Today's practice was open to the press and was a light practice for the Timbers' starters and a recovery day for the Timbers reserves. Spirits were high on the pitch as the starters spent much of practice play short field games designed to get players thinking about switching the field to take advantage of mismatches in the defense.
Naturally, Will Johnson, the newly names MLS Player of the Week, was very impressive with his ability to see the opportunities other than what was directly ahead of him. Darlington Nagbe spent a great deal of time in the center of these games, likely to get him out of the habit of dropping off a back pass as we often saw on Saturday and instead looking around to see the match ups that are available.
The Timbers wrapped up practice with a rousing match of soccer tennis (I maintain that it is closer to soccer volleyball with six players and multiple touches on each side, but Caleb Porter was very insistent) which saw several acrobatic finishes and some very intense play from Sean McAuley, who stepped in to round out the numbers.
Trialists and Guest Players
Rauwshan McKenzie continued his trial with the Timbers today, after spending the last week and a half playing with the team and playing ninety minutes in Sunday's reserves match.
The Timbers Academy also continued their presence at training today with a new group of ten players from the Washington school districts practicing under the direction of Amos Magee and Cameron Knowles. The Academy kids were joined by first team youngsters Mobi Fehr and Sebastian Rincon for the day.
David Meves also continued his time with the team as a guest player today.
Injuries and Absences
Mikael Silvestre joined the reserves in the early portion of their regen session today as he recovers from the adductor strain the made him a late scratch from Saturday's game. Silvestre did some jogging under the watchful eye of John Cone and finished out practice with some stretching on the sideline. Porter confirmed that Silvestre picked up the injury in Friday's practice and was held out after testing before the match on Saturday. According to Porter, Silvestre is "day to day".
Porter also sited Darlington Nagbe's ankle injury, suffered against Seattle, as the reason that Nagbe was removed at the half. Nagbe is also "day to day", according to Porter.
Sal Zizzo also made an appearance on the training pitch today, doing some jogging and light passing with the team's trainers. Although there is no specific date for his return, Caleb Porter did say that Zizzo would likely still be out for another one or two weeks before he resumes practicing with the team.
Brent Richards was again on the sidelines today, doing some juggling as he observed practice. Richards, as well as Bright Dike, is expected to be to until August after undergoing knee surgery during the preseason.