The Portland Timbers practiced at the team's Beaverton training facility this morning, putting in their final shift at home before hitting the road for their Saturday afternoon road match against the Montreal Impact.
With training already over as the press was allowed on the pitch, fullback Jorge Villafana spoke to the press. With the Timbers struggling to score since their 3-1 win over FC Dallas six weeks ago, the focus was on the offense, even with one of the Timbers defenders.
Asked how to maintain a good balance between keeping the strong defensive record that the Timbers have recorded this season, allowing only eight goals in nine games, and adding to the attack, Villafana talked about picking his moments.
"I think its about finding the right moments to go forward," said Villafana. "You have to find the right moment because if you choose to go forward every time then you expose the back line. It is about finding the balance between going and staying."
Although the defense has been steady, the attack has not been clicking as the Timbers have failed to find the back of the net in four of their last five matches.
"We have not scored in the last two games but we are creating chances," Villafana said. "That is the important thing. It would be worse if we didn't create anything, but we are creating. We need to put them away."
For the Timbers, the chances just need to be converted into goals, which Villafana acknowledged.
"Sometime you can score an ugly goal, sometimes you can score a beautiful goal. But we are working and we are confident that we are going to find the goal."
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson is suffering from some expected soreness and will not be available this weekend, Porter told the press after practice today. Johnson could play another match for T2 next weekend or could be available off the bench for the first team.
Diego Valeri could start on Saturday, Porter said, but the Timbers' coach refused to say for sure if that would be the case or if Valeri would make an appearance off the bench against the Impact.
Dairon Asprilla will be available for Saturday's match after missing last weekend's 0-0 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps following surgery to put a pin in his broken wrist.