The Portland Timbers came back from their midweek day off focused on Saturday's match against the Seattle Sounders. The Timbers practiced at their Beaverton training facility today, kicking things off with their usual pre-game tactical session indoors the taking to the field for a brief warm up before practice was closed to the press.
Caleb Porter talked about what the Sounders have been doing tactically in recent matches after practice today.
They've changed their system recently so I think they think that helped to unlock them a little bit. They're playing a 4-4-2 diamond; it's a 4-1-2-1-2 in the attack and then it's a 4-3-1-2 for the most part defensively with [Clint Dempsey] having a free role.
We have to be aware of their front two and then Dempsey underneath. Those guys have free reign to go where they want to go. As long as we are disciplined and organized then they can move and rotate but if our shape is good then it shouldn't be an issue.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri was back in the team warmups today after spending Tuesday's practice on the sidelines. Valeri is a likely starter according to Porter's comments earlier in the week.
Maximiliano Urruti, who has been recovering from a hamstring strain for the last three weeks, was back in the warm ups as well. It was the first time that Urruti warmed up with the team since his injury in the Timbers' final regular season match up against Seattle. On Tuesday Porter said that Urruti would likely be unavailable this weekend, but that he should not miss any further matches after that.
Kalif Alhassan was also back in practice today after riding an exercise cycle on the sidelines of practice on Tuesday.
David Horst was at the training center today, but went indoors before practice started.
Sebastian Rincon missed his second practice in a row today. With the focus on the upcoming playoff game, Porter was not asked about Rincon's absence.