The Portland Timbers held a closed training session at Providence Park today, putting in a long practice after yesterday's recovery session. With the full team participating in the day's training, the Timbers played a series of eleven on eleven games in preparation for this weekend's season opener against the Philadelphia Union.
According to Jack Jewsbury the team is well prepared for the season to start.
You could see that the intensity [is] definitely there and that will only continue as the week progresses.
The team's rocky start last year before picking up their first win did not appear to concern Jewsbury greatly as he talked about the team's ability to come back from being two goals down against the New York Red Bulls in the 2013 season opener.
Every game we are out there we shoot for three points... You go up after being two goals down against a team like New York and then they come back and get a result or the [Montreal Impact] game when we dominated but we just didn't get the wins that we wanted. At the end of the day we are very confident in this stadium. We are going to be pressing on both sides of the ball and we expect to win.
The Timbers' consistency over the course of last season, a theme stressed by Caleb Porter yesterday as well, gives Jewsbury confidence that they will be able to come out strong this year.
Last year we had a few home games where it didn't go as well as planned, but over the course of the season we were very consistent in the way that we played and I think that we had the best home record in the league, so we expect to come out here on Saturday, have a great performance, and get three points.
Injuries and Absences
Steven Evans and Rodney Wallace worked out on the sidelines of practice today while the rest of the team went through their warm ups. Evans and Wallace have each been making their way back to fitness after respective off-season surgeries.
Steve Zakuani warmed up with the rest of the team today after going the distance in yesterday's light practice. Last week Porter said that he expects Zakuani to be fully participating in practice in the next two weeks.
Alvas Powell is still absent while with the Jamaican National Team. The Reggae Boyz will take on St. Lucia tomorrow in an international friendly.
Trialists and Guest Players
With Donovan Ricketts and the rest of the first team back in full training today, academy keeper Joe Wheelwright was not on hand.