Andy Polo, Timbers @ Caps, 9.27.20
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quotes & Notes | Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1, Portland Timbers 0 | Sept. 27, 2020

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
General thoughts on the match…
“It was very important to continue the same path of winning these matches. Three points that were necessary for us and we had two different halves. That first half in which we were very, very good. We pressured [Vancouver] high. We didn’t let them play much. Yes, they did find one or two moments in the first half, but we pretty much dictated the tempo and kept the ball very well the first half. Second half we suffered a little bit more. They had a few opportunities. We also had opportunities. The team dropped a little bit back and we defended well most of the time. The effort’s been very good from the guys and at the end we could have been a little bit better to finish those opportunities on the counters because that’s what it became in the second half. But overall, I think another good performance, a very important win and again, zero in our goal which is the effort of the entire team to make sure that we continue this path. Overall a very important win for us and three points that continue to make us stay on the same path.”

On securing a second-straight clean sheet…
“It allows you to build confidence. It allows you to make sure that you feel that you’re working in the right direction. It’s an example that when you all are in tune with each other and work together you can achieve the goal that you’re looking for in regard to not allowing goals against. Nevertheless, it wasn’t perfect. There were opportunities that [Vancouver] had. I think some moments, some of our players came up big in order to make sure that we kept the clean sheet and that’s what you need. In those moments, some moments that you give up the space, is when players are important to help and commit with determination. Get to those areas not to allow them to be able to get the final moment to score. I think we saw many of those moments in the second half. Not so much in the first half. Overall, a strong performance, good work as a unit and a very important win.”

On having a longer period of training and recovery ahead of next Saturday’s match…
“Definitely. So as you mentioned, finally we have a week that is a normal week in which we can work. We can be able to recoup some of the players to make sure that we also are able to hope that some of the players that are injured can catch up as well and get everybody back to their best form in order to then decide the lineup for next weekend. I think the important part is that through these matches that we have had consecutive, we had to rotate. We had to put some players in, and everybody did a great job. All the players were able to bring what we needed on the field in order to get the points we have gotten and the results that we were able to achieve. It’s perfect when you have a group entirely, and a roster that everybody is ready to step on the field and put in performances like we saw again today. So the rotations have been great and now we have the chance this week to make sure that we have a normal week to recoup everybody and then be able to think about what is coming next.”

On the standard he has for the team…
“Our standard, our desire is to always improve, is always to be a strong team and to make sure that we grow and evolve in so many areas to always be a better team. But that doesn’t take away the fact the guys did a tremendous job today. That they all worked together. They’ve been doing that for the past few games. We defended with everything that we had. We attacked with quality in the first half, with counters in the second. We’re very content with the result. But we have high standards. We want to continue to improve. We want to continue to be better. If we were very good with the ball, we can always be a little bit better but we cannot take away the fact that the guys did a fantastic job to get a very, very deserved win today.”

On if it felt strange to be the away team in Providence Park…
“I will say that there were some things that felt very strange. Seeing the blue color all around the walls and [Vancouver’s] commercials and [Vancouver’s] sponsors definitely gave you a strange sensation. But we know Providence Park, and this is our home and the opportunity to play here is always good. We had to focus on what we needed to focus inside the field and that’s what we did. After, we were able to get a very important win. But definitely felt a little strange at the beginning when we were arriving to the stadium, seeing so many different things inside Providence Park.”

On if he will continue wearing a particular pocket square for good luck…
“I couldn’t hear completely, but I heard something about ‘lucky for Saturday.’ Every luck that can come our way is a good thing, so hopefully it keeps on coming, but I’m not a 100% believer of luck. I think you earn your luck in some way by putting the work and keeping positive and creating a good environment. I think the guys have been fantastic in enduring, in working hard, in going through so many difficulties. Staying disciplined and making sure that when we have to show up in practices, they do everything to take care of themselves. I’m extremely proud of the locker room and the players that we have. So I think the guys are earning their own luck.”

