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Portland Timbers Training Notes & Quotes: Food Carts & Former Clubs


The news that Sal Zizzo is planning to open a food cart spread like wildfire last weekend, and everyone wanted to talk about it after the training session on Monday. Among the other topics of conversation were Houston's long awaited return to the Rose City and what special significance that has to Mike Chabala and Lovel Palmer.

Not to say these conversations were symptoms of a lower level of intensity at yesterday's practice. The intensity was there, but there also seemed to be a bit of giddy, nervous excitement in the air. Everyone's smack in the middle of a long interim between incredibly important matches, and players seem to be thinking, "Let's play a game already."

That's certainly a sentiment the fans can agree with.

Omar Jasseh is still on trial with the team, as he has been for several weeks. It's safe to say that he is growing accustomed to playing with the rest of the boys, and he was certainly playing to impress yesterday. Darting all over the field, Jasseh created a number of scoring chances and put a couple into the back of the net. 

Meanwhile, Jack Jewsbury looked like he heard what Ryan said about him the other day and did his best Clint Dempsey impersonation all throughout practice. He was doing amazing things with that ball, and Troy Perkins could do nothing to stop him.

But enough about practice. I know everyone's dying to hear about food. Here are the details, as described by Sal himself.

  • It's called Zizzo's FC, as everyone knows, and it's due to open in the 9th & Alder cart pod in the next couple of weeks.
  • Sal Zizzo won't himself be working there -- a friend of his from back home in San Diego will be the main guy there every day.
  • The cart will focus on Italian lunch-type food and desserts and be open all day until about 8pm, possibly later on game nights.
  • John Spencer had this to say: "We'll probably strike a deal with him that will keep him here, keep him with the team as long as I get free lunches." He was kidding, I'm sure.


Lovel Palmer

On facing his former club, the Houston Dynamo, on Friday

There's no personal thing, I still have a lot of love for houston -- the staff there, the fans, the players, you know they've been good to me. So it's not like, I want to beat them because they traded me, I want to beat them because it would put the Timbers in a good position for the playoffs.

But it would be nice. Because I'm sure Adam [Moffatt] had a great time when they beat us earlier, so I'd love to have one of those moments as well.

Mike Chabala

On the importance of Friday's match

This is it. This is a playoff game. This is what it all comes down to. This is a home game and a team we're looking to even the score with.

On the significance of facing his former club, the Houston Dynamo

I want them to know what they're missing. I want to go out there and play the best football I can. I want to help my team win. And I want to walk off the field with my head high and give the crowd something to cheer for and to get us one step closer to the playoffs.

John Spencer

On the pressure of the playoff atmosphere

For me, I don't feel pressure. I don't think the guys should either, because I don't think anybody expected us to be where we are with three games to go. I think we surprised a few people. Obviously we have a big game coming up this week against Houston, but the last ten weeks have been must-win.

Every game you play at home you got to win. For us, they're always big games at home. I don't doubt for a minute that if we were 20 points off the playoffs, the stadium would still be packed out. So it'd still be a game we'd have to win because the fans are coming to watch us.