The Timbers held a closed practice today at Jeld-Wen field ahead of tomorrow's game. Practice got off to a late start as the team had a long video session indoors before taking to the pitch.
Training started off with the usual warm-up routine and games of keep away before practice was closed to the press. Cones and goals were set up on the field for several games of seven on seven and eight on eight. As the press were let back on to the field after the bulk of practice had concluded, the reserves (plus a couple coaches) were still out on the pitch playing a short field game of five on five.
I have not seen anything at practice this week to make me think that the Timbers will be switching up their formation or starters for the game against Montreal. Yesterday's inclusion of Jack Jewsbury in the team's attack vs. defense drill with the group of starters gave me a moment of pause, but I do not think he is fit enough to be in the eleven. Look for another 4-3-3 this week as the Timbers look to pin Montreal back in their own end from the first whistle.
My predicted line-up: Donovan Ricketts; Ryan Miller, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Mikael Silvestre, Michael Harrington; Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Will Johnson; Kalif Alhassan, Ryan Johnson, Darlington Nagbe
Injuries and Absences
David Horst continued to miss out on training with the team today as he is out with ongoing injury issues. Horst suffered a groin strain while in Tucson and, according to Caleb Porter's comments after today's training session, will likely be out of practice for another week.
Porter addressed the status of Jack Jewsbury after practice today as well, saying that the team's "club captain" could be part of the game-day eighteen tomorrow but is not ninety minutes fit.
Trialists and Guest Players
Defender Kyle Altman is still with the team today. Earlier this week Caleb Porter indicated that he had not yet seen enough from Altman to come to a decision and would continue evaluating the former Minnesota Stars captain.
Goalkeeper David Meves is also still training with the team.