Friday, August 23, 2019
Venue: Providence Park
Referee: Jair Marrugo
Assistants: Jeff Hosking, Jose Da Silva
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
Weather: 75 degrees and partly cloudy
SEA - Cristian Roldan (Raúl Ruidíaz) 22’
SEA - Raúl Ruidíaz (Jordan Morris) 47’
POR - Diego Valeri 54’
SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (caution) 53’
SEA - Joevin Jones (caution) 65’
SEA - Saad Abdul-Salaam (caution) 84’
SEA - Stefan Frei (caution) 90’+1’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Saad Abdul-Salaam 74’), Kim Kee-hee, Xavier Arreaga, Joevin Jones (Emanuel Cecchini 77’); Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Brad Smith 66’); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Luis Silva, Harry Shipp, Handwalla Bwana
Total shots: 11 (Ruidíaz, 5)
Shots on goal: 4 (Ruidíaz, 3)
Fouls: 6 (Six players, 1)
Offside: 2 (Leerdam/Morris, 1)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 4)
Saves: 5 (Frei, 5)
Portland Timbers - Steve Clark; Zarek Valentin, Julio Cascante (Andy Polo 79’), Bill Tuiloma, Jorge Villafana; Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes (Tomas Conechny 72’), Marvin Loria (Jeremy Ebobisse HT), Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco; Brian Fernandez
Substitutes not used: Kendall McIntosh, Claude Dielna, Andres Flores, Renzo Zambrano
Total shots: 20 (Valeri, 4)
Shots on goal: 6 (Valeri, 2)
Fouls: 13 (Paredes, 3)
Offside: 1 (Fernandez, 1)
Corner-kicks: 10 (Valeri, 8)
Saves: 2 (Clark, 2)
Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer
On how bad they needed the win...
“Well, I mean, we need every game. There was eight games to play, we needed to win a bunch of those eight games so the boys persevered tonight.”
On if the protest at the beginning of the match affected the team...
“We gave them a little heads up as to what was going on. I actually wrote this down because they knew you were going to ask me this question… so. For those who dismiss or are not satisfied maybe with what the teams did tonight, you know they need to be complimented on their stance. I mean I get it, it’s a free country, they can believe what they do. But I know, I know that this club is against racism and against fascism. I know that I believe that with everything that I do. And so that little bit of support that we’re trying to show to find some middle ground between the fans that are upset and angry, you know we believe, I believe personally, I’ll say me because you asked me, I believe that we can erase some of that stuff that’s out there in the world and I was proud of the guys to do that little ceremony before the thing and that’s what I’m going to say about it.”
On the confidence boost of winning the Cascadia Cup...
“Well look, it’s important for the fans. I’m a fan, so I love the fact that this was the first time since 2006, 2007, in the USL that the Sounders won back-to-back Cascadia Cups. So look, the rivalry between the three franchises is a very big one. It’s something that we take seriously, I know that the fans take it seriously. So, I’m very happy, I got to hug three of the fans that were down on the field, look at the Cup, guys were happy so it was a big deal.”
On the team’s defensive performance...
“I wish I knew… I’ll watch the film. I mean look, look obviously we withstood a lot of attacks. They were on top of us for large parts of that second half. Once they scored their first goal, I think that lifted them. But look, there’s that old stupid coaches saying, ‘We bend but we don’t break.’ And you know, some of the clearances, some of the misses they had, I mean it was a pretty exciting game.”
On winning the Cascadia Cup in Portland...
“This win just was good for a lot of different reasons: Cascadia Cup, my sanity, the coaches sanity, players’ sanity, fans’ sanity, for a lot of different reasons this was a big performance, a gutty performance and that’s the Seattle Sounders.
On the matchup between Jordan Morris and Zarek Valentin…
“It was great until he got a little dinged up there, we’ll have to access him when we get back to Seattle, but Jordan was great. I mean he took Valentin on and that was a good matchup for us for sure.”
On if this was Kim Kee-Hee and Xavier Arrega’s best defensive performance together...
