The Portland Timbers practice today at the team's Beaverton training facility, putting in a short but intense practice as the team worked on clearing their heads following Sunday's demoralizing 4-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders.
Talking about the day's practice and the frustration of a loss at home to a big rival like Seattle, Porter revealed that the Timbers spent today's closed session playing a series of small-sided games against each other.
...We just broke up and played. They needed to vent a little bit and get their frustration out by battling with each other and competing and playing. I thought it was really good. It was an hour session and they really got after it and you could see that they were over it by the end of the training.
With today's cathartic practice out of the way, the Timbers are now looking forward to facing the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. For Porter, however, there is one important hurdle that sticks out in the team's preparations.
I think first of all we have got to figure out our lineup. We have got a deep team, which is a positive, but it also means that if there are performances that are not what you want then perhaps you might look to make changes. I think we have got to figure out our lineup.
While he alluded to some of the issues that sank the Timbers against the Sounders, Porter prefered to talk about some of the positive performances from the team in Guyana last week when they beat Alpha United 4-1 in the CONCACAF Champions' League. According to Porter, some of those players could step in and contribute in this weekend's match.
We had some guys that performed really well on the road at Guyana. We couldn't really go to some of those guys because of the short turnaround, but now we are in a position where maybe we have a position in a few spots. Just like we have made decisions to put guys in, there are going to be times where guys are out. That is just the reality. It is not a negative, it is just the way it is.
I think we have got to figure out our lineup for this game, I think that is the most important thing, and then from there we need to stress some key things that we didn't do last game and some key things that relate to the next game versus Vancouver.
Who do you think should get a run out from the team that played against Alpha United? Let us know in the comments.
Injuries and Absences
Rodney Wallace is still with the Timbers ahead of his call up to the Costa Rican National Team, announced on Monday. According to Porter, Wallace will only miss one match: the Timbers 9/7 match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
George Fochive was back in practice today after a long lay-off due to a knee injury suffered with the Sacramento Republic. Porter told the assembled press that Fochive had participated in practice today, taking part in two of the six small-sided games that the Timbers played and continuing to work with the rest of the Timbers' rookies and Sean McAuley after practice.
The majority of the Timbers youngsters will remain with the team for the rest of the season, Porter said. Some, like Alvas Powell, could have an increased role with the team following their contributions to the match against Alpha United, while others remained with the team because their loan teams had had their rosters frozen. Steven Evans and Jake Gleeson were the only two players not immediately apparent at practice and may have been sent back out on loan before the USL Pro roster freeze.