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Portland Timbers Training Quotes and Notes: Pressing Matters

After Tuesday's possession oriented practice, the Timbers got a little more defensive.

William Conwell

The Timbers trained today, as is usual early in the week, at their Beaverton training facility. Practice started off with some warmup jogging followed by passing drills and small games of keep away. From there the Timbers broke into several larger games of keep away and wrapped things up with an ambitious three team, full field game that made use of four full-sized goals.

The day's emphasis was on the defensive side of things with Caleb Porter repeatedly emphasizing high, early pressure on the ball. In particular, the full field game rewarded the group that applied pressure and won the ball back before their opponents had a chance to work their way up the field.

Injuries and Absences

Diego Valeri made an appearance on the pitch today as he works his way back from the elbow to the head he suffered over the weekend. Valeri did some warmup jogging with the team before breaking off to run laps on his own. Valeri is being evaluated for concussion symptoms and will need to go through the league's return to play protocol. The protocol is a three stage process that involves a day's evaluation while jogging, heading, and taking part in a full practice. After yesterday's practice Caleb Porter confirmed that Valeri is feeling well but needs to go through the league protocol.

Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Mikael Silvestre, and Sal Zizzo all worked out separately from the rest of the team today, doing some running and agility work under the direction of John Cone. Jean-Baptiste and Silvestre missed yesterday's practice with "heavy legs" according to Caleb Porter while Zizzo is close to making his return from a repaired meniscus.

Bright Dike, Brent Richards, and David Horst are all out for the long term after each underwent knee surgery. Richards did make a brief appearance on the sidelines of practice today, juggling a ball.

Hanyer Mosquera remains in Colombia on his leave of absence.

Trialists and Guest Players

David Meves is currently the team's lone non-roster player.

Practice Notes

  • Ben Zemanski and Michael Nanchoff both had moments where they received a pass surrounded by two or three players and dribbled out of the pressure with a quick flick and a dropped shoulder.
  • Steven Evans was notable today for his really bad passing early on and his excellent passing later. With some consistency he could be a great player, but right now it is a toss up as to whether he will just kick the ball back to the opponent or play an excellent through ball.
  • Darlington Nagbe was his usual impressive self in practice with one particularly impressive moment coming when a ball was played past him. Nagbe waited until the absolute lat second to decide whether to dummy the ball or take it, only letting the ball roll through as the defending players collapsed on him.