The Portland Timbers continued their weekly training routine today with a practice at the team's Beaverton training facility. Practice was closed for the duration today, letting the press out onto the pitch after the team headed indoors, minus Michael Nanchoff, Ben Zemanski, and Pa Modou Kah, who were juggling a ball back and forth in a group.
There was some activity still on the pitch as Caleb Porter addressed a number of coaches on the sidelines of the field. The group was a part of the license renewal process for the US Soccer national "A" license. In addition to watching practice and talking to Porter, the coaches also took in U-16 and U-18 practices over the last two days and spoke with Timbers Academy Director Mike Smith and Gavin Wilkinson. An A-level license must be renewed every four years.
After a long gym session, Diego Valeri came out to talk to the press about his progression going into the match against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
I am feeling good. Every day it is getting better. In these four games I was much better every game. After the game the rehab was good and, for me, that is the most important point.
In the Dallas game, which many have hailed as Valeri's best performance of the season so far, Valeri says that the improvement continued but that he still needs to do better.
I felt very good physically in Dallas. I am looking for my best and this is a good game to do my best.
Valeri told the press that Saturday's match against Seattle would be a good time for the team as a whole to be at their best.
I think it is a great game. It is a good time for us too because we need to win. It is at home and always with that it is a different game. It is a great game.
Injuries and Absences
With practice closed from start to finish, there was no new information available on the Timbers' several injured players.
Darlington Nagbe was spotted walking to his car after talking to one of the trainers and seemed to have a slight limp. When asked about the possibility of Darlington Nagbe playing on Saturday, Valeri said that "every player here is important, so whoever will play in Saturday's game could be good."
There was no word on Steve Zakuani, Donovan Ricketts, Rodney Wallace, or Steven Evans.