The Portland Timbers resumed their training today with their first practice session since the team's 0-0 tie against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening. The Timbers put in a lively practice today at the team's Beaverton training facility, working on possession and pressing following a morning video session.
The morning's training session was more sparsely attended than usual due to the number of injuries that the Timbers have suffered this season, as well as the call up of Alvas Powell by the Jamaican National Team for a pair of games this weekend.
Other than Powell, the new absence for the Timbers was club stalwart Jack Jewsbury, who Caleb Porter confirmed after training had experienced concussion symptoms and would need to be evaluated to see if he had picked up a concussion in Saturday's match after being struck in the head by a ball. Porter told the press that if Jewsbury does have a concussion he will need to go through the league's return to play protocol, which could see him miss the upcoming match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
Today's training started off with the usual warmups for the team before moving into a 4v2 possession drill, expanding into a 6v2 possession drill that required the Timbers to complete five passes before transitioning the ball with a long pass to another group of six, combining their groups for an 8v8+2 possession drill, then finishing off practice with a series of 6v6 games on a short field with keepers.
In each drill the Timbers emphasized keeping possession on the attack and putting pressure on the ball on defense. There were other priorities worked in as well, with defenders working to maintain balance with each other and attackers trying to split the defense in the 4v2's or just trying to get the players around goal and looking for the shot in the short field game.
Injuries and Absences
Jack Jewsbury was at the training facility this morning and was spotted heading to his car as the rest of the team took to the pitch at the start of practice. As stated above, Jewsbury is being evaluated for possible concussion symptoms.
Alvas Powell was not on hand for practice today, already having left to train with the Jamaican National Team.
Diego Valeri and Will Johnson were again on the sidelines of training today, working with the team trainers. Porter said after practice that both could return in May.
Jake Gleeson was in training today and participated in the full session for the first time in an open practice since suffering a high ankle strain during the preseason.
Michael Nanchoff and Ben Zemanski were both not in practice today but were sighted at the training facility as they recover from their respective surgeries. Nanchoff, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery, is expected to be back in 3-5 weeks, while Zemanski, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, will likely not be back for another 4-5 months.
Anthony Manning was not in practice with the first team today, but did train with T2. Manning, who played with T2 on Sunday against the University of Portland, has not yet signed with the Timbers and, unlike Andrew Thoma and Nick Besler, did not sign a senior contract with MLS before the 2015 Superdraft.
Incoming attacking midfielder Ishmael Yartey was not with the Timbers today. After practice Porter would not comment on his still-unofficial signing.
Trialists and Guest Players
Justin Luthy and Danny O'Rourke were on hand with the Timbers today.