The Portland Timbers got back into the swing of things today at the team's Beaverton training facility after their bye-weekend. With half of the team returning from the reserves' 4-4 draw against VSI Tampa Bay on Saturday, today's practice was a light one.
Training started out with the usual warmups before the reserves split off to train separately, undergoing a regen session that saw them head indoors early on. The Timbers' first team, meanwhile, stayed on the pitch, going through a series of passing drills before breaking into two teams for a series of short field games emphasizing ball movement in close quarters.
Injuries and Absences
The Timbers were not missing anyone unexpected from their warmups and it appeared that the reserves had come through their game in Tampa without picking up any new injuries.
The Timbers were still missing their international call-ups as Donovan Ricketts, Ryan Johnson, and Rodney Wallace continued their time with their respective national teams.
Futty Danso, who also received a call up to the Gambia's upcoming friendlies, was still training with the Timbers as of today. According to Caleb Porter, Futty's availability is still being worked out with the Gambian federation.
Trialists and Guest Players
Dustin Corea continued his time as a guest player with the team today. Corea took part in the day's passing drills before stepping aside during the short field games.
David Meves also got in a training session with the first team today after spending most of the last two weeks with the Timbers U-23s. Meves and the U-23s will be away this Wednesday to take on the Washington Crossfire and hit the road again on Sunday to take on the Seattle Sounders U23.
- The blue team (Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, and Frederic Piquionne) dominated the short field games with an aggregate score of 7-0.
- I think that Will Johnson, Ben Zemanski, Darlington Nagbe, and Michael Harrington all hit the post in the short field games. Zemanski's in particular was a beauty of a volley that went just off the upper-ninety.
- Pa Modou Kah definitely looked like he was settling in with the team, getting a fair number of laughs with his bombastic manner on the pitch.
- Kah looked good on defense today, but the close in passing on the short field that today's games were played on definitely did not suit his playing style, which seems more suited to distributing out of the back with long, straightforward passes than to threading a needle with a killer pass.
- After bowling over Diego Chara with a shot in practice last week, AJB continued to just kick the heck out of the ball when given an opportunity. Unlike some other noted Timbers defenders of the past (Palmer, anyone?), AJB consistently keeps his shots low and dangerous. I would not be surprised to see him put in a real goal of the year contender sometime during his career.