Road Report: Back on the road ...

The Timbers came away with one point on their last road trip through Atlanta and Charleston. A trip that featured matches on back-to-back days against two of the highest scoring teams in the USL First Division. Go behind the scenes and get Justin Thompson's thoughts in his latest report from the road ...

Thursday July 17 – 9 p.m.
We're back on the road this weekend for what is arguably the toughest trip of the year.  First off we have the Silverbacks of Atlanta who we have developed a strong rivalry against since last year's playoffs.  We shut them out 2-0 a few weeks back so we know they will be out for their vengeance tomorrow night.  It will take a complete effort from everyone if we are to be successful over the next 48 hours!
Friday July 18 – 11 p.m.
Well ...  We earned a point tonight but I must admit it's somewhat disappointing because we were so close to stealing all three points.  We battled hard for 89 minutes and then Lawrence Olum found himself wide open after a deflected shot to tuck home the ball and send a dagger into the hearts of the Silverbacks.  Atlanta took a last gasp and threw the kitchen sink at us for the last four minutes of injury time and just our luck, they pipped an equalizer in the dying seconds.  Before the game we would have accepted a draw against a tough team at their home park, but it burns to be so close yet so far!  We just loaded up the buses after grabbing a quick pasta dinner and can now look forward to a five hour bus trip to Charleston and another tough test in less than 24 hours …
Saturday July 19 – 3 p.m.
Most of the guys are awake now after a long night.  I went to grab a sandwich for a pre-game meal with Scot Thompson, Lawrence Olum, and Chris Bagley.  At this point, everyone is physically exhausted so we have to rely on our mental strength and try to convince ourselves that we are not tired.  It's not easy to do, but it makes the difference between good pros and guys who don't last long in the league.  You have to be mentally strong.
Saturday July 19 – 10 p.m.
We came out tonight and went down 2-0 before half.  We ended up playing fairly well and created chances but just not enough to erase the deficit.  We now find ourselves hovering in the middle of the closest league table that I've experienced.  There are 10 points separating top from bottom so the league is still wide open.  There will be some good teams that don't make the playoffs this year and we have to make sure we're not one of those teams.  We've got time left and the team that peaks at the right stage of the season will be the team that wins it all! 
We will work hard again in training this week and work on some of the areas that need improvement.  If we can do that and cut out individual errors at costly times, we will make the playoffs and if we do that, we have as good as a chance as anyone at winning the championship.  The guys believe in one another and we need the same from our fans.  Every little bit of support helps!! 
Let's get PGE Park rockin’ this Thursday when we host Carolina!! 
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Justin Thompson