The Portland Timbers held an open practice session today at the team's Beaverton training facility. Fresh off their 1-0 loss to Cascadian rivals the Seattle Sounders, the Timbers put in a hard shift today as they look to move on to this weekend's match against the third Cascadia side, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Practice saw the Timbers working on playing an up-tempo, quick passing game in each of the day's drills. Training started with a series of 5v2 and 6v2 rondos, then moving to a pair of 4v4+2 possession drills that evolved into 5v5 short field matches with the sides trying to score on small goals with first-time shots.
Next the Timbers combined the two groups, creating a full-width 10v10 that saw them concentrate on switching the ball from flank to flank and creating overloads on either wing.
Finally, the Timbers moved to an out and out 11v11 scrimmage on a short field, then moved to a full field to finish off practice.
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson was back in training with the first team today after spending Friday training with T2 before Saturday's 2-0 win over Arizona United in which he played 62 minutes. Caleb Porter told the press that Johnson would likely play with T2 in this Sunday's match against the Orlando City Blues at Providence Park, but was not sure if he would be on the bench for the first team match on Saturday against Vancouver. The Timbers will need to be sure that Johnson is capable of playing a full match before using a bench spot on him with the first team, Porter told the press.
Diego Valeri was apparently never intended to play against Seattle, Porter said, despite making the bench in Sunday's losing effort. Although he did say that Valeri's targeted return has been this weekend's match against Vancouver, Porter was not willing to confirm that Valeri would see the pitch this week.
Rodney Wallace was in full training today, two weeks after first missing time due to an MCL sprain.
Michael Nanchoff also made his return to full training today after missing six weeks following surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Trialists and Guest Players
Justin Luthy, Danny O'Rourke, and Khartlon Belmar were all on hand at today's training session, representing T2. O'Rourke took part in the entirety of training, but Belmar, this week's USL Player of the Week, was only involves in the early possession drills that required an odd number of players.