Thursday's practice started off with a standard warm up followed by passing drills emphasizing game-like motion and intensity. After half an hour the team closed practice to play a full field game of eleven vs. eleven, their first of the year. Although we didn't get a chance to see the formations that they were using, check out Wednesday's training report for some good possibilities.
Trialists and Guest Players
Mikael Silvestre and Michael Nanchoff both continued their trials with the Timbers today.
Keeper David Meves, who played under Caleb Porter at Akron, joined the team for practice for the first time today. Meves and Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, the two draftees in camp, have not yet signed with the team. The Timbers second Supplemental Draft pick, Chris Hegngi, does not yet have an estimated arrival date with the team.
Injuries and Absences
Hanyer Mosquera missed practice again yesterday with the same sore knee that has kept him on the sidelines for the last two days. In his post practice remarks on Wednesday, Caleb Porter stated that he does not expect Mosquera to be out for the long term.
Rodney Wallace is still with the Costa Rican national team for the Copa Centroamericana (not the Copa Sudamericana as I wrote previously) and will likely join the team in Tuscon next week, depending on Costa Rica's performance.
On how the preseason is going so far
It is just good to be playing again back with the guys, getting into our routine, and getting back to work.
On getting to know the new additions to the roster
It's always exciting when you get new guys in. You want to get to know them, get to play with them. Just right now we are figuring each other out, figuring out the tendencies of the players who are here right now, and figuring out how we are going to play with each other.
On what they are working on in the preseason
Caleb told us the first day what we would be working. You know, you want to get fit in the preseason. You want to work on our style of play, which is going to be more possession based this year. We're going forward with that right now.
On what the team is looking for in Tuscon
The sun. It hasn't been too sunny here.
Other than that? More of what we have been doing here: getting guys in shape, getting guys healthy, and just getting our style of play down. The season is coming up quick.
On how the locker room is coming together
I think there is an energy around the team right now, around the whole organization, with a new coach, new players, even the women's team coming in. There is a lot of energy in this stadium right now. It's exciting.
We are starting on a new foot this year. The past is the past and we are not going to worry about it. We are going forward.
On how the team can translate that energy into success
Everybody has got to be a good pro and focus. We are professionals now and you have got to go out there and do your job. It is a job. I know a lot of people say it is just a sport, but it is our job and we take it very seriously.
We want to make people forget about last year and every day we are coming out here and working toward that. It is a new season this year and we'll do better this year.
On playing the first game of the preseason in Arizona
It's exciting. That is what we are out here for: to play games. We are out here doing possession, doing technical work, and to see the final product is always exciting. It is something to look forward to this season for us, for the fans, for the coaches, for the organization. It is always exciting when we finally get to play a game and see our hard work come to life.
On playing with so many new players
You never really know somebody until you are in that game atmosphere with them. You try to simulate it as much as possible in practice, but nothing is the same as a game and it is going to be great to see how guys react to that.
On the rebuilt defense
[Hanyer Mosquera] and I formed a great partnership by the end of the year last year. We figured out each other's tendencies. The language barrier was a big thing at the beginning of the year but we got over all that by the end and now we are bringing in guys who have been successful. Michael Harrington has been successful in Kansas City, Ryan Miller has been successful in Sweden, so all these guys have successful resumes and it is going to be great bringing them into the fold and building on what we had at the end of the year last year.
On what Caleb Porter is asking from the centerbacks
We are still required to kick their forwards and get the ball back.
I think Caleb wants us to have a little more possession than what we had in the past and he wants to build out of the back a little bit, and that is something that we are going to work on through preseason.