The Sounders will continue their preseason with a second Desert Friendly Saturday in Tucson against the Portland Timbers -- make that the MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers.
The Sounders are quoted in a blog post below lamenting not winning and MLS Cup before their archrivals. But the Timbers today didn’t make much of that.
Here’s some of what the Timbers had to say:
Coach CALEB PORTER
On this friendly: Looking for that next step. Everytime we play in a preseason game we’re looking for steps forward, physically. So we’ll play the first group or somewhat of a stronger group for the first 60 minutes. We’ll try to progress the minutes a little bit physically, but then also I want to see an increase in quality. We’ve been working on some things in training, so I want to see those things show up in the game.
On what the Timbers’ MLS Cup does to the rivalry: I think it’s nice. Obviously it gives us a little bit of bragging rights. But it’s the past. It’s over. No one cares about last year now, they’re focused on this year. It’s what have we done lately. Our guys are well aware of that. Last year was great, but it was last year, and we’re focused on this year; and at the end of the season no one will remember last year, they’ll remember this year.
It is good that we’re playing a team that I think no matter what you say or do the intensity will be ramped up. And that’s good. Seattle obviously has to play in the Champions League coming up, so I expect them to be slightly ahead of us in terms of their cycle and where they’re at. I’m hoping that in terms of where we’re at we look like we’re competitive in all aspects of the game. But we expect a difficult game, and that’s what we want out of preseason.
Midfielder JACK JEWSBURY
On playing the Sounders as the reigning champions: In terms of the rivalry, not much (changes). It’s always heated, whether it’s a preseason game here in Tucson or if it’s a game in Portland or Seattle. No much changes, it means a lot to us players, but we also know how much it means to the organizations and the fan bases as well.
On if they ever picked up a big-brother attitude from Seattle: They came into the league before us so they always probably hold that over the head a bit. But not really. I think we’ve continued to build something special here. We want to continue that. Just because we won last year doesn’t mean anything’s changed. We want to continue to build that winning culture amongst this group and amongst this club. And that doesn’t mean you can just do it one year. You’ve got to put the work in each and every year to try to get back to that point because it is special once you get there.