The Portland Timbers held a practice session this morning at the team's Beaverton training facility, while a crowd of girls soccer players watched from the sidelines. Practice was open to the press today as the Timbers trained in front of the FC SC Nemesis Real Yellow players. FCSCNRY, based out of Salmon Creek, won a contest earlier this year through Timbers' sponsor Franz Bread that allowed them to watch the practice then have training session of their own, which Sean McAuley, Brad Ring, and Michael Harrington coached.
Training started off with the usual warmup routine of stretching, running, and passing before the Timbers broke into Three round of 7 for small games of 5 on 2 keep away. From there the Timbers stayed in their groups of 7, playing a larger possession game, emphasizing short passes before making a long switch. After concluding the possession drills, Saturday's starters were released with some staying outside to watch the rest of practice and others going indoors for a gym session. The remaining players played a short field game of 5 on 5 to finish out the day.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri was on the sidelines of practice today riding an exercise bike. Valeri, who has been recovering from an adductor strain for almost two months now, started and played 62' in the Timbers 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday. After practice Caleb Porter gave the press an update on Valeri, saying that he felt good after the game, but that he has yet to make a decision on whether to play Valeri or sit him for this weekend's game against Chivas USA. According to Porter, he will take both Valeri's health and his ability to stay in synch with the rest of the team into consideration.
Maximiliano Urruti, who picked up a hamstring injury in he Timbers' 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders two weeks ago, was also riding an exercise bike on the sidelines of practice today. Porter confirmed that Urruti was making progress, but that he is unlikely to be ready to play this weekend.
Jose Adolfo Valencia, who was forced to come out in the 68' on Sunday after a nasty collision with a Real Salt Lake player left him with a cut on his left temple, was in training today with no ill effects. Porter confirmed that Trencito was alright, joking that he was too pretty so the cut was a good thing. Trencito tweeted a photo of the cut, which you can see here.
Brad Ring was again on the sidelines for warmups today, but did some running individually with John Cone. Ring picked up a knock to the foot in practice three weeks ago that has had him in and out of the team warmups.
Mikael Silvestre was in the team warmup against today and took part in a pass and run drill immediately afterwards, but left the group to work by myself as the team switched over to some small possession drills.
- Steven Evans had one of the niftier moves in practice, spinning to get around the lunging tackle of Rauwshan McKenzie and go to goal along the end line.
- The practice game today saw lots of shots pulled just wide, but Alvas Powell had his sights dialed in, putting several shots on frame, including one bullet that blew through the hands of Milos Kocic.
- Ryan Johnson showed off his ability to hold off his man and create space on the dribble as he repeatedly received the ball in front of goal and dribbled around both his defender and the keeper before firing home.
- Andrew Jean-Baptiste has not lost his ability to just kick the heck out of the ball as he launched a downward curling volley From one end of the shortened pitch to the other and kept it on frame, although it was saved by Jake Gleeson.