Today's open practice was held under the watchful eye of assistant coach Sean McAuley. Gavin Wilkinson, who was not with the team yesterday, was at training today, but rather than participating he spent the majority of the time watching from the sidelines and talking on his cell phone.
The Timbers went through their usual warm up regimen breaking into three teams of eight to play a short field game while the extra team played soccer-tennis. McAuley emphasized passing, movement, and possession in the short field game which saw the Timbers put together several very impressive strings of passes, particularly among the starters.
Injuries and Absences
Hanyer Mosquera was once again out of practice today as he recovers from a strained hamstring suffered against D.C United over the weekend. There were no updates available on his condition at practice today.
Kalif Alhassan remained out of practice as well with patellar tendinitis.
Kris Boyd and Ian Hogg both remain out of practice for the long term. Boyd is out for the remained of the season with a adductor strain while Hogg, who rolled his ankle in practice over the weekend, could be back by the end of the season.
Mobi Fehr and Cam Vickers were the only non-roster players at practice today.
A few things that stood out in the team's short field games:
- Brent Richards played a fantastic pass in behind the defense for an on-running Danny Mwanga who was able to touch the ball past Joe Bendik with ease. It was exactly the sort of play that the Timbers have not had much luck with this season.
- Against DC, Franck Songo'o was moved centrally to take advantage of his physical play and in practice today he showed it off again, making space to slip through passes that otherwise would not have happened.
- Lovel Palmer had a beautifully finessed shot that curled in to the upper corner from around twenty yards out.
- Jorge Adolfo Valencia had several nice turns of play, but mostly he left me with the impression that we might see quite a few offsides calls go against him next year.