Timbers

Jeremy Ebobisse credits Diego Valeri's humble nature for empowering him

Timbers

Entering Wednesday, Timbers striker Jeremy Ebobisse had never attempted a free kick in the MLS.

In the 22nd minute when a Galaxy handball gave Portland a free kick at the top of the box, that changed. 

Ebobisse taking the free kick surprised many given that is almost always time for Diego Valeri to take it. 

After the game, Ebobisse broke down the decision.

"We all know that Diego [Valeri] is our free kick taker, but he’s a really humble leader at the end of the day and if someone else feels confident in a given moment and asks respectfully, he’s going to honor that unless he really feels confident in what he’s about to do on that play," explained Jebo. 

"We both looked at the wall and felt that it was a little bit closer for a right footed player and he wanted to give me a chance to score, so that just speaks to his character. He could have been on the scoresheet on that play, but he chose to give it to someone who’s never taken a free kick for this team. I’m really appreciative of that and that’s the type of leadership we have on this team. Whoever it is, all the older guys are really helpful to us.”

As for the power behind the shot, head coach Giovanni Savarese said while it was the first time Ebobisse had attempted a free kick during the game, he has shown the ability to convert those in practice. 

 

"Jebo has the ability to strike the ball in a very talented way, he proved that in the free kick. Between [Diego] Valeri and him, they decided to go that way. We’ve seen that type of goal in practice from Jebo, so I’m glad that he was able to strike it in the way that he did, and it was a beautiful goal."

The goal was the second of a franchise record tying six goals scored Wednesday evening by the Portland Timbers, two of which came from Ebobisse. Besides the result, what made Savarese the happiest was how the goals were scored. They were not flukey plays but rather earned results. 

"[I] think the majority of the goals scored today were good goals, good play, good build up, finding the right pass to make sure that we score the goals, and I think with that mindset the guys can achieve anything, because everything is possible when working this way."

Ebobisse credited the work done off the pitch for the goal scoring extravaganza seen in Los Angeles. 

“We’ve analyzed each game that we’ve played. Some of the games where we struggled to create a lot of chances, but still ended up getting good results, so we can reflect on ways we want to improve so we can become a more complete team. Then at times, maybe we’ve over emphasized a little bit on the attack and dug ourselves some holes defensively where we had to really get after it. We’re still looking for that balance, but ultimately we have a team of 10-15 attackers; whoever is on the field, whoever is on the bench, that know where they’re supposed to be and are capable to make plays. Tonight we made six and hopefully we can keep scoring like that because if we do, we’re going to win a lot of games.”

Despite the six goals against the Galaxy, Savarese still sees room for improvement as all good coaches do. 

"We need to continue to improve, and guys need to continue to bring those things that they brought offensively."

Next, the Timbers will host the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. PT. looking for the club's fifth consecutive victory.