Sights, and sounds from Sounders season-ending loss to Timbers

The Seattle Sounders season came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Portland Timbers. Here are sights and sounds.

 

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QUOTES
PORTLAND TIMBERS MIDFIELDER DIEGO VALERI

On the character of the Timbers and fighting back after Seattle scored multiple times:

“We have a big heart. We are a strong team. We showed that in Dallas. We showed that today. We kept fighting until the end. So we knew that this game was special for our supporters, and we could make it. Another Western Conference Final. Another opportunity to make the MLS Cup final. It is a great challenge for us. We will rest well to make it again.”

On his thoughts on the penalty kicks:

“It is weird. As a player you only want to keep the ball inside and find the net. I think we showed character, and Jeff [Attinella] was amazing.”

On having a break now after three games in nine days:

“It is great to have this week to rest and to refresh the legs, and prepare for the next game. We have a good amount of days to get prepared for the game. We will most likely enjoy this break. It is a long season. We have to enjoy it.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS GOALKEEPER JEFF ATTINELLA

On his thoughts and emotions after the win:

“Yeah, roller coaster. The last 45 minutes of my life have been pretty wild. Obviously I am feeling really good. I think the team is feeling really good, really confident about what we were just able to do. That was no small task and the guys responded so well for me. I am just really, really grateful for the way that turned out.”


On how they fought back during the game and the character of the team:

“We bought in. As I said, I was saying it a lot during that 15-game run, and it feels that way right now that everyone is buying into what we are trying to do. Gio laid out a good plan for us and the guys just fought for one another. Asprilla coming off the bench, scoring that big goal, scoring the winning penalty, [Lucas] Melano busting in. Zarek [Valentin] coming in as a defender in overtime, you know what I mean. It goes around. Everyone put in incredible performances tonight. I think everyone was just really excited.”

On mentally being involved, adjusting and resetting:

“Yeah, that is the life of the goalkeeper. You have got to be able to shake off when you make mistakes because you know the next one is coming. You’ve always got to be worrying about the next one. Because you can’t really control what you did in the past. I still think I made a good play on the cross, I just happened to drop it. At the end of the day, I’m just thankful for Sebas’s goal. I think I am going to go buy a Sebastian Blanco jersey.”

On the penalty kicks:

“I have watched more film this year on everything than I have in my entire career. You know, I felt very prepared. Memo did a great job of finding the scouting reports. In the moment of the game, I felt that I got a pretty good read on what they were doing. I just tried to hold on as long as I could and react to the way they lined themselves up. Luckily, it worked out a couple of times and we are moving on.”

On his thoughts and emotions of the team now:

“Yeah we are pumped man. You know, we are really, really excited. We have off until Monday. I think we are excited about that, too. But, we are excited. We are excited for the city. We are excited for the fans. It has been a long year but everyone involved with the Timbers deserves something like this and we are just really happy.”
SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER JORDAN MCCRARY

On instructions before being subbed into the match:

“Pretty much come onto the field, do what I can to help the team win and lock down anybody trying to come down my side and just push forward.”

On if it was the craziest match to be involved in:

“I can definitely say it was absolutely the craziest. Going into it we definitely felt that we had to fight. Absolutely.”

On Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s message after the match:

“How the season went. It’s been a good season. We all fought hard. We gave everything we could in that game, literally until the last second and it had to end in PKs. Obviously I wish we would have won, but it is what it is.”

On being able to look back and see the positives from the season:

“As an athlete and competitor, you’re always going to think about those times. Those times are what help you push forward. This team has been to the final the past two years and they’re still in the playoffs. We’re still a good team, there’s a lot of accomplishments we accomplished this year, winning multiple games consecutively as a team. It’s hard to not see the positives out of it even though right now it’s tough.”

On believing until the end it’s possible to win:

“100%. Every time I step on the field and look at the guys next to me in practice and everything, I always know we’ve got a chance, absolutely. Going into it, I feel we’re going to win this game.”


