The Portland Timbers held a closed practice at their Beaverton training facility this morning before flying to Dallas later today. In a departure from the team's usual procedure, practice was closed from the start today, limiting the exposure of the team's injured players to the press.
When practice was opened for the last fifteen minutes of the session, the Timbers' first team had headed indoors, leaving the second team to play a short field game to close out practice.
Injuries and Absences
Donovan Ricketts did not practice with the team today, instead leaving the training facility early on. With a two game suspension to serve and a knee injury to rehab, it is no surprise to see Ricketts off the pitch early. After practice concluded, Caleb Porter confirmed that Ricketts would be back for the game against Chivas USA and that the injury he picked up against the Colorado Rapids was not serious.
Norberto Paparatto was off the pitch along with the rest of the first team when the press was allowed out onto the field. Porter told the press that Paparatto is fine, making him and Pa Modou Kah look like probable starters for Saturday's match.
Kalif Alhassan was still on the field at the end of practice, playing in the reserves' short field game. Kalif has missed practice since the season opener against the Philadelphia Union, starting to work his way back up to full practice this week. According to Porter, Kalif could travel with the team, but he refused to confirm if that would be the case.
Steven Evans was on the sidelines at the end of practice today. Evans has been working out separately from the rest of the team since his offseason back surgery, although he did warm up with the rest of the team on Tuesday.
Rodney Wallace, who is still rehabbing his knee after offseason surgery, was not on the pitch at the end of practice.
Trialists and Guest Players
MLS pool keeper Daniel Withrow is still with the team while Donovan Ricketts is suspended and Jake Gleeson is away on loan with Sacramento Republic FC. Gleeson is expected to join the team next week after the Republic's season opener on Saturday, since the Republic do not have a game the following week that would conflict with the Timbers' match against the Seattle Sounders on April 5th.
The Timbers academy had a number of players from the Oregon school system, which is on spring break this week, practicing on the turf field at the training facility while the first team practiced on the grass pitch. One academy player, Jesse Garcia-Aguilar, worked with the Timbers first team, taking part in the short field reserves match that closed out practice.