Portland Timbers training today got started unusually late after the team held a 45 minute meeting before hitting the field for practice at 11:00. Working at the team's Beaverton training center, the Timbers began preparing today for this Sunday's match against the Seattle Sounders, one which could propel the winning team into first place in the Western Conference.
Talking to the press after practice, Pa Modou Kah preached consistency for the Timbers in the face of Seattle's two rough losses to the Colorado Rapids and Vancouver Whitecaps.
This is a derby game. It is different from those two game. Seattle is a very good team, but we are playing at home so we focus on ourselves and what we've been doing for the last five games. The most important thing is what we do and getting three points, but when you play a team that has been beaten down, especially in a derby game, they want to come out strong, so it is up to us to be one hundred percent sharp and one hundred percent focused.
Michael Harrington had a similar outlook on Seattle.
Obviously it is a rivalry game, so it is going to be intense and they have a lot at stake as well. I look at their last few results and that is the past. We have had some results this year that we didn't like and every team has those during the season, but they're a strong team, they're a talented team.
They are not sitting on fifty one points for no reason, so I expect them to come out very strong and with a lot of intensity. We just need to have more intensity and we need to play better than them. As long as we do that, and the guys come and do their jobs, then I think the result will be positive.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri worked briefly with John Cone before participating in the team warmups, doing some stretching and basic exercises. As the warmups got underway and practice was closed to the press, Valeri was still taking part but was being watched intently by Caleb Porter and trainer Nik Wald. Valeri has been working through some soreness from the adductor strain that he suffered over a month ago, which most recently kept him from starting last Sunday's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Darlington Nagbe, who Porter yesterday called "day to day" after he was taken out of the match in Vancouver in the 86' thanks to a dangerous tackle from Camilo Sanvezzo, was in the warmups again today and participated in a small game of keep away in the pre-practice kick-around. Nagbe looked fine in both instances and seems likely to be fit against Seattle on Sunday.
Mikael Silvestre, who is making his way back from knee surgery in April, was back to warming up with the team today. Silvestre made his return to the team warmups earlier this month, but did not take part in them on Wednesday.
Brent Richards, who had knee surgery back in February, was on the sidelines of practice today. Richards has had very limited participation in the team warmups, only participating in them twice since the injury.