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Portland Timbers Training Notes and Quotes: Running and Regenerating

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William Conwell

The Portland Timbers trained today at the team's Beaverton practice facility with the side split into first and second team groups in the wake of last night's 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. For the players who went the majority of the 90' yesterday, today was focused on rest and regeneration. For the rest of the team, however, today was a normal practice in the lead-up to Wednesday's match against the Chicago Fire.

The regen group did some jogging around the pitch and brief exercises before heading indoors to continue their program.

The second team group started practice off with a much more vigorous set of warm-ups, running through a series of passing drills under the auspices of Sean McAuley. McAuley started the drill off by reminding the team that the ball is "a leather casing with air inside." As usual, the Timbers gradually ramped up the complexity and intensity of the drills, adding in overlapping runs and an increasing number of one-touch passes as the drills went on.

Next the Timbers went to a short field game of 7v7 that saw teams looking to move the ball around the pitch and break out of the drill's area by either dribbling through a gate or scoring on a miniature goal. With both teams attacking in either direction, the drill rewarded an ability find the open man quickly, and exploit holes left by the opposing team's defenders.

Finally, the Timbers wrapped up training with a short-field 7v7 scrimmage with keepers. In the small confines of the drill, several players stood out, with Maximiliano Urruti, Dairon Asprilla, and Michael Nanchoff all showing well in the attack. After practice Caleb Porter pointed out Urruti, Nanchoff, and Asprilla as players that are a step above some of their competition and who are competing for starting spots with the first team.

Injuries and Absences

Ben Zemanski has not yet had surgery for the ACL tear that forced him out of last night's match, Porter confirmed after practice. Porter also said that Zemanski wanted to have the surgery today in order to start his rehab as quickly as possible, but that the doctors needed to further evaluate him before going forward.

Diego Chara was not with the regen group today as they recovered from yesterday's match. Porter told the press after training that Chara had taken a knock in yesterday's match and was riding an exercise bike indoors for the day. The knock most likely came in the 88' incident that saw Nicholas Mezquida yellow-carded for a hard foul on Chara and Liam Ridgewell receive his second yellow of the match for dissent.

Jake Gleeson, who is still recovering from a high ankle sprain, was at training today, coming out onto the pitch late in the session to do some work with keeper coach Mike Toshack. Gleeson was still wearing an immobilizing boot on the injured ankle. The drills that he participated in involved catching and handling the ball from on his knees.

Taylor Peay, Andrew Thoma, and Anthony Manning, all of whom trained with T2 last week, were back with the first team today.

Trialists and Guest Players

T2 signee Kharlton Belmar and T2 trialist Rundell Winchester were with the first team in today's training session, adding some bodies to the proceedings. Winchester, 21, is a forward from Trinidad and Tobago with four first team caps for the national team.

Saturday's mystery keeper was back with the Timbers again today, providing depth cover to Justin Luthy and Andrew Weber as Adam Kwarasey worked with the regen group.

Danny O'Rourke is still not under contract with the Timbers but remains with the team.