The Portland Timbers got back to practice today following the weekend's tough 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. In practice, the Timbers looked to put the weekend squarely in their rearview and being preparations for this Saturday's match in Sandy, UT against a depleted Real Salt Lake side.
Working at the team's Beaverton practice facility under overcast skies, the Timbers kept practice closed for the duration today, letting the press out to the pitch in time to see the team's keepers still working and the rest of the side filtering into the lockerroom.
New Timbers striker Fanendo Adi took a moment to talk to the press after practice today. Although Adi was coy about the prospects of him staying with the Timbers after his loan runs out at the end of the summer, saying, "We will have to wait and see," he was happy to talk about how his adjustment to playing with the Timbers has gone and how it felt to score his first goals for the team.
It was a nice feeling, to come into the game and get a goal, but what I think about every game is just going in there and doing what I am supposed to do, helping the team. My job is just to fight for the team and help the team by contributing in every way. Of course, if the goals come, I will take them. That is just what happens.
Looking at the team's most recent match, Adi broke down his role in WIll Johnson's volleyed goal in the 86' against Vancouver.
I had two decisions to make: if he didn't make the run I was going to try to turn with the ball and shoot it, also in the air, but when I saw him makeing a run and shouting my name I knew the defender was a bit behind him, so I just knew that was how to do it.
Injuries and Absences
Rodney Wallace was still with the team today, but will ship out tomorrow for Arizona United FC, the same side that is currently home to Bryan Gallego and Schillo Tshuma. Wallace will play two matches with Arizona, according to Caleb Porter, getting a 45' shift in the first and a 60' shift in the second, after which he will return to Portland in time for the US Open Cup match on June 17th.
Michael Harrington practiced normally and is available to play, according to Caleb Porter. Harrington was on the bench for Sunday's loss to Vancouver, but did not make the field.
Norberto Paparatto was on the training facility's secondary turf field, heading balls to a trainer when the press were allowed out to the pitch after practice had wrapped up. Porter told the press that Paparatto was concussion symptom free and that he had been cleared to rejoin the full team practice tomorrow after staying out of any contact drills today.
Ben Zemanski, who has been out with a concussion since the match against the New York Red Bulls, was still exhibiting concussion symptoms and has not yet been cleared to return to practice.
Donovan Ricketts was not still on the field when the press were allowed out to the field. After apparently injuring his groin in the final minutes of the match against Vancouver while playing as a sweeper-keeper behind the pushed forward Timbers defense, the absence of Ricketts from practice could be a negative indicator, however, the Timbers' keeper often has extra recovery days seperate from the rest of the team. (Basically, we forgot him in the list of players being asked about. Try not to panic until we get an official word later this week.)
Trialists and Guest Players
Mayron George was no longer with the team today after his trial last week concluded as scheduled. Last week Porter told the press that George would fly out today.
The Timbers had several players from the team's U-23s side in first team practice today, including keeper Brendan Moore and defender Kyle Fisher.