Jeremy Ebobisse celebrates vs. LA Galaxy - Oct. 7, 2020
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Ebobisse equals Portland Timbers record and scores with first-ever free kick

Wednesday night's match between the Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy was fantastic for all the Timbers involved, but the 6-3 win was especially meaningful for Jeremy Ebobisse.

It was a special night for Ebobisse for a couple of different reasons. First, it was his 72nd consecutive Timbers match across all competitions, tying a club record. Second, in all that time, his first of two goals in the win came from what was remarkably his first-ever free kick in a Timbers match. It was all the more remarkable given that he was standing next to Diego Valeri when he got the nod. 

"I think we all know that Diego is our free-kick taker," Ebobisse noted. "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 gonna honor that, unless he really feels confident in what he's about to do on that play. We both looked at the wall, and felt that it was a little bit close for a right-footed player, and he wanted to give me a chance to score.

"That just speaks to his character. He could have been on the score sheet on that play, but he chose to give it to someone who's never taken a free kick for this team, so I'm really appreciative of that." 

Watch: Jeremy Ebobisse scores free kick vs. LA Galaxy

Though the final scoreline indicates a battle where the Timbers were able to find insurance goals, Ebobisse gave credit to the Galaxy for making the match a challenge. 

"Frankly, it was a really back and forth affair," he noted. "There were times when we were really under it, when we felt like LA might get one chance, and that one more chance was going to energize them and really put us under a lot more pressure than we needed to be. But guys made plays at really important times, be it Felipe [Mora], Diego, Yimmi [Chara], whoever it was. Those plays that we made give us a little bit more room to breathe, and allowed us to enjoy the game a little bit more in certain moments." 

Even though Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese lauded his team for an impressive performance overall, he still saw work to be done and notes to be taken from Wednesday night's performance. 

"We could have been better offensively in some moments, and I think we could have been better to not allow the second and third goal, with keeping the game a little more in control," he noted. "Overall, though, it was a very strong performance, and I'm extremely proud of this group of guys, that whoever comes into the match is performing in a very strong way." 

Ebobisse added that the Timbers have grappled with the balance between overemphasizing offense and defense at points in the season, and Wednesday night proved a match where they got closer to getting that equation right.

"We're still looking for that balance," he noted. "But ultimately, we have a team of 10 to 15 attackers, whoever's on the field or was on the bench, that knows where they're supposed to be and are able to make plays. Tonight, we made six, and hopefully we can keep scoring like that because, if we do, we're gonna win a lot of games."