“I would probably expand on that to say that it was the team’s best defensive performance. That’s what I would probably say. I mean a lot of guys did it out in the wing channels, they defended well out there. They pressed higher up the field when we needed to. I thought overall it was a good team performance.”
On containing Brian Fernandez and Sebastián Blanco…
“Well, I don’t know if I’d agree with that, I thought they looked pretty good in some of their attacking movements. But we had a gameplan where [Jordy] [Delem and Gustav [Svensson] were in charge of [Diego] Valeri and Blanco on some of the fastbreak opportunities –I thought that worked pretty good. Fernandez is a world-class player and Kim and Arreaga were up to the task today.
On believing in signature wins…
“We’ve still got a few more games we’ve got to win before I say that this is a signature win, but it sure does feel good right now.”
On employing Cristian Roldan on the wing and any instructions given to him…
“Same instructions we gave him all of last year when Ozzie [former Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso] and Gustav [Svensson] were there and he played there all last year. The playoff loss to this franchise last year. Cristian got injured in a game down here. He was a big part of why I felt we could’ve gone through last year. When he got injured, I think he can play out there, I think he’s very effective. You saw him in the second half, some of the moments where he could give us possession, get a couple passes, his running from a deeper position is fantastic. He’s a versatile player.”
On his thoughts of Gustav Svensson and Jordy Delem’s midfield partnership…
“It was great, I thought it was great… well, I had said already that in order to deal with their counter-attacks, I needed those guys to be aware of Blanco… when Kelvin [Leerdam] pushed up the line, then one of those two had to stay on Blanco because Blanco was cheating. When any ball turned over, [Diego] Valeri is a tremendous talent, he would come on one side of the field or the other and those guys were in charge of that.”
Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei
On if he noticed the silence to start the game...
“Yes, I did. I knew about it before, so I commend the ECS and Timbers Army. I think the fact that we have two supporter groups, that hate each other come together on an issue, that says a lot about what the issue is, that there’s something there that needs to be discussed I think.”
On the banner that the Sounders team held up pre-game...
“We were told beforehand that that’s something the owners wanted us to do, to show that we’re together. I really don’t know how much thought was put into that, or whatever, but that’s what we did.”
On maintaining focus with external factors affecting the match...
“No, I mean for us honestly, once the whistle blows you’re so consumed with the game, you’re so switched on. I mean I’ve played in front of 70,000 people and it really doesn’t make a big difference. I think obviously there’s moments in the game where you know, when we feel the pressure and then maybe the opponent, the fans, add a tiny bit of pressure on top of that, but switching on from it being almost no noise, I think for us players didn’t make a big difference because we know that our fans support us, we know that. And I think we support them, they’re taking a stand and I don’t know how it looked on the T.V. but I hope it had an impact because obviously, these are… is a big draw of these games is the atmosphere and the emotions. And I think they got the point across, I hope.”
On the team’s defensive efforts tonight…
“I know… I mean things got difficult at the end there, but it was about doing the little things and keep trying to do the little things you know, whether it was when they maybe played a negative ball, can we just grab a couple of inches, can we grab a couple of feet, can we separate our lines, our midfield line can they step a tiny bit higher off our backs so that we have some depth because otherwise you know, if you’re just going to collapse and collapse and I think at some point the quality that they have with [Diego] Valeri from distance, [Sebastian] Blanco from distance, they’re going to punish you. I really love those little things because those are usually when you’re dead tired, it’s very difficult to do. You know you’re going to have to grab those feet if you can and push up, it shouldn’t be tiring, but I got to say we did that today and that allowed us to keep fighting and win.”
On Gustav Svensson’s impact on the game…
“I think one of Gustav’s strengths is he reads the game exceptionally well and he can stop counters. And when you have a team that’s very very good in transition, it helps when you have a player that can see those things and maybe extinguish the fire early on. Other opportunities we had at times with [Joevin Jones] for example with a good foul in the middle to stop the counter, those are strengths and those were things we did well.”
On the difference between tonight’s performance versus their match against Portland earlier this year…
“It’s difficult to put your finger on it. You know when you’re in a hole and need to somehow be able to get a result, maybe get a meaningful result and hope that sparks a bit of confidence. The confidence comes after that result. The confidence doesn’t come before the result and that makes it easier to get the result so just got to keep going believing, keep staying together as a team. It’s very very important because ultimately you’re the only ones that can dig yourselves out of that hole. The motto’s been from the players to stay and play together and for each other and today we did that.”
On what this result means for the team’s defensive players...
“I think we have good players defensively and we’ve played decent games, we’ve just made silly, silly mistakes you know. Giving away stupid P.K.s… not really closing down when we think okay, we’re going to be able to deny the cross and then step off the pedal and then allow a cross. Just little mental errors I think. For the most part, we’ve been okay, it’s just we’ve been punished for those mental lapses a lot of times. So today was a fight and like I said, what I saw is the willingness and I take that example that I gave with you know taking a couple of feet when you can - it’s the willingness to do.”
Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris
On his own performance…
“I think part of our strength is that we have guys that can attack in different ways and for me, it’s trying to use my pace to get me high or taking people one-on-one.”
On deciding to stay in for the first part of the second half despite carrying a knock…
“I had a little groin pain and nothing that was going to you know, playing wouldn’t have made it any worse. So wanted to go out and play a little bit more and then you know, felt it a little bit but it’s all good and yeah I was ready to go back out in the second half.”
On the silence in the stadium to start the game...
“Yeah, very unique, very unique. We expect to come in and hear that noise and when it came on in that 33rd minute, it was pretty special. The new stadium, to be honest, it’s a very nice stadium and it makes for a very unique atmosphere.”
On feeling if this was the most unified the team has felt on the field this season…
“I think that it was a big part of coming out with the result. You saw some of the efforts they put in today just defensively. I mean they were on top of us for a long time and some of the guys put in some big, big… the whole team put in a big collective effort and I think that was the message for us is we need to come together more as a team and just play more collective and we did that today and it worked out for us.”
On winning the Cascadia Cup…
“It’s great. It’s always nice to win a trophy and I know for the fans it’s awesome. We have the best fans in the league and so to see them traveling down and to celebrate with them was pretty cool.”
On Jordy Delem and Gustav Svensson’s performances…
“Yeah great, they did a great job both of them working really hard and I think that was the game plan to try and stop that counter because Portland has some special players and they’ll counter really well they make it difficult for team’s with their pace and speed. So to have both those guys in there that work hard and shut things down I think that helped a lot.”
On what he saw leading up to the team’s second goal…
“I saw [Raúl Ruidíaz] out of the corner of my eye, I mean he’s such a dangerous player inside the box. You get him the ball and you know, he’ll score it the majority of the time. So I saw him, he played me the ball, and then I saw him… he kind of made a move and then stopped and just a great finish. You know, he did most of the work.”
Seattle Sounders midfielder Gustav Svensson
Portland Timbers Quotes
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
General thoughts on the match…
“First of all, it was a tough result. We hate to lose against Seattle. It’s not something good, especially at home. Today, we weren’t good enough in the first half and then we came in the second half with a lot of energy. We put them in trouble, we created chances, but we had to be calmer in those moments when we’re chasing the game to make sure that we believe in ourselves, because we created tons of chances. In some moments, we needed to be a little bit more connected and calmer to be able to finalize those moments that we created. Credit to [Seattle]. They managed the game well. They found the goals in good moments and it allowed them to be able to stay calm and do the things that they were doing to disrupt the game in moments that maybe we wanted to find space going forward. It was a good sacrifice from our team in the second half and it was unfortunate that, again, we had a goal disallowed. I haven’t seen it. From the screen, it looked maybe a little offside, but again it’s another goal in a key moment that could have given us a lot. Definitely a difficult moment because we lost these three points, six points because we give Seattle three points. We lost the Cascadia [Cup] and we lost against Seattle. We lost all the things that we wanted today to make sure that we had the win that we worked for. This is not good enough because even though we sacrificed the second half, we have to do it the entire match. That’s what I think about the game.”
On what the team needs to do to stop a two-game losing streak…
“I think maybe we’re staying a little bit too much at home right now. Maybe that’s the thing. Maybe we’re too content to stay home because we’re a great team. Our players are unbelievable. I believe in our guys that we can go all the way this year, but this moment maybe in which we’re getting too complacent and we need to come with the hunger that we have shown in a lot of the games. Even though the second half was tremendous in regards to the energy that we put in and how much we fought, and how much we tried to get back in the game… we did a lot to be able to do that and we threw numbers forward. We risked everything to try to get back in the game. Maybe it’s about just getting a little bit away and to come back and getting hungry again and to get back to what we do best because we’re a tremendous team. I believe in this team 100 percent. I’m always proud of these guys, but right now it was a tough two games against Atlanta [United FC] and Seattle. These were two games that we could have won if we paid a little bit more attention to the details and we played all together for a common goal.”
On what he feels what was missing in the first half…
“The ball movement was slow, not enough mobility and not enough determination to be able to make the right runs. We had a lot of moments. We had crosses. We had chances. We had some things that we did well, but it always was that next runner that wasn’t there or the guy making sure that we kept the ball in certain moments and then we found the space in behind. So yes, even though we did a lot of good things, the ball movement wasn’t good enough for us to be able to find more spaces. We were not hungry enough to have more guys in the box to get there. We tried to manage the game feeling good and tried to say that little by little it’s going to get there, but we need to be the team that was more in the second half, that was hungry, that we battled. Unfortunately, once you’re down 2-0 then it becomes difficult and in those moments we have to be calm. We cannot get frustrated and we have to find a way to win. We have quality players that can create great moments, but we have to stay calm.”
On allowing goals early in the second half over the last two games…
“It starts with me. It’s my fault because at the end of the day whatever happens on the field is the coach’s fault and I take responsibility. It’s something that shouldn’t happen. It’s moments in which you get killed, once you come into the second half and you are with that desire that you want to come back and you’re losing 1-0… Getting a goal right away is not a good sign. As I said, I take responsibility. It’s something that we need to work on and be better, but it has nothing to do with tactics. It’s more about attitude. We need to be a little bit better because we can keep running and running and give everything and put our hearts into it, but we allowed a goal in a critical moment and now we have to chase two [goals] instead of one. That’s where we need to be a little bit better. But as I said, I believe in all of our guys. We have an unbelievable team. We just have to stay focused.”
Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez [Translated]
On not being able to score against Seattle Sounders FC…
“I’ve scored four goals against them in three matches, but today we lost and it hurts because it’s our biggest rivalry and you need to play those matches with everything you have. Today we couldn’t do that and even though we tried very hard in the second half, they ended up winning the match, deservedly so.”
On dropping points in two consecutive matches…
“It affects us a lot. We need to continue to fight back to remain in contention for the playoffs and we need to take advantage of the fact that we can still fight. We must win al matches at home, there is no other alternative.”
On pushing hard for the second goal…
“We were able to score after a set piece and even though we were lucky there, it helped us a lot to keep pushing forward. We demanded a lot from them after that goal, we put a lot of pressure on the second half and we didn’t stop trying, which was the only alternative we had. We know we have very capable players and we need to take advantage of our skills to improve.”
Portland Timbers defender Jorge Villafaña
On his thoughts of the match…
“Disappointed for the result. We are at home and we don’t want to lose against Seattle, of course. It’s a game that you want to win. An early goal in the second half that changed the game, and unfortunately we couldn’t get the second goal to tie the game. We have more games at home; it is still in our hands and we need to take advantage of that.”
On what the differences were between the two teams tonight…
“I think we weren’t focused enough at the beginning of the half, and I think that cost us. Then when we were trailing we created opportunities, but at the end of the day we couldn’t put them away. We need to do better and start getting prepared for the next game.”