The Portland Timbers held an open practice today as they recovered from Saturday's wild 4-4 draw against the Seattle Sounders. Despite
After a fifteen minute warmup session the team broke into two groups: Saturday's starters and the rest of the team. Set up around the pitch was a training circuit that incorporated a series of exercises, dribbling, passing, and shooting, while in the center of the pitch was a field for a small sided match of five on five plus one.
After each group went through ten minutes in each, the starters headed indoors to continue their regen day, while the rest of the team stayed on the pitch. The players remaining outdoors played another game of five on five plus one, went through the circuit again, and wrapped up practice with a short field game of five on five.
Having had some time to go over Saturday's draw, Caleb Porter talked about the positives in the team's performance.
It is easier to destroy than create. It is a lot easier, I've found over the years, to correct defending mistakes than it is to correct your attacking play.
While looking at what it will take to correct the defensive mistakes, Porter did not rule out making changes to the defensive lineup.
I am always looking at that, even when we win games. I am going to be looking at the personnel and are we getting the most out of the players individually and collectively. Sometimes you can, through a loss or a draw, turn things around and that is not the right move. Sometimes when you win it is the right move to tune the lineup.
Regardless, Porter feels that the team can get their defending straightened out.
I would like to have a team that plays the way we play in the attack, but we can't make the mistakes that we made. Those mistakes are very correctable, so I feel good going into the week because I know that I can correct those things.
Looking ahead to this weekend's match against Chivas USA, Porter has a definite goal in mind.
For me, I want our fans to be happy. I want them to see what they saw. I want them to see goals. I think that is a big part of this club's identity; it is going to be playing attacking football. I know that they want that and I am glad that we can bring that to them, but I know first and foremost that they want wins and next week against Chivas we want to bring them a "W".
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson did not participate in today's practice after taking a knock in the 60' of Saturday's match thanks to a heavy collision with Seattle's DeAndre Yedlin. After practice, Porter told the press that Johnson had suffered a contusion and that the team were "just being careful today."
Donovan Ricketts was back in training today, taking part in the goalkeeper drills during the warmups then heading indoors. Porter confirmed that, baring any unforseen circumstances, the team still expects Ricketts to be back in the starting lineup for the upcoming match against Chivas USA. If Ricketts is not available, however, Porter expressed his confidence in Andrew Weber.
Rodney Wallace continued his return from offseason ACL surgery today, doing some exercises and running with a trainer on the sidelines of practice. Wallace has not yet started to add lateral motions into his on-field workouts, but looked good in limited sprinting and jogging.
Steven Evans was back in training for the full session today, playing as the "+1" in each of the reserves' drills. Evans had offseason back surgery and has only rejoined practice at all recently.
Darlington Nagbe took part in training today after leaving the match against Seattle in the 85'. Nagbe did not appear to be suffering any ill-effects from the six fouls committed on him by the Sounders.
Steve Zakuani went through most of the day's session with the reserves before being pulled to do some stretching with a trainer while the rest of the reserves played on last short field game.
Trialists and Guest Players
MLS pool keeper Daniel Withrow is still with the team, providing an extra body while Ricketts continues his recovery from the injury suffered on his red card play against the Colorado Rapids.