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Portland Timbers Training Quotes and Notes: Lineup Speculation Edition

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers held training today at the team's Beaverton practice facility, combining their recovery from Sunday's 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders and preparation for tomorrow's U.S. Open Cup match against Real Salt Lake into one short session.

Training was closed for the duration, with the press being allowed out onto the field when the majority of the team were stretching on the pitch. Absent were the starters from Sunday, already having headed indoors for the tail end of their workout.

With not much to see on the pitch, there was plenty coming from Caleb Porter when it comes to tidbits about who will or will not play tomorrow. As such, let's take a moment to go over those and speculate on the Timbers' potential lineup for tomorrow's match.


Porter did not make any mention of the Timbers keepers and, really, he didn't need to. While it would be great to get Andrew Weber some minutes somewhere, there is really no reason not to play Adam Kwarasey against RSL. The Timbers first choice keeper was not exactly busy on Sunday, grabbing several crosses out of the air and facing exactly one shot on target in the Timbers' dominant win.

The Back Six

Liam Ridgewell will certainly take back his starting spot, now that he is out from under the silly red card that he picked up against the LA Galaxy. Who will play alongside him, however, is still an unknown. Norberto Paparatto has done well in his recent starts and could get the call again here, either because of his play and/or a desire to keep Nat Borchers rested during this grueling stretch of the season.

At right back the Timbers will still have Alvas Powell, both for this match and Sunday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Powell will report for Gold Cup duty with the Jamaican National Team on Monday. In the interim, it is hard to imagine that the Timbers will give anyone else the start here.

Left back is much less stable. Although Jorge Villafana has played all but nineteen minutes so far this season, eventually all these games are going to take their toll on even him. To that end, Brazilian fullback Jeanderson could be a real possibility to get the start in this one. Jeanderson did not play in Monday's T2 match against the Sounders, despite having been a major contributor for the USL side in recent weeks, and will almost certainly play a role in this one.

At holding midfield the Timbers are sure to rotate out Will Johnson and Diego Chara for Jack Jewsbury and George Fochive. Johnson, Porter told the press today, is still not entirely ready to play more than one full match per week, although he is approaching that point, and Chara is dealing with a sore ankle. The Jewsbury-Fochive pairing has worked well for the Timbers this year, including in the 3-1 win over the Sounders in the 4th round of the Open Cup, so there is no reason to think that the Timbers will not go with them again.

The Front Four

The Timbers could go with a number of different configurations for this one, but with Fanendo Adi having played the full 90 minutes against Seattle on Sunday it seems likely that the Timbers will instead go with Maximiliano Urruti up top.

Behind Urruti, Porter essentially ruled out Diego Valeri as a starter, saying that the Maestro is not yet up playing more than two games in quick succession. In his place, the Timbers will likely see Gaston Fernandez playing underneath Urruti as a second striker, giving the Timbers a pair of players that have been very successful working together in recent weeks.

Out wide on the left, Rodney Wallace looks like a lock to retake his place in the starting lineup. Wallace's competition for the spot on wing is thin currently, with Darlington Nagbe likely to be rested with a sore shoulder after falling on it in the match against LA last Wednesday.

Michael Nanchoff, who Porter told the press is 90 minutes fit, could line up on the left, but he seems more likely to play as an inverted winger on the right, cutting inside and shooting with his dangerous left foot or dishing to the overlapping runs of Powell.

Nanchoff's main competition on the right is Dairon Asprilla who recently returned to training following an ankle sprain that kept him out for several weeks. Porter said that Asprilla would be available for the match against RSL, having trained for the last several days, but it seems unlikely that he will be ready to start and will instead be brought on as an impact substitute late in the match.

The Lineup

Best Guess: Kwarasey; Jeanderson, Ridgewell, Borchers, Powell; Jewsbury, Fochive; Wallace, Fernandez, Nanchoff; Urruti

Give your lineup picks (ideal or pragmatic) for this one in the comments below.