Portland Timbers forward Felipe Mora
(through a translator)
On if he feels there’s another level for the team to reach…

“I think every match is different. There are matches like today, which are very difficult. We always have things that we need to improve and things that are going to make us a better team. So we will definitely review this match and we will listen to what the coaching staff has to say and we’ll make those improvements.”

On his understanding of the MLS and his role in the team since the season restarted...
“I believe as the games go by, I gain more knowledge about the league. It’s been a very difficult year and everything that the league has done has helped me to adapt and I think my teammates, for the most part, they’ve been fundamental for me to adapt a lot better and for me to score these goals. So I really hope that I can continue achieving these things.”

On the team’s formation and shape…
“We have a lot of games right now… as you can see, the team has improved a lot and we have a very challenging team. We have a lot of players that can play in a variety of positions and they are all very competitive so we hope to continue this trend.”

On his role whenever he starts the match or in the reserves…
“I feel a lot better right now. I think that coach [Giovanni Savarese] gives me the trust I need. He’s a coach that talks to you throughout the week and that’s fundamental. It’s a coach that is very close to his players and that makes everything easier for you to play better and to score more goals.”

Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala
On what was needed from the team tonight for the win…
“I think to get those three points we needed to stay focused the whole game. What I get from this game is that we had a very good start, we had the possession of the ball. We had some phases where we could unbalance them and create not really some clear chances, but really unbalance them and with a better run or better pass around the box, it would be more efficient. But then towards the end of the first half and the whole second half was more defending, staying focused and trying to close the spaces as much as possible. When you spend that much time in front of your own goal you really have to be focused the whole game.”

On the team staying consistent defensively over the past few matches…
“We know that we… we can even do much better than what we did tonight. When we come on the field, we are trying to have the best performance possibly and especially defensively because we know that with the quality we have in front, we’re going to create chances. Just putting in our minds that we are not going to allow goals against us will put us in a better position to win games. So that’s what we really focused on for the last two games that we played, and I think everyone just put a very pride into trying to defend well and not allow anything against us. I know it’s very good for the future going forward and I hope we’re going to keep this same mentality. I really believe that we can even be better… with the ball to suffer a little bit less behind.”

On playing tonight at home but as the designated road team…
“We are professional football players so we have to adapt to any situation. Of course, it’s very weird for us but at the same time, crazy things are happening around the world right now. It’s even harder to stay focused and perform the best way but since as I said, we are professional football players and we still have the chance to keep our job and to come out here to compete, to have fun together and just to bring some competition and bring something where people can just think about something else instead of always thinking about the problems that they can have in their daily life. I think it’s something that we have to just adapt and take seriously because as I said, we still have the chance to have this job that we love and give some joy to some people who love this game too.”

Notes

  • For the second time in the 2020 regular season, the Timbers have posted a three-game winning streak. Portland is the only MLS team with multiple three-game winning streaks in 2020.
  • Portland has scored six goals in the first 15 minutes of a match in regular season play this year, tied with Chicago Fire FC for the most in MLS in 2020.
  • The Timbers improved to 3-1-1 in five regular-season road matches in 2020.
  • Portland improved to 9-1-4 across all competitions in 2020 when scoring the first goal of a match.
  • In seven matches played during the month of September, the Timbers finished with a 4-2-1 record.
  • The match was the 800th regular season match for the Timbers in the pro eras of the Timbers (NASL, USL, and MLS).
  • Felipe Mora scored his fourth goal of the season.
  • Mora is the third Timbers player to score four or more goals for the 2020 regular season and the fifth Timbers player with four or more goals in all competitions this year.
  • Mora's goal came in the fifth minute and was the earliest goal scored by the Timbers this season.
  • Eryk Williamson delivered his third assist of the season. Both of Williamson's last two assists have come on Mora goals.
  • The shutout was Steve Clark's third this season and the 35th of his MLS career. Clark is now tied for 28th-most shutouts in MLS history with Andre Blake.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse appeared in his 71st consecutive match across all competitions for the Timbers dating back to Sept. 8, 2018. The club record for most consecutive appearances across all competitions is 72.
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