Following Kris Boyd's official introduction, the Portland Timbers held a closed practice beneath cloudy skies at Jeld-Wen Field. Boyd joined the team for his first practice as a Timber and seemed to fit in right away during the team's warm-up sessions. From the moment the team was on the pitch Boyd looked at ease and spent time chatting with Eric Brunner as the team did their early running.
After warm-ups the team had several guests on the field: a team of technicians running the dreaded "beep test". While half of the team played keep away by the corner flag, the other half took part in the fitness exam. As practice was closed andthe press was ushered out the whole team was beginning to take part in the testing.
Exempt from the test were the players working their way back from injury. Sal Zizzo, Darlington Nagbe, and Lovel Palmer warmed-up with the team and ran laps around the field, not taking part in the festivities. Jose Adolfo Valencia was spotted briefly on the sidelines taking in practice while on a pair of crutches.
The three remaining unsigned players, Joe Bendick, Ryan Kowaluk, and Sebastian Rincon, were all present at practice again today.
Keeper Jake Gleeson is also back with the team after missing time over the last few weeks due to injury and an immigration meeting that, according to the Timbers front office, went well and was nothing to worry about.
Update: Almost forgot, Franck Songo'o will be wearing the #8 jersey this season. Still no number for Charles Renken.
Quotes from Jack Jewsbury and post-practice notes after the jump.
After practice a number of players stayed on the field, working on crossing and finishing. Rincon and Bright Dike were the primary targets of the exercise, putting some serious shots on net. Charles Renken also got in on the action briefly, finishing with technique rather than the brute force that Rincon and Dike generally exhibit.
Gleeson and Bendick both looked very capable in net, stopping some hard shots from close range. Troy Perkins also took a turn in goal, making a fantastic reaction save and cutting out a number of crosses that were put too close to his net.
At the other end of the pitch second year players Freddie Braun and Chris Taylor worked on their long passing with Braun taking the role of a defensive midfielder looking to spring the attack and Taylor streaking down the wing.
On having Kris Boyd in practice
He seems like a great guy, a guy that is going to hold the ball up and score some goals for us as he already did once today in training. We're glad to have him. Obviously we've heard a lot about him and we're ready to get him integrated into the team.
I think he is interested in kind of looking around, getting his family here, but he seemed excited and raring to go.
On Boyd fitting in with the team
He's only been here a few hours and I've only taked to him a few times but he seems like a great guy. He's already talking to everyone in the locker room and he seems to be a pretty good fit for us.
On Boyd's jet lag
When we first talked I asked when he got in. He said last night but he didn't get to sleep until about four a.m. He went through all the testing, so kudos to him because that can be pretty tough. We did some testing today so he went through that and he played in all the games. He didn't take any time off and I think that the guys respect that a ton.
On what needs to be done in the remainder of the preseason
I think there is still a bit of rust and a bit of fitness that we need to continue to work on. We'll come out here working hard every day and I think that fitness will come.
Overall I think that the group is looking good. The mentality is right. Everyday we come out and play a small-sided game or a scrimmage and everybody is here to put the work in and get the right result.