Timbers Beat: Road report from California

Timbers defender Justin Thompson continues his report while the team in on the road. In Week 11 the Timbers traveled to Seattle for the second round of the U.S. Open Cup and then played two days later in California against the Victory. Here is his report from the road.
 
Monday, June 25 - 10 p.m.
Well, we're back on the road for a short trip up the I-5 to our arch rivals Seattle. We decided to travel a day early to make sure we prepare right, knowing the winning team will receive a money-spinning home game against Chivas USA of MLS. Fingers crossed!
 
Tuesday, June 26 - 4 p.m.
We have just checked out of our rooms and are starting to congregate in the lobby of the hotel before our bus leaves for the stadium. Everyone is pretty quiet, some guys listening to music, others just focusing on the job ahead of us. Personally, I try to do a lot of mental
preparation which includes visualization and lots of positive thinking! I find at this level everyone is a good footballer, the difference comes from a player's mental toughness.
 
Tuesday, June 26 - 11 p.m. 
We were robbed!! We lost 2-1 tonight but we felt we were very hard done by. We played well early on and were dominating Seattle when Andrew Gregor placed a free kick right on my head for my first ever goal as a Timber! Hopefully it's the first of many!
The happiness was short-lived however as shortly after that the ref changed the course of the game by making a questionable call for a PK and red card on Cameron Knowles. We protested, but the damage was already done. They converted their penalty and although we fought hard and had a couple of chances, it was always going to be difficult to win with 10 men. We need to regroup now and focus on the league games coming up this weekend. There are six big points up for grabs against opposition that we will be expected to beat.
 
Wednesday, June 27 - 9:30 p.m.
We just finished dinner over at my house. My fiancée Molly cooked a delicious pasta dinner for BJ, Cam, Dave, Meissner, and myself...lots of carbs! We are leaving for the airport tomorrow morning at 4:15 a.m. for our trip to San Francisco, so it should be an early night! We are trying to put the disappointment out of our heads from our last game while at the same time, battle the fatigue of playing and travelling twice in four days.
 
Thursday, June 28 - 10 p.m.
We just got back from Kezar Stadium in San Francisco after a great road win against the Victory! It was a difficult game as the wind was blowing hard and both teams were up for a fight. I thought we took the game to them in the first half and had a number of quality scoring chances. We failed to capitalize and it almost cost us as we were under pressure for large parts of the second period. Gavin made a super sub in bringing on David Hague with about 12 minutes to play which paid huge dividends! A Josh Wicks clearance flicked on by Dombrowski was picked up by Hague and slotted home in the 89th minute for the lead. We had flashbacks of our last game against Montreal when they replied to our late goal with a goal of their own minutes later, so we buckled down and made sure we didn't make that mistake again!
 
A 1-0 road "victory" was just what the doctor ordered and puts us into a great position to make up ground on the league leaders with a home game against Miami on Saturday.
 
That concludes my journal on the road and we'll see you on Saturday night at PGE park!
 
Justin