The Portland Timbers continued the week's training with an open practice at the team's Beaverton training center. After yesterday's focus on finishing, the Timbers took things to the opposite end of the pitch with an emphasis on closing down and defensive shape from Caleb Porter.
The Timbers' usual warmups had a twist today as the sprints that they regularly run were turned into a race by several players. Kalif Alhassan and Michael Harrington were among the most competitive and when matched up ran in a dead heat. Unsurprisingly, Andrew Jean-Baptise and Jose Adolfo Valencia were among the Timbers who looked the fastest through the sprints.
After wrapping up the warmups, the Timbers went through a series of ball handling and passing drills before breaking into groups for short and intense games of keep away. With each game only lasting thirty seconds, the Timbers were closing down the ball quickly.
The team wrapped up practice with a full field drill that had two goals set up on each end of the pitch and an attacking group attempting to switch the field and create mismatches going forward, while the defenders tried to win and then possess the ball.
At one point during this drill, Valencia went on a marauding run around and through a number of opposing defenders. After Valencia scored, Diego Valeri, one of said defenders, was down on the pitch. Caleb Porter called over to see if Valeri was all right and, as Valeri got up, Michael Harrington responded to Porter, "He got run over by the train."
Injuries and Absences
Diego Chara continued his absence from practice today. At practice yesterday Caleb Porter confirmed that Chara was not recovering from his turf toe as quickly as the team had hoped. Geoffrey C. Arnold of the Oregonian later tweeted that a scan of Chara's toe had come back negative from fractures.
Futty Danso also continued to miss practice today with an unspecified foot injury. Arnold also got an update on Futty yesterday, tweeting that he would be out for six weeks.
Brent Richards, along with Bright Dike and David Horst, warmed up with the rest of the team again today, before breaking off to ride an exercise bike on the sidelines. This is Richards' first week back in training. Horst and Dike each worked out individually after the warmups as neither has been cleared for full contact training yet.
Will Johnson was still away with the MLS All-Stars.
Trialists and Guest Players
The Timbers again had several academy players on hand for practice today. Jacob Kempf ans Jesse Garcia-Aguilar practiced with the team for the second day in a row, and Anthony Macchione joined the teams as well after his stint with the Timbers U-23s during their playoff run.
Also from the U-23s, David Meves returned to training with the Timbers.