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October 30, 2017

Wilmer Cabrera

Houston, Texas

Houston - 0, Portland - 0

Q. Four consecutive clean sheets for Tyler against the entire team. Just looking at the game overall tonight, can you give us your initial thoughts on how the game went, please?
WILMER CABRERA: Yes. I think it's, we wanted to be sharper, but today we couldn't find that, those combinations, those passes. We couldn't create those clear options that we normally do and it's just part of the situation, part of the game. We can blame different things, because at the end it's just we're still pushing. The players put a lot of heart, a lot of energy, a lot of effort, but I notice that we have even more possessions than the other team that we normally don't do that. So it wasn't the game that we are normally used to see Houston Dynamo play. We passed the ball, we passed the ball, we passed the ball too much. But we couldn't penetrate constantly, we couldn't -- they waited, they waited for us, they gave us the possibility to have the ball and that, but we weren't sharp with the ball on our field and we didn't have a great idea and we couldn't connect and we couldn't create enough.

Anyway it's still 0-0 and we have now to think that it has to be finished in the second half or the second game in Portland and we need to prepare ourselves for that game.

Q. What was your opinion of the VAR ruling in the first half on the penalty kick?
WILMER CABRERA: That's the VAR. I was really far away and I don't have a TV. So I was really far and, but they reviewed it and we have to take, we have to accept that we have the VAR. For good or for bad, we have to accept that and then we move on. So, in other circumstances or in other leagues, it's a PK, and we have to play it. But over here we have the VAR, it was used. If it's in our favor, we're happy. If it's not in our favor, we're sad. At this point I think we move on and I don't pay attention to that. We move on, we are using the VAR, and I haven't, I don't even know if it's, if it was or not, but that's it, it's done. So we don't use that momentum to say that because of that, we didn't win. No, no, we have to create better chances, we have to be better with the ball, and we have to create, and we have to try to score. We did it, but it wasn't sharp.

Q. Talk about the Alex for Quioto sub. Were you trying to shut the game down? What were you trying to do there? Were you trying to slow Portland down with the defensive sub for a striker? What was going through your head?
WILMER CABRERA: No. We wanted to move Vincente a little bit up high and give Alex the possibility to be the number 10. So we still continue with the three up front, we moved the fifth when Vincente went in for Tomas as the number 10, but then we wanted to put Alex on the field and we moved Vincente a little bit high and we continued moving and then the last substitution was Cubo, Eric, for Mauro as a number 9. So we rotated the three guys up front, we tried to do our best over there, and tried to bring fresh legs and good ideas, and that was the idea, to try to find possibilities to win the game.

Q. Can you talk about the field conditions and did it slow the ball down?
WILMER CABRERA: Yeah, the field is bad for everyone, no? What are we going to do? It's been a little bit bumpy, but it's bumpy for all the 22 players and it's sad, we would love to have the field in the best condition, but right now it's a little bit bumpy. Maybe we have been playing too much or I don't know, but we cannot blame the field, that's not right, because the field is the same thing for them and the same thing for us.

Q. Obviously you guys came out of a match on Friday, do you think that that affected the way you guys played today, your sharpness and Portland had a little bit of a layoff, do you think that affected their sharpness a little bit tonight?
WILMER CABRERA: We can blame that, we can blame the 120 minutes for us and they haven't been playing in 10 days, or nine days, but I think in the playoffs, the adrenaline, the concentration, the spaces, the risks, they're all totally different. So they were cautious about our forwards because they needed to be cautious and they did a good job. They draw, but they didn't want us to run behind them, which it's a good job and so they organized that. We had, normally we don't have possession, even at home, we don't win in possession, and now it looks like we have more possession than Portland. They have Valeri, they have Nagbe, they have good players, but just, it's just part of the playoff situation, playoff environment, and right now what we need to do is we have to take the positive. We didn't concede against a team that scored a lot of goals, and we're still in a position that we can go to Portland and qualify in 90 minutes or whatever situation happens, we can qualify, because the game is still 0-0.

Q. Can you comment on Eric Alexander's contribution, all the forwards get a lot of attention, but he's kind of a calming presence back there.
WILMER CABRERA: Yeah, that's why we, when Eric came as a starter, the idea was to have the ball, to keep the ball and to control the ball in the middle when we had the ball. We needed to move the ball well clear with him and he has a very good idea and control of the ball with passing accuracy for us. So that was the idea and at the end he was good, solid, moving the ball, we kept the ball, we weren't penetrating too much, yes, that is also affecting us, that affected us, but in terms of Eric doing a good job right there in the middle, winning the ball and administering the ball, it's positive.

Q. What changes do you have to make? Do you see any changes that you need to make going into the next match?
WILMER CABRERA: Well, we normally make changes, correct? It's been the whole season our standard that we are going to think how we're going to play against Portland in Portland, we see how it goes, we see what we think that we're going to need to try to win the game over there to try to qualify to the next round, to the conference finals. So, we're going to have a few days where we need to recover, we need to review the health of the players and the recovery and the mental aspects, and then we're going to try to present a very good team over there, motivated to try to qualify in Portland.

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