The Portland Timbers worked on their recovery from the team's second loss of the season at training today. Before taking the field at the team's Beaverton training facility this morning, the Timbers reviewed the tape of the Columbus Crew's 3' goal to reinforce the need for concentration across the pitch.
After practice Caleb Porter addressed the lapses that led to the goal:
We just watched it before we came out, just so that I could remind them that every moment in soccer is a critical moment. They kicked the ball long from ninety yards and we lost the first ball, we lost the second ball, that led to the corner, and on the corner we didn't pick up guys. So, it was about four or five mistakes that led to the goal three minutes in. If you correct any of those four or five mistakes then we don't give up the goal.
That emphasis on putting in the work and maintaining concentration was maintained throughout practice. The Timbers went through their usual warmups and a game of keep away before breaking out a game of 8 on 8 with pressuring the ball and maintaining team shape emphasized by the coaches.
Throughout the game Porter gave his voice a good workout, regularly yelling at Andrew Jean-Baptiste to get the back line organized or for Kalif Alhassan and Ryan Johnson to put pressure on when trying to win back the ball. Practice was not all coaches shouting, however, as the Timbers showed off a few great moments, including some very impressive reaction saves from both Milos Kocic and Donovan Ricketts, as well as some very quick, very accurate passing from Kalif.
Injuries and Absences
The Timbers had back Jake Gleeson and Dylan Tucker-Gangnes at practice today for the first time since the pair suffered concussions in unrelated incidents several weeks ago. The players have passed the recovery protocol's impact test, according to Porter, but still have several days of testing before they can fully participate in practice again.
Michael Nanchoff was no longer at practice today as he has left for his season long loan in Sweden's second division. Porter confirmed that the move would open up a roster space for the Timbers to bring in another player if necessary.
Ben Zemanski spent today's practice on the sidelines as a precaution for a tweaked hamstring. He is expected to practice tomorrow.
The Timbers international call ups, Will Johnson, Frederic Piquionne, and Rodney Wallace, are still with their respective national teams, although Johnson looks like a good bet to return after this weekend and Piquionne shortly after that.
Of the Timbers suffering from long term injuries, Bright Dike, Brent Richards, and David Horst were present at practice today, observing from the sidelines. Richards took a moment to juggle the ball with Gavin Wilkinson, who was watching practice from the sidelines and talking on his phone, usually a good but vague indication that there are player moves on the horizon.
Trialists and Guest Players
David Meves was the lone non-roster player with the Timbers today.