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Portland Timbers Training Quotes and Notes: One Week To Go

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The Portland Timbers got back to training today after the conclusion of the Portland Preseason Tournament over the weekend.

Darlington Nagbe closes down Dylan Tucker-Gangnes in a game of keep away. 2/25
Darlington Nagbe closes down Dylan Tucker-Gangnes in a game of keep away. 2/25
William Conwell

Today's morning session at Jeld-Wen was open to the press and featured Saturday's starters undergoing a lighter regen workout, while the team's reserves and trialists were part of a more rigorous training session under the direction of Sean McAuley. Early games of keep away for the reserves were followed up by a short field game of five on five while the Timbers' starters headed inside to continue their workout in the gym.

Mikael Silvestre continued to miss practice while he is out of the country applying for a visa (and tweeting pictures of Paris in the snow), although Caleb Porter confirmed that the team expects Silvestre to arrive on Wednesday. Porter would not say that he expects Silvestre to move directly into the starting line-up, rather saying that he would be evaluated upon his arrival.

Trialists and Guest Players

Kyle Altman, 27, continued his trial with the Timbers after joining the team last Friday and sitting on the bench against AIK on Saturday. Altman is a 6'2" central defender who has played for the NASL Minnesota Stars for the last three years, acting as their captain in the team's championship winning 2011 campaign. Altman went on trial with the Timbers previously, joining the team for their post-season workouts in November of 2011.

Frederic Piquionne continued his trial with the team as well after joining up with the Timbers early last week.

David Meves also continued to train with the team, although he was not characterized as a trialist.

Chris Hegngi and Calum Angus were no longer on trial with the team. Both players concluded their trials last week.

Injuries and Absences

Although the Timbers did not have any of their players back taking part in practice today, a number of them were out on the field working out with fitness coach John Cone.

From the start of training today Jack Jewsbury (hamstring), Chris Taylor (MCL), and Hanyer Mosquera (hip flexor) were all doing some jogging around the pitch as they recover from their assorted injuries. About halfway through practice, the group was joined by Milos Kocic (hamstring) and worked on some passing drills. As practice wrapped up, Kocic stayed on the pitch to work one on one with keeper coach Mike Toshack.

After practice had concluded, Caleb Porter gave an update on several of the Timbers' injured players. Jack Jewsbury and

Not seen on the field today were David Horst and Donovan Ricketts, both of whom were reportedly working out indoors. Horst is continuing to work his way back from a niggling groin strain and, according to Porter, will likely be out for another couple of weeks. Ricketts is uninjured but began his regen session in the gym, rather than on the pitch with the rest of Saturday's starters.

Finally, Bright Dike and Brent Richards are both recovering well from their respective knee surgeries. Richards was even spotted riding the exercise bike on the sidelines of today's practice.

Practice Notes

  • Sean McAuley's favorite phrase in the world must be "Press!" which he was shouting an awful lot during today's short-field game at the end of practice. His other commonly used phrase for today was "Calm down and play."
  • The short-field game saw several nice goals from the assorted strikers, but very few shots taken with the left foot. Piquionne, Jose Adolfo Valencia, and Sebastian Rincon were the worst culprits, with Trencito in particular making a hash of an excellent scoring opportunity while trying to switch from his left.
  • Although I did not get much a look at Kyle Altman, what I did see was positive. He looked composed on the ball and was positioned well off it, but what most stood out to me were his tackles, which were well timed and strong, leaving no chance the ball would squirt by him.
  • Trencito and Seba are almost always paired together in practice, and today was no exception as they were put up top together during the team's short-field game. Others were rotated in and out of the game, but that pairing stayed together throughout, playing some nice wall passes for each other and generally working well as a unit. It is easy to see them as a first choice attacking pair down the road.
  • Mobi Fehr, when he has a half second to settle the ball, consistently plays smooth, accurate passes. It will be a while before he sees any first team minutes, but the kid is mighty talented.