Portland Timbers Training Quotes and Notes: Attacking Without the Ball

William Conwell

The Timbers continued their preparations for this weekend's pivotal playoff match with a training session today.

The Portland Timbers held their second practice session this week at the team's Beaverton training center. After yesterday's short, closed session, the team opened up practice to the press and went for almost twice as long.

Training today started with with a series 5 on 2 keep away games before switching to a larger setup for a 7 on 3 possession game in which teams needed to complete six passes before playing a long, switching ball in order to stay out of the middle.

From there the Timbers switched to a half-field 7 on 7 drill with two goals on the end line for the attacking team to score on while the defending team tried to win the ball and possess it or break out of the half. The Timbers finished off practice with a drill that the wingers and fullbacks swinging crosses into the box while the forwards and centerbacks competed for the ball.

Practice Notes

  • The focus at practice today was on pushing the tempo on and off the ball, according to Caleb Porter. The Timbers were working on constantly being on the attack, even on defense, as they will look to put Real Salt Lake under pressure in this weekend's match. With the Timbers in need of two goals they will have to put high pressure on RSL, "attacking without the ball", as Porter calls it.
  • Sebastian Rincon, in his second day back with the Timbers after a two-week training stint in Argentina, looked lively during today's practice. Rincon pulled off several very slick moves in training and looked generally confident in his play.
  • Jose Adolfo Valencia always looks like a nightmare to hold the ball against. He isn't close to the best ball-winner on the team, but if he doesn't get the ball he will end up with a large part of the player.

Injuries and Absences

Diego Valeri was again not at practice today. After training had wrapped up, Porter revealed that Valeri had been running on the field during yesterday's closed practice and had spent today running on an AlterG machine (which you can see a Vine of Mikael Silvestre running on here or read more about here). According to Porter, Valeri will be back in practice for the remainder of the week.

Pa Modou Kah was again in practice today, taking part in the warm ups and early possession games before heading to the sidelines to protect his injured rib as the session got more physical. Talking to the press after practice about why he was limited in practice today and was on the sidelines for most of last week, Kah said, "I'm an old man, you know? Sometimes an old man needs to rest his body, but I will be fit and ready for the game."

Silvestre was at the training facility today, working out indoors. On the verge of resuming full training after coming back from his May knee surgery, Silvestre has been dealing with a calf injury for the last week that has kept him out of practice for the last week.

Michael Nanchoff was not at practice today with an ankle injury that will likely keep him out of practice for the next several weeks.

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