The Portland Timbers kept their training sealed up tight today as they made their final preparations for tomorrow's match against the Seattle Sounders. Practice, held at Providence Park this morning, was closed from the start and opened to the press once the players had left the field.
Caleb Porter, holding his cards close to his chest, talked to the press about getting the team ready for tomorrow's match.
My focus is always the same. It is on the process of preparing my team, making sure I emphasize the key things that are important in playing Seattle, the key things that are important for us to do. Spending time digesting Seattle and presenting the scouting report doesn't change week to week. The things that I do week to week do not change other than reflecting on the last game, reflecting in the trends of my team, looking at Seattle.
Will Johnson gave a more sentimental picture of the team headed into the match against Seattle.
For most of the guys in the locker room this isn't their first rivalry game. We understand the added importance and what that does to tomorrow's game, but we are desperate for three points and we want to win this game at home to reward our fans and reward ourselves for the hard work we put in.
Johnson also talked about how the team feels about potentially getting their first three points of the season.
It's never easy. No game in MLS is every easy. You have to earn those three points. We feel good, we feel confident; I don' think we feel any more or less confident than we have been going into the last few games. It is just getting in the boxes, executing, making plays, getting ourselves sharp and ready to go. If we do the things that we are good at doing, the things that we have proven that we are good at doing, the three points will be there for us.
Porter also emphasized the importance of coming prepared to play the team's best.
You have got to show up, you've got to play, you've got to perform, and the game is decided not on paper and what has happened in the past, it's not decided on what could happen in the future, it's decided on what happens inside the lines. The best team doesn't win, the team that plays best wins.
Injuries and Absences
With practice closed from start to finish, there were no updates on the Timbers injured players.
When asked if he could tell the press if Darlington Nagbe would be able to play tomorrow, Porter replied, "I won't know that until game time."
Similarly, when asked how Steve Zakuani was coming along, Porter told the press that he was "coming along well".