The Portland Timbers held a closed training session today as the team prepares for their mid-week match against FC Dallas, their third match in ten days. The team warmed up briefly on the Beaverton training center's artificial surface, doing some jogging a agility drills, before closing practice as they moved over to the facility's grass field.
After practice concluded, head coach Caleb Porter talked to the media about the Timbers' hopes for their trip to Dallas.
I think this team, again, has a lot of belief and confidence that we can go on the road and get a result. We also realize that this is a very good team. They have been on a run and, like us, they have seven games without a loss; they are 5-0 at home; interestingly enough, they have not given up the first goal yet this year and they have not been scored on in the first sixty minutes. Our hope is to break all those streaks.
When asked about the effect that Mikael Silvestre's season ending injury had on the team, Porter was quick to reaffirm the team's self belief.
We've had some adversity this year, but I think that is why we are a team that continues to get stronger, because we've had things, unfortunate things, that have come our way. The sign of a good team is they respond through difficult times and we have done that all season long. I look at it as a positive. We are not going to dwell on it and we are going to keep moving forward.
As I've said, you can't stop us, which is the mantra of this club and a bit of a mission this year. No matter what you throw our way, no matter what comes our way, no matter what happens, you are not going to stop us from getting to where we want to be, which is in the playoffs.
Porter also expressed his confidence in the team's remaining center backs, pointing out that Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Futty Danso both already had starts this season and looking forward to the experience contributed by Pa-Modou Ka, on his arrival sometime in the next week.
Injuries and Absences
Ryan Johnson was the only unexpected absence today. According to Caleb Porter, Johnson has been playing through a slight knock and was given the day off from training to rest. Porter also said that he expects Johnson to be available for Wednesday's game.
Pa-Modou Ka is still in the process of acquiring his international transfer certificate (ITC) and is not yet practicing with the team. He did, however, tweet this, so he was in Portland as of Friday. Kah will not be available against Dallas, but the Timbers are hoping that he will be cleared to play with the team by this Sunday's game against Chivas USA.
Still missing thanks to their assorted long term injuries are Bright Dike, Brent Richards, David Horst, and Mikael Silvestre. Hanyer Mosquera is still on his leave of absence from the team.
Trialists and Guest Players
Surprise! It's David Meves!