The Portland Timbers held a closed practice today at the team's Beaverton training facility as they prepare for the Timbers' third and final match of the season against the San Jose Earthquakes. The Timbers will fly to San Jose this evening ahead of the match.
While the Timbers played their cards close to the chest, they were frank about what they expect to see from San Jose. Michael Harrington laid out his expectations for what he expects to be a "hectic" game.
We know what they bring now. We've seen it and we've experienced it, so I think we will be up for it. Obviously I think we need to have a good start to the game and hopefully get ourselves up more than one goal so that they can't just throw everything forward and have what happened last time happen.
Despite the changes to the Timbers back line since the last time the two teams played (the Timbers starters at the time were Futty Danso and Mikael Silvestre) and the Earthquakes' loss of Chris Wondolowski and Alan Gordon for the game, Harrington expects the Earthquakes to have a consistent style.
They still have Lenhart up there who is going to bring that type of game. I think that still with the personnel they have they are still going to want to get the ball wide and get service in the box and so I think it will be similar.
Injuries and Absences
Futty Danso sat out practice today after picking up a knock during Wednesday's game against Norwich City F.C. Futty arrived to the training center wearing a walking boot that extended up above his ankle just as the team was taking the field for practice. According to Caleb Porter, Futty has a "foot problem" whose extent the team had not yet determined. Porter did say that Futty would not travel and would be replaced in the 18 by Rauwshan McKenzie, who he praised for his work against Norwich.
Dylan Tucker-Gangnes and Brent Richards also watched practice from the sidelines today. DTG has been recovering from a concussion for several weeks now and will need to pass several tests before he is cleared to practice. Richards is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered during the preseason.
David Horst and Bright Dike both took part in the day's warmups as they work their way back to fitness. Dike has been warming up with the team for the last week while this was Horst's first day taking part since his injury in April. Neither player has been cleared for full contact training yet and, according to Porter, Horst is several weeks behind Dike in his progression back to full fitness.
Diego Chara was back in practice today after missing training on Monday and Tuesday thanks to a case of turf toe. When asked about the possibility of Chara playing, Porter was unwilling to say if he would even travel with the team. Porter did raise the possibility, when asked if Zemanski would take over for Chara if he could not play, of Jack Jewsbury playing in Chara's place and Ryan Miller or Alvas Powell playing at rightback.
Frederic Piquionne also returned to training today after missing practice in the first half of the week for personal reasons.
After practice Mikael Silvestre and Bright Dike spent some time juggling the ball on the pitch. Silvestre has been out since the start of May with a torn ACL.
Trialists and Guest Players
Olivier Thomert continued his trial with the team today. The versatile left midfielder was a teammate of Piquionne's on Martinique's Gold Cup squad. According to Caleb Porter, Thomert will continue his trial through Monday and could play with the Timbers in their reserve league game in San Jose this Sunday.