If John Spencer says it, it must be true -- the training sessions are winding down. "We try and keep the tempo as high as we can, but professional athletes are geared toward training and playing games that mean something to them, so this time of year you can't help but switch off a little bit."
The trialists playing with the Timbers were running on all cylinders, though. Samir Badr was in one of the goals during a 7v7v7 scrimmage. Defender Kyle Altman was out there as well -- he played for the NASL champion NSC Minnesota Stars this year. Alhaji Kamara joined them on the pitch. We did not see Justin Myers, the other trialist mentioned in recent reports from the front office.
Though only 19 years old, Badr put himself right in the middle of the action and barked orders to his defense like he'd been doing it for years. Kamara, meanwhile, looked as impressive as one can wearing a blue pinafore. The 17-year-old striker from Sierra Leone, appears to possess the speed, physique and athleticism to be effective as a lone striker, so I'm sure the Timbers will be taking a good long look at him.
Coach John Spencer was one of the players in the orange pinnies, which was the winning team today. He got the orangemen together for a victory photo after the match, clearly relishing the triumph.
Spencer did not offer any specifics on how he and the staff are feeling about the new faces. "It's good to get guys in and have a look at them in your own environment," he said.
"It's an early time of year, so we won't be making any decisions on anybody at this moment in time. We'll wait until January comes around, but it's good to get the guys in and get a look at them."
Cameron Knowles was also training with the team, continuing his rehab. "He's had a horrific injury to come back from a year and a half ago," said Spencer. "What we try to do here, for the guys who put in a good shift here in Division 2, we try and show them as much respect as we can and make sure the doors are as open to them as we possibly can."