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Portland Timbers Practice Notes: Bits and Pieces from the First Day Back

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Sorry I couldn't get this up yesterday as promised, but here are a few tidbits from training to tide you over until today's practice report.

With the Portland Timbers back in training yesterday, there was plenty going on around Providence Park to be excited about.

Player Notes

In the day's short-field game, Schillo Tshuma stood out, creating several chances for the team full of youngsters and scoring one of the day's first goals. Tshuma occupied the left flank well, cutting inside and making use of the space created by the roaming of rookie forward Christian Volesky.

New keeper Adam Kwaresay had a moment of his own in the short-field game, stretching out across the goal at a full dive to block away a close range shot.

Nick Besler garnered plenty of attention in his first day with the Timbers, lining up in the center of the midfield for the youngsters. Besler was generally effective at stepping up and poking the ball away from his mark or playing the simple, quick passes needed in the cramped confines of the short pitch.

Besler could have been more willing to pull the trigger on shots from the center of the pitch and was closed down during several opportunities, but even in those opportunities he did well to maintain possession.

While most of the team came in looking fit and ready to play, there were some players who had made noticeable changes. Alvas Powell stood out among his teammates after appearing to have bulked up significantly during the offseason. Whereas before Powell looked like a tall but skinny player, he is now significantly more muscular looking. Norberto Paparatto, meanwhile, looks to have lost a few pounds over the offseason and is looking lean for this year.

Hair Notes

On the most important front, the hair, there were few standouts on the day. New arrival Jeanderson was noticable by his shoulder-length, straightened hair, while Gaston Fernandez returned the frosted tips from last season. On the sidelines Will Johnson was sporting his usual post-offseason long locks. Maximiliano Urruti, typically the team's wild card when it comes to hairstyles, wore a hat through the entire practice.

I will be at practice again this morning starting at 10:00 AM, so stop by my twitter feed for a real time look at Timbers' training (which I will spell correctly this time, I hope).