The Portland Timbers practiced today at Jeld-Wen Field as they prepare to take on the Seattle Sounders in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal tomorrow night. Training started late today as the team held their usual day-before meeting before hitting the pitch to warm up and closing practice.
After practice, Will Johnson talked about how the Sounders might start off tomorrow's game.
They might come out and throw numbers and go very attacking from the first minute. They might play how they did during the regular season, just win over the course of 90'. We are prepared for everything. We've gone over different scenarios and I'm sure that they have too, so we will see what they do and we'll be ready for it.
Pa Modou Kah had a similar outlook when talking to the press today.
They put us under pressure because they need a goal and they were playing at home, which is normal in soccer. When they come to our home field we just have to do what we have been doing all year long. Of course it is a do or die game, so they have to do whatever they have to do to get a goal and we have to do what we have to do to make sure that they don't get that goal.
Asked about the fans at the game and the atmosphere they create, Kah was grateful for their support.
We can't thank them enough. Maybe the only way we can thank them is by beating Seattle tomorrow.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri warmed up with the Timbers for the second day in a row this morning. Valeri has been dealing with an adductor strain that has seen him play limited minutes since the end of August. According to Caleb Porter at practice yesterday, Valeri will be evaluated as he has been since the injury and will likely continue to start for the Timbers.
Maximiliano Urruti was also in the warm ups today. Urruti is nearing full fitness as he returns from a hamstring strain suffered against the Sounders in the two teams' final match of the regular season in mid-October. Porter said that he would likely be available for tomorrow's match, but it seems unlikely that Urruti would start so soon after making his return to practice.
David Horst was on the field at Jeld-Wen today, kicking around a ball while the rest of the team warmed up. Horst is still recovering from a knee strain suffered in the Timbers' final Reserve League match of the year. When practice had wrapped up and the press were let back out onto the field, Horst was still on the pitch running sprints under the direction of the teams' trainers. (Picture.)
Michael Nanchoff, who has returned from his time on loan in Sweden, was not at practice today as he continues recovering from an ankle injury.
Sebastian Rincon was again not at practice as he continues his training stint in Argentina.