The Portland Timbers began their preparations for Sunday night's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps in earnest this morning as they practiced at the team's Beaverton training facility.
Today started off with a brief team meeting indoors before the Timbers took the pitch. As the team gradually came outside, they broke up into groups, playing some improvised games of keep away and generally kicking the ball around until 10:30 when they began their warmups and practice was closed to the press.
After training was over, Caleb Porter talked the Timbers' approach as they near the end of the season and what it would mean to clinch a playoff spot.
"I'm sure that as soon as we clinch, hopefully, it'll move quickly on to we want to make sure that we make the top three and then if we are in the top three then it will move on to we want to make sure that if there is a chance to win the Supporter's Shield."
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri, who spent the majority of the first two days of training this week riding an exercise cycle on the sidelines of practice, took part in the team's warmups today. According to Caleb Porter, Valeri will start and hopefully play 90', but will be monitored by the team in case he needs to come out.
Brad Ring, who missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to a bruised foot, was back in the warmups today as practice was closed down.
Mikael Silvestre was the first one out on the pitch today, kicking the ball around by himself for a few minutes while the rest of the team went through their meeting. Silvestre did take part in the morning's warmups, but was not wearing a colored bib like the rest of the team.
Brent Richards was on the sidelines of practice today as he continued rehabbing his knee from a preseason ACL tear.
Ryan Miller, whose season was ended thanks to a broken leg, was at the practice facility today ad was walking around after practice in a supportive boot.