The Portland Timbers had a regular crowd of players at training today with new arrivals and returns from injury and illness swelling the team's ranks. Today's practice was an open session at the team's Beaverton training facility that saw the team get back to basics in their drills.
Practice started off atypically, with John Cone tending to some of the Timbers' walking wounded while Caleb Porter, usually an observer for the start of training, took charge of the team's warm ups.
Porter ran the team through a series of passing drills before breaking out into small groups for games of 3v1 keep away. Keep away was the drill of the day, not unusual for an open practice, as the team then worked into bigger and bigger groups, first playing games of 6v4 then 10v8.
Finally, the team broke into a short field game to close out practice with groups of five passing the ball to players staying outside the field of play. There were few highlight reel goals scored, but Diego Valeri did curl in one beauty of a shot that froze Milos Kocic in place and dropped into the far corner of the net.
Injuries and Absences
Bright Dike, out since exploding his knee in February, made his return to practice today. Dike took part in the session's warm ups and some of the games of keep away before breaking off to work separately from the rest of the team. After a short session with John Cone, Dike practiced his finishing with Sean McAuley, showing off the heavy shot that he has always been known for along with a fair amount of rust as well. After practice today, Dike said that he should be on limited training for several weeks before resuming full contact.
Also back in the fold was Jake Gleeson. Gleeson missed several weeks due to a concussion suffered in practice and today was his first day back in full training.
The Timbers' other player out due to a concussion, Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, was also at training today, although he did not participate. DTG did some running and drills under the watchful eye of John Cone.
Will Johnson, missing both due to his call up to the Canadian National Team for the Gold Cup and then a stomach illness, was back at practice today as well.
The only Timbers player yet to return from national team duty is Rodney Wallace, whose Costa Rica side will take on the USMNT tonight at 5 p.m.
Alvas Powell finally had a chance to practice with the team today after making his first appearance for the reserves on Sunday.
Despite rumors of his imminent departure on loan, Jose Adolfo Valencia was at practice today.
However, the Timbers' other young Colombian, Sebastian Rincon, was not present. After practice, Porter confirmed that Rincon was "overseas" "getting some training" and would be away for two weeks. Porter also brought up the possibility that Rincon's situation could be similar to Michael Nanchoff's and that he could potentially go out on loan. Porter did not share where Rincon was, saying that he would find out if that was something that he could release and tell the press tomorrow.
Finally, David Horst made a brief appearance today, doing some jogging along the sidelines and passing the ball back and forth with DTG.