Here are the quotes from yesterday's practice session.
On New England
I think that what you have got to remember is, people say that they are down and not doing this and not doing that, but they have had two tough road games. I know how tough it is to play on the road, starting at San Jose, which is a good team, and ending at Kansas, going a man down early on.
More quotes from John Spencer and Kris Boyd after the jump.
They'll be looking to come back home just like we did last year. Come back home and get energized with their home fans and their home comforts. They'll be looking to come back and put the last two results behind them and start off the season at home well. We're going to have to be ready. We'll have to be prepared for them. They've got some good players. The kid Kelyn Rowe, Benny Feilhaber, and Shalrie Joseph to name but a few. They're going to be a difficult opponent for us and we need to push the game in the correct manner.
On playing on the road
We've been getting points on the road. With the team last year, I think we are unbeaten on the road in five now. Let's not forget, they say we have road woes, yeah, we haven't won a lot of road games but a lot of teams don't win a lot of games on the road as we've seen.
It was nice to go and get a point. I think we should have gotten three points from the game. I thought that the momentum really swung in our favor in the second half, especially when Darlington scored. I think we were very unlucky near the end with Eric Brunner's header that got blocked, but it is a good start but for us we are going to New England this weekend looking to get three points.
On building momentum on the road
We've just got to stay focused. We've got to realize that teams playing at home have the same feeling that we do playing at Jeld-Wen. It doesn't change. The fans, the size of the stadium, the attendance, the crowd that is there dcreate different environments, different atmospheres, but when you are playing at home everybody enjoys it. Everybody gets a little bit of incentive when they are playing in front of their home fans and their families. They get up for the game.
It's going to be a difficult game. They'll be coming out to start well, I'd imagine. It is up to us to beat them head on and see where the chips fall and see who is the better team on the day.
On the Timbers' defense
I was happy with the way our defense finished the year last year too. We've got some big guys back there, strong, mobile defenders, which you need in this league and you need in world football in general. Your players need to be able to be mobile for 90 minutes and we've certainly got players that can do that on both sides of the ball.
On motivating his team
I've got enough things going on in my head without bringing in what other people are saying, so I try to motivate my own players but once you come out and start talking out the opponents and what they are saying, you lose focus and concentration. Just go out and do the job. It doesn't matter what they are saying about us.
On New England's video about Timber Joey
If that was me, I'd be pissed. I wouldn't upset a guy with a chainsaw, that could be pretty deadly.
On Franck Songo'o
We'll take him with us on the trip. If we need to put him in maybe we'll put him in for the last fifteen or twenty minutes of the game. If we don't then we won't risk him. We'll get him another week's practice coming back here to play [Real Salt Lake].
His knee is okay. I think that the flying back to get the visa, sitting on the plane and all that, didn't help the stiffness in their either. He seems fine. He has been playing, he just needs to get match fit now.
On Darlington Nagbe
He's capable of doing some great things. We just need to get him fit. He started preseason really well, got a high ankle sprain, now this is him starting to get back. Seeing him playing these small games, he's electrifying. He gives you a buzz just watching him play.
On getting through the beginning of the game against a motivated New England
I hope that they are weathering the storm that we are bringing. I don't worry about what they're doing, I worry about how we're going to start the game. If we start the game in the right manner, when the players work hard we have got a tremendous amount of quality in the team. Some of the guys have matured a lot this year as well. We'll be set in the first fifteen minutes to go at them, to see if they can handle what we've got. We'll meet head on and see who has got the most quality, who has got the most passion and desire to outrun and outwork their opponent. The team that does that will win the game.
On the Timbers' slow starts so far
We've played two teams that were in the playoffs last year. We've played for 45 minutes in each and took four points from six. That's a positive for me. If we play for 90 minutes we'll win more games than we'll lose, that's for sure.
On the Timbers' starting eleven
With Songo'o coming back and Darlington coming back, we've got competition for places. We could change formations if we need to change. I think the strength and depth this year is a lot better than last year. That's no disrespect to anyone but I think we've added some quality pieces. It gives us an advantage going to New England this weekend, with the quality that we've got and looking out to go and win the game.
On if he will become a broadcaster once his coaching days are over
On playing in New England's home opener.
Everyone, when they play at home for the first time, wants to put on a performance for their fans. New England will be no different, but it is up to us to go there and spoil the party. We've shown that we have got the determination to come back from behind, but it is up to us to go and start the game properly and hopefully get a lead and express ourselves over the 90'.
On starting a game with a lead
It's not happened this season. We've got the confidence and we've shown that we can come from behind, but we don't want to be dependent on that every week. We want to get out of the blocks and start sharp. Training all week has been about pressing and tight areas and closing people down. Even in the short sided games you see that we are a lot sharper about our play. We'll look forward to taking that into the game on Saturday and hopefully for the first ten or fifteen minutes we can do that. If we do we can get the ball down and start playing football.
On Darlington Nagbe
I think that anybody who watches the Portland Timbers will know that he's an exceptional talent. It is up to him to beleive in himself when he comes into the team and to show the performance he had in the second half for 90' and his confidence will grow. I'm sure that he'll be an asset for this club. He showed in 45' what he can do: coming on and scoring a goal, his overall play. I'm sure that he'll be looking to start this weekend. If he does get a start it is up to Darlington to come in and show that he is good enough to stay in the team.
He's still only a young kid. He's learning the game and, I'm sure, if you put that to the raw talent that he's got you've got an exceptional football player there. It is up to him to be hungry and determined to be successful and I am sure that over the next weeks and months you will see that.
On preparing to play on the East coast
You need to prepare the same as every game. There is a time difference, there is a long flight, but it is the same everywhere. You go on the road here. We travel tomorrow and prepare properly for the game on Saturday and we look forward to it. We've taken four points from two game, arguably we could have taken six if we'd finished off some of the chances that we had last weekend. We're going to New England with confidence and we look forward to taking three points.