The Portland Timbers held a closed training session at their Beaverton training facility today as the team prepares to take on Real Salt Lake on Friday for the third time this month. The day started off with a long team meeting indoors before the Timbers took the pitch for their usual warmup routine and the session closing to the press.
Ben Zemanski was quick to point out that, despite playing them so many times this month, three points from a game against RSL would be the same as three points from any other team.
We have a chance at three points. That's all we look at. It's another game, it's another opportunity to get points and move up the standings.
Similarly, Darlington Nagbe acknowledged the familiarity between the two teams, but said it would not effect the way the Timbers approach the game.
We know what they are going to try to do, so this week are going to try to just focus on ourselves and try to figure out how we can penetrate them and get goals.
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson, who Caleb Porter confirmed yesterday has an avulsion fracture in his his shoulder, warmed up with the team for the second day in a row. As the warmups were wrapped up and practice was closed to the press, Johnson headed indoors to continue his workout. After practice yesterday, Porter called Johnson "day to day" before noting that the team would be careful brining him back to avoid further injury.
Also taking part in warmups but not the rest of training was Futty Danso. Futty is close to making a return from the foot injury that has kept him out since the Timbers' friendly against Norwich City and, as the most recovered of the Timbers' injury stricken center backs, he will likely be on the bench this Friday, according to Porter yesterday.
Jack Jewsbury, who reinjured his ankle in the Timbers match against the Seattle Sounders, watched practice from the sidelines today. Jewsbury is likely out for Friday's match.
After working out separately following yesterday's warmups, Ben Zemanski took to the pitch for the full practice today.
Frederic Piquionne, although he was at the training center, still was not a part of practice and worked out indoors today.
David Horst and Bright Dike, who Porter confirmed would play in Saturday's reserve match, trained with the team as normal. Dike was wearing a knee brace during today's training, something that he has worn consistently since rejoining the team for training.
Trialists and Guest Players
The Timbers had four Portland Timbers Academy players at training today. Niko DeVera, Jacob Kempf, Anthony Macchione, and Alejandro Segovia, all members of the U-18s, practiced with the Timbers first team today.