The Portland Timbers held an open training session at the team's Beaverton practice facility today, running a series of full-field, full-team scrimmages for the majority of the ninety minute session. Playing with three different sets of eleven man teams over the course of three periods, the Timbers tried a number of different combinations of personnel as they look to put forth a strong effort against both the Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo in next week's pair of matches.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri was back in full training today, playing the first period of the day's scrimmages before hitting the sidelines to ride an exercise bike for the remainder of training. The participation in today's training session was Valeri's first since rolling his ankle against Toronto FC on May 22nd.
After practice, Caleb Porter told the press that Valeri was a possibility to be back for Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup match against the Sounders, reiterating from earlier in the week that if he played then he would likely not play against Houston.
Dairon Asprilla was on the sidelines of training today, wearing a stabilizing boot and watching the proceedings. Asprilla will likely miss the next 2-3 weeks after rolling his ankle against the New England Revolution last weekend.
Of the players on loan to T2, only Schillo Tshuma was not on hand for today's training session. Jake Gleeson was on hand as the backup keeper to Adam Kwarasey and Andrew Weber, while Andrew Thoma, Taylor Peay, and Nick Besler all played in the day's scrimmages.
Will Johnson continued his absence from the Timbers today while called up by Canada for their pair of World Cup Qualifiers against Dominica. Johnson did not play in the first qualifier yesterday, a
0-0 draw 2-0 win against the 168th ranked team in FIFA.
Trialists and Guest Players
Danny O'Rourke took part in the day's training sessions, playing centerback for all three periods.
- Kwarasey; Villafana, Ridgewell, Borchers, Powell; Jewsbury, Fochive; Wallace, Valeri, Nagbe; Adi
- Weber; Jeanderson, O'Rourke, Paparatto, Peay; Besler, Chara; Nanchoff, Fernandez, Yartey; Urruti
The lone period to feature Valeri on the pitch, The Maestro did not seem hesitant at all, going into all the challenges that you would normally expect of him. Floating all over the pitch, Valeri combined well with both Darlington Nagbe and Rodney Wallace, but tended to shift toward the left as Wallace stuck to the sideline and Nagbe cheated inside toward the center of the pitch.
For the Grey Team, the combination of Diego Chara, Gaston Fernandez, and Maximiliano Urruti was enough to make this a very even attacking exercise. The Argentine duo even combined for one of the session's early goals as Fernandez found Urruit in the box where he turned and lashed home a quick strike.
- Kwarasey; Villafana, Ridgewell, Borchers, Powell; Jewsbury, Fochive; Wallace, Fernandez, Nagbe; Adi
- Weber; Thoma, O'Rourke, Paparatto, Peay; Besler, Chara; Jeanderson, Nanchoff, Yartey; Urruti
This set up saw the duo of Urruti and Fernandez broken up and the Orange team looking all the more dangerous for not having to deal with their easy chemistry. Interestingly, the Grey Team, now without Fernandez, seemed to move to a more counterattacking style, with much of play revolving around Yartey finding space in which to run and combining with Urruti, who spent most of his time on the back shoulder of the Orange Team back line.
- Kwarasey; Villafana, Ridgewell, Paparatto, Powell; Jewsbury, Chara; Nagbe, Fernandez, Yartey; Urruti
- Weber; Jeanderson, O'Rourke, Borchers, Thoma; Besler, Fochive; Wallace, Nanchoff, Peay; Adi
The final period of the match saw Chara, Fernandez, Urruti, and even Yartey reunited in front of the majority of the Timbers' first choice defenders, but again it was a duo on the Grey Team that were the most interesting players on the field. Although Adi acquitted himself well in this one, it was the combination of Rodney Wallace and Jeanderson on the left flank that generated the majority of the Grey Team's chances.
In fact, the pair combined for the only goal of the period as Wallace picked up the ball in a central area before driving out to the left and slipping the ball between the legs of a defender to find Jeanderson running into the Orange Team box. One on one with Kwarasey, Jeanderson sent the keeper guessing the wrong direction and comfortably fired home the final goal of the morning.
The third period also saw the most impressive solo move of the day as Chara, alone in the center of the pitch, managed a jump-kicking interception, blocking away a chipped pass that was headed over him and sending it directly to one of his defenders.