At practice yesterday Caleb Porter was pretty positive in the wake of Wedensday's wild win against Mexico's Monarcas Morelia, telling reporters, "We accomplished everything we wanted to out of it."
"It couldn’t have gone any better," he said. "You know, we stayed healthy, which, first and foremost is key. We got guys in the game that had something to prove, needed minutes, and I thought they performed well, which is always a positive. So they leave that game feeling good, feeling positive."
Asked about Futty Danso's performance as captain on Wednesday, Porter called the Timbers "a team of leaders," and said Futty and the other seven "starters" who played against Morelia "really embraced the academy guys."
For his part, Futty downplayed his role as captain, suggesting he wore the armband simply as "the oldest player on the field." He said he and the rest of the first-teamers all had a responsibility to set a good example for the U-23 and academy players.
Looking ahead, he called the Columbus Crew an underrated team. The Portland Timbers will travel to Columbus today and hold one more tune-up tomorrow before Sunday's match.
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson, Frederic Piquionne, and Rodney Wallace were absent due to their participation in the Gold Cup.
Jake Gleeson and Dylan Tucker Gangnes continued their absences.
Michael Harrington participated in warmups yesterday, but with the session closed we were unable to assess his participation. Porter told reporters that Harrington was feeling good, but he was vague in his assessment of whether the fullback would be available against the Crew.
Bright Dike and Brent Richards were both on the sidelines at practice yesterday, with Dike kicking the ball around and Richards simply observing and stretching.
Trialists and Guest Players
We didn't see any guest players warming up with the team before we were ushered into the lobby at the training facility, although Timbers U-23s keeper David Meves was once again training with the team.