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The Timbers started off their week ahead of Sunday's Cascadia Cup match in Seattle with a closed training session at Jeld-Wen Field.
The team continued the recent trend of closing practice as early as possible (MLS mandates thirty minutes of media access at the beginning of training), meaning that the press only was only present for the usual warm ups and games of keep away. When practice was over, a number of players were still out on the field taking shots on goal independently and some of the you ger players were still working together on the far end of the pitch.
Training was run by assistant coach Sean McAuley as Gavin Wilkinson was away performing his duties as general manager of the team. McAuley, who spoke with the press after practice, was circumspect in his comments, not giving up many details on the team's approach to Sunday or the availability of injured centerback Hanyer Mosquera.
Injuries and Absences
The big name missing from practice this morning was Mosquera, who suffered a strained hamstring against D.C. United on Saturday. After practice, McAuley confirmed that Mosco was receiving treatment today, but would only say that he would be reevaluated later in the week.
Also missing from practice today was Ian Hogg. Hogg rolled his ankle while practicing with the reserves on Saturday and, according to McAuley, could be out for a substantial part of the remainder of the season.
Kris Boyd and Kalif Alhassan continued to miss practice. Boyd was spotted taking in practice from the sidelines but will be out for the remainder of the season with an adductor strain. Alhassan continues to struggle with patellar tendonitis and remains questionable for the immediate future.
Diego Chara and Donovan Ricketts, both of whom were injured in the team's last game against Seattle and were still out against United over the weekend, both fully participated in training today. Ricketts in particular looked to be getting a vigorous work out with his fellow goal keepers at the beginning of practice as they pulled no punches during his warm up.
Can Vickers and Mobi Fehr were the only non-roster players on hand as both continued to work out with the Timbers.
On the team's mood
"The mood in teh camp is good. We understand that it is a huge game for us and it is a huge game for the opposition as well. Let's not take anything away from them. They will be preparing just the same as us. We go into it with the fight and the desire that is necessary for a derby game, which I think we showed on Saturday."
On players proving themselves against DC to earn a spot against Seattle
"I think that if he's asked them for that he is going to have another selection headache because I thought every player that went on the pitch, through a bit of adversity as well, absolutely worked and worked and worked to prove to him that they want to be here. It is a good position to be in that we have got people that want to fight for the team and fight for the cause."
On preparing to play in front of 66,000 people
"I've been in that situation, or similar, back home and I think that the players rise to it. I think that in some respects we might have to put the reigns on players a little bit because they are desperate to get out there and prove a point. We need to be right tactically and we need to be right physically to prepare for that, but the environment that will be created should spur the players on.
We know it is a different game and we will be approaching it differently because our supporters expect that when we play in any game we give 100% and this one get something at the end of it."
On what the team can do differently to prepare for Sunday
"I think you have to let the players understand, and this is possibly more psychological, that it is going to be a different game. When you play in a derby game it is different. It is a different environment. Some players will need to calm down because we don't want them going up there over anxious. Sometimes too much anxiety can affect performance.
On the other hand, the anxiety that is created because of the crowd and because of the magnitude of the game I think will lift some players and it will rise them to become better on the day."
On the possibility of changing the line up
"The players who perform will get picked. We won't be changing things on the basis of thinking it will give us something different. I think that the performances that we have had, even though the results didn't go as well as we wanted them to and I felt that we should have won the game over the weekend, the performances have been quite good. We will look to keep everybody involved but the ones who are playing the best will play."
On Hanyer Mosquera
"At the minute he is getting treatment so we will address that later in the week. What it does is it gives us a longer period of time to assess it because the game is a day later. We will assess that one later on in the week but the good thing is that we have got able people who canmore than fill that role which was was shown on the weekend."
On Ian Hogg
"Ian suffered an injury at training on Saturday morning and it looks as though that, again it will be assessed later in the week, but it will be a bit more longer term in terms of the season even though we have only got a few weeks of the season left. He may not get the playing time that we would have like to get him involved for. I am sure that he will recover quickly during the offseason and we will see where he goes from there."
On Ian Hogg's injury
"He went over on his ankle. He's got a swollen ankle and he's getting the best medical care here, which is fantastic."
On his reaction to the penalty call on David Horst
"A little bit of shock, really. I am no different to any other human being when they see something that possibly shouldn't happen. The first [reaction] was just shock because it was such a shock to have it called against us. It is a difficult job being a referee or an assistant referee. It's not easy, so we have to move on.
The good thing for us regarding that was that we couldn'treally get anything more to go against us in recent times. That's a combination of just about everything including that penalty. We know that we've had penalty claims for ourselves turned down, so that one was something that, as I've said, it probably doesn't get any worse from here, which may have affected the players.
What it did do to us, especially on the sideline and the full group included and everybody involved and the supporters included, it just spurred us on to greater things, I thought. I thought the fight and the hunger to get the goal back was first class and then we had a couple fo chances to win it, which just proves that the group are mentally strong in terms of trying to do well for this organization."