The Portland Timbers, after three days off following their 2-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday, were back to training today, putting in an intense session at the team's Beaverton practice facility.
The Timbers opened training with their usual jogging and agility drills, gradually mixing in some brief possession drills as practice progressed. From there the Timbers moved to a larger scale possession drill, working 7v7+3 with Darlington Nagbe, Diego Chara, Gaston Fernandez, Jack Jewsbury, and George Fochive all spending time as players in the "+3".
Finally, the Timbers wrapped up practice with an 8v8 short field match with keepers that saw the usual starters intermixed with bench players, making for a very tightly contested match, particularly given the current level of competition for starting spots in the Timbers' lineup.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri was on the pitch at training today but was working out on the sidelines with a trainer. After practice wrapped up, Caleb Porter told the press that Valeri will hopefully rejoin practice on Sunday and will be available for Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup match against the Seattle Sounders. Porter went on to say that since Valeri will have been out for four weeks, he will only play in one of next week's two matches: the Open Cup match or the following Saturday's home match against the Houston Dynamo.
Dairon Asprilla was not at training today after rolling his ankle at Providence Park on Saturday. Porter said that Asprilla had only suffered a strained ankle and that his strain was not as bad as the one that Valeri had suffered. Porter did not offer a timeline for Asprilla's return, but his assertion that the injury is similar to Valeri's means that Asprilla's inury comes at a bad time for the Timbers with four games in fourteen days, starting with next week's Open Cup match.
Will Johnson is with the Canadian Men's National Team for their World Cup Qualifiers against Dominica on the 11th, tomorrow, and the 16th. Johnson will miss the Open Cup match on Tuesday, but is expected to be back for the match against Houston.
The Timbers' Portland Timbers 2 loanees were all absent from first team training today as T2 is in Colorado Springs for tonight's match, a rescheduling of their previously rained-out date.
The mood was clearly light in training today, with players joking around during warmups. Things got serious as practice progressed, however, with the competitive sides of the Timbers coming out, particularly during the 8v8 match that closed practice.
Rodney Wallace, sporting a new haircut, was getting after it in training today, as he always seems to do. With Asprilla out of the lineup for the immediate future, the door has been left open for Wallace to return to the starting XI and he looks like he is determined to take that spot.
Maximiliano Urruti was at his balletic best today in the 8v8 match, holding up the ball and twisting and turning on it before firing home a well taken goal.
Jack Jewsbury, Liam Ridgwell, and George Fochive all had opportunities to show off their footwork in the short field game, with each coming under pressure and each creating space to get out of it on the dribble.
Darlington Nagbe continued the aggressive look that we saw from him on Saturday, driving at players and taking several hard shots in the day's short field game.
Trialists and Guest Players
The Timbers had several T2 players on hand at training today.
Andy Rose, currently suspended after picking up a red card in his last game, was on hand, as was Santiago Biglieri. Daniel Withrow was also in training today, acting as the day's third keeper while Gleeson and Justin Luthy are on the road with T2 today.