has scored four goals against LAFC in all competitions. His four goals are the most by an Timbers player against LAFC. It is also the most goals Ebobisse has scored against any single opponent.
  • Valeri delivered his fourth assist of the season in the match.
  • With the assist, Valeri has tallied 85 assist for his MLS career with 34 of those assists coming on the road. His 34 assists are tied for 10th-most in MLS history.
  • Valeri has tallied a goal or an assist in four straight matches. He also has a goal or an assist in eight of his last 10 regular-season matches for the club.
  • Felipe Mora notched his first MLS assist in the match. Mora is the 62nd different player to record an assist for the Timbers in an MLS match.
  • Jorge Villafaña delivered his first assist of the 2020 regular season.
  • Villafaña has tallied 14 assists in his Timbers career, which ties him for 15th place on the club’s all-eras assists chart with Fanendo Adi, Brian Gant and Stuart Lee.
  • During the match, goalkeeper Steve Clark recorded the 500th save of his MLS career. Clark is the 24th player in MLS history to reach 500 saves.
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