The Timbers held a closed practice today at their Beaverton training facility in the first full team practice since their 3-0 loss in Colorado last Wednesday. In the short field game that the Timbers played before practice was closed the team looked intense and focused, playing hard and being urged on by Sean McAuley who was directing training.
Injuries and Absences
After several weeks of well attended training sessions the Timbers had a number of players out due to injuries and international call ups today. Lovel Palmer, Steve Purdy, and Rodney Wallace have yet to return from their respective national team camps. All three are expected to travel back to Portland today and be available for training tomorrow. Palmer and Purdy both played the full 90 minutes in each of their World Cup qualifying matches, while Rodney Wallace made a pair of substitute appearances in the midfield.
Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Steven Smith, and Danny Mwanga all sat out of practice today while they recover from injury. Jean-Baptiste suffered a hamstring strain last week and has not practiced since, although he has been working out indoors while the rest of the team practices. Smith picked up a knock to his ankle earlier in the week and would have practiced if he was not suspended for this weekend's game. Mwanga also picked up an ankle sprain in yesterday's reserve game against the LA Galaxy.
More practice notes after the jump.
Kris Boyd and Freddy Braun both warmed up with the team before heading inside to continue their workout with the team's trainers. Although Boyd is not listed on the team's injury report, he picked up a knock during the reserve match yesterday. Braun, who is listed as probable on the injury report, suffered an abdominal strain last week.
Chris Taylor, who was placed on the long term injury list to make room for the return of Jean-Baptiste, took in practice from the sidelines today as he continues his recover from hip surgery.
Trialist Pablo Di Fiori, who has been practicing with the team for the last two weeks, was no longer in attendance. After practice general manager Wilkinson confirmed that Di Fiori's trial was over and that he would not be signed by the team. Talking about Di Fiori, Wilkinson said, "there were some positives to Pablo and he is an interesting player but he is just not what we need."
Cam Vickers, a "practice player" rather than a trialist, continued to practice with the team today, primarily filling in as an outside back with five of the team's seven fullbacks unavailable.
None today, unfortunately. Gavin Wilkinson, Jack Jewsbury, and Sal Zizzo all spoke to the press today and hopefully we will be able to get something from them up later, but for now I am going to be late for work.