Today, the Timbers held their first practice since Wednesday's loss to Real Salt Lake. The team held a brief open session at their Beaverton training facility this morning as they went through some post-game recovery work and fitness training.
After some warmup jogging and brief sprints directed by Sean McAuley, the Timbers broke into several groups to run through a fitness circuit or play a short field game at the center of the pitch. After a rotation in each area, the starters from Wednesday were dismissed for the weekend, while the reserves stayed on to do some more fitness work.
Caleb Porter described the day's practice to the press after training had wrapped up.
We had a good session today. We got their heart rates up, got them playing a little bit, did a little circuit, and we had it periodized to fit certain guys who played more minutes, certain guys who didn't. Then we are going to give them Saturday and Sunday off to recharge.
The weekend off is a big one for the Timbers as it is their last break until the end of the season. The Timbers will have no more than a week between games from now until the end of October. Porter acknowledged the importance of having one last weekend off for the team.
We have got to get away and recharge mentally and physically. Starve yourself from the ball. I think that is always important at times. I mean, these guys touch the ball every single day. They are pros and are passionate about the game and they love touching the ball every day, but sometimes it is good to get away from the ball. Then when you get back to it to you crave it. We need to be re-energized and have a lot of hunger here in this final push.
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson, who picked up a shoulder knock (called a "shoulder contusion" by the Timbers staff) in Wednesday's game against RSL, did not practice with the team. Instead he rode an exercise bike on the sidelines of practice. Porter confirmed that Johnson had gotten his shoulder examined and that it is not broken, so he should be available against FC Dallas on Saturday.
Jack Jewsbury also rode an exercise bike on the sidelines of practice today thanks to an ankle knock suffered in last Saturday's game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Jack was named to the Timbers bench on Wednesday, but did not play after also missing practice on Monday.
Sal Zizzo, who missed practice on Monday as well after playing 90 minutes against the Vancouver reserves on Sunday, helped out with practice today but did not do any running. According to Porter after practice, Zizzo is suffering from an ankle injury.
Frederic Piquionne, another player to pick up an injury against Vancouver, was out of practice again today after missing out on Monday as well. Porter confirmed that Piquionne was out, but did not mention the specifics of his injury.
Pa Modou Kah missed practice today as he left early for the weekend to take care of some personal business.