Practicing at the team's Beaverton training facility today, the Portland Timbers held a regen session as the team recovers from another hard fought game against the San Jose Earthquakes. Training started off with Caleb Porter addressing the team on the practice facility's grass field and emphasizing the need to carry forward their momentum in this five game unbeaten streak, the longest in Timbers' history since joining Major League Soccer.
From there the team's starters from Sunday split off and did some brief jogging exercises before heading indoors to continue their recovery work. The rest of the team had a more typical practice, doing some passing drills before facing off in a game of seven on seven and finishing up with some crossing and finishing drills.
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson was absent from practice today while he visits his father who has a medical issue, according to Caleb Porter. Porter also noted that Johnson would meet up with the team in Kansas City for this weekend's game, sometime after they travel there on Thursday.
Michael Nanchoff worked out on his own with a trainer today, doing some jogging and agility drills on the turf pitch. Nanchoff missed practice last week as well after picking up a knock in the reserves match up against San Jose.
Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Sal Zizzo both participated fully in training today. Both players have been working their way back from injuries and were on the cusp of getting a full session at the start of last week.
Both Brent Richards and Bright Dike were spotted at training today as they continue their respective returns from knee surgery. I saw Dike brieifly before practice, walking indoors with a brace on his knee and without much of a detectable limp. Richards, who went under the knife earlier than Dike and whose injury appeared severe, was out on the sidelines for the second half of training and spent his time juggling a ball or, slowly, shagging balls. His demenor (plus his twitter feed) really makes me think that he is dying to get back out there.
David Horst, unsurprisingly, was not at practice as he undergoes the long healing and rehab process for his own knee surgery.
Hanyer Mosquera, who has been on a leave of absence in Colombia for over a month now, continued his absence as well.
Trialists and Guest Players
Just David Meves.
- Steven Evans is my new favorite player to harp on about in these training reports. The kid can play and, if given a chance with the reserves, could leave his mark playing as an attacking midfielder. He will not be displacing Diego Valeri or Kalif Alhassan in the depth chart any time soon, but I like what I see in practice.
- Crazy volleys were the order of the day in this morning's short field game and finishing drills. Evans stood out with two volleys that he ripped into the back of the net, one that he chested over his shoulder and thumped home and the other which he smashed home with his first touch off a cross. Ben Zemanski also had one beauty of a volley that he placed inside the far post during the finishing drills. Finally, Mobi Fehr gets an honorable mention for the fantastic scissor kick shot he took during the short sided match, but it was saved by Milos Kocic.
- Kocic, Meves, and Jake Gleeson each had some nice saves during the day's proceedings, but one of Gleeson's really stood out to me. After Jake hit the ground to block away a shot, the ball fell to Ryan Miller just feet away from Gleeson and the otherwise open goal. As Miller chipped the ball over him, Gleenson was able to push himself up and, jumping at full extension, grab the ball out of the air. It looked kind of like a burpee in fast-forward.