Timbers training today was a short one ahead of their mid-afternoon match against the Chicago Fire tomorrow. Practice at the team's new training facility was briefly closed after warm-ups, but by the time it was opened again there were few players still on the pitch.
Kalif Alhassan and Steve Purdy once again participated in practice. Word is that Purdy has been cleared to play by MLS, although the amount of running he was doing after practice makes it seem unlikely he will get the start. Similarly, while Alhassan has participated in each practice this week it seems unlikely he will get the start until he has had a chance to regain some measure of match fitness.
- Kris Boyd was one of the last first team players on the field as he worked on his finishing with Sebastian Rincon.
- Boyd's shots were looking hard and accurate as he took one and two touch shots from the top of the box.
- Rincon has some trouble getting over the ball, sending several field goal quality shots into the parking lot and setting off someone's car alarm at one point. However, with some coaching from Boyd and John Spencer he was looking much better before leaving the pitch.
- Steve Purdy and Andrew Jean-Baptiste spent an extended period running from end to end after practice was over. AJB has been doing a lot of running after practices this year.
On what it will take to break down the Chicago defense
I just think we have to play well. Our passing and movement was good against Houston last week. I keep saying I think that we're getting into some decent areas, we just need to deliver some quality crosses and quality final balls and once we do that we will be a team to be reckoned with.
On what it will take to get the "quality" to get the team scoring again
It's individual players that need to produce. They know what we want from them. Once you step on it is up to them to do what is required to win games. Plain and simple.
On the pressure to score against Chicago
It's a pressure you want to be under, to score goals. It's the same every game, whether I've been scoring week in and week out, I've always got to go into the next and score goals. I want to go in tomorrow and score. It's as simple as that.
There's a while team that want to get three points. Right now I don't think that it really matters who scores as long as we get the three points. That's the most important thing and that's what we need to do tomorrow. It's going to be a tough game, they all are, but we know that if we stick to our guns and play the way we've played at home before we can get the three points.
On what needs to happen for the team to start scoring again
Over the last few games we can take a lot of positives out of the game. We haven't conceded goals, but at the same time I think that has probably coincided with us not scoring goals. It's a difficult one at this moment in time because we have shut up shop at the back and not conceded a lot, but we're not creating a lot so when we get into these positions we need to take our time and deliver the ball into good areas to give the strikers to go to work on. It's up to us from there to get on the end of it.
I know my finishing has not been good enough in previous games, but I'll go into the game tomorrow with a good week's training behind me, well, the last few days, scoring-wise. I look forward to the game and hopefully I'll get on the scoresheet.
On how his previous experience with Steven Smith can help the team's attack
I know that Steven, as soon as he gets a yard, will look to put the ball into the box. For a striker, when you know it's coming in it's great because it may only be one movement and you get on the end of things, but when you start taking two or three touches it gets frustrating for strikers. We've played together [ten] times but you're still understanding each other's game and you're still trying to get to grips with each other's game. Football is a simple game made hard sometimes.
I think the less touches we take on the ball the better it is for the team and I think that, going back to the first couple of games of the season, that's what we were doing. It was that one or two touch, we were moving that ball around sharpe, we were creating chances, and hopefully tomorrow is the same.