Jack Barmby, training, 3.16.16
Photo by Tim Froh

Mattocks and Barmby arrive at training as Portland Timbers gear up for Real Salt Lake

BEAVERTON, Ore. – At training on Wednesday, the Portland Timbers welcomed two of their newest members, Darren Mattocks and Jack Barmby.

“We're always looking to add good players,” said head coach Caleb Porter after training. “[Mattocks] and Barmby now put us into a position where we have a lot of options and a lot of depth.”

Both Mattocks and Barmby, who arrived in Portland yesterday after coming to the team on loan from English Premier League club Leicester City F.C., are hoping to help out the Timbers however they can.

“Obviously, you've got to be patient, and hopefully when my time comes I just make the most out of every opportunity,” said Mattocks. “I'm not going to set a specific target or limit of what I want to do this season, but most importantly [I want to] just pick up where these guys left off and try to win MLS again.”

Barmby echoed that sentiment, pointing out that he first has to earn his way onto the field with his play in practice.

“First step for me is get in the team because obviously the team is doing quite well at the moment, winning the championship [in 2015],” he said.

The realities of the MLS season are nothing new to the experienced Mattocks, who spent the past four seasons with Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC. That familiarity with the league – and his familiarity with coach Caleb Porter and several of his new Timbers teammates – has helped make Mattocks feel right at home in Portland.

“I feel like I've been here for a couple years already,” Mattocks said. “I've known [many of] these guys for four or five years. Darlington [and I] played together. My friends from Jamaica, we play on the national team. So it's really a great squad of guys.”

While everything from the city to his teammates is brand new for Barmby, the Englishman arrived in Portland prepared for what he ought to expect, favorably comparing Timbers fans with those in England.

“They look unbelievable,” he said, adding, “I watched some of the games on the TV and the football is really good. I wanted to come out straight away and experience it.

“I'm young. I'm 21. So why not?”

Both players will offer different looks for the Timbers, and their new head coach certainly values the versatility that the two players bring, especially with the long MLS regular season, this year's CONCACAF Champions League matches, and the U.S. Open Cup all looming in the weeks and months ahead.

But Porter remains focused on this weekend's match at Providence Park against Real Salt Lake (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., KPTV).

The Timbers coach is pleased the team has already created a number of quality chances through its first two games. Against San Jose and Columbus, the team accumulated 36 shots, a number good for second in all of MLS.

“We're creating good chances and we haven't given up many clear chances, but we've been on the wrong end of a couple unbelievable goals that are really unavoidable,” he said.

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