The Portland Timbers trained today after a completely closed regeneration session yesterday. The Timbers held a closed practice at their Beaverton training center as they start to prepare for this Sunday's Cascadia Cup match against the Seattle Sounders.
The session started off with the standard warmups and passing drills to get the team loose before breaking out into attacking and defending units.
Sean McAuley took the defenders and holding midfielders to work together with an emphasis on containing the runs of the Sounders dangerous trio of attacking players; Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, and Obafemi Martins. With the Timbers set to play their usual high line, the Sounders will likely try to break out quickly and get in behind the Timbers defense, so McAuley spent today's practice emphasizing when to step up and when to drop back against the Seattle forwards.
At the other end of the pitch the forwards, attacking midfielders, and wingers worked with Amos Magee on their attacking play. The emphasis for the day was on the team's wide play and getting good crosses into the box. As Caleb Porter put it after practice, "We are getting in good spots, but those crosses and those runs, if they are a bit better then maybe we score the fourth goal to win the game."
Finally, the team wrapped things up with a full field scrimmage in two five minute periods, working on their game plan to take on the Sounders.
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson was back in training today for only the second time since hurting his should against Real Salt Lake two weeks ago. Johnson warmed up with the team before breaking off to work one on one with John Cone as practice was closed to the press.
Jack Jewsbury was also back in the team warmups, something he has sporadically taken part in since picking up an ankle knock in the game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. As practice was closing, Jewsbury headed over to the main pitch with the rest of the team.
Ben Zemanski was at the training facility this morning, but left just as practice was starting. According to Caleb Porter, Zemanski is "day to day" although he did not specify what kind of injury made him that way. Later Diego Valeri mentioned that the team would be without Diego Chara (suspended due to yellow card accumulation) and Zemanski for the Sounders game.
Frederic Piquionne and Brent Richards were both on the sidelines of training today, riding exercise bikes. Piquionne is still "day to day" thanks to an ankle knock according to the team, while Richards is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered back in February.
Futty Danso, who has been out with a foot injury since the team's friendly against Norwich, was on the sidelines today, although he did not take part in practice at all before it was closed.
In addition to Zemanski and Piquionne, Porter also labelled Will Johnson, Jack Jewsbury, Bright Dike, David Horst, and Futty Danso as "day to day".