I'm really starting to get fired up. I think part of that is because college football is back, and I'm a HUGE college football fan. That's one of the (only) perks about being on the east coast: College Gameday starts at 10 am, not 7, so I actually get to watch it. Bryan Jordan's Beavers won, as did Troy Ready's Huskies, so let's see if my Ducks can get it done in a few hours (I'll get to watch the first half over the internet before we leave for the stadium).
The boys have dispersed to their rooms to relax until we head out about 5:30 ET. They went for a jog earlier, while Gavin and I went to check out SAS Soccer Park, site of tonight's game. I forgot to take pictures, which is a shame, because that place is nice! The stadium itself is in the middle of a complex of fields, all of which are grass, and all of which are in great condition. The stadium is about 7,000 seats, with small stands on three sides, and a nice press box/office/suites complex on one sideline. The field itself is grass, Gavin describing it as one of the nicest the Timbers have seen this year. It's cut short, so it will play quicker and a little more like the PGE Park surface than, say, the cow pasture that is Swanguard Stadium. It's also big: Gavin estimated it at 120 yards by 80, which is about as big as you'll ever find. Hopefully the Timbers wide players will use that size to their advantage tonight.
As for the game, Carolina tends to play a more compact, defensive style game. However, they need 3 points tonight, so at some point they'll have to open it up and attack more. That might come at the start, that might come in the 80th minute, but the Timbers will have to withstand it and try to nick a goal of their own.
I think we'll leave it at that until closer to game time. Our broadcast should sound better than usual tonight: I'll be originating the webcast on-site this evening, as opposed to doing it over the phone like we normally do. And I tested everything out at the stadium, so hopefully it will all work (never a guarantee when you're doing a webcast). Remember to tune in at 4:15 pacific time for our Toyota pregame show, which will include a more detailed preview of the match, as well as Gavin Wilkinson's thoughts.