Portland Thorns FC Training Report: Roster Changes, Strategy, and, uh, Singing

Craig Mitchelldyer, Portland Thorns FC

A set roster goes through a light practice.

The biggest news coming out of Thorns FC training Wednesday night was roster changes. Nicolette Radovcic (F), Roxanne Barker (GK), and Aline Reis (GK) are no longer with the team. Former UNC keeper Adelaide Gay was in camp.

I'm told the final roster must be named by Friday, but that this roster of 19 (including Tobin Heath) is pretty set. Of note: I'm also told neither Radovcic nor Barker will return, despite some speculation that has been floating around.

Other than that, the Thorns seemed in good spirits as they took to the field for a medium-intensity training session. Practice kicked off with someone (I think it was head coach Cindy Parlow Cone, but my back was turned) shouting "I love Portland weather!" as the sun peeked over Jeld-Wen's north end overhang. Practice ended with some of the ladies working on their version of the national anthem. Let's say most of the players' feet are more skilled than their vocal prowess.

In between, of course, was the important stuff.

The training was fairly light, culminating in some tactical strategizing for specific situations. In this case, Parlow Cone had the team jog through form and tactics for a scenario in which the Thorns have a lead, which hopefully was prescient.

After training, I grabbed Parlow Cone for a quick chat. Here's what she told me (slightly edited for length and clarity):

SF: What have you been working on since the match on Saturday?

Well, we've only trained twice since then, so today we were working on more game situational things. Now that our roster is pretty much set, we're just getting organized with different game situations: up a goal, down a goal, up a man, down a man, that kind of stuff, and how we would make those adjustments.

In the interview after the game last Saturday you mentioned some gaps in the defense. What have you done this week to work on those?

We watched a ton of video, and we showed it to them, what we needed to do and what we needed to improve on. We haven't necessarily transferred it to the field because we can't really go too hard because we have another game [the team plays a closed scrimmage Thursday]. They see the mistakes that they made and they understand the tactical adjustments that they need to make and hopefully that will transfer to our game.

Are you at the point where you're preparing specifically for the first match [Saturday, April 13 at FC Kansas City] or are you still working on other things?

It's pretty much generic right now. [We're working on] what we would do as a team in certain situations, regardless of who our opponent is.

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