William Conwell and Geoff Gibson (who both contributed to this report) and I attended a Portland Timbers training session Wednesday morning, and even in this quiet week there's still some interesting news afoot.
Exhibit A: the presence of Alex Nimo, the former Benson HS star who played for the USL Timbers while on loan from Real Salt Lake from 2009-2010. John Spencer had no comment on the subject. It does sound as though we should expect him to suit up for tomorrow's reserve match against the LA Galaxy reserves.
Other guest players (about whom Spencer only said "bodies for the reserve match") included Taylor Mueller (3rd Round Superdraft pick, spent time with Washington Crossfire in PDL), Tracy Hasson (from the U-23 side) and an unknown local kid.
More notes plus John Spencer quotes after the jump.
Steve Purdy, James Marcelin and Rodney Wallace were absent, as they have left to join their national sides. Lovel Palmer did attend practice but will join Jamaica soon. As reported earlier this week, Futty Danso is out with a hamstring pull and will not join his national team this weekend.
Spencer Thompson has just undergone a second knee surgery; he is not expected to return this season.
Eric Alexander has been given some time to sort out his move from Dallas before rejoining the team, so he did not attend the training either.
Brian Umony, who is coming off a knee injury, spent much of the practice rehabbing his knee and working on fitness.
Watching just a little of the practice, we saw Kenny Cooper continue to put authoritative strikes on the ball -- the kind that can put holes in goalkeepers. We also saw some impressive work from Kalif Alhassan, Mike Chabala and Jack Jewsbury during a 7v7v7.
Coach John Spencer:
On Thursday's reserve match against LA Galaxy Reserves:
"It's a reserve game, guys who haven't played will play. Simple as that. Guys who need minutes -- those guys will play."
On the DC match being rescheduled for the end of the season:
"There's no ideal place to put it, you know, so it's just another game we need to win."
On players being away from the team for international competitions:
"It's not ideal, but it's good to get players some international recognition. The national teams are very helpful for them -- they get to see a different style of coaching, different boys, and a different style of play in an international game. It's great for all concerned. And most teams around the world are facing the same problem that we're facing."