The Timbers practiced at Jeld Wen Field today, going through their usual warm-ups and small games of keep away before closing practice to the press. With the team heading out directly after practice to spend the day in Seattle before tomorrow's match there was not much going on after the press were let back out onto the pitch.
Ryan Johnson did stick around to talk about the Cascadia Cup and was his usual composed self.
I don't like to put too much pressure on myself because then you are going to do things that you wouldn't normally do. I like to be very consistent on the field in how I approach the game, no matter what the game is, and just keep a consistent performance.
Consistency is one of the values that Caleb Porter has stressed throughout his tenure as the head coach of the Timbers. Although he has rarely spoken about the club's previous struggles on the road, Porter has pointed to inconsistency among the players as an issue.
Porter made it clear that the Seattle match would be approached like any other, although he acknowledged the importance of the rivalry to the fans and the club.
I know it is very important. The fans certainly have made it clear that it is important and because of that it is important to us. Obviously it is another game, like every game. They are all important, but I think it takes on another magnitude because of the supporters, because it means so much to them.
Despite all the hype surrounding the game there is no added pressure on the Timbers players to perform, according to Porter.
I look at it as a great opportunity to go in there and get a result, to bring some joy to our fans, to kick off the Cascadia rivalry on a positive; it would be big.
Trialists and Guest Players
Defender Kyle Altman continued his trial with the Timbers today. Interest in Altman seems to be sincere as he is being kept with the Timbers past the start of preseason for his NASL club, Minnesota United FC, and will play in Sunday's reserve league game.
David Meves was still training with the Timbers keepers today. Meves does not appear to be in the running for a spot on the team this year, although he could play with the U-23's this summer.
Anders Vest Hansen also trained with the team today. Vest Hansen is on spring break from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Injuries and Absences
David Horst did not train with the team today but is expected to be back in training Monday, according to Porter. Horst worked out on the pitch after practice with head trainer Nik Wald, doing some running and agility drills.
Brent Richards, Bright Dike, and Sal Zizzo are still out after each underwent knee surgery. Dike and Richards are both out for another five months while Zizzo could be back by April.