The Portland Timbers put in a long workout today as the team prepares to head to the East Coast for the first time this year and take on newcomers New York City FC. Coming off a 2-0 loss on Sunday to Major League Soccer's other expansion team, Orlando City SC, the pressure is on for the Timbers to start getting results, even on the road.
Talking about the Timbers' upcoming opponents, Caleb Porter was not focused on the fact that they are an expansion team.
"It is a new franchise," said Porter, "and they are playing in a new stadium, so from that standpoint it is exciting and new. But we need to get three points, so that is what we are focused on right now, first and foremost."
The Timbers have been known for their ability to bounce back after a loss under the guidance of Porter, so it was not surprising to see Porter quickly turn to what the Timbers need to do in this match to get a win.
Porter continued, "there is a job that we have to do and that is responding with a better performance. That's the emphasis. We can talk about the opponent all we want and we can talk about what we didn't do last game, but mostly it is about getting a good performance this game and a good response out the group. I am confident that you will see that."
Asked about the excitement of playing in a famous park like Yankee Stadium, Porter was quick to brush the idea aside with a quick chuckle.
"I am not a baseball fan," said Porter, "so maybe for Mike Toshack, who likes baseball, and some of these other guys that like baseball. I like football. Not American football, the real football."
Porter elaborated on his reaction to the places that the Timbers play.
"I like winning everywhere; simple. Every win feels good and every loss feels bad. I think it will be what people talk about, but for me I couldn't tell you one player on the Yankees team right now. They used to have Derek Jeter, right? He was from my home town of Kalamazoo.
The Timbers kept training closed for the duration today, allowing the press out to see the pitch once the majority of the team were already going through their cool down and stretching as a group.
Several players were still hard at work, however, as George Fochive, Andrew Thoma, and Nick Besler ran through a passing/finishing drill with Will Johnson and Diego Valeri.