The Portland Timbers held a closed practice today in Tualatin. The weather alternated between rain and sun about four times over the course of practice, giving newcomer Kris Boyd the full Portland weather experience.
During practice the Timbers announced a closed scrimmage with Oregon State tomorrow night. It will be open to the press only.
In their warm-ups the Timbers focused on fitness and making short sprints to receive the ball.
Darlington Nagbe and Sal Zizzo were once again at practice but spent their time after the initial warm-up running doing laps of the field. Lovel Palmer was not to be seen as he stayed at Jeld-Wen Field to work on his rehabilitation.
After practice, when the press was let back on to the field, a number of players continued their workouts. Bright Dike and Sebastian Rincon, a very common pairing after practice, worked on their quick one-two passing; The goalkeeping trio of Troy Perkins, Jake Gleeson, and Joe Bendick worked on their distribution; and Mike Chabala continued to work on his fitness long after the rest of the team had packed it in.
Quotes from Kris Boyd and Eric Brunner after the jump.
On his time with the Timbers so far
It has been good to get a few days training in and a game tomorrow, I'm looking forward to it. I think that the boys have been working hard and they may be tired and they just need the games to get going then hopefully the season gets started and we're off to a flier.
On his place in the team
Nothing comes guaranteed in life, never mind on the soccer field. You need to be ready and when given the chance to take that chance and hopefully you stay in the team that way. As I said, there's no guarantees in football and you need to work hard for everything. That's always been the case, since I've been a little kid. Nobody is going to give you anything, if you want to play you have to earn it.
On his reception in Portland
It's good to get the reception that I did. I want to repay the fans, I want to repay the people who brought me here, and I want to get on the pitch and start scoring goals as soon as possible and hopefully that can start next week.
On his level of fitness
I feel more tired than anything. I've still got jet lag to be honest. I woke up at five o'clock again this morning so it has been difficult the last forty eight hours, but hopefully toward the weekend I can get on a normal sleeping routine, because I think the most important thing nowadays is rest. You need that as an athlete.
On adjusting to playing with the Timbers
Football is the same in every country. There is different managers with different routines, but generally it is the same. It is the same short games, the goals are the same size, so it is just a different country but the same set-up.
On people criticizing his work-rate
I've had that since I was twelve-thirteen-fourteen. It is something that you get used to and you get on with it. It happens in life, At the end of the day, what I've done on the field, you don't get it with laziness. There is hard work behind the scenes. You sacrifice some things in life to get where you are. For a lot of people, back home especially, that is just the mentality of people and you'll never change that.
To be honest, I don't really care. I've had it for that long that you get used to it. You just go on and you take it in your stride and you move on. I think that one way is to start scoring goals on the field and when you are doing that you know that whatever anybody else says it goes in one ear and out the other ear.
On his first impressions of Kris Boyd
First, he is a great guy. I've gotten to know him over the last couple of days in the locker room. He's in great spirits, he is excited to be here, and he knows what his job is here. He hasn’t played for a while so he has got to get a little bit of fitness in there, which is understandable, but he sees the game and his runs are really good. I am anxious to see, once he gets some of that fitness, how he starts finishing goals. He had a good goal yesterday.
On the preseason so far
We had some good results when we were down in California. The expectations are still there though. We need to work toward match fitness and get the results. It is going to be really fun having a preseason tournement here at Jeld-Wen because the fans are itching for it. I think that everyone is telling us that they can’t wait for games. This is just going to be a teaser for some of the guys that have not been in that atmosphere before. We’re excited to get back out there and play in front of our fans.
On what games he is looking forward to this year
I think that our goals are just to get to playoffs and then get to MLS cup, so whatever game puts us in a position to get points and win is the game that I am most excited for.