The Portland Thorns held their second training session of the week prior to the meeting against Western New York this Saturday.
The Thorns began training a few minutes earlier than the originally scheduled start, so I missed observing the very beginning, where the Thorns usually do some light warm ups and stretching to begin their sessions.
When I arrived, they were working on juggling and ball control, let by Thorns assistant coach and former USL Timber Scot Thompson, who had them begin by working individually and then moving on into groups of three, while the goalkeepers were training on the other side of the field.
Thorns then took a slight break before coach Paul Riley instructed everyone to line up along the cones placed on the field and instructed them on a passing drill, which they worked on for the next several minutes.
Riley then had the team split up into two squads, with Vero and Catley working with the starters. Working together as a unit, they worked on bringing the ball out of the back, moving past teammates standing in place and dummies lined up in a row, before taking shots on the keepers.
For the last half hour or so, the Thorns played a 11v11 scrimmage, with defenders applying high pressure on the ball. The team of starters attacked the north end and had to face Nadine Angerer in goal, while the squad of mostly reserves attacked two goals while playing on a 90 yard field.
For the last portion of training, Rachel Van Hollebeke worked on the far corner of the field with coaches and conditioning staff.
See highlights from today's training session, including a bit of what Catley and Vero bring to the team and finishes from Jessica McDonald, Alex Morgan, and Christine Sinclair.
Midfielder Allie Long
Allie Long talks about adjusting to working with new teammates and what they bring, the internal competition in training, moving on from the last game, and getting called up to the USWNT again.
Defender Nikki Marshall
Nikki Marshall talks about moving past the Boston match integrating Catley and Vero, the competition, and motivation from having a full roster, the effects of knowing new players are coming in, the effects of a poor performance, and finding the Thorns' identity.