The Portland Timbers got off to a late start on the pitch today after a longer than normal video session to start the day. This early in the week, the Timbers were likely looking back at their performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps in this weekend's 2-1 loss, as they look to adjust and make corrections before taking on FC Dallas on Saturday.
Practice was closed once the team hit the pitch, but training reopened for the final moments of training to see the Timbers stretching on the team's natural grass pitch. This is the first full training session on the grass pitch for the Timbers this year, with the team previously using the training center's artificial surface, which is made of the same FieldTurf as the pitch at Providence Park.
George Fochive talked to the media after training wrapped up and revealed what the Timbers were focusing on in their morning video session.
"[We were] just looking at the way we played," said Fochive. "There were a lot of positives... Just the little details in the final third, defending, attacking, are what made the difference in the game, which is what we need to take care of a little better."
Since the Timbers' loss against he Whitecaps, a game in which the Timbers' were credited with almost 2/3's of the game's possession, Caleb Porter has emphasized that the Timbers looked good in the match, but need to do better with their chances. Talking about the morning's video session, Fochive passed on a similar sentiment.
Said Fochive, "We saw the way we played was very dominant and coach asked us to keep doing what we are doing."
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson and Diego Valeri were not on the pitch when practice was opened to the press today.
Jack Jewsbury was with the rest of the team when training was opened to the press, doing some stretching. Jewsbury is still going through the return to play protocol following his concussion symptoms last week, but, according to , he could return to full practice on Friday.
Ishmael Yartey was still not with the team today. The Timbers' newest signing is expected to arrive tomorrow evening, giving him one possible practice with the team before Saturday's match against FC Dallas.
Ben Zemanski was at the Timbers training center this morning, but left before the start of practice. Zemanski is still approximately five months away from returning from the torn ACL he suffered in the preseason against the Whitecaps.
Michael Nanchoff was not spotted at the training center today. Nanchoff is recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia and is still three to five weeks away from returning to the team.
The players on loan to T2 did not appear to train with the first team today with the exception of Jake Gleeson. With T2 set to take on the Sacramento Republic tomorrow and many of those players likely to play it is no surprise that they did not appear to do double duty today.
Trialists and Guest Players
Danny O'Rourke continued training with the Timbers today as a guest player.
- We did not see much of practice today, but we did see a pair of "April Fools" jokes being played. First, trainer Nik Wald parked behind Liam Ridgewell's car, making it difficult for him to leave. After much maneuvering, Ridgewell was able to get out of the spot and drove off as Wald removed the presumably retaliatory clingfilm wrapping that his jeep had received.
- Fatawu Safiu, Steven Evans, and Santiago Biglieri were all absent from T2's warmups today. There may have been others not with the team before practice closed, but I did not get a full headcount.
Brent Richards continued his efforts to return to fitness today, doing some jogging around the outside of the turf while both first team and T2 training was open.