Today's practice was a long one, particularly for the younger players who were kept out on the pitch to work on their fitness, one on one play, and heading. The full team proceedings started out with the usual warmups before switching over to games of keep away, emphasizing "breaking lines" and finding the second or third man's run rather than always taking the short, quick pass.
The Timbers then broke into a 3 on 2 attacking drill, in which the group of forwards had seven seconds to break down the pitch and score, something that we saw several times against Chivas on Sunday.
Finally, the team played a short field game between the 18 and midfield line. The short field and scrappy nature of play saw the Timbers starters fall behind early and eventually lose 4-0 to the reserves.
Injuries and Absences
Newly signed defender Pa Modou Kah is still in the process of getting his ITC and visa and was not at practice today.
Ryan Johnson missed practice today thanks to back spasms he suffered this morning. Johnson was at the training facility today and took in some of the end of training from the sidelines.
Michael Nanchoff was also sidelined today thanks to an unspecified knock. Nanchoff spent much of today's practice riding an exercise bike on the sidelines alongside David Horst, who is still on the long term injury list as he recovers from a knee injury.
Donovan Ricketts was also absent from practice today and was likely doing his usual indoor regen routine.
Trialists and Guest Players
Defender Rauwshan McKenzie was back on trial with the team today. McKenzie joined the Timbers for several weeks earlier in the season, but he was invited back after the injuries to Horst and Silvestre left the team looking thin at the back.
Keeper David Meves was NOT with the team today. Whoa. Meves will continue to train with the first team, but did not practice today as the Timbers U-23s have a match tonight against the Sacramento Gold.
In Meves' place was a Timbers academy keeper who is not on the academy roster. He was called Toby by the coaches and acquitted himself well in practice.
Sorry to cut this short, but I need to get to work. I will try to get some of Caleb Porter's comments up tomorrow as he did quite a bit of talking after practice today.