The Portland Timbers put in their second day of practice this week, holding a closed session at Providence Park this morning. Training started late after a team video session before transitioning into a warm up that put an emphasis on quick movement and footwork in the minutes before training was closed to the press. Finishing things off with a gym session afterward, the Timbers put in a long day before their mid-week break tomorrow.
After practice, Jack Jewsbury spoke with the press and talked about how close the team is to getting back into the more prolific goal-scoring ways that we saw toward the end of last season.
It is just a matter of being a bit sharper when we get in those moments... Kudos to Philly, they do a good job of blocking shots. I think they had eight blocked shots in the course of the game. That is relatively high, so they did very well in those key moments, but we were creating a lot. They are going to go, it is just a matter of keeping that confidence and keeping going forward.
Jewsbury also spoke about he and Michael Harrington's role in the offense and the part that they play going forward.
We both want to get forward. We realize that, whether it is [Darlington Nagbe] or [Gaston Fernandez], they are going to pinch in, so we have got to be the ones creating that width. Hopefully when we get into those positions we can deliver good balls and the forwards can make the runs and get on the end of them.
The team's chemistry in the attack, which yesterday Caleb Porter said was still developing, is something that the team has put some time in on this week, particularly their movement as a group and finding each other with crosses into the box.
It is something that we will always work on, no matter how successful or unsuccessful we are. We spent a little extra time in terms of crossing and getting those guys in good spots, but at the end of the day it is just about being a bit more hungry inside the boxes and we have definitely amped that up a bit this week.
Injuries and Absences
Pa Modou Kah was on the sidelines working out under the guidance of one of the team's trainers alongside Steven Evans and Rodney Wallace today. Kah, who picked up a hamstring knock in last Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Union, watched practice yesterday. Wallace and Evans are each working their way back from offseason surgery.
Kalif Alhassan was not spotted at today's training session after also picking up what Caleb Porter called, "a little niggle" in Saturday's match. Kalif also missed practice yesterday, although he was spotted watching the proceedings from the sidelines alongside Kah.