The Portland Timbers got in one last training session this morning before they leave for tomorrow's afternoon game against the Colorado Rapids. Today's training session, which was closed to the press after the initial warm ups, started with a long team meeting and video session before the players hit the pitch.
Talking about the team's preparations for Colorado and the adverse conditions likely to meet the team there, Donovan Ricketts said that the team did not make any major changes in their preparations.
We just do our normal stuff. I don't think the altitude is that bad for us to change our preparation, so we did us. If you know Caleb, he is going to prepare the team the way that he wants to set out and the way that is going to give us a chance to win the game.
While the team as a whole hopefully will not have to take the altitude into account too much, Ricketts does have it in mind for his own duties going into tomorrow's game.
It's something that you have to take into consideration because at altitude the ball tends to move a little bit more than when you play in normal air. That is something that you have to watch and watch for shots from distance, because it will travel.
Although the extra ball movement could call for another Save of the Week from the TImbers' net-minder, he wouldn't mind avoiding the plaudits.
I had a stretch last year where I didn't make saves, i just had free clean sheets, so when it is time for me to work, I work to help my team, because I know that when we start gelling and clicking I won't have much to do.
Injuries and Absences
Norberto Paparatto was on the sidelines of practice today, once again working with a trainer rather than participating in the full team warm up. At yesterday's practice, Porter confirmed that Paparatto had suffered a groin injury in the team's match against the Chicago Fire and said that the team would evaluate him before traveling to Colorado today.
Kalif Alhassan, Steven Evans, and Rodney Wallace all continued working out on the sidelines today as they return from their respective injuries.
*H/T to Steezknocker who suggested the title change from "Ball Movement" to "Free Clean Sheets".