With the first team on their way to Kansas City for their first away match of the 2015 season on Saturday, Portland Timbers 2 got their practice in a little earlier than usual this morning at the Beaverton training facility.
Practice started off with the usual warmups and evolving passing and movement drills as seen in first team training. Training then started off with two small 5v5+1 passing groups. After which they combined into a large group to play a 7v7+2 passing game in the middle of the field. Finally they added goals and two keepers and turned the 7v7+2 drill into a 7v7+2 game with keepers.
I primarily focused my training observations on getting up close looks at the T2 players and piece names/faces together ahead of the final preseason match coming up this Sunday vs University of Portland at Merlo Field. This pre season matchup is open to the public and tickets are still available. So if you are interested in going further details can be found on the main Timbers 2 home page.
Injuries and Absences
Jake Gleeson continues to work towards getting back on the field. Today he participated in warmups and practiced a little bit with the other two keepers Justin Luthy and Daniel Withrow while finishing the day with individual work with a trainer.
Two other trialists worked with a trainer on the sidelines throughout practice. One named Andy, and the other Bautista. I recognize the Bautista name but can't find where we have previously mentioned his full name.
Also, sadly, Trialist Named Jeff (related to oft-seen professional Trialist #3), was not seen at practice today. No word on his whereabouts unfortunately. It is entirely likely that Trialist Named Jeff went with his brother Trialist #3 on their yearly sabbatical and will not be seen again until another preseason for a team somewhere beckons them forth.
Trialists and Guest Players
With only 6 of the 20 players currently announced as signed to T2, most everyone out there is still a trialist or training from the first team.
One of the benefits for having T2 will be for anyone who doesn't travel with the first team to away matches to have the ability to participate in full training with T2. Examples for today's practice would be Jake Gleeson, Andy Thoma, and Anthony Manning.
Outside of those 3 players, and the 6 announced T2 signings, we were told that 5 new T2 signings would be announced today. However, it does appear that those announcements will be placed on hold. There is a slight delay and it could be sometime next week that they get announced. With the additional 5 signings it will bring the roster up to 11 players. And Jay Vidovich said today that the goal and ideal roster size is still right about 14 players. Jay had also mentioned that they are working on getting Academy and U-23 players to train with them to help give those players the experience. The idea is to fully bridge the gap and get the entire program aligned from top to bottom. The extra bodies during practice will also help with training and drills.
Players at practice today were the 6 current signings: Santiago Biglieri, Brent Richards, Steven Evans, Harrison Delbridge, Kharlton Belmar, and Rennico Clarke.
The remaining trialists today were keepers Justin Luthy and Daniel Withrow, Fatawu Safiu, Seth Casiple, Rundell Winchester, Matt Rose, and Tim Payne. Danny O'Rourke and Blair Gavin both trained with the team today and could be potential signings too.