SOUNDERS FC FORWARD WILL BRUIN

On the match:

“It’s going to sting for a while personally, but that’s how it goes in playoffs. Sometimes you get punished on mistakes. For their goal in overtime, I lost the ball and that’s how they got it and put a cross in and scored. I’ll take this one extra hard.”

On the missed penalty kick:

“In practice I always hit that bottom corner. Maybe I pulled it a little too much. I didn’t change anything up from my routine. Just, you know, bad bounce.”

On the team’s ability to come back from losing positions:

“This year it got us. You can’t always be pulling it out at the end and be scrambling to get the result because eventually things like this are going to happen. It’s great when you can pull it off, but the soccer gods weren’t with us tonight and that’s the way it is. It definitely hurts.”

SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI

On his feelings post-match:

“We’re obviously disappointed to no longer be in the playoffs and to have a chance to add some trophies. We played a good game. I’m proud of the guys. They put in a lot of effort this game. They put a lot of effort in this season. It was a long and grueling season, so for us to find ourselves in the playoffs was a nice thing. It was really good and it required a lot of effort on everybody’s part. I think today, again, we showed a lot of heart. We showed that we care. Resilience. We didn’t give up. That’s been a trademark of this team, but at the end someone has to win. Obviously, we would have liked it to be us, but they also played a good game. It’s probably, for a neutral fan, a very good game to watch. For us it’s going to sting a little bit but I’m proud of the guys just the same.”

On mutual respect with opposition after the match:

“I think there’s always been respect between the players. We understand the rivalry is a real thing and I think that’s why today, too, there’s a lot of heart, a lot of soul poured into this game on both sides. It was a pleasure to be a part of that. I think this is going to go down as one of the feistiest and probably best games to watch in our rivalry in history. There’s definitely respect there. It sucks to come out at the bottom in the end, but I’m proud of our guys. They had a good series as well and they are going to go through. It is what it is.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS HEAD COACH GIOVANNI SAVARESE

On the match and how he’s feeling:

“More than what I’m feeling is how exciting the game was for everybody who came to watch it. I thought it didn’t disappoint. Seattle and Portland brought the rivalry to this match and it was incredible. There were moments when they scored, it looked like it was going to be difficult for us, then it was back and forth all the way to PKs. I think it was a very good match.”

On how the team was able to keep absorbing the blows:

“We believe in ourselves and believe we can achieve great things together. The guys fought the entire match against a very good team – a team that wanted to give us everything they had. I’m just very proud of the performance from our team.”

On what it says about the team finishing from the penalty spot:

“A lot of personality, character…and what I told them was to just go out there and enjoy. Have fun, take responsibility and everybody wanted to take the PKs. It was fantastic.”

On what the trip home is going to be like:

“It’s incredible. We brought every player that’s on the roster so everybody was here. Everybody is content and now we have to continue to work. Today was very special and we have to make sure we continue to work.”

On the team allowing Seattle’s goals:

“I can say the same thing for them as well. That’s why it was an open game. That’s why it was a good game. They found goals and we found goals. It went all the way to the end and I think it was two teams who tried to control the match in one way or another. It went moments for them and moments for us. At the end, we got the result that we needed to go through.”

On seeing his players bounce back:

“Soccer always gives you a reward if you stay focused and continue to believe in yourself. If you keep on working day by day, you’re going to get your chance again and be able to help your team. Jeff [Attinella] never went down. He kept on going and kept on playing and kept on believing that he could contribute to the team and he did in the PKs. [Dairon] Asprilla was given the fifth PK and he converted to get a win.”

On how to take this momentum into the next round:

“First of all, we need to enjoy it. We need to absorb and analyze everything that happened. The good thing is we have two and a half weeks to be able to recover, to work and to make sure that the guys get back to the basics so we go the best possible way against Real Salt Lake or Kansas City. I think the important thing is we need some rest. We’ve been playing a lot of matches consecutively, especially playing Sunday and now Thursday. It’s going to be good for the guys. The good thing is everybody wants to come, everybody is enjoying and the guys are not feeling that stress towards the end of the season. They’re refreshed and still happy to be together and I think that’s a very important component.”

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