Portland Timbers Training Quotes and Notes: Prepping for the Playoffs

William Conwell

The Timbers had their first post season practice today as the team waits to find out who they will face off against in the MLS Playoffs.

The Portland Timbers got back to practice after a day off on Monday, holding an open session at their Beaverton training facility.

The Timbers kicked things off with their usual warmups before moving into a series of passing drills. From there the Timbers broke up into two possession games, with their usual starters playing a 4 on 4 plus 3 with Darlington Nagbe, Diego Chara, and Ryan Johnson acting as the three always in possession, while the rest of the team filled out a 3 on 3 plus 2. The team then moved to a larger short field game of 6 on 6 plus 3 with Will Johnson, Chara, and Nagbe always on the attack.

The session was wrapped up with some positional work as the central defenders, central midfielders, and wide players and forwards broke into three groups. The defenders worked primarily on their aerial game and long passes at one end of the pitch. In the center of the pitch the midfielders played a small game where they worked on their close in passing and possession. The largest group, the forwards and wide players, practiced their crossing and finishing in the box.

After concluding their workout, the Timbers gathered around the center spot and began their stretching while Futty Danso any Frederic Piquionne took part in hand wrestling match strongly resembling the tai chi exercise "pushing hands" at the instruction of Caleb Porter. The two players, who had been jawing at each other during the short field game earlier in the day, "fought" (Edit: the fun kind, to be clear) to a standstill, at which point their teammates threw their pinnies at them and went indoors.

Injuries and Absences

Diego Valeri, coming off of his two goals and an assist against Chivas USA on Saturday, did not practice with the team today, instead riding an exercise bike on the sidelines of practice. According to Porter, Valeri will play in this weekend's conference semi-final first leg.

Maximiliano Urruti, who has been recovering from a hamstring strain suffered against the Seattle Sounders just over two weeks ago, was on the sidelines of practice again today. Urruti took a step forward in his recovery today, doing some jogging with John Cone at the start of practice and wrapping things up with a series of sprints. Porter said after practice that Urruti may not be available this weekend, but that he should not miss any more games after that.

Kalif Alhassan did not practice today, instead riding an exercise bike on the sidelines.

Sebastian Rincon was absent from practice today.

Mikael Silvestre warmed up with the team today and participated in the team passing drills before heading indoors for the rest of training.

Ryan Miller and David Horst were both absent from practice today as they continue rehabbing their respective injuries.

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