Eric Alexander could see time in the Timbers' final game of the season this Saturday. - Marc Piscotty
Today's Timbers practice was an odd one with the team setting up a beep test before closing practice very early on.
At the start of practice the Timbers had only twelve players out on the pitch warming up with a beep test (what is a beep test? Read about it here or watch this) set up ready for use. On the pitch were Kosuke Kimura, David Horst, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Steven Smith, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe, Sal Zizzo, Franck Songo'o, Bright Dike, Danny Mwanga, and Eric Alexander. Potential starters for this weekend? Looks likely to me.
By the time practice was reopened, most of the players had left the pitch, with only a few stragglers still kicking he ball around or enjoying the odd ray of sunshine peaking through the clouds. The Timbers first team was already in street clothes and most were on their way out the door by the time the media were allowed back on the pitch.
Injuries and Absences
With the minimal observation of players today I did not get much info on the team's injured players.
Kris Boyd was spotted lurking in the tunnel at the beginning of practice as the Timbers likely starters warmed up, although the extent to which he was involved in today's practice is unknown to me.
A decision on Hanyer Mosquera's health should be reached at tomorrow's practice.
On what to expect from Saturday's game against San Jose
"A fully committed performance from both teams. There's a lot riding on it for both teams and we must say one thing, it is a credit to them to be the outright champions, it is a difficult task and I think that they have done fantastic and that showed when we played them down there. To go two-nil down and then fight back the way they did, it shows you the fighting spirit they have in the squad and it also shows you our, because we wanted to get that victory as well and I think that in that last second we had a chance to win it. I am expecting the same and our players will go out and give it an honest performance and hopefully end the season on a high."
On if he talked to the players about preventing Chris Wondolowski from breaking the record
"No. I think that he will get the same preparations as what we've got all season for every individual. He's got he goals all season, he's not going to get them all in one game. I am sure that he will be approaching it the same as well because he will be doing what he feels he'll need to do to be successful and so will we."
On what a win would do for the team going in to the off season
"I think a win is good for the immediate reflection of how things have gone, but I think overall we have to look and be pretty disappointed that we've not done well over the full season because the targets are obviously there for every team at the beginning of the season. They want to get into the playoffs and I think we've been no different. Immediately, if we get the result that would be fantastic, but then reviewing and reflecting over the season then we will probably feel a little bit disappointed because we'll look at the games and say, maybe we could have gotten an extra point there or an extra two points there. See that we could have turned some losses into draws and ties into wins.
On how only a few changes in the season could have gotten the Timbers into playoff contention
"You would look at that, and I think it is important that we look at that after Saturday because three points is really difficult to get, but in the review at the end of the season you look at somebody making the playoffs with a points total that we are probably not that far away when you review the full season.
It is key moments in the games that get you those points and you have to look at the key moments, evaluate that, and then reflect and then look to change. Hopefully we can have a successful season next season."
On if it would have been easier to to end the season after the Cascadia Cup
"No. I think every game at home for us is a potential cup final because our supporters demand that effort, commitment, and also excellence in trying to win the game. I think ending at home is good for us.
We did build the Cascadia Cup because that was something to hold on to for the supporters and for the group as a whole. I think, because it is a home game, we will be going all out to win it."
What player that we have not seen much of recently are you most excited to see possibly get some playing time on Saturday?
Eric Alexander (40 votes)
Kalif Alhassan (21 votes)
Kris Boyd (37 votes)
Andrew Jean-Baptiste (74 votes)
Danny Mwanga (31 votes)
203 total votes