With the mid-season friendly against Monarcas Morelia looming tomorrow, the Timbers held a split practice today at their Beaverton training facility. A group of season ticker holders looking on while the Timbers went through a series of keep away drills, after which the probable starters for tomorrow's match headed indoors and the majority of the regular first team played an intense short field game.
As practice wrapped up, Caleb Porter addressed the fans in attendance and took their questions. Porter talked for approximately half an hour, covering a wide variety of topics including his transition from playing to coaching college to coaching in the pros and the way they the team prepares for games.
Injuries and Absences
New signing Alvas Powell has not yet joined the Timbers as they wait on his visa and international transfer certificate to go through. According to Porter, Powell is not expected to be available for the team until after the Timbers' game against the LA Galaxy on the 13th.
Michael Harrington continued his return to form today, taking part in the low-impact parts of practice before heading indoors rather than taking part in the short field game that ended practice. Yesterday Porter said that Harrington is still questionable for Sunday's game against the Columbus Crew.
Jose Adolfo Valencia was also still absent from practice today as he is currently on his way back to Portland after visiting his mother in Colombia for the last week. Trencito is expected to play in tomorrow's match against Monarcas Morelia.
Trialists and Guest Players
The Timbers U-23s had two representatives in practice today with David Meves and defender Anthony Hobbs both joining the team for training. Hobbs acquitted himself well in the team's short field game, ably closing down Diego Chara on the small pitch.
The Timbers Academy again were practicing on the team's turf pitch while the Timbers used the grass field across the way. Cameron Knowles took charge of the youngsters who are taking advantage of their off-season (from school and the academy league) to work with the first team coaches.
- Pa Modou Kah did some passing back and forth with Andrew Jean-Baptiste right in front of the fans and showed off his skills with the ball, including a well taken back-trap (the northern neighbor of the butt-trap).
- Amos Magee participated in the team's short field game today, and managed to fire a powerful shot off the underside of the bar.
- I have said it before, and I will say it again, Caleb Porter has all the mannerisms of a college professor, whether he is addressing his team, the press, or a group of fans.
- Kalif Alhassan did not get a chance to show off his full bag of tricks as he headed indoors before the short field game started, but during the games of keep away he did pull off several impressive passes, including one completed no-look pass that had several of the folks in attendance, muttering in admiration.