Eyrk Williamson, Timbers @ Seattle, 10.22.20
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Quotes & Notes | Seattle Sounders FC 1, Portland Timbers 1 | Oct. 22, 2020

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On tonight’s match…
“Very strong performance from the players, a tremendous first half in which we completely dominated the entire half. We found a goal, we could have scored one or two more goals because we had chances, and we defended very well. In the second half, it became more of a transitional game, we had a few moments in which we had to defend a little bit more in emergency. They did create around two opportunities that didn’t capitalize, but we put a lot of fight into the second half as well to try to make sure that we give everything to defend, and we had our moments also going forward, in which we also created opportunities. But definitely a more difficult second half, but it’s unfortunate, we feel disappointed again, because we almost got three points again on a very difficult team, battling for the top of the west. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t close the match, but I’m extremely proud because I thought that we had a very strong performance, especially in the first half, in which we looked very strong. I’m extremely proud of the guys, and again two games in a row in which we think, and we feel that we deserved more than just the point. So we’ve going to keep on working, we’ve got to stay positive because we saw a lot of great things, and even though we didn’t have some players available today, nevertheless whoever came into the game did the job that we asked, and I was extremely content to see [Andrés] Flores score his first goal. He has come already a few times very close to it, but in an important stadium, in an important match, for him to have scored this goal, I think, is a very important moment for him and for the team.”

On his perspective in balancing the result with the performance in this game…
“We played very well. We played very well for 90 minutes, in which we put a good fight, we defended well, we had a moment with the ball also going forward in the second half, a second half in which was more transitional. In the first half we completely dominated with some of the pressure. We were good at pressuring them a little bit higher and moving the ball. But it is disappointing because the amount of work the guys put in to get this, to try to get three points, and then at the end, after you put in all the work, and unfortunately, on a set piece, they’re able to score after you defended so well and you put a good fight to get a very important result against a good team in a difficult place, you feel disappointed. Especially because it’s the second game, in which we also played extremely well. We should’ve gotten the three points, and then we gave up I think at the same 92’ both goals, to now lose four points in a matter of two games. But if I have to look at all the positives that encourage me to feel that we are on the right path, that the guys are doing a great job and especially limited as we were today because we didn’t have that many attacking pieces to do all the things, but anyone that came into the game was able to execute what we asked that, and they were a part of what we thought could be a perfect game, and towards the end, unfortunately not capitalizing and getting the three points that we came for.”

On the message to the locker room after this kind of result...
“I think that it summarizes the fact that we are disappointed. So imagine that we are here in Seattle, playing against our rivals, playing against a very good team, and we tied him in this match, and we’re very disappointed because we felt that we could have gotten more; right there that’s a good sign. That’s a good sign that shows that we came here for something important, to get three points, and the fact that we finish the game disappointed because of what happened at the end, shows that we were convinced that the work that we put in was going to give us the points, and that was unfortunate that we allowed them to be able to find that space and that goal towards the end, to take away the other two points that we felt that we worked hard to get. So that right there shows that we are on the right path. There’s so many positives that I can take, but the fact that we’re disappointed here in Seattle, for a tie, it means that we are a strong team and that we put in a very strong performance today.”

On Andrés Flores...
“He’s gone through so much this year, I’ve known him for a long time, he’s a fighter. He’s someone that’s never going to quit working and the challenges that he has had this year, losing his father, something that has been so tough, but he keeps on coming back, keeps on fighting, keeps on working, what more can I ask? Today, in a very difficult place he scored a very important goal, and I was so happy, we’re so happy for him, because he’s a very important part of our team, and he has always done very well here, because he has played a lot of matches in Seattle. But finally after getting some opportunities in the past three years, he was able to score a goal that I feel he deserved a long time ago, and put us in a good situation today, in which we feel that we deserved. That moment in the first half, we find the goal, and then we had a lot of opportunities. But I’m so proud of [Andrés Flores] today, and of everybody that we have here on the team.”

Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala
On the team’s perspective of how they performed despite the final result…
“Going into the game we just wanted to keep it rolling because we knew that we’ve been playing some very good games prior to this one and the mindset was just to keep producing the same way, but at the same time, we just let those two points go away the same way we did last week. This is something that we need to work on. But at the same time, I don’t really want to focus too much on that because the more you think about it… I feel the more you think about it, the more the same situation happens so we still want to play the way we played especially in the first half and try to erase those late goals that we can concede. But overall it was a very good game for us.”

On the mindset heading into matches following previous concessions of late goals…
“I think the process is just to stay focused the whole game because when we look at the game against LAFC, it’s just a little situation that we could avoid that led LAFC to score the goal and it’s the same thing tonight. We just had a little bit of less focus in those crucial moments and this is what cost us to concede those two goals in the last two games in the last minute of the games. So staying focused the whole game is the very most important thing that we have to do as a team and as a player in the team.”

On what the defense was doing well prior to the late goal…
“We know that we have very good players in the… especially in this backline to defend those crosses and these are some situations that we work a lot in the training sessions. We try to really be focused to be able to know where to be in the best position in the box and at the same time trying to not lose our marks in the box. These are some situations where we are working a lot in training sessions and we try to bring the same amount of focus in the game to the point where it just becomes automatic. When the ball is on the side, we already know where and what we have to do and I think those situations translate in the game where I think we’ve been handling a very good way in this game.”

Portland Timbers midfielder Andrés Flores
On scoring the game’s opening goal in the first half…
“As you mentioned and I think it’s important to say that, I mean we wanted the three points. I think we deserved them because we did have a good game here in a difficult field to play. But personally, I feel very happy for the goal because I’ve been out for a long time and you have no idea how hard I have been working. I was just being patient, waiting for the opportunity and it came today in a big game and I’m really happy for the goal.”

On his personal challenge tactically both offensively and defensively in tonight’s match…
“It was a very challenging game because we know that they have very talented players in the attack. As you mentioned, Jordan Morris or [Nicolas] Lodeiro and all those guys. We had to be smart at a time of defending and also when we had to do the attack, to be able to find good spaces and be ready in the counterattack. For me, it was challenging because as you said, I’ve been out for a long time. This year has been crazy, a lot of different things happened in my personal life. But I think overall, it was as I expected, very difficult. But it ended up being a very positive comeback for me.”

On maintaining the perspective of the team’s positive performance despite not taking all three points…
“I think we all worked to find ourselves in a… to find the best way to play, the best way where all the players and this coaching staff feels comfortable. And I think we’re on the right path to find it. We can see today the first half was very good for us. We were able to maintain the ball, to keep possession. And the second half, they probably had the ball a little bit more than us and it ended up being a tie that we didn’t want of course. But I think we have to keep being positive and keep working in this way of playing because if we believe in what we’re doing, I think we’re going to have good results.”

Notes

  • Portland is unbeaten in its last five regular-season meetings in Seattle (3-0-2), dating back to Aug. 26, 2017. That is the longest road regular season unbeaten streak for the Timbers in the series’ all-era history.
  • The Timbers improved to 8-2-4 In 14 matches played across all competitions away from Providence Park in 2020, outscoring the opposition 33-21. 
  • The Timbers have now scored eight goals in the first 15 minutes of a match this season, tied for the most in MLS.
  • Portland's 39 goals scored in 2020 are the second-most goals scored in MLS this season.
  • The Timbers have 14 points from road matches this season, three more than any other Western Conference team.
  • Andrés Flores scored his first goal of the season and the second of his Timbers career.
  • Flores made his 2020 season debut in the match.
  • Flores is the 12th player to score a regular season goal for Portland this season
  • Diego Chara played in his 25th regular season match against the Sounders, which is tied with Chris Wondolowski (against the Vancouver Whitecaps) for the most matches against a single club since 2011.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse’s streak of 75 consecutive appearances across all competitions for the Timbers dating back to the 2018 season came to an end after not being selected due to injury. 
  • Additionally, Ebobisse’s streak of 60 consecutive regular-season appearances came to an end.
  • Jorge Villafaña made his 98th career regular-season appearance for the Timbers, playing 90 minutes against Seattle